Resource Saving and Waste Reduction
Our lives are based on limited resources. For the sustainable use of resources, we need to reduce the consumption of natural resources while at the same time circulating those we already have. Sumitomo Chemical is working on waste management and the effective use of resources at our offices and works.
The President serves as the chief coordinator and the executive officer in charge of Responsible Care serves as the coordinator of the Environment and Climate Change Action Group of the Responsible Care Department. This group is responsible for matters related to environmental protection for the Company as a whole and supports the environmental protection activities of Group companies.
Our worksites (head offices, Works, research laboratories, etc.) have established sections in charge of environmental protection operations, appointed coordinators and managers, and execute specific duties. Regarding the execution of duties, the corporate department (Responsible Care Department) formulates Company-wide annual policies and Company-wide medium-term (three-year) policies. Then each worksite, in light of these policies and in consideration of its own characteristics and regional situation, formulates an action policy and undertakes specific activities from the new fiscal year.
Regarding amendments to laws and regulations, the Responsible Care Department vigilantly pays attention to trends related to the enactment and amendment of environmental laws and, as appropriate, provides feedback through national specialized committees and other organizations. All people addressing the problems also establish targets (details of the amendments, possible impacts, visualization of countermeasures, etc.) and commit the Company to addressing the issue being targeted.
Furthermore, with regard to amendments that have a large impact on business, we access the necessary information in advance and notify worksites to prepare for meeting compliance requirements.
Examples of Initiatives
We are systematically working to reduce the amount of exhaustible raw materials used, quickly and properly dispose of PCB waste, and reduce the amount of industrial waste sent to landfills. Furthermore, we are setting targets related to recycling industrial and plastic waste and are promoting resource recycling initiatives.
- Promoting Resource Saving
- Thoroughly Managing Waste and Promoting Increased Recycling Internally and Externally
- Moving up the Schedule for the Treatment of Waste with Minute Amounts of PCBs before Legal Disposal Deadline Set by the PCB Special Measures Law
- Direct Recycling Initiatives for Battery Cathode Materials
Circular System for Plastics
Sumitomo Chemical has identified “contribution to recycling resources” as one of our material issues to be addressed as management priorities, and we have set the amount of recycled plastic resources used in the manufacturing process as a KPI for this purpose.
We are working to replace 200k tons/year of plastic used in our manufacturing process with recycled resources by 2030.
Sumitomo Chemical Group Basic Policy Towards a Circular System for Plastics
Recognizing that plastic is a useful material supporting a sustainable society, the Sumitomo Chemical Group is committed to work towards building a circular system for plastics and resolving plastic waste problems in accordance with its Basic Principles for Promoting Sustainability and the following policy:
- The Group contributes to resolving plastic waste problems through its business, particularly by providing technologies, products and services that leverage the power of chemistry.
- The Group focuses on innovation regarding 3Rs—reduction, reuse and recycling—of plastics and works to accelerate the adoption of new solutions by society, while also considering an impact on actions against climate change issues.
- The Group takes on challenges difficult to resolve alone, such as marine plastic problems, by working with various stakeholders through alliances and open innovation partnerships.
- The Group provides its employees with education and awareness-raising programs based on sound science, while also engaging in social actions, such as initiatives for promoting waste sorting and collection and riverside and beach cleaning campaigns, to ensure that every one of its employees has a sense of ownership and can change their actions as needed to address plastic waste problems.
- The Group constantly reviews progress and works to enhance and improve its efforts by the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle method.
To promote R&D related to chemical recycling, in 2020 we established research groups that deal with technologies to reduce environmental impact at the Petrochemicals Research Laboratory (currently the Essential Chemicals Research Laboratory).
In pursuit of more practical, socially beneficial applications of this research, we are working to cultivate the market for plastic products made possible by securing and recycling plastic waste, especially through the Business Development Office for a Circular System for Plastics, which was established in 2021.
Examples of Initiatives
Toward a circular system for plastics, it is important to make an effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle (material recycling and chemical recycling) at each stage of the plastic value chain. These efforts contribute to the reduction of fossil resource extraction and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from manufacturing processes and disposal by reducing plastic use and waste.
- Material Recycling
- Chemical Recycling
- Reduction of Plastic Used in Product Packaging and Use of Recycled Materials
Sumitomo Chemical identified contributing to recycling resources as a material issue to be addressed as management priorities. Going forward, to achieve greater progress, we will continue to further promote initiatives aimed at developing resource recycling technology and promoting practical, socially beneficial applications by leveraging the technological capabilities and insights we have cultivated as a diversified chemical company.