Promoting Responsible Care Activities

Basic Policy

Responsible care (RC) activities refer to the voluntary initiatives undertaken by business operators in the chemical industry, with the goals of ensuring safety, health and the environment throughout the life cycle of chemical products, from development through to the manufacture, sales, use, and disposal after final consumption, maintaining and improving the quality of those products. These activities also strive to gain the further trust of society through continuous dialogue.
The Sumitomo Chemical Group has positioned responsible care activities as one of its most important management pillars. Based on the core principle of “Making safety our first priority,” the Group has set goals for each of the following fields: occupational safety and health; industrial safety and disaster prevention; environmental protection; addressing climate change; product stewardship, product safety, and quality assurance; responsible care audits; and logistics. The Group is working to achieve the goals it has set.

Management System

As the body for deliberating and approving Sumitomo Chemical’s RC activities, the Responsible Care Committee is chaired by the President and comprises executive officers responsible for and in charge of the administrative departments and the four business sectors of the Company, and the General Manager of each Works. The Committee puts in place annual policies on activities, medium-term plans, and specific measures as they relate to responsible care. The committee also analyzes and assesses the results of responsible care activities. The Committee then reports the content of its meetings to the Board of Directors as appropriate and receives necessary guidance in an effort to enhance its supervisory functions and the execution of its duties.

Organization of Responsible Care

  • Organization of Responsible Care

Policies and Goals

Corporate Policy on Responsible Care (Safety, Health, the Environment and Product Quality)

Sumitomo Chemical has set forth safety, health, the environment, and product quality as top priorities for all phases of its business activities in its Corporate Policy on Responsible Care (Safety, Health, the Environment and Product Quality). This policy has been communicated to all employees of Sumitomo Chemical and its Group companies to ensure that each and every employee is fully aware of it.

To ensure that we, in accordance with our Basic Principles for Promoting Sustainability and the Sumitomo Chemical Charter for Business Conduct, contribute to the sustainable development of society and achieve our own sustained growth by gaining society’s trust, we declare our commitment to addressing, together with Group companies, the following matters as the highest priority tasks with respect to safety, health, the environment, and product quality:

  1. We will maintain safe and stable operations by realizing zero-accident, zero-injury performance and "Making safety our first priority."
  2. We will ensure the safety of our employees, neighboring communities, and other stakeholders through risk-based continual improvement of our performance in occupational safety and health, industrial safety and disaster prevention, and other related areas, as well as the security of our facilities, processes and technologies.
  3. We will work to ensure environmental and human health and safety throughout the life cycle of our products by promoting continual improvement in chemicals safety and product stewardship across the supply chain, and enhancing our chemicals management system.
  4. We will work to protect the environment through continual improvement of our environmental performance throughout the life cycle of our products, from development to disposal, and address climate change and related issues.
  5. We will provide safe and reliable products and services that our customers can use safely and with confidence.
  6. We will not only comply with all domestic and international laws, regulations, and ordinances but also work to use best practices through our voluntary initiatives.
  7. We will disclose information and engage in dialogue with society to ensure we meet society’s expectations, respond to its interests, and remain accountable to the same.
  8. We will contribute to sustainable development of society by improving our performance, expanding business opportunities, as well as developing and providing innovative technologies and other solutions to address social challenges.

Established: April 1, 2020

Note: Combined "Corporate Policy on Safety, the Environment and Product Quality (Established: April, 1994)" and "Policy on Responsible Care Activities (Established: January 1995)"

Promoting Responsible Care Activities

Sumitomo Chemical shares policies and targets regarding RC across the entire Group. We are working to maintain stable operations with zero accidents and zero injuries as the foundation of our business, which is one of the basic policies outlined in the responsible care medium-term plan. We are also striving to ensure safety, health and the environment throughout the life cycle of products as well as to improve the quality of chemical products the Company manufactures.

Medium-term Plan (FY2022 - FY2024)
Occupational Safety and Health
  • Assess the level of safety culture and safety infrastructure at each workplace and persistently strive for improvement.
  • Promote safety and health activities based on international standards and the utilization of DX to adapt to a new society where people can choose from a variety of flexible working styles and changes in the structure of society caused by the pandemic.
Industrial Safety and Disaster Prevention
  • Strive to strengthen safety infrastructure by introducing advanced technologies to improve management technologies, training highly skilled process safety personnel, and carefully managing facilities and construction projects.
  • Strengthen our response to intensifying natural disasters and new threats, such as terrorism
Environmental Protection
  • Steadfastly comply with environmental laws and regulations and promote reductions of our environmental impact.
  • Actively work to disclose environment-related nonfinancial information to help steadily improve our standing in society while addressing new issues, such as those related to water risks and biodiversity.
Addressing Climate Change
  • Work to formulate and implement specific measures aimed at achieving our science-based targets (SBTs) and then updating to the SBT 1.5°C target.
  • Sumika Sustainable Solutions deepen cooperation between departments as we strive to achieve new 2024 targets.
Product Stewardship, Product Safety, and Quality Assurance
  • Work to address risks through use of the Company’s systems, including the comprehensive chemical management system (SuCCESS), while steadily implementing a bottom-up approach, such as maintaining personnel and introducing qualification systems.
  • Strive to enhance operational quality by fostering a quality-focused culture and promoting DX as well as promote activities to prevent quality-related problems through risk management and reduce losses arising from flaws.
RC Audits
  • Conduct audits to ensure thorough operation of the responsible care management system, steady improvements to its operation, and compliance with related laws and regulations
  • Work to reduce the number of logistics safety- and quality-related incidents

Note: More details on the key activities and initiative results for each field can be found in the following sections

At present, we have stationed responsible care specialists at regional headquarters in Europe and the Americas as well as China and the wider Asia-Pacific region. This has enabled us to develop RC activities rooted in each area. We established the Sumitomo Chemical Group’s Safety Ground Rules in 2016 as a measure to further secure safety at all Group locations. We have since been working to promote awareness of the rules among all Group employees while further raising the level of Group-wide safety activities and eliminating work-related accidents. Moreover, we strive to ensure the safety of community residents and protect their environment while promoting mutual understanding by providing residents with information concerning our initiatives and engaging in dialogue.

Also, we continually work to develop human resources that are capable of implementing responsible care, for example, through training and practice at each production site and regional headquarters as well as regular meetings attended by the responsible care managers of Group companies in Japan and overseas. In addition, we publish a newsletter that covers various topics and information on accidents and disasters that have occurred within the Group in the hope of preventing similar occurrences. We also promote various kinds of RC activities through RC awards for excellent RC activities of Group companies.

Looking Ahead

As global-scale issues pile up, including the response to climate change, the creation of a circular economy, and considerations for biodiversity, we, as people engaged in the chemical industry, duly regard society’s trust in us as essential to our continued business viability. To ensure continued growth together with customers, regional neighbors, and employees, we will continue to promote responsible care activities throughout the Group.