Chemical Substance Management

The Nisshinbo Group’s Contributions to the SDGs

The Nisshinbo Group contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through chemical substance-management activities.
The Group manages key performance indicators (KPIs) as part of systematic measures to reduce the emissions of PRTR* substances per sales, to achieve our medium-term environmental target.

* 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.

Core SDGs Goals and Targets and the activities of the Nisshinbo Group

The Nisshinbo Group considers SDGs 6.3 and 12.4 to be core targets. The Group advances activities to manage chemical substances on that basis, as follows.

  • ①Conducting appropriate control and anti-leakage measures for hazardous materials through ISO 14001 activities in accordance with the laws and regulations of each country
  • ②Reducing the use of substances subject to PRTR and reducing the release and transfer of substances subject to PRTR at manufacturing sites
  • ③In the precision instruments business, switching of cleaning agents used in cleaning processes to products not covered by PRTR
  • 6. Clean water and sanitation

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

  • Targets: 6.3

    By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.

  • 12. Responsible consumption, production

    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

  • Targets: 12.4

    By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.

Volume of Chemical Substances Handled

The volume of substances subject to PRTR handled by the Nisshinbo Group was 2,817 tons, down 9% year-on-year (YoY) after adjustments*. A key factor is that the cleaning thinner used by Kyushu Nanbu Plastics Co., Ltd. was replaced by one not covered by PRTR.

Major items making up the Nisshinbo Group’s volume of PRTR substances handled were antimony (798 tons) for brake materials, as well as methylenebis (4,1-phenylene)=diisocyanate (577 tons) and methylenebis (4,1-cyclohexylene)= diisocyanate (367 tons) for urethane materials.

* Effective from the previous consolidated fiscal year, we have changed the fiscal year-end from March 31 to December 31. As a result, the previous consolidated fiscal year, which is the transitional period, was an irregular fiscal year. For this reason, the rate of year-on-year change in actual results is not stated. Instead, when comparing the fiscal year under review with the previous fiscal year, for reference purposes, we state the rate of increase/decrease in volume of PRTR substances handled from the same period of the previous fiscal year, adjusted to be the same 12-month period as in the consolidated fiscal year under review, to the consolidated fiscal year under review.

The automobile brakes business accounted for 54% 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

(t)

  2015 2016 2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
2019
Volume of PRTR substances handled 3,199 3,595 3,433 3,088 2,817

Volume of PRTR Substances Handled by Business

Volume of PRTR Substances Handled by Business

(t)

  2019
Wireless and Communications 41
Microdevices 46
Automobile Brakes 1,529
Precision Instruments 21
Chemicals 770
Textiles 407
Others 3
Total 2,817

Volume of Chemical Substance Emissions

The Nisshinbo Group's volume of PRTR substance emissions totaled 32.7 tons, down 2% year on year after adjustments*. Volume of PRTR substance emissions per unit of sales was 0.064 kg per million yen, down 1% year on year after adjustments*. The decrease in the amount of PRTR substances handled.

* Effective from the previous consolidated fiscal year, we have changed the fiscal year-end from March 31 to December 31. As a result, the previous consolidated fiscal year, which is the transitional period, was an irregular fiscal year. For this reason, the rate of year-on-year change in actual results is not stated. Instead, when comparing the fiscal year under review with the previous fiscal year, for reference purposes, we state the rate of increase/decrease in volume of PRTR substance emissions and volume of PRTR substance emissions per unit of sales from the same period of the previous fiscal year, adjusted to be the same 12-month period as in the consolidated fiscal year under review, to the consolidated fiscal year under review.

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

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

(t)

  2015 2016 2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
2019
Volume of PRTR substance emissions 38.3 38.0 40.2 33.4 32.7
(kg/Million yen)
Volume of PRTR substance emitterd per unit of sales 0.073 0.072 0.079 0.065 0.064

Emission Breakdown by Chemical Substance

Substance Discharge volume (t) Ratio
Toluene 10.4 31.8%
Ethylbenzene  7.8 23.8%
Xylene  7.7 23.4%
Phenol  1.8 5.5%
Hexamethylenetetramine  1.8 5.4%
Antimony  1.4 4.3%
Others  1.9 5.8%

Toluene accounted for the highest proportion of emitted chemical substances, at 32% of the total.

By business, the precision instruments business, which emits large quantities of toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene, accounted for 48% of the total.

Volume of PRTR Substances Emitted by Business

Volume of PRTR Substances Emitted by Business

(t)

  2015 2016 2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
2019
Electronics 11.6 8.1 9.3 8.9 --
Wireless and Communications -- -- -- -- 10.3
Microdevices -- -- -- -- 0.1
Automobile Brakes 5.2 5.9 6.4 5.6 5.7
Precision Instruments 20.5 22.1 23.4 18.0 15.5
Chemicals 0.2 0.8 0.3 0.2 0.2
Textiles 0.4 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.9
Others 0 0 0 0 0
Papers 0.4 0.2 -- -- --
Total 38.3 38.0 40.2 33.4 32.7

* In fiscal 2019, the Electronics business was separated into the Wireless and Communications business and the Microdevices business.

Purification of Wastewater

The Nisshinbo Group's volume of suspended substances (SSs) emissions per unit of sales totaled 0.14 kg per million yen, down 9% year on year after adjustments*1. This was mainly due to a 9% decrease in wastewater volume.

Volume of CODs*2 emissions per unit of sales was 0.30 kg per million yen, unchanged year on year after adjustments*1.

*1 Effective from the previous consolidated fiscal year, we have changed the fiscal year-end from March 31 to December 31. As a result, the previous consolidated fiscal year, which is the transitional period, was an irregular fiscal year. For this reason, the rate of year-on-year change in actual results is not stated. Instead, when comparing the fiscal year under review with the previous fiscal year, for reference purposes, we state the rate of increase/decrease in SSs emissions and CODs emissions per unit of sales from the same period of the previous fiscal year, adjusted to be the same 12-month period as in the consolidated fiscal year under review, to the consolidated fiscal year under review.

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

Trends in Amount of SSs Emissions per Unit of Sales and Amount of CODs Emissions per Unit of Sales

Trends in Amount of SSs Emissions per Unit of Sales and Amount of COD Emissions per Unit of Sales

(kg/Million yen)

  2015 2016 2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
2019
Amount of SSs emitterd per unit of sales 0.32 0.28 0.16 0.15 0.14
Amount of CODs emitterd per unit of sales 0.77 0.75 0.28 0.30 0.30

Atmospheric Releases

The Nisshinbo Group's sulfuric oxides (SOx) emissions per unit of sales was 0.51 kg per million yen, down 7% YoY after adjustments*1. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions per unit of sales was 0.58 kg per million yen, down 4% YoY after adjustments*1.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs*2) emissions per unit of sales was 0.12 kg per million yen, unchanged YoY after adjustments*1. Soot and dust emissions per unit of sales was 0.13 kg per million yen, unchanged YoY after adjustments*1.

*1 Effective from the previous consolidated fiscal year, we changed the fiscal year-end from March 31 to December 31. As a result, the previous consolidated fiscal year, which is the transitional period, was an irregular fiscal year. For this reason, the rate of year-on-year change in actual results is not stated. Instead, when comparing the fiscal year under review with the previous fiscal year, for reference purposes, we state the rate of increase/decrease in SOx, NOx and VOCs emissions and SOx, NOx and VOCs emissions per unit of sales, from the same period of the previous fiscal year, adjusted to be the same 12-month period as in the consolidated fiscal year under review, to the consolidated fiscal year under review.

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

Trends in Amount of SOx Emissions per Unit of Sales, Amount of NOx Emissions per Unit of Sales, Amount of VOCs Emissions per Unit of Sales and , Amount of soot and dust Emissions per Unit of Sales

Trends in Amount of SOx Emissions per Unit of Sales, Amount of NOx Emissions per Unit of Sales, Amount of VOCs Emissions per Unit of Sales and , Amount of soot and dust Emissions per Unit of Sales

(kg/Million yen)

  2015 2016 2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
2019
Amount of SOx emitterd per unit of sales 0.54 0.54 0.54 0.51 0.51
Amount of NOx emitterd per unit of sales 0.58 0.61 0.58 0.60 0.58
Amount of VOCs emitterd per unit of sales 0.17 0.16 0.17 0.12 0.12
Amount of soot and dust emitterd per unit of sales 0.12 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.13

Education and Training on the Characteristics of Chemical Substances

To prepare for emergencies arising from chemical spills, each year THAI NJR CO., LTD. conducts employee education and training. The Company uses various chemical substances in its business operations, as well as oil and gas, and those involved in these operations need to understand their basic characteristics.

Emergency drills are held in January every year to ensure that all concerned parties are able to respond appropriately to emergencies. This training is divided into lectures and practical skills. In the lectures, participants learn about the characteristics of chemicals at risk of fire or explosion, the causes of spill accidents and how to prevent them, how to assure safety when using high-pressure gas, and storage methods for various chemicals. To teach practical skills, drills are conducted on responding to a chemical spill in accordance with the Emergency Response Manual, clarifying the roles of each employee. After the training, the manual is updated based on lessons learned from the exercise.

Lecture
Lecture
Training
Training

Reduction of Use of Chemical Substances by Changing the Method of Fluorochemical Wastewater Treatment

Ricoh Electronic Devices Co., Ltd.'s Yashiro Plant reduced the quantity of chemical substances (hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide) used in the recycling process by optimizing fluorine removal at its waste liquid processing facility. This innovation succeeded in reducing hydrochloric acid use by 5,947 kg/year for and sodium hydroxide use by 23,180 kg/year.

In March 2019 we upgraded our fluorine treatment facilities to improve our fluorine removal capacity, as we expected wastewater volumes to increase in the future. By upgrading the capacity of the fluorine treatment facilities at the first stage, we reduced the volume of fluorine that had to be removed from the advanced fluorination treatment facilities at the second stage. The number of regenerations required to restore the function of functional materials (ion-exchange plastics) used in advanced fluorination processes was also reduced, as was the volume of chemicals (hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide) used in regeneration.

Reduction of Use of Chemical Substances by Changing the Method of Fluorochemical Wastewater Treatment

Chemical-spill and employee-response training

Nanbu Philippines Inc. (NPI) conducts chemical spill training every year. Gasoline leaked from a motorcycle at a bicycle parking lot after giving a lecture to This year, employees listened to a presentation on the dangers of all chemical substances used, how to deal with spills, communication methods in case of emergency, basics of waste management and other matters. Afterward, training was conducted based on a scenario in which gasoline was discovered to be leaking from a motorcycle in the motorcycle parking lot.

The drills were conducted in the following manner.

  • ①One employee discovered gasoline flowing in the vicinity of a bicycle parking lot.
  • ②The discoverer immediately contacted the pollution control officer and the safety manager to report the location of the spill, the type of spilled chemical and the amount leaked.
  • ③Pollution prevention officers and safety managers called the emergency response members and instructed them to take action immediately.
  • ④Emergency response members put on personal protective equipment and contained the area using spill kit.
  • ⑤After the containment was finally complied with, the safety manager declared the area safe.

All members, including the emergency response members, safety committee members, generator maintenance staff and forklift drivers, confirmed that they were fully trained in the response methods, and the training was concluded.

Meeting-room presentation
Meeting-room presentation
Training
Training

Reducing consumption of PRTR-listed substances

Kyushu Nanbu Plastics Co., Ltd., for cleaning coating jigs, was storing a quantity of a cleaning thinner consisting of 40% toluene, a PRTR substance, in cleaning tanks. Seeking to reduce PRTR-substance emissions, we tested six alternatives, confirming the cleaning performance and selecting cleaning agents not subject to the PRTR Law. Although the cleaning performance of the substitutes was inferior to the cleaning agent used conventionally, we reviewed the production plan and secured sufficient cleaning time to obtain the same cleaning effect.

As a result of these improvements, we were able to reduce the use of conventional cleaning thinner to 31.6% in fiscal 2019 compared to fiscal 2017, when it was the highest in recent years. One process in which the cleaning agent has not yet been replaced is the process for cleaning the hoses that supply paint in the painting facility. We will continue to examine alternative materials and further reduce emissions of PRTR materials.

Changes in cleaning agent usage
Changes in cleaning agent usage

Crosslinking agents for water-based plastics have reduced VOCs and CO2 emissions

Nisshinbo Chemical Inc. manufactures and sells Carbodilite, an additive used in biodegradable plastics, paints, inks, adhesives and coating agents.

Crosslinking agents for water-based plastics, which are part of the Carbodilite product series, offer high safety and reactivity. For example, because they promote the water-solubility of paints, these products contribute to the reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs*), which are problematic in terms of air pollution. Also, because these agents react at low temperatures, the temperature of the drying process for automobile exterior coatings can be lowered, thereby reducing CO2 emissions.

We will continue to develop and provide safe and high-performance Carbodilite products in order to realize a sustainable society.

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

Responses to REACH

Amid worldwide moves to strengthen chemical safety, the European Union passed REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, Restriction and Chemicals), its chemical substance control law, in 2007. The aim of REACH is to minimize the impact of chemicals on human health and the environment by requiring all chemical substances manufactured and used in the EU to be registered, evaluated, authorized and restricted, and by sharing information on the safety and handling of chemical substances throughout the supply chain.

From an early date, Nisshinbo Chemical Inc.'s Carbodilite series has been supplied to the European Union market as REACH-compliant, environmentally-friendly products. The series is used today by a wide range of users as modifiers and cross-linking agents for biodegradable plastics, water-based paints, inks, adhesives and other products. We will continue our efforts to respond to REACH in order to make the Carbodilite series a safe product that can be provided to our clients faster and more reliably.

Modified agent for Adhesive Resins
Modified agent for Adhesive Resins
Carbodiimide Crosslinkers for Waterborne Resins
Carbodiimide Crosslinkers for Waterborne Resins

Training in Handling Chemical Leaks

Nisshin Environmental Planning Inc. handles approximately 400 types of substances. The Company conducts drills twice a year on scenarios of chemical leaks, selecting target chemicals based on usage frequency, risk and other factors.

The training procedure begins with reporting the name, amount, location and other information about the leaked chemicals. Instructions are issued for evacuation and guidance, confirming the condition of victims and other vital tasks. Training on cutting off electrical and gas supplies is then performed, to prevent secondary disasters. At the end of the training, the scene is cleaned up (all materials are collected) with the participation of all technical groups. Based on the scenario that a chemical has leaked, we carry out recovery training using protective equipment and a suction mat to inform participants of the danger of the target chemical. In anticipation that there may be accident victims, as a response before transporting to the hospital, repeated training on first aid methods, including resting posture, is conducted to ensure appropriate response while waiting to transport victims to the hospital.

We will continue to conduct drills to ensure that we can respond promptly and appropriately without any panic in the event of a chemical leak.