Sustainable Use of Natural Capital

Basic Stance

Sumitomo Chemical has been conducting its business using various types of natural capital such as water and soil, and the entire Group has been implementing various initiatives for the sustainable use of natural capital. Now that the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework was adopted at COP15 in December 2022, and the so-called Nature Positive direction was outlined in the framework, which aims to halt, reverse and put biodiversity loss on a recovery track by 2030, we recognize that biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural capital are again material issues and we will make further initiatives.

We are considering and promoting initiatives to realize Nature Positive from the perspectives of both obligation and contribution.

  • Basic Stance

Management System

Regarding the management system for the sustainable use of natural capital, please refer to Management System for Resource Saving and Waste Reduction

Goals and Results

The Sumitomo Chemical Group has established key environmental protection items as Common Targets. By following up on the results of each Group company, we are working to reduce our environmental impact in a systematic way.

Environmental Performance

Sumitomo Chemical collects and totals environmental data for the Company and Group companies in Japan, including data on energy and resource consumption, production quantities, and environmental impact (e.g., release of pollutants into the air and water).

FY2022 Primary Environmental Performance (Sumitomo Chemical and Group companies in Japan)

  • FY2022 Primary Environmental Performance (Sumitomo Chemical and Group companies in Japan)

  1. The energy (calculated as kl of crude oil) and greenhouse gas (all seven gases) indices were calculated based on the GHG Protocol (refer to page 249 “Calculation Standards for Environmental and Social Data Indicators”) for principal consolidated Group companies in Japan, which account for up to 99.8% of consolidated net sales.
    • Having adopted the GHG Protocol standards for our GHG emission disclosures, we now include the following data that was not included in previous calculations: amount of energy used to produce electricity and steam sold to external parties by the Group and the resultant CO2 emissions; amount of energy used by Sumitomo Chemical and Group companies in Japan non-production sites and the resultant CO2 emissions; CO2 emissions from non-energy sources not included in the scope of the Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures.
  2. Calculations include the following 12 metals: iron, gold, silver, copper, zinc, aluminum, lead, platinum, titanium, palladium, gallium, and lithium.
  3. Calculations include the following seven minor metals: nickel, chromium, tungsten, cobalt, molybdenum, manganese, and vanadium. The supply structure for each of these minor metals is extremely fragile. These minor metals are subject to national stockpiling.
  4. Fluorescent lamps and mercury lamp ballast as well as contaminated substances (wastepaper, etc.), including PCB waste, are not included in unit and volume data.
  5. Certain assumptions were made in calculations due to the difficulty of obtaining weight-based figures for some products.
  6. The amount of coal ash generated at Sumitomo Joint Electric Power, which is included in “Waste emissions” and “Landfill” (Sumitomo Chemical and Group companies in Japan) is calculated on a dry-weight basis.

Examples of Initiatives for “Obligation”

Each Group company and worksite sets targets in such fields as biodiversity preservation, atmospheric environment protection, effective water resource usage, sustainable soil usage, and appropriate chemical substance management. They are striving to enhance measures aimed at achieving the targets.

Biodiversity Preservation Initiatives

  • Biodiversity Preservation Initiatives

    (Japanese only)

Working to preserve biodiversity is one of Sumitomo Chemical’s most important pillars as it strives toward building a sustainable society. Since formulating Sumitomo Chemical’s Commitment to the Conservation of Biodiversity, Sumitomo Chemical has strengthened its initiatives, including setting ISO 14001 activity goals for biodiversity preservation aligned with the Commitment at All worksites. The Company has been actively participating in a private-sector biodiversity partnership and promoting initiatives through business while giving considerable thought to what we should be mindful of as a chemical company.

Sumitomo Chemical’s Commitment to the Conservation of Biodiversity

  1. We position the conservation of biodiversity as one of our most important management issues and strive to help protect the global environment.
  2. We work to continuously reduce environmental impact in our production operations and our development and supply of products and services and in cooperation with third parties in the supply chain and thereby contribute to the conservation of biodiversity.
  3. By regularly implementing education programs, we ensure that employees fully recognize and understand the importance of biodiversity and promote our commitment to its conservation.
  4. We continuously engage in corporate social responsibility activities that contribute to environmental protection and lead to greater trust and confidence from society.
  5. We disclose the results of these efforts and maintain effective communication with the general public.

Examples of Initiatives

  • Preserving the Environment of Sakuragaike (Misawa Works)
  • Revitalizing Prairieland (Valent BioSciences LLC)

Protecting the Atmospheric Environment

By strengthening our measures for fixed emission sources, we are working on reducing our various environmental impacts, including emissions of soot and dust mainly from boilers and gas turbines, leaks of fluorocarbons from refrigeration equipment, emissions of mercury from industrial waste incinerators, emissions of chemicals and VOCs from manufacturing plants, and airborne asbestos from the demolition of buildings. In addition, we focus on realizing the following goals as an appropriate response to laws and regulations.

  • Regarding refrigeration units using CFCs and HCFCs, we are systematically upgrading to equipment that uses low GWP HFCs or non-fluorocarbon refrigerants (Ozone Layer Protection Law). We are also steadily disposing of the fluorocarbons from refrigeration and air conditioning equipment to be thrown away. (Act for Rationalized Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons)
  • We will remove all electronic equipment that uses PCBs (in storage or in operation) ahead of the deadline of March 2025. (Act on Special Measures against PCB Waste)

Examples of Initiatives

  • Reining in PM2.5* Emissions
  • Responding to Fluorocarbon Emission Controls
  • Emissions of Mercury into the Atmosphere from Waste Incinerators

Effective Use of Water Resources

To maintain production at worksites and conserve nearby aquatic environments, we strive to appropriately manage wastewater, achieve more sophisticated activated sludge treatment, and promote effective water use based on water risk evaluations at each production base.

Examples of Initiatives

  • Protecting the Aquatic Environment
  • Water risk assessment in areas where major production sites are located
  • Effective Use and Management of Yoshioka Springs (Ehime Works)

Sustainable Use of Soil

We recognize that the conservation and restoration of soil is an important initiative to ensure the sustainable use of natural capital. In addition, as specific measures in line with the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act, we maintain careful control of the execution and management of construction plans in order to ensure appropriate responses to notifications when modifying soil types at specified facilities that use hazardous substances and an expansion of opportunities for soil contamination surveys.

Examples of Initiatives

  • Regularly Monitoring Groundwater
  • Preventing Soil Contamination

Appropriate Chemical Substance Management

Regarding Class I designated chemical substances (PRTR Act) and VOCs, we conduct environmental risk analyses regardless of the amount emitted into the environment. We are also taking measures to reduce use and emissions. In addition, as a specific response to the PRTR Act, for chemical substances expected to be newly designated under the PRTR Act, we have enhanced the evaluation and management of related environmental risks.

Examples of Initiatives

  • Meeting Voluntary Environmental Targets
  • Reducing Atmospheric Emissions
  • Operating Company-wide PRTR Calculation Systems

Examples of Initiatives for “Contribution”

Focusing on responses at production sites, in fields concerning atmospheric, water and soil quality as well as waste disposal we will continue striving to achieve independent medium- to long-term targets going forward and promote unique initiatives at each worksite in line with the local characteristics.

Examples of Initiatives

  • Nature Preservation Initiatives
  • Contributed to the Spread of No-till Farming

Looking Ahead

The focus of Sumitomo Chemical Group’s basic policy on protecting the environment has shifted since the early 2000s from responding to laws and regulations toward strengthening voluntary management. As pressure increases to protect the environment on a global scale and to improve the efficacy of the measures taken at each worksite, we think it is necessary to understand trends such as international environmental protection and resource recycling, biodiversity preservation, action on water risks and soil contamination better than ever and take forward-looking action.

From the perspective of continued risk management, we are focusing our efforts on issues that are assessed as being high risk over the medium to long term and take appropriate action that enhances voluntary management while continuing to contribute to the sustainable use of natural capital.