Chemical Substance Management

Volume of Chemical Substances Handled

The Nisshinbo Group’s volume of PRTR substances*1 handled totaled 2,591 tons. Volume of PRTR substances handled after adjustment*2 came to 3,048 tons, down 10% year on year. Despite the addition of Ricoh Electronic Devices Co., Ltd., the Nisshinbo Group’s overall volume of PRTR substances handled after adjustment declined due to progress in substitution with other chemical substances.

Major items making up the Nisshinbo Group’s volume of PRTR substances handled were antimony (851 tons) for brake materials, as well as methylenebis (4,1-phenylene)=diisocyanate (726 tons) and methylenebis (4,1-cyclohexylene)=isocyanate (412 tons) for urethane materials.

*1 PRTR substances: Substances subject to the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) system pursuant to the “Act on the Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof” and reports of their amounts of release and transfer must be filed.

*2 The consolidated fiscal year that ended in December 2018 was a transitional period with an irregular fiscal year adjusted for changes in the fiscal periods of the Company and consolidated subsidiaries as follows: the Company and consolidated subsidiaries switching from fiscal years ending in March (nine-month consolidation from April 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018); consolidated subsidiaries switching from fiscal years ending in February (10-month consolidation from March 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018), and consolidated subsidiaries with fiscal years ending in December (12-month consolidation from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018).
Consequently, we do not indicate comparisons (% of change) versus past results of volume of PRTR substances handled, but provide comparisons (% of change) for volume of PRTR substances handled after adjustment to a 12-month consolidated financial year as a reference.

The automobile brakes business accounted for 52% of the overall volume of chemical substances handled by the Group.

Trends in the Volume of PRTR Substances Handled

Trends in the Volume of PRTR Substances Handled

Volume of PRTR Substances Handled by Business

Volume of PRTR substances handled

Volume of Chemical Substance Emissions

The Nisshinbo Group’s volume of PRTR substance emissions totaled 26.9 tons. Volume of PRTR substance emissions after adjustment* came to 31.0 tons, down 22% year on year, while volume of PRTR substance emissions per unit of sales after adjustment* was 0.059 kg per million yen, down 23% year on year. Despite the addition of Ricoh Electronic Devices Co., Ltd., the Nisshinbo Group’s overall volume of PRTR substance emissions after adjustment declined owing to a decrease in volume of PRTR substances handled after adjustment.

*The consolidated fiscal year that ended in December 2018 was a transitional period with an irregular fiscal year adjusted for changes in the fiscal periods of the Company and consolidated subsidiaries as follows: the Company and consolidated subsidiaries switching from fiscal years ending in March (nine-month consolidation from April 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018); consolidated subsidiaries switching from fiscal years ending in February (10-month consolidation from March 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018), and consolidated subsidiaries with fiscal years ending in December (12-month consolidation from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018).
Consequently, we do not indicate comparisons (% of change) versus past results of volume of PRTR substance emissions, but provide comparisons (% of change) for volume of PRTR substances emissions and volume of PRTR substance emissions per unit of sales after adjustment to a 12-month consolidated financial year as a reference.

Trends in Volume of PRTR Substance Emissions and Volume of PRTR Substance Emissions per Sales

Trends in Volume of PRTR Substance Emissions and Volume of PRTR Substance Emissions per Sales

Emission Breakdown by Chemical Substance

Substance Discharge volume (t) Ratio
Toluene 15.3 49.5%
Xylene  8.1 26.0%
Ethylbenzene  3.5 11.2%
Hexamethylenetetramine  1.8 5.8%
Phenol  1.6 5.1%
Others  0.7 2.4%

Toluene accounted for the highest proportion of emitted chemical substances, at 50% of the total.

By business, the precision instruments business, which emits large quantities of toluene, xylene, and ethylbenzene, accounted for 58% of the total.

Volume of PRTR Substances Emitted by Business

Volume of PRTR Substances Emitted by Business

Purification of Wastewater

The Nisshinbo Group’s volume of suspended substances (SSs) emissions per unit of sales after adjustment*1 totaled 0.15kg per million yen, down 6% year on year, while volume of COD*2 emissions per unit of sales after adjustment came to 0.29kg per million yen, up 4% year on year. This was mainly due to a 9% year-on-year decrease of the Nisshinbo Group’s volume of waste water discharge after adjustment.

*1 The consolidated fiscal year that ended in December 2018 was a transitional period with an irregular fiscal year adjusted for changes in the fiscal periods of the Company and consolidated subsidiaries as follows: the Company and consolidated subsidiaries switching from fiscal years ending in March (nine-month consolidation from April 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018); consolidated subsidiaries switching from fiscal years ending in February (10-month consolidation from March 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018), and consolidated subsidiaries with fiscal years ending in December (12-month consolidation from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018).
Consequently, we indicate comparisons (% of change) versus past results of SSs emissions per unit of sales and COD emissions per unit of sales after adjustment to a 12-month consolidated financial year as a reference.

*2 Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD): An index of water contamination expressed as the volume of oxygen chemically required or chemically consumed

排水の浄化

Atmospheric Releases

The Nisshinbo Group’s sulfuric oxides (SOx) emissions per unit of sales after adjustment*1 were 0.50kg per million yen, down 7% year on year; nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions per unit of sales after adjustment*1 were 0.59kg per million yen, up 2% year on year; volatile organic compounds (VOCs*2) emissions per unit of sales after adjustment*1 were 0.11kg per million yen, down 35% year on year; and soot and dust emissions per unit of sales after adjustment*1 were 0.13kg per million yen, unchanged year on year.

The significant decline in volume of VOCs emissions per unit of sales after adjustment was mainly due to the transfer of Nisshinbo Brake Inc.’s Toyota Plant.

*1 The consolidated fiscal year that ended in December 2018 was a transitional period with an irregular fiscal year adjusted for changes in the fiscal periods of the Company and consolidated subsidiaries as follows: the Company and consolidated subsidiaries switching from fiscal years ending in March (nine-month consolidation from April 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018); consolidated subsidiaries switching from fiscal years ending in February (10-month consolidation from March 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018), and consolidated subsidiaries with fiscal years ending in December (12-month consolidation from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018).
Consequently, we indicate comparisons (% of change) versus past results of SOx emissions per unit of sales, NOx emissions per unit of sales, VOC emissions per unit of sales, and soot and dust emissions per unit of sales after adjustment to a 12-month consolidated financial year as a reference.

*2 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Volatile organic compounds such as toluene

Atmospheric Releases

Material Recycling Through a Hydrofluoric Acid Recycling System

A significant amount of hydrofluoric acid is used in the manufacturing processes of Ricoh Electronic Devices Co., Ltd.’s Yashiro Plant. The plant uses a hydrofluoric acid recycling system and advanced hydrofluoric acid treatment system to keep the concentration level of hydrofluoric acid in its wastewater below a standard value and to prevent contamination caused by the hydrofluoric acid wastewater discharged during its manufacturing processes.

In March 2001, the plant succeeded in using the hydrofluoric acid recycling system to switch from the conventional sludging system that emitted industrial waste, to a material recycling process that crystallizes the calcium fluoride and extracts synthetic fluorite, which becomes the feedstock for hydrofluoric acid. As a result, the plant has been able to significantly reduce energy consumption and waste.

In fiscal 2018 (January–December), the plant generated 23 tons of synthetic fluorite from hydrofluoric acid wastewater through this material recycling process.

Hydrofluoric acid recycling system
Hydrofluoric acid recycling system
Hydrofluoric acid recycling facility
Hydrofluoric acid recycling facility

Training on How to Handle Chemical Substance Leakages

On October 17, 2018, Nisshinbo Automotive Manufacturing Inc. (NAMI) in the US conducted training on how to handle chemical substances together with local governing bodies including the fire station. A total of thirty one people participated (15 from NAMI; 10 from the fire station; two from the police office; two from the Emergency Medical Service [EMS]; and two from the Emergency Management Agency [EMA]) and a total of six vehicles were used (two fire trucks; two police cars; one EMS vehicle; and one EMA vehicle). The training helped improve the company’s risk management of chemical substances.

At the training
At the training
At the training

Education and Training on Cooling Equipment That Uses Ammonia Refrigerant

Under Brazil’s current laws, the use of fluorocarbon gas in cooling equipment will be banned in 2030. Nisshinbo Do Brasil Industria Textil LTDA., therefore, introduced a cooling equipment that uses an ammonia refrigerant, starting with Plant No. 3, in 2012. The ammonia cooling equipment has been operating stably so far, but to ensure even greater safety, the company has created a safety manual, conducted ongoing education to plant leaders and employees involved in equipment operation, and held educational courses for new employees.
The content of the education and training includes the following:
1. Characteristics, dangers, and operational risks of ammonia
2. How to detect leakages
3. How to deal with leakages
4. How to treat ammonia exposure.
The company plans to continue to gather information on various kinds of cooling equipment aimed at upgrading its equipment at Plants No. 1 and No. 2.

PRTR Substances Reduction Activities

Although PT. Nisshinbo Indonesia had been using multiple PRTR substances, it has been making progress in switching to non-PRTR substances. One of the PRTR substances it struggled to replace was a silicon-type softening agent applied to cloth in the final manufacturing stage, because it could not find substitutes that could produce its unique texture. Around three years ago, the company decided to stop applying this silicon-type softening agent on newly processed products and began its search for a non-PRTR substitute.

As a result, the company found a substitute that produced almost the same texture, and began using this substance for repeat orders of past products that used the PRTR substance. The company carried out the replacement process cautiously, as customers would expect the same quality and texture for repeat products and it wanted to make sure this did not lead to complaints, but the replacement of all repeat products was completed in June 2018.

Operation of Unified Communication Tool chemSHERPA

In order to properly manage information on chemical substances contained in products across the entire supply chain, Nisshinbo Chemical Inc. uses chemSHERPA (an information communication scheme for chemical substances contained in products), which is a data creation support tool released at the initiative of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The company meets customer requirements by communicating accurate information in accordance with a common format for target chemical substances.

Japan Radio Co., Ltd. also started using chemSHERPA in January 2018 and switched over completely in April 2018. It switched from Article Information Sheet (AIS), an information communication sheet adopted by Joint Article Management Promotion-consortium (JAMP), which serve the same functions as chemSHERPA, so there have been no direct benefits of implementation. However, given that it is a government-led unified communication scheme, chemSHERPA has been helpful in streamlining operations across the industry.