We are working toward zero emission1 of industrial waste through the “3-Rs” of reduction, reuse, and recycling as part of our efforts toward establishment of a recycling-oriented society.
Under the Copenhagen Accord announced at COP15 at the end of 2009, Japan submitted a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by 2020. In this context, the Asahi Kasei Group established a new framework for greenhouse gas emissions from the following perspectives.
The Asahi Kasei Group’s operations involve large amounts of chemical substances. We implement measures under our ISO 14001 environmental management system to prevent pollution-causing accidents. In addition, we implement our own voluntary standards which go beyond Japan’s regulatory standards to reduce release of hazardous chemicals into the environment. These include substances specified in the Air Pollution Control Act, Water Pollution Control Act, and the PRTR3 Law, with priority for reduction based on the degree of hazardousness and amount of release. As shown in the graph, release of PRTR-specified substances to the atmosphere and to water was reduced by 94% from the baseline year of fiscal 2000.
Moreover, emission of VOCs4 was 62% lower than in fiscal 2000. Release of substances regulated the Air Pollution Control Act and Water Pollution Control Act also continued to be maintained well below the permissible limits.
3 Pollutant release and transfer register. Under the PRTR Law, releases to the environment and off-site transfers of specific hazardous chemical substances must be monitored and recorded for each production facility and operating site. Results are reported to the government, which publishes aggregate results.
4 Volatile organic compound. Although the term generally applies to any organic compound which is in gaseous state at the time of release, regulations for the control of their release exclude methane and some fluorocarbons which do not form oxidants.
1 Reducing final landfill disposal volume toward zero involves measures to minimize the amount of industrial waste generated, and reusing or recycling industrial waste as material or energy. The “zero emission” target for the Asahi Kasei Group is to reduce final disposal volume to one tenth or less than that of fiscal 2000, which results in final disposal of less than one percent of the waste generated.
2 Using Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Ministry of the Environment standard of 561g CO2/kWh.
We have been working toward a zero emission target for final disposal of industrial waste since 1990, although our healthcare business grew rapidly along with manufacturing volume. For fiscal 2010, we have achieved almost zero final disposal through measures such as thermal recycling.
We are striving to reduce release of highly hazardous substances and reduce large-volume hazardous substance emission. Release of PRTR-specified substances to the atmosphere and to water was reduced by 100% from the baseline year of fiscal 2000, excluding some substances newly added in the PRTR Law in 2010.
We are striving to reduce emission of VOCs. While specified substances have been added in conjunction with product expansion, we have achieved a 10% reduction for fiscal 2010 over fiscal 2000.