Eco-First Commitments

Eco-First Commitments

In March 2012, Sumitomo Chemical reported the progress and results of its efforts to fulfill the Eco-First Commitments to theJapanese Minister of the Environment while announcing its Eco-First Commitments, Updated Version.

Note: The content was updated in November 2016. From fiscal 2016, measures are being taken in line with the updated content.

Progress in Fulfilling Eco-First Commitments

Sumitomo Chemical has participated in the Eco-First Program of Japan’s Ministry of the Environment since November 2008. As a leading company in the chemical industry, Sumitomo Chemical is committed to fulfilling its Eco-First commitments to the Japanese Minister of the Environment while ensuring legal compliance and enhancing RC activities.

Results

○:Very favorable/ ●:Generally favorable

Management of Chemical Substances and the Promotion of Risk Communication

Reviewing Safety Information on Chemicals and Conducting Risk Assessments

LRI*1 Initiatives

  • Promoted research by actively participating in the LRI program implemented by the Japan Chemical Industry Association as a member of the steering committee, planning and management task force, and research promotion panel.*2 Furthermore, we participate in the microplastics task force, which has close ties to the LRI program, and provide feedback.

Enhancing Information Disclosure and Risk Communication

  • Published the Annual Report, Sustainability Data Book, the Report on the Environment and Safety (at all worksites), local PR newsletters, etc., made information publicly available on the official website, made school visits, accepted student interns, and engaged in dialogue with local residents.

Realizing Safe and Secure Water Treatment by Developing and Applying Management Technology that Helps Reduce Environmental Impact

Considering Appropriate Water Treatment Methods and Standardizing Methods for Assessing Various Process Waste Water Expelled from Works

  • In light of current operating conditions, we finished considering the standardization of each Works’ methods for assessing and treating effluent from new manufacturing processes. We have prepared manuals and are promoting the adoption of standardized methods at each Works.

Using Microbiota Analysis, Microbial Immobilization, and Other Proprietary Technology to Increase the Sophistication of Activated Sludge Treatment

  • We perform biota analyses on activated sludge used for water treatment using molecular biology methods that employ cutting-edge equipment. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in addition to biota analyses, we have worked to tie the stable operating requirements for activated sludge treatment to the biota that comprises the sludge. In addition, at some Works, we use an active sludge treatment utilizing microbial immobilization for process wastewater that contains substances that are difficult to break down through the conventional incineration methods that formerly were the only viable option. This has allowed us to stabilize water treatment and reduce treatment costs. Going forward, we will continue working to uncover and resolve relevant issues to ensure safety and stability.

Helping Create a Sustainable Society

Promoting Sumika Sustainable Solutions

  • We are promoting Sumika Sustainable Solutions, which are initiatives to internally designate products and technologies that contribute to global warming countermeasures and environmental impact reduction. A total of 54 products and technologies have been designated, with combined sales of ¥479.8 billion in fiscal 2019 (consolidated). They are projected to contribute to a collective 62 million tons CO2 equivalent reduction in greenhouse gases throughout their life cycles in fiscal 2020.*3

Improving Energy Efficiency

  • Unit energy consumption in fiscal 2019 improved 16.6% compared with fiscal 2005 but worsened 2.3% year on year.
    (Goal: Improve unit energy consumption 15% by fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2005 levels (Improve 1% per year on average))
  • Unit CO2 emissions from energy in fiscal 2019 improved 14.1% compared with fiscal 2005 but worsened 2.0% year on year.
    (Goal: Improve unit CO2 emissions from energy use 15% by fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2005 levels (Improve 1% per year on average))

Holding Dialogues with Internal and External Stakeholders

  • Explained to internal and external stakeholders the importance of the Company helping to create a sustainable society and the Company’s related measures, thereby deepening mutual understanding through dialogue. 
  1. Long-range Research Initiative:
    Long-term support for research into the effects of chemical substances on human health and the environment
  2. Research Promotion Panel:
    Commissioned expert research into the development of new risk methods, assessments, and related activities; held a meeting to report on the results of the research
  3. This value represents the amount contributed to the reduction of greenhouse gases over the life cycles of designated products expected to be sold in fiscal 2020, based on the guidelines of the Japan Chemical Industry Association and the ICCA.