With the emphasis on a circular economy, we not only need to fulfill certain obligations, but work to make more dynamic, effective use of resources. Efforts aimed at zero emissions of waste are essential, but at the same time we are designing Chugai’s own business activities to be compatible with a circular economy. In addition, while our business activities are conducted primarily in Japan and thus are characterized by relatively low water risks, given the increased demand from outside, we will be engaging in rigorous risk assessment and management.
The amount of industrial waste generated in 2020 was 2,776 tons, down 407 tons from 2019. The primary factor was lower generation of sludge associated with lower production volumes due to the production line decrease at the Utsunomiya Plant. In addition, progress was made in efforts to reduce waste at the Fujieda Plant, which generated the highest amount of waste oil emissions, including the deployment of an oil and water separation process at the plant’s wastewater treatment facility to reduce waste oil.
Industrial Waste Generated by Type
Waste recycled in 2020 reached 2,700 tons from 2,776 tons of industrial waste generated, achieving our goal with a high recycling ratio of 97.3%. With regards to the mid-term goal of achieving zero emissions (a recycling ratio of 99% or higher) from at least three facilities, only two facilities achieved this goal, but the Fujieda Plant achieved a 100% recycling ratio. Final disposal was 13 tons, for a final disposal ratio of 0.5%, achieving the goal of falling below the previous year’s results (2019: 1.1%). Going forward, we will continue to reduce industrial waste, while also advancing efforts to improve our recycling ratio.
Waste Recycled and Recycling Ratio*1
Amount of industrial landfill waste, Final disposal ratio*2
Proper Disposal of Waste Materials
Once a year, Chugai holds conferences for persons in charge of waste, mainly those at plants and research laboratories.
These conferences help them reduce waste risk, such as illegal disposal, by informing those concerned of revisions in Waste Management and Public Cleansing Act and other regulations and by providing proper disposal information. Chugai has set a goal of on-site verification of 100 percent of waste disposal contractor facilities over a three-year period (2018–2020) to meet its obligation under the above mentioned Act. Over the three-year period (2018–2020), we conducted on-site verification of 71 percent of waste disposal contractors where on-site verification was possible. We will continue striving to reduce illegal disposal and other types of waste risk.
Reduction in PPC Paper Used
PPC paper purchased was down 43.5 percent compared to 2019.
The reason for the drop was a decrease in work being done at the office, as employees had more opportunity to work from home. We also continue to promote purchasing of paper that complies with Japan’s Green Purchasing Law.
PPC Paper Purchased
Initiatives involving Chugai product countermeasures to address reduction of environmental load
There is a common awareness that in the field of resource recycling, the impact of marine plastics on ecosystems has become an urgent, global-scale issue, and discussions are being held at a variety of international conferences, including the G20 and the United Nations. To address this plastic litter problem, the G20 Osaka Summit held in June 2019 shared the “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision” which aims to reduce additional marine plastic litter to zero by 2050. In May 2019, Japan formulated its Resource Circulation Strategy for Plastics, based on the concept of “3Rs + Renewable” (4Rs), established specific numerical milestones for reducing the use of plastics, and is engaged in a variety of initiatives.
In the use of recycled/renewable resources, one of the material issues in the Chugai Group’s Mid-term Environmental Goals 2030, we have established the goal of reducing the emissions of plastic waste per total floor area by 5% in 2025 versus 2019, and by 10% in 2030, part of our effort to reduce the plastic waste emitted by our facilities.
The Chugai Group’s products are prescribed to patients through medical institutions, and after being prescribed, the product containers and packaging are discarded from medical institutions and ordinary homes. Chugai has continued working to reduce the environmental load of the containers and packaging used in its products based on the perspective of the 4Rs. Steps already underway include efforts to make thinner packaging materials (“Reduce”) and to use recycled paper in individual boxes, cardboard boxes and other packaging, while encouraging recycling when discarding packaging through material labeling (“Recycling”).
|Primary packaging||PTP||Thin plastic film used|
|Glass bottles||Lightweight bottles used|
|Secondary and tertiary packaging||Individual boxes||Thin paperboard used
Recycled paper used
|Common across packaging materials||Material labeling to encourage recycling|
In a new initiative in addition to reducing plastic, since 2020 we have begun using recycled plastic. In “Renewable,” we are considering switching from petroleum-based plastic materials to biomass plastic derived from plants and other renewable raw materials. This initiative has been introduced in areas where plastic use is particularly high, primarily PTP, aluminum pillows, syringe blister packs and plastic bottles. We are also moving forward to consider technology designed for use of packaging materials containing eco-friendly plastic materials, as noted above, in all products by 2030.
To encourage recycling of container and packaging waste, which represents about 60% of all household waste generated in Japan, there is a Container and Packaging Recycling Law which puts the responsibility for container and packaging waste recycling volume on the seller of the product. Use of containers and packaging in products sold by the Chugai Group in Japan in 2020 and the total of recycling consignment applications were 130.9 tons and 25.6 tons, respectively with recycling consignment fees totaling 1.12 million yen.
In addition to its waste reduction goals, the Chugai Group is working to switch the containers and packaging used in its products to eco-friendly materials based on the 4Rs, and we continue working to reduce our environmental load.
Container and Packaging Usage, Recycling Consignment Application (2020 results) (tons)
|Container and Packaging Usage||Recycling Consignment Application|
Water Pollution Prevention and Associated Measures
Based on the Water Pollution Control Act and various prefectural ordinances, the Chugai Group treats its wastewater at wastewater treatment plants, verifying compliance with wastewater standards before releasing it into public waters.
Water consumed fell by 136 tons over 2019. Wastewater also fell by 58 tons over 2019. In wastewater quality versus 2019, total BOD increased 2,709 kg, nitrogen increased by 8,179 kg, and phosphorous increased by 16 kg. This increase in BOD was caused by an inflow of highly concentrated culture solution used in the production process at the Ukima Plant. It was reported to the Bureau of Sewerage, and as a result of conducting another measurement of water quality, levels were found to be within range of standards, confirming that the increase was temporary. The facility’s Safety, Health and Environment Committee sent out a heads-up and worked to ensure that steps prior to the release of wastewater were followed. An increase in BOD has not occurred since.
At the Utsunomiya Plant, an increase was seen in nitrogen, but was confirmed to be within wastewater standards (120 mg/L or less of nitrogen content).
Water Consumed and Wastewater
Total BOD, Nitrogen and Phosphorus