Managing Chemical Substances in Products

Goals and Achievements of Major Initiatives

Objectives of initiatives Goals for fiscal year 2017 Achievements in fiscal year 2017 Evaluation Goals for fiscal year 2018
Respond to requirements relating to chemical product information. ・Rebuild comprehensive system for managing chemical substances.
・Reinforce local information-gathering configurations.
・Comprehensive system for managing chemical substances was completed and alignment with its SAP system was reinforced.
・Steps were taken to fortify support for overseas Group companies through f u l l - time manager s assigned to regional headquarters.
★★★ ・Enhance functions of the comprehensive system for managing chemical substances.
・Continue to expand deployment of the Wercs at overseas DIC Group companies.
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Comply with regulations in Japan and overseas (e.g., Japan’s Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc., and Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act; the EU’s REACH legislation; and the U.S.’ TSCA. ・Promote compliance with the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc.
・Expand deployment of the Wercs at overseas DIC Group companies.
・Promote the registration of chemical substances to which REACH applies.
・Complete compliance with reporting requirements imposed by the TSCA Inventory Reset.
・Information was gathered on the revised Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc., and negotiations were conducted through work with industry associations.
・A Wercs–linked GHS-compliant label creation system was introduced at four Group companies in Thailand and Malaysia.
・Efforts to promote the registration of chemical substances to which REACH applies continued.
・Compliance with reporting requirements imposed by the TSCA Inventory Reset were completed.
★★ ・Promote compliance with the revised Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc.
・Promote compliance with the ROK’s revised K-REACH.
・Complete registration of chemical substances to which REACH applies.
★★
★★
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  • Evaluations are based on self-evaluations of current progress. Key: ★★★ = Excellent; ★★ = Satisfactory; ★ = Still needs work

Basic Approach

As a comprehensive global chemicals manufacturer, DIC approaches compliance with laws and regulations and the effective management of risks as essential to its survival. The Group works to maintain a solid grasp of laws and regulations in different countries and territories, and of trends relevant thereto, thereby ensuring its ability to design products that comply with regulations governing the use of chemical substances in products. The Group also strives to respond to requirements relating to the disclosure of information on chemical substances, thereby ensuring the safety of chemicals and products.
In 2002, participants in the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa, agreed on a goal for the management of chemical substances to minimize the significant adverse effects thereof on human health and the environment by 2020. Since then, DIC has promoted efforts to eliminate substances of high concern specified in the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, as well as to develop alternatives to products containing substances scheduled to be newly included in such agreements, as well as to actively provide information on chemical substances, with the aim of reducing risks to society.

Managing Chemical Substances

Ensuring the Swift Provision of Reliable SDSs

In 2003, the UN Economic Commission for Europe issued the first edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), the idea being to reduce chemical risks through an internationally harmonized approach to classification of chemicals by type and toxicity, the clear display of information on labels for better understanding and the provision of SDSs.
As a part of its efforts to ensure effective product stewardship, the foundation of Responsible Care, of which emphasize the management of chemicals across its entire supply chain, DIC has sought to respond swiftly to this development, as well as to provide customers with crucial hazard-related information. As such, in 2009 DIC established CIRIUS (Chemical Substance Information Comprehensive Management System) for domestic products. In addition to complying with GHS, CIRIUS enables DIC to provide customers with complete information on hazards associated with chemical substances, thereby helping to reduce related risks. CIRIUS centralizes the management of information about raw materials and chemicals, as well as automatically checks various laws and regulations—including the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc., the Industrial Health and Safety Act; and the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc.—to facilitate the provision of reliable SDSs.

Promoting the Global Deployment of the Wercs Label Creation System

In 2013, DIC began using the Wercs (a global SDS and label creation system developed with know-how from DIC) for products for export. As a result, DIC now has a structure that enables it to compile GHS-compliant SDSs for all exported products that comply with national and regional laws and regulations and is accessible in relevant local languages. In April 2014, DIC began using the Wercs to issue SDSs and labels for all exported products. In fiscal year 2015, DIC also began deploying the Wercs at overseas Group companies.
As specialized knowledge about chemical substance management is essential, DIC focuses on training in the manufacture, import and handling of chemicals in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and draws on its proprietary licensing system to enhance the skills of employees.

Risk Management Across the Supply Chain

In line with the DIC Group Universal Purchasing Policy, DIC formulated the DIC Group Green Procurement Guidelines, which prohibit the procurement of materials containing hazardous substances in seven categories. The guidelines mandate the submission of a DIC Raw Materials Survey, an SDS and a chemSHERPA-AI*, as well as a DIC Group Green Procurement Guidelines Survey, when purchasing raw materials, thereby creating a system for eliminating substances of concern. Submission of a Conflict Minerals Survey is also required.

  1. Substances the production of which is prohibited, as outlined in Article 55 of Japan’s Industrial Health and Safety Act;
  2. Substances designated as class 1 specified chemical substances in Japan’s Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc.;
  3. Substances designated for monitoring under Japan’s Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc.;
  4. Chemical substances the production of which is already prohibited, as detailed in Japan’s Act on the Protection of the Ozone Layer  Through the Control of Specified Substances and Other Measures (ozone-depleting substances listed in the Montreal Protocol);
  5. Specified particulates denoted in Japan’s Air Pollution Control Act;
  6. Specified poisonous substances indicated in Japan’s Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act; and
  7. Specified substances detailed in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
  • *chemSHERPA is a scheme designed to facilitate the accurate and efficient sharing of information on chemical substances in products across the entire supply chain. DIC began using chemSHERPA-AI, one of two available versions, in late fiscal year 2017.

Position on the Use of Animals in Testing

In line with the 3Rs of animal use in research (“Replacement, Reduction, Refinement”), which are guidelines designed to ensure the more ethical use of animals in testing, the DIC Group actively promotes safe evaluation using quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) models, which do not employ animals, and alternatives to animal testing.

Reducing Risks through the Global Provision of Information

Information on Raw Materials and Chemical Substances in Imported Products in Japan

DIC provides information on chemical substances using CIRIUS in Japan and the Wercs overseas
DIC provides information on chemical substances using CIRIUS in Japan and the Wercs overseas

In April 2013, DIC consolidated the management of information on the composition of chemical substances in exported products and on chemical substance legislation in various countries and regions, introducing the Wercs, a new system that automatically creates product SDSs in the language—and in compliance with the laws and regulations—of individual export destinations, creating a foundation for its global information system and helping reduce risks for customers.
For products manufactured in Japan, DIC uses CIRIUS to centralize the management of information on raw materials and chemical substances. To facilitate the provision of reliable SDSs, CIRIUS automatically checks Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act-based secure trade control rules, as well as the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc., the Chemical Substances Control Law, and the Industrial Safety and Health Act and the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act.
The Wercs, which incorporates know-how accumulated by DIC in the creation and use of CIRIUS, was developed with the aim of expediting the provision of such information for products for export. The Wercs facilitates the translation of data into 46 different languages—including the languages of the 19 countries and territories to which DIC currently exports products—and the preparation of SDSs and labels in local languages that comply with laws and regulations in the Americas, Europe, Asia and elsewhere.
Since switching to the Wercs for creating SDSs and issuing labels for exported products, DIC has expanded the number of countries for which it can prepare local-language, legally compliant SDSs and labels to include the ROK, Europe, the United States, the PRC and Taiwan. Since April 2014, all SDSs and labels for products for export have been prepared using the Wercs. DIC is also promoting deployment of the system to Group companies in Japan, which are using the Wercs in tandem with CIRIUS to ensure the effective management of chemical substances across its domestic Group supply chain.

Expanding Deployment of the Wercs at Overseas Group Companies

In fiscal year 2015, DIC began deploying the Wercs at Group companies overseas. In fiscal year 2017, the Wercs was introduced at an additional five overseas companies, bringing to 21 the number of companies using the system. With the aim of promptly updating its labels to comply with GHS hazard labeling standards in the event of revisions to laws and regulations or the identification of new hazards, in fiscal year 2016 the Company set up an on-demand label printing system that links the Wercs with its SAP system. In fiscal year 2017, the Company began deploying this system at companies that have already introduced the Wercs. Through these and other efforts, DIC aims to prevent human error and increase business efficiency, as well as to facilitate globally consistent management based on a common system.

Global Deployment of the Wercs

Fiscal year 2013 Japan (four companies): DIC, DIC Graphics, DIC Kitanihon Polymer Co., Ltd. and Seiko PMC Corporation)
Fiscal year 2014
Fiscal year 2015 Indonesia (Three companies)*
Malaysia (Two companies)*
Thailand (Two companies)*
PRC (Five companies)
Taiwan (Two companies)*
Singapore (One company)
Fiscal year 2016 Taiwan (One company)*
Fiscal year 2017 Singapore (One company)
Philippines (One company)
Vietnam (One company)
Sri Lanka (One company)
Pakistan (One company)
Fiscal year 2018
(Scheduled)
India (One company)
PRC (One company)
  • *Deployment is complete.

Complying with Laws and Regulations

Ensuring Prompt Responses to Regulatory Changes Worldwide

The principal goal governing the management of chemical substances worldwide is that implied in the agreement, reached at the WSSD in 2002, to ensure, by 2020, that chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effect. Recent years have seen the European Union enact Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation, and the ROK, the PRC and Taiwan introduce legislation aimed at strengthening chemical substances risk management. As well, countries in Southeast Asia have deployed the GHS.
DIC collects the latest information on chemical substances in overseas markets through international consultants and experts, news wire services and chemicals industry associations to ensure that it can respond swiftly and effectively to revisions in laws. In 2009, the Company began using CIRIUS to manage chemical substance information for products manufactured in Japan. In fiscal year 2013, DIC switched to the Wercs for creating SDSs and issuing labels for existing exported products, accelerating its ability to provide information to customers.
In fiscal years 2016 and 2017, steps were taken across Asia to reinforce the management of chemical substances. Of particular note, the PRC announced a new assessment agency as part of its system for registering hazardous chemicals, while the ROK dramatically revised the Act on the Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals (K–REACH) and Thailand and Vietnam proceeded with preparation to introduce a new system for registering chemical substances.

Groupwide Efforts to Create a Stronger Compliance Framework

To ensure an accurate grasp of trends, DIC has worked steadily to strengthen communication with local Group companies and in fiscal year 2016 reinforced its management framework by assigning dedicated full-time managers to regional headquarters for Greater China and the Asia–Pacific region. Recently, DIC held discussions with legal and regulatory experts from Sun Chemical that resulted in an agreement to cooperate closely in a manner that capitalizes on the strengths of both companies.
In the United States, substantial revisions were made to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)*1 in fiscal year 2016, requiring a comprehensive inventory reset (review of existing chemicals on the TSCA list). DIC and Sun Chemical completed compliance with reporting requirements imposed by this reset. In advance of the May 2018 deadline for registering existing chemical substances under REACH*2, DIC is registering existing exported low-volume chemical substances, i.e., those produced in volumes up to 100 metric tonnes per year, as well as promoting ongoing efforts to respond to substance evaluations by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and ECHA member countries and collecting information on REACH substances of very high concern (SVHCs).

  • *1The TSCA is a law administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that regulates chemical substances produced in or imported into the United States.
  • *2Under REACH, businesses bear full responsibility for evaluating the safety of chemical substances they produce and/or use with no distinction made between “existing” and “new” substances. REACH also prohibits the use of specified chemical substances that pose unacceptable risks to human health.

Training in Chemical Substance Management

Specialized Training Under DIC’s Licensing System

Recognizing legal and regulatory compliance as central to risk management for DIC as a comprehensive global chemicals manufacturer, the Company endeavors to improve employees’ awareness and knowledge of chemical substance regulations in Japan and overseas by holding workshops and maintaining a proprietary internal licensing system. Efforts include providing specialized training for individuals in Japan involved in exporting chemical substances in line with the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act and for individuals involved in importing chemical substances in line with the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc., and issuing licenses, valid for two or three years, to employees who have passed in-house examinations. As of fiscal year 2017, 1,473 employees held a Class A license, which requires specialized knowledge, and 194 held a Class B license, which pertains to ancillary operations, while a further 98 individuals had completed an advanced course demanding superior capabilities that was introduced in fiscal year 2015. In addition, 304 individuals held import licenses.

VOICE

The introduction of the Wercs has contributed to cost reductions.

We have always used spray marking to put product names on packaging, but the government’s ESH management system led us to realize that spray marking contaminates the atmosphere and is harmful to workers’ health. We also used to subcontract the printing of labels containing information on toxicity, handling instructions and cautions. With the introduction of a label printing system linked with the Wercs, we are now able to print labels with product names and labels containing toxicity and other information. This has greatly increased flexibility and eliminated the need to order printed labels in bulk, resulting in excess inventories. The new system enables us to print only the number of labels we need, which has contributed to cost reductions.

PPIC Department Manager, Supply Chain Division, P.T. Pardic Jaya Chemicals Sri Yuniati

PPIC Department Manager, Supply Chain Division,
P.T. Pardic Jaya Chemicals Sri Yuniati

VOICE

Looking ahead to 2020, we are working to respond effectively to increasingly robust laws and regulations in global markets.

One of the agreements reached at the WSSD in 2002 was to ensure, by 2020, that chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effect. To this end, emerging economies, as well as developed economies, are accelerating efforts to create and reinforce laws and regulations governing chemical substances. To ensure that the DIC Group has an accurate grasp of such trends, we are focused on fortifying our information-gathering capabilities, maximizing know-how accumulated in the creation and use of CIRIUS, enhancing our ability to accommodate multiple languages, providing specialized training for overseas DIC Group employees and bolstering expertise in the operation of these systems. Going forward, we will continue to step up initiatives related to the safety of chemical substances and products.

Senior Manager in charge of regulatory affairs, Responsible Care Department  Shinobu Yamaguchi

Senior Manager in charge of regulatory affairs,
Responsible Care Department
Shinobu Yamaguchi

VOICE

The Wercs has automated and enhanced the fexibility of procedures used in the creation of SDSs.

In light of heightened global awareness of safety and the need to comply with pertinent laws and regulations, the Wercs, a comprehensive software, provides a simple, convenient way to create SDSs and issue GHS labels. DIC (Malaysia) currently exports a significant volume of its products. The introduction of the Wercs has made it possible for us to create SDSs and issue GHS labels in multiple different languages.
The Wercs has automated and enhanced the fexibility of procedures used in the creation of SDSs. It has also provided us with an effective way to manage global compliance over the long term.
Using the Wercs makes it possible for us to direct our time, energy and efforts to contributing to future growth.

Assistant Manager, Technical Administration R&D Center, DIC (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. Chuah Joo Beng

Assistant Manager,Technical Administration R&D Center,
DIC (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
Chuah Joo Beng

TOPICS DIC Receives Achievement Award from the CBIMS*1

Award received from CBIMS
Award received from CBIMS

DIC recently received an achievement award from the ChemoBio Integrated Management Society (CBIMS), a Japanese non-profit organization (NPO), in recognition of its system for the integrated management of chemical substances in both the raw materials it uses and the products it supplies.

In 1995, DIC adopted Responsible Care (RC) as a key management precept. In the years since, the Company has taken decisive steps to address issues related to occupational safety, the environment, health and the stewardship of chemical substances, as well as to improve related initiatives. Of particular note, DIC uses CIRIUS, a comprehensive management system for information on chemical substances developed in-house that not only ensures an accurate, uniform grasp of information on chemical substances in raw materials and products, but also automatically flags chemical substances covered by laws in Japan, thereby helping to facilitate the manufacture and supply of safe products and the provision of accurate chemical substance-related information to customers. In addition to monitoring the volume of chemical substance emissions into the air, water and soil from DIC Group production facilities, DIC works continuously to reduce its use of substances that exert a negative impact on the environment.
In making the award, the CBIMS applauded DIC's establishment of a system for the meticulous management of chemical substances in both the extensive range of raw materials it uses and its vast lineup of products, as well as its efforts to ensure unwavering compliance with legal requirements in North America, Europe and elsewhere in Asia, as well as in Japan. CBIMS noted that DIC currently scores more than 80 points out of 100 in all areas—hazard assessment, exposure assessment, risk assessment and risk management—when assessed according to indicators in the Survey Regarding the Integrated Management of Chemical Substances*2, used by the organization to evaluate corporate performance, underscoring a well-balanced approach, and that its achievement rates have risen steadily in recent years. The organization praised DIC's initiatives for driving progress in the industry, as well as for contributing to debate on approaches to the integrated management of chemical substances both in Japan and overseas.
Going forward, DIC will continue working to reduce the impact of its business activities on the environment, provide appropriate information on pertinent chemical substances and further enhance the accuracy of its risk assessment practices, thereby helping to minimize risks related to chemical substances for society as a whole. DIC Receives Achievement Award from ChemoBio Integrated Management Society

  • *1Established in 2004, the ChemoBio Integrated Management Society (CBIMS) is a Japanese NPO. CBIMS provides a forum for individuals and groups concerned with the assessment and management of risk associated with chemical (including technology-related) and biological substances and/or involved in actual assessment and management, or in related R&D, to exchange views on a wide range of issues, drawing on scientific knowledge and logic, with the aim of enhancing capabilities. The organization also publishes information for general consumption.
  • *2The Survey Regarding the Integrated Management of Chemical Substances is an annual survey implemented since 2003 by the Life–World Watch Center, established at Ochanomizu Women's University in Tokyo to promote development, research and investigation—and to provide education and training—related to the safety and security of human life, as well as to the environment.

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