Promotion of recycling, managing chemical substances,
and approaches toward energy saving.
Managing Chemical Substances
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.
In 2019, we reviewed these internal processes and also took steps to identify internal processes and operations that need to be strengthened in order to reduce risks related to chemical substance management. We will continue to revise and maintain our documentation, organizing manuals from an overall group-wide perspective to further reduce risk.
Properly Comply with the PCB Special Measures Act
In 2019 we completed disposal of the high-concentration PCB* that was stored at the Sagami Operation Center. For low-concentration PCB, we have undertaken proper storage and management in accordance with prescribed storage standards for waste, including PCB, at three sites: the Sagami Operation Center, the Shonan Operation Center, and the Gotemba Plant, while also filing reports with the government. TOK must continue to 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 controlled conditions.
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. For this reason, in January 2005 we formulated the TOK Group Standards on Chemical Substances Management, and have made multiple revisions to comply with the latest laws and regulations, such as REACH regulations and regulations related to conflict minerals.
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. 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.
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.
(1) Obtaining information about revisions to laws and regulations and treaties
For the chemical substances handled by the TOK Group, we have put in place a system for complying with legal requirements and ascertaining the existence of regulated substances under laws and regulations and treaties including chemical substance management laws and regulations in each country, such as the REACH regulation*1 or other laws governing conflict minerals*2, and determining whether or not such substances can be used. Moreover, for high-risk chemical substances whose use will be prohibited in the future due to tighter regulations, we have proposed and are managing the progress of elimination plans for all products to ensure that the use of such substances is stopped and inventories are disposed of prior to the implementation of the laws and regulations.
(2) Development stage
For newly developed raw materials, in addition to the abovementioned legal and regulatory information, we also check to confirm whether they contain chemical substances identified in our own TOK Group Standards on Chemical Substances Management, which stipulate substances whose use is prohibited or should be eliminated. Moreover, we check developed products with respect to customers’ requirements as well. If products exceed the levels of the TOK Group Standards on Chemical Substances Management, we strive to propose an alternative plan and eliminate them.
(3) Manufacturing stage
All raw materials used to manufacture products are subject to occupational health and safety risk assessments. The Company identifies hazardous factors in the production environment, clarifies the hazard level, implements measures to mitigate and eliminate the hazardous factors based on their risk level, and then takes action to lower the risk. In this way, TOK maintains a proper work environment for its employees.
(4) Sales stage
TOK has connected its ERP system, which manages product shipment volumes, and its chemicals and PRTR management system, which manages chemical substance composition, to create a framework for automatically calculating the volume of chemical substances transferred. With this framework, TOK is able to appropriately report chemical substance volumes and apply for their usage in accordance with the Chemical Substances Control Law*3 and the PRTR Law*4 in Japan, as well as the laws and regulations of the countries that import its products.
(5) Disposal stage
Waste from each site is thoroughly sorted by type and recycled, and properly disposed when necessary. For waste disposal companies contracted to dispose the waste, TOK provides information about the type of waste handling precautions through a Waste Data Sheet (WDS). The Company periodically visits the waste disposal companies to perform on-site audits and ensure waste is being disposed properly in accordance with contractual agreements.
*1 REACH regulation: Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. This is an EU regulation that manages the registration, evaluation, and accreditation of chemical substances through an integrated system, with the aim of ensuring complete fulfillment of responsibility on the producers’ part, as well as thorough compliance with preventive principles.
*2 Conflict minerals: Refer to four types of minerals including tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and adjoining countries experiencing armed conflicts. These minerals are regulated under the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act (financial regulatory reform act).
*3 Chemical Substances Control Law: Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc.
*4 PRTR Law: Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof
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.