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 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 2,802 t, up 10% year-on-year (YoY). The increase was due to demand for recovery from the effects of the COVID-19.

Major items making up the Nisshinbo Group’s volume of PRTR substances handled were antimony (796 t) and chromium (375 t) for brake materials, as well as methylenebis (4,1-phenylene)=diisocyanate (627 t) and methylenebis (4,1-cyclohexylene)= diisocyanate (434 t) for urethane materials.

The Automobile Brakes segment 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

(t)

  2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
2019 2020 2021
Volume of PRTR substances handled 3,433 3,088 2,817 2,555 2,802

* In 2018, we changed our fiscal year-end from March 31 to December 31. As a result, the consolidated fiscal year, which is a transitional period, is an irregular accounting period. For this reason, the period used for reference to FY2018 is adjusted to the period from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, to match the period of other consolidated fiscal years.

Volume of PRTR Substances Handled by Business

Volume of PRTR Substances Handled by Business

(t)

  2021
Wireless and Communication 138
Microdevices 55
Automobile Brakes 1,450
Precision Instruments 7
Chemicals 756
Textiles 396
Others 0
Total 2,802

Volume of Chemical Substance Emissions

The Nisshinbo Group's volume of PRTR substance emissions totaled 17.7 t, down 26% year on year. Volume of PRTR substance emissions per unit of sales was 0.035 kg per million yen, down 34% year on year. Because of replacing cleaning solvents used at Kyushu Nanbu Plastics Co., Ltd. with products not applicable to the PRTR Law.

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

(t)

  2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
2019 2020 2021
Volume of PRTR substance emissions 40.2 33.4 32.7 23.9 17.7
(kg/Million yen)
Volume of PRTR substance emitted per unit of sales 0.079 0.065 0.064 0.052 0.035

* In 2018, we changed our fiscal year-end from March 31 to December 31. As a result, the consolidated fiscal year, which is a transitional period, is an irregular accounting period. For this reason, the period used for reference to FY2018 is adjusted to the period from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, to match the period of other consolidated fiscal years.

Emission Breakdown by Chemical Substance

Substance Discharge volume (t) Ratio
Toluene 6.3 35.7%
Xylene  4.9 27.5%
Antimony  1.3 7.5%
Hexamethylenetetramine  1.3 7.3%
Ethylbenzene  1.3 7.1%
Phenol  1.2 6.8%
Others  1.4 8.1%

Toluene accounted for the highest proportion of emitted chemical substances, at 36% of the total.

By business, the proportion of the Wireless and Communications business releasing toluene and xylene was 36% of the total.

Volume of PRTR Substances Emitted by Business

Volume of PRTR Substances Emitted by Business

(t)

  2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
2019 2020 2021
Electronics 9.3 8.9 -- -- --
Wireless and Communications -- -- 10.3 10.7 6.3
Microdevices -- -- 0.1 0.1 0.1
Automobile Brakes 6.4 5.6 5.7 4.7 4.6
Precision Instruments 23.4 18.0 15.5 7.9 6.1
Chemicals 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1
Textiles 0.8 0.7 0.9 0.5 0.5
Others 0 0 0 0 0
Total 40.2 33.4 32.7 23.9 17.7

*1 In 2018, we changed our fiscal year-end from March 31 to December 31. As a result, the consolidated fiscal year, which is a transitional period, is an irregular accounting period. For this reason, the period used for reference to FY2018 is adjusted to the period from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, to match the period of other consolidated fiscal years.

*2 In fiscal 2019, the Electronics business was separated into the Wireless and Communications business and the Micro Devices business.

Purification of Wastewater

The Nisshinbo Group's volume of suspended substances (SSs) emissions per unit of sales totaled 0.18 kg per million yen, down 1% year on year.

Volume of CODs* emissions per unit of sales was 0.23 kg per million yen, down 17 % year on year. The main cause of this was a 22% reduction in the volume of wastewater drained.

* Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD): 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

売上当たり大気への排出量推移

(kg/Million yen)

  2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
2019 2020 2021
Amount of SSs emitterd per unit of sales 0.16 0.15 0.14 0.18 0.18
Amount of CODs emitterd per unit of sales 0.28 0.30 0.30 0.27 0.23

* In 2018, we changed our fiscal year-end from March 31 to December 31. As a result, the consolidated fiscal year, which is a transitional period, is an irregular accounting period. For this reason, the period used for reference to FY2018 is adjusted to the period from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, to match the period of other consolidated fiscal years.

Atmospheric Releases

The Nisshinbo Group's sulfuric oxides (SOx) emissions per unit of sales was 0.48 kg per million yen, down 18% YoY. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions per unit of sales was 0.56 kg per million yen, down 17% YoY. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs*) emissions per unit of sales was 0.26 kg per million yen, up 5% YoY. Soot and dust emissions per unit of sales was 0.11 kg per million yen, unchanged down 20% YoY.

* 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)

  2017 2018
(Reference value after adjustment)
2019 2020 2021
Amount of SOx emitterd per unit of sales 0.54 0.51 0.51 0.58 0.48
Amount of NOx emitterd per unit of sales 0.58 0.60 0.58 0.68 0.56
Amount of VOCs emitterd per unit of sales 0.17 0.12 0.12 0.25 0.26
Amount of soot and dust emitterd per unit of sales 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.14 0.11

* In 2018, we changed our fiscal year-end from March 31 to December 31. As a result, the consolidated fiscal year, which is a transitional period, is an irregular accounting period. For this reason, the period used for reference to FY2018 is adjusted to the period from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, to match the period of other consolidated fiscal years.

Examples of the Nisshinbo Group Activities

Emergency Response Training in the Event of Hazardous Chemical Spills

Nisshinbo Micro Devices (Thailand) Co., Ltd., provides emergency response training for hazardous chemical spills every year from February to March. The company needs to take prompt action in the event of a hazardous chemical spill. Therefore, the following emergency response exercises are in place.

1. Acquisition of knowledge of chemical substances by lecture form (nature, storage method, storage facilities, environmental and human effects)
2. Practical training using simulation

In fiscal year 2021, the company provided practical training based on the assumption that a chemical odor leaked from the DI plant No. 2.

First of all, employees who notice a chemical odor should confirm that there is a chemical (hydrochloric acid) leak at the site. The site checker who determines that a chemical has leaked from the chemical storage tanks will take steps to contact the drug response team. Then, the team in charge of chemicals will treat the leakage and contact the person in charge of safety and environment.

By providing training on the assumption of these specific situations, the company is preparing for an emergency response to the spill of hazardous chemical substances.

化学物質についての講義
Lectures on chemical substances
薬品漏洩処置訓練
Chemical leakage training

Reduction in the use of PRTR-listed substances

Kyushu Nanbu Plastics Co., Ltd., continues to work to reduce the emissions of PRTR toluene, xylene, and ethylbenzene.

Previously, Kyushu Nanbu Plastics used a cleaning solvent thinner containing 56% toluene, xylene, and ethylbenzene to cleanse the appliance after painting and to cleanse it inside the painting pipes. In order to significantly reduce PRTR material emissions, the company investigated cleaning agents that did not contain PRTR materials, and selected among the 10 cleaning agents, cleaning agents with the required cleaning capacity and monitored them for one year, confirming that the quality and cleaning capacity were not problematic. In July 2019, Kyushu Nanbu Plastics changed the use of solvents for cleaning equipment, and in October 2020, the company changed the use of solvents for plumbing equipment. In fiscal year 2021, the total emissions of PRTR chemicals decreased to 334 kg, which was 84% lower than in fiscal year 2020.

PRTR排出量推移
Changes in PRTR emissions

Improving the ability to respond to shift workers

Nisshinbo Chemical Inc., Tokushima Plant, uses a variety of chemicals to produce products in a 24-hour system. Nocturnal shifts and holidays are operations with significant reductions in personnel. In order to respond appropriately to emergencies, such as fires and chemical leaks even in this condition, the company implemented emergency response training that assumes a response only by shift workers.

In fiscal year 2021, a total of four groups of training were provided for each shift in August as follows:
①Prevention of leakage of chemical substances indoors and reports to seniors.
②Initial firefighting in the event of a fire, operation of foam extinguishing systems, and reporting to the site and the fire department.

In addition, two attendees checked whether the actions in an emergency were carried out appropriately and provided discussions and guidance on action points by attendants.

The Tokushima Plant will continue to plan training on a regular basis and work to improve the ability to respond appropriately to emergencies through specific training with a small number of people.

Prevention of chemical leakage training
Prevention of chemical leakage training
Foam extinguishing system operating training
Foam extinguishing system operating training

Disaster Prevention training Assuming Large Earthquakes

Nisshinbo Textile Inc., Tokushima Plant, is located on the banks of the Imagire River, a tributary of the Yoshino River water system, and has 11 dangerous substances facilities. The company provides training every year to prevent disasters.

In fiscal year 2021, 79 people participated in training for evacuation in the event of a tsunami caused by an earthquake with a magnitude of 6, as well as in the event of leakage of dangerous substances or fires. Leakage of dangerous substance training assumed the occurrence of tears in the fluid ridge (a ridge that serves as a fence to prevent leakage of chemicals, such as liquid from equipment into other parts of the facility) or falls of drums. Measures were implemented to prevent the expansion of the ridge by piling up soil and using adsorption sheets and ladle to collect the spill. Fire training was provided to check the operation of water spraying and foam sprinklers using fire extinguishers and hydrants. 
In order to prevent any outflow from the site, the company closed the gate that connects to the river and checked the oil sequestration tanks and stormwater drainage ditches with a visual inspection.

Regular implementation of such training will enable the company to reconfirm the roles and behavioral procedures of each individual in the event of a disaster. In addition, the company will strive to improve safety by finding and improving the malfunctions of equipment and manuals.