Promotion of recycling, managing chemical substances,
and approaches toward energy saving.
Occupational Health and Safety/Security and Disaster Prevention
Unique Environmental Risks in Fine Chemicals
In capital markets, shareholders, investors, and ESG research institutions tend to view and analyze TOK shoulder to shoulder with other major chemical manufacturers in the chemicals sector. However, TOK specializes in fine chemical products, so its product portfolio and the size of its plants are quite
different from those of major chemicals companies that produce bulk chemicals. Approximately 90% of the ingredients in photoresists, our leading product, are safer solvents* and the remaining 10% are polymers and photosensitizing agents, which are detoxicated in closed loop systems at semiconductor manufacturers. Accordingly, the environmental risk associated with the fine chemicals produced by TOK are relatively lower than bulk chemicals that are mainly made from naphtha and the like. As environment-related laws and regulations are tightened around the world, however, TOK will continue to focus on creating and operating a robust chemical substance management system with the ultimate aim of creating shared value and sustaining improvement in its corporate value.
Strengthening Activities Related to Product Responsibility and Product Stewardship
One of the international trends in the management of chemical substances over the past few years, managing chemical substances on a risk basis has become the norm following the agreement on 2020 targets* at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. As one of its management principles, TOK has identified its responsibilities to local communities and communities around the world within the context of working to reduce its impact on the environment, including combating global warming, managing chemical substances, effectively utilizing resources, and reducing waste. In other words, TOK is strengthening activities related to product stewardship.
* WSSD 2020 Target: Aim to achieve by 2020 the use and production of chemical substances based on methods to minimize significant adverse effects on human health and the environment, using transparent science-based risk assessment procedures, taking into account the precautionary approach.
Carry Out Appropriate and Reliable Management of Chemical Substances
TOK is working to establish a system for properly conveying data about chemical substances throughout the supply chain as part of its product stewardship activities, a key pillar in Responsible Care. Timeliness and accuracy of information are vital when conveying data about chemical substances.
“Upstream management” is very important for the timely and accurate receipt of information about chemical substances from upstream suppliers. In addition to the information about chemical substances received from these suppliers, TOK must obtain and manage the latest information about chemical substance regulations in each country and display information on product safety data sheets (SDS) and labels to present its customers with accurate relevant information about chemical substances in a timely manner.
With a focus on strengthening its upstream management system in 2018, as its first initiative, TOK endeavored to improve the management of raw materials. In the past, we used email to communicate with suppliers to confirm whether materials contain substances subject to assessment when related laws and regulations and treaties are revised. However, email was not very efficient and became a cumbersome administrative burden. We decided to use a supplier survey system to gather responses to our questions, and the responses are automatically reflected in data on product composition, allowing us to provide our customers with relevant information more efficiently and rapidly. As another initiative, we worked to improve product composition management. We markedly improved the speed for assessing products under development by including these items in a database that previously only included the compositions of mass-produced products. TOK will continue striving to ensure accurate information about chemical substances is rapidly provided to stakeholders.
Chemical Substance Risk Management in the Supply Chain
To properly manage chemical substance risk in the supply chain, it is necessary to provide information in accordance with the flow of materials. For each stage of development, manufacturing, sales, and disposal, TOK has created procedures for complying with laws and regulations and managing risks.
TOK Group Standards on Chemical Substances Management
To promote initiatives related to reducing environmental impact, we are focusing on managing chemical substances during the raw material procurement stage. In January 2005, we formulated the TOK Standards on Chemical Substances Management, which specifies chemical substances to be prohibited or managed. Since then, we have revised the Standards multiple times to comply with the most recent laws, ordinances, and regulations, including the EU REACH regulation and conflict minerals regulated under and the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act (financial regulatory reform act).
In the seventh edition the Company issued in May 2017, we renamed it the TOK Group Standards on Chemical Substances Management, and clarified regulations for chemical substances at Group sites and customer requirements for the environmental management of substances, as well as completely reviewed the chemical substances subject to management. The TOK Group Standards on Chemical Substances Management are used as a tool for obtaining data on chemical substances from suppliers, and by sharing information through the supply chain, we will continue to properly manage chemical substances within the context of risk management.
Properly Comply with PCB Special Measures Act
In 2018, TOK properly stored and managed waste containing PCBs* in accordance with prescribed storage standards at three sites comprising the Sagami Operation Center, Shonan Operation Center, and Gotemba Plant, while also filing reports with the government authorities. The Company has disposed 82% of the high-concentration PCB stored at the Sagami Operation Center. Looking ahead, TOK must dispose of all electrical substation facilities and related waste used and stored at all of its sites by the legally mandated deadline of 2027. The Company intends to dispose of this waste in stages by drawing up plans to update equipment in a way that does not interfere with business activities.
* Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB): A kind of organic compound, PCB was formerly
used for thermal media, insulating oils, paints and other applications because
it excels in terms of heat resistance and electrical insulation. However, due to
its poor degradability and high toxicity, PCB production was discontinued in
1972. Nevertheless, little progress has been made with regard to its disposal,
and managers responsible for its storage are required to place it under strictly
Participation in chemSHERPA
In July 2017, TOK adopted the chemSHERPA information transfer schemes for chemical substances contained in products. Initially proposed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, chemSHERPA was established with agreements of some electronics-related companies. The scheme aims to create a common format for accurately and efficiently conveying information about chemical substances contained in products from upstream to downstream operations. As the organization that manages chemSHERPA, JAMP*1 counts 443 companies*2 (including TOK) as members. Through this organization, TOK obtains the latest information about chemical substances and broader trends, which is used to further improve its management of chemical substances.