Work is needed to not only strengthen handling of PRTR target substances and management of specially controlled industrial waste, but to address the list of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) under the REACH regulation. Chugai will strengthen efforts in wastewater management and in reducing chemical substances, including validation of product manufacturing plans, while also enhancing our efforts to work with local communities.
Chemical Substance Management
To protect employees from exposure to chemical substances and prevent health hazards, Chugai has established voluntary rules for chemical substance management and provides suitable work environments based on the results of risk assessments of the substances handled and the type of work. After protective equipment is selected, operations and procedures are determined.
We also improved systems throughout the Chugai Group for risk assessment of exposure to all substances handled, in addition to restricted substances,*1 and are working to reduce the risk of occupational injuries from these substances.
By providing information in the form of safety data sheets (SDSs) and emergency contact cards (“yellow cards”), we also work to ensure safety at our contract manufacturers and other outside parties.
The amount of chemical substances handled in the April 2021-March 2022 period covered by the PRTR law*2 is as shown on the graph. The handled amount of chemical substances covered by the PRTR law decreased by 27.7 tons from the previous fiscal year (April 2020-March 2021) to 61.7 tons. Of that, 43% was ferric chloride. Since 2015, ferric chloride has been used to treat wastewater generated in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process.
- *1 In accordance with the Industrial Safety and Health Act revised on June 25, 2014, implementing risk assessments for chemical substances (640 items) With subsequent revisions, as of July 1, 2018, 673 substances are subject to assessment.
- *2 The Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Law Handled Amounts of Chemical Substances Covered by PRTR Law
Handled Amounts of Chemical Substances Covered by PRTR Law (for the period of April 2021 - March 2022)
Air Pollution Prevention and Associated Measures
Based on the Air Pollution Control Act and various prefectural ordinances, the Chugai Group measures emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx) and particulates, verifying compliance with emissions standards before releasing them.
NOx emissions were 28 tons, the same as in 2021. NOx concentration has decreased by about 1/4 since 2021, when the cogeneration system at the Fujieda Plant was updated to a low NOx emission type. Figures for air pollutants emitted at each site are trending significantly below prescribed environmental limits. Since the second half of 2014, Chugai has been implementing the conversion of the main fuel in heat source equipment from fuel oil to city gas. This was reflected in a significant decrease in SOx emissions, a figure which we continue to maintain.
SOx and Dust Emissions
Soil Pollution Prevention and Associated Measures
Based on the Soil Pollution Control Act and various prefectural ordinances, the Chugai Group conducts appropriate soil surveys in compliance with the law.
In the event that soil pollution were to be found, we would discuss the issue with the authorities, and take appropriate steps to contain it and clean it up.
Reducing the use of chemical substances
Chugai has set a mid-term environmental goal beginning in 2021 for establishing manufacturing processes, through commercial production, that do not use compounds listed in the SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern) candidate list under REACH regulation for all Chugai original candidate molecules. advancing efforts to reduce the use of chemical substances. In 2021, we formulated guidelines for the use of SVHC, and are working to reduce the amount of hazardous chemical substances used, based on those guidelines.
Reducing hazardous waste
The amount of hazardous waste (waste that falls under specially controlled industrial waste) generated in 2022 was 1,129 tons, an increase of 438 tons from 2019 due to increased production and research activities. The amount generated per total floor area decreased from 2.7 kg/m2 in the base year 2019 to 2.6 kg/m2, because Chugai Life Science Park Yokohama, which was completed in 2022, and Kamakura Research Laboratories and Fuji Gotemba Research Laboratories, which are scheduled to close in 2023, are both in operation, resulting in a larger total floor area. Through appropriate management and treatment as a matter of course, we continue to advance efforts to reach our Mid-Term Environmental Goals 2030 of reducing this waste by 5% in 2025 and 10% in 2030 versus 2019.
Hazardous Waste Generated
Coexistence with Nature and Protection of Biodiversity
From the standpoint of protecting biodiversity, in 2013 the Chugai Group began conducting WET tests*3 to verify the impact on local ecosystems of wastewater discharge from our plants and research laboratories, not only to fulfill regulatory wastewater standards, but to gain a comprehensive understanding and assess the impact of chemical substances contained in that wastewater. In 2021, we again conducted a once-yearly WET test at all of our plants and research laboratories, and confirmed that no problems were found.
In addition, with the cooperation of a local NPO, in 2022, employees and their families carried out vegetation thinning work*4 in Kawane Honcho (Shizuoka Prefecture), the watershed for the Fujieda Plant, as part of activities to preserve production site water sources begun in 2019. Additionally, since 2022, we have expanded our activities to Chichibu-gun, Saitama Prefecture, the watershed for the Ukima Plant, where employees and their families carried out vegetation thinning work under the guidance of a local agriculture and forestry corporation. We not only hope to minimize the impact our production activities have on the global environment but contribute to preserving the abundant water resources that we share with residents living near these watersheds. As part of its business practices, Chugai will continue to use water carefully, returning it to nature in pristine condition and engaging in activities to maintain the forests that nurture more water.
See the page below for details of the activities.
Contribution to Global Environmental Protection - Efforts to protect water resources through forest maintenance at our production site –
- *3 Whole effluent toxicity test: A method for comprehensive evaluation of the safety of wastewater and the aquatic environment by determining the impact on crustaceans (Daphnia), algae and fish (Oryzias latipes and others) immersed in diluted wastewater
- *4 Vegetation thinning: In order to prevent the forest from growing too thick, some trees are cut down to ensure a healthy forest with an appropriate density. Thinning allows sunlight to reach all trees and encourages the growth of shrubs, leading to a healthy forest.