As part of its goal of contribution to global environmental protection as stated in the Chugai Group Code of Conduct (CCC), the Chugai Group is actively promoting efforts to minimize our impact on the global environment. One of our goals is to build a sound water circulation system as part of our business activities to ensure the effective use of water, which is both an essential raw material in drug manufacturing and a globally important resource.
As part of that effort, we held a volunteer forest preservation project on November 23, 2019, in Kawanehoncho, Shizuoka Prefecture, the source of water used at our Fujieda Plant. Under the direction of Kawane Life, an NPO, 29 employees from the Fujieda Plant and their families conducted tree thinning work1). In addition to this work, tree planting, pruning and clearing of underbrush will make it possible to protect healthy forests that also serve a watershed conservation function2).
To date, the Chugai Group has worked to ensure the preservation of biodiversity by conducting not only wastewater quality tests based on law of wastewater discharge from all of its domestic plants and laboratories, but also whole effluent toxicity (WET) tests3), a method of managing wastewater using bioresponse testing. The goal of this testing is to provide comprehensive confirmation that wastewater discharged from Chugai Group facilities does not impact the natural environment.
Going forward, activities aimed at conserving water resources at our production sites will go one step beyond existing wastewater management efforts and are designed to further extend those activities into the future. In addition to reducing the use of water in our production activities and managing wastewater, through activities such as our recent volunteer forest preservation project Chugai hopes to not only to minimize the impact of its production activities on the global environment, but to contribute to the conservation of the water resources Chugai shares with local residents. These activities will also lead to meeting SDGs targeting safe water and conservation of both sea and land.
In our business activities, the Chugai Group uses water with care and releases it back into nature in a clean state, and by continuing with efforts to maintain the forests that nurture clean water, we will contribute to building a society in symbiosis with nature.
- 1) Tree thinning: Work designed to prevent forests from becoming overgrown, leading them back to health by cutting down certain trees to maintain appropriate density. Thinning allows sunlight to reach the individual trees, while also encouraging the growth of shrub, leading to a healthier forest.
- 2) Watershed conservation function: As trees put down solid roots in the earth, this ensures that rather than immediately flowing away, rainwater soaks deep into the earth (soil) where it becomes a source of slow-flowing groundwater. This prevents soil runoff, alleviates flooding and drought, and ensures all of us of a supply of clear, clean water.
- 3) Whole effluent toxicity test: A method for evaluating toxic effect of substances mixed in with wastewater by measuring the bioresponses of three types of aquatic life, including algae, crustaceans (Daphnia) and fish. This allows for an evaluation of combined impact, rather than the effect of individual substances in the wastewater.
Volunteer Forest Preservation Project: Comment from Partner Organization
“Empowering the Forest”
Shunsuke Kajiwara, Director, Kawane Life
Many people from the Chugai Group participated in this project. First, they learned how important and how difficult forest maintenance is, then we had them take on the tough task of helping thin the cypress trees.
There have been frequent news reports in recent years of major typhoons causing damage due to a lack of proper forest maintenance. Those in the forestry industry continue to go through challenging times with workers aging and lumber prices falling. Having help with this forestation work aids significantly in preserving erosion and flood control. The owner of this forest was also very happy.
From the planting of a single seedling to the felling of a tree requires not only an incredible amount of time, but a great deal of work as well. With your cooperation, we will continue our forestation work in the hopes of preventing any further loss of our forests’ function.