Research and studies are being carried out around the world on the impact risk of chemical substances on the environment and people’s health. Europe, in particular, has taken the lead in expanding its regulations. Canon strives to grasp new regulatory trends at an early stage and take action, ensuring that it provides products that are safe for the environment and people in every country and region where Canon products are used.
Canon has built a Group-wide environmental assurance system for managing chemical substances in products. Taking the laws and major environmental-labeling requirements around the world into consideration, we established in-house standards in line with the most stringent regulations in the world. Specifically, our management system classifies chemical substances into three categories: “prohibited substances,” which cannot be used in products; “use-restricted substances,” for which we are working to find alternatives by specific deadlines; and, “controlled substances,” the amount of which should be monitored.
Following the amendment of the European Union’s RoHS Directive, from July 22, 2019, the use of 4 phthalates (DEHP, BBP, DBP, DIBP) will be restricted in electrical and electronic equipment sold on the EU market. These substances are in general use as plasticizers for improved flexibility and moldability, for instance in the covering of electric power cables. As part of its Green Procurement system, Canon has identified products containing the phthalates and has been preparing for the new regulation by working with parts suppliers on evaluations and studies and investigation of alternatives. These activities mean that customers will be able to continue using our products with complete confidence after the amendment of the RoHS Directive. The Phthalates are known to have the property of migration, which means that matter can be transferred to other products on contact. Canon is responding by ensuring compliance with industry guidelines throughout the supply chain.
To manage chemical substances appropriately, it is important to share information on the chemical substances contained in materials, parts, and products accurately and efficiently along the supply chain from upstream to downstream, and to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.
Amid such circumstances, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Japan) decided to sponsor chemSHERPA (chemical information SHaring and Exchange under Reporting PArtnership in supply chain) as a common platform for sharing information, facilitating the seamless transmission of information between companies to confirm compliance with regulations on chemical substances in products.
Canon completed the introduction of chemSHERPA in 2017. Since its introduction by Canon, around 99% of survey replies have been made through chemSHERPA. This has led to increased workplace efficiency. Some suppliers have also adopted pre-filled survey replies that contain some of the required information. This shift to a more standardized approach contributes further to operational efficiency. Meanwhile, for suppliers who have difficulty with the reply process, guide manuals in Japanese, English and Chinese have been prepared to promote the progressive global adoption of chemSHERPA.
Canon separates the chemical substances, regulated in terms of safety such as negative impact on human health, the environment, and flammable risk, into three categories. In turn, effective measures are in place for each category.View more
The chemical substances handled during manufacturing at Canon include “controlled chemical substances” regulated in terms of safety such as negative impact on human health, the environment, and flammable risk. Canon separates these substances into three categories: A) Prohibited substances; B) Emission reduction substances; and C) Regulated substances. In turn, effective measures are in place for each category.
A) Prohibited substances;
Prohibited substances are defined as specified greenhouse gases (PFC/HFC/SF6), other soil and groundwater pollutants, and substances that significantly impact people’s health.
B) Emission reduction substances;
Greenhouse gases other than PFC/HFC/SF6, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other substances specified by Canon are designated as emission reduction substances.
C) Regulated substances
Regulated substances are chemical substances with defined compliance requirements, including compliance with reference values and the ascertainment of usage and storage quantities.
Canon engages in various initiatives at its operational sites to reduce emissions of controlled chemical substances, including reducing the consumption and re-use of them through improvement of production processes.
Total emissions of controlled chemical substances in 2018 amounted to 587 tons, a year-on-year decrease of 16 tons, which was achieved through activities to reduce chemical substances used in the production process and measures to promote re-use.
*PRTR System: Pollutant Release and Transfer Register System, a notification system for the transfer and release of chemical substances.
*Controlled chemical substances exclude regulated substances.
*Figures for 2017 onwards include data for Canon Medical Systems.
Canon alleviates the environmental impact of its operational sites by reducing emissions of NOx*1 and SOx*2, which are major causes of air pollution and acid rain; reducing discharges of phosphates and nitrogen compounds, which cause the eutrophication of water environments; and, reducing BOD*3 and SS*4, which indicate an environmental impact in water area.
To prevent air pollution, when installing or updating equipment that uses fuel, we opt for fuels that minimize to generate air pollutants (such as sulfur oxide, nitrogen oxide and soot), and have banned the use of heavy oil in principle.
Furthermore, we have designated ozone-depleting substances and persistent organic pollutants cited in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants as banned substances.
With regard to wastewater, each operational site sets standard values based on local laws and regulations. Also, control values are set at 80% of the standard values as management standards at each site. We regularly check the status of compliance with management standards.
*1 Nitrogen oxides (NOx) A major cause of air pollution, acid rain and photochemical smog, NOx is generated when the nitrogen in fuels is oxidized or when nitrogen in the atmosphere is oxidized during high-temperature combustion.
*2 Sulfur oxides (SOx) A major cause of air pollution and acid rain, SOx is generated when fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, are burned.
*3 Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) BOD is the amount of oxygen consumed when microorganisms degrade organic matter in water. Larger figure shows worse water quality.
*4 Suspended solids (SS) A collective term used for substances of less than 2mm in diameter that float in the air and do not dissolve.
Canon places high priority on soil and groundwater protection. In line with this, we established the Canon Group’s Basic Policy on Soil and Groundwater Pollution and implement comprehensive measures based on it. In the unlikely event that soil or groundwater pollution is found at one of our operational sites, cleanup and remedial actions are carried out in close accordance with all relevant laws. Also, our standard when acquiring new land is to conduct a preliminary soil examination and carry out any other necessary procedures, such as soil remediation, before making the purchase. We also monitor the chemical substances used at each site, remaining fully aware of the national and regional standards where each site is located in order to implement countermeasures according to the situation at each location.
|Shimomaruko||Trichloroethylene, etc.||Water quality measurement|
|Utsunomiya parking lot 1||Fluorine and its compounds, etc.||Pumping, water quality measurement|
|Toride||Trichloroethylene, etc. Hexavalent chromium and its compounds||Pumping, excavation and elimination, water quality measurement|
|Bando||1,1-dichloroethylene, etc.||Pumping, covering, water quality measurement|
|Nagahama Canon||Hexavalent chromium and its compounds||Covering, water quality measurement|
*Reports are made to the authorities concerning sites where purification is in progress.
Going forward, we will continue with the above initiatives and carry out monitoring and reporting of operational sites with completed remediation in a timely manner.
In accordance with relevant laws, Canon strictly manages polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), which damages living organisms and the environment. As of December 2018, 13 operational sites were storing PCB waste. In terms of highly concentrated PCB waste, there are 5 capacitors and transformers and 1,922 fluorescent ballasts in storage. This PCB waste is processed sequentially by the Japan Environmental Storage & Safety Corporation (JESCO).