Reducing Discharge of Chemical Substances

Goals and Achievements of Major Initiatives

Objectives of initiatives Goals for fiscal year 2016 Achievements in fiscal year 2016 Evaluation Goals for fiscal year 2017
Reduce VOC emissions into the air. • Reduce VOC emissions into the air.
• Establish reduction targets for individual domestic sites and promote related initiatives (cumulative total of targets for domestic production facilities: 379 metric tonnes (-1.6% from fiscal year 2015)).
DIC Group (Japan): Total emissions of 385 metric tonnes (+1.0% from fiscal year 2015). • Reduce VOC emissions into the air.
• Establish reduction targets for individual domestic sites and promote related initiatives (cumulative total of targets for domestic production facilities: 376 metric tonnes (-2.3% from fiscal year 2016)).
Control emissions of chemical substances (Reduce emissions of 462 PRTR*1-designated substances and 89 chemical substances and one substance group targeted by JCIA*2 for voluntary control). DIC Group (Japan): Total emissions of 388 metric tonnes (-1.6% from fiscal year 2015). DIC Group (Japan): Total emissions of 397 metric tonnes (+1.0% from fiscal year 2015). PRTR-designated substances: Establish reduction targets for individual domestic sites and promote related initiatives (cumulative total of targets for domestic production facilities: 399 metric tonnes (+0.5% from fiscal year 2016)).
  • Evaluations are based on self-evaluations of current progress. Key: ★★★ = Excellent; ★★ = Satisfactory; ★ = Still needs work
  • *1The PRTR is a scheme in Japan for assessing, aggregating and disseminating data on the sources, amounts released into the environment and amounts transferred off-site from industrial establishments via waste products, of 462 designated chemical substances.
  • *2The JCIA is a general incorporated association. As one of Japan’s major industry organizations, JCIA is a member of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and pursues the healthy development of the chemical industry with other chemical-industrial organizations around the world.

Basic Approach

As chemicals companies handle a considerably greater volume and more diverse range of chemical substances than companies in other industries, they must be extremely vigilant to prevent discharges of such substances into the environment. DIC has worked to reduce emissions into the air, water and soil of substances designated under the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) and of substances targeted under a voluntary scheme created by the JCIA since fiscal year 2000, while other DIC Group companies in Japan have done so since fiscal year 2005.

Principal Initiatives in Fiscal Year 2016

1.Reducing VOC Emissions

Emissions of Targeted Chemical Substances into the Air 
(551 Substances, Including those Designated by the PRTR,
and One Substance Group)
Emissions of Targeted Chemical Substances into the Air (551 Substances, Including those Designated by the PRTR, and One Substance Group)

Having succeeded in achieving a voluntary target—set in fiscal year 2007—for reducing emissions of VOCs into the air of 30% by fiscal year 2010 (using fiscal year 2000 as the base year) for the DIC Group in Japan, domestic Group companies continue to pursue steady annual reductions through facility improvements and emissions management.
In fiscal year 2016, emissions of VOCs into the air generated by DIC amounted to 189 metric tonnes, down 9.0% from fiscal year 2015, while those by domestic Group companies, at 385 metric tonnes, were up 1.0%. The principal factor behind this increase was malfunctioning solvent recovery equipment at one site, which resulted in a decrease in the equipment’s hours of operation.
Overseas, Group companies in Greater China and the Asia–Pacific region continued to promote ongoing emissions reductions. In the PRC, in particular, the Group is updating facilities and stepping up management practices in response to the tightening of regulations governing emissions of VOCs.

Emissions of VOCs into the Air in Fiscal Year 2016

Number of Targeted Chemical Substances Used and/or 
Produced in Amounts Exceeding 1.0 Metric Tonne 
in Fiscal Year 2016
Number of Targeted Chemical Substances Used and/or Produced in Amounts Exceeding 1.0 Metric Tonne in Fiscal Year 2016

In fiscal year 2016, the DIC Group in Japan monitored discharges of 462 class-1 chemical substances designated under the PRTR and of 89 PRTR chemical substances (other than class-1 substances) and one substance group (chain hydrocarbons with up to 4–8 carbon atoms) targeted by the JCIA*. During the period, DIC and domestic Group companies used 111 and 124 of these chemical substances, respectively, in amounts exceeding 1.0 metric tonne, while emissions of such substances by the DIC Group in Japan edged up 1.0%. Both DIC and DIC Group companies in Japan sought to reduce emissions of these chemical substances by reviewing cleaning processes for reaction tanks and local exhaust ventilation devices. However, solvent recovery equipment at one site malfunctioned, as a result of which overall emissions edged up 1.0%, with DIC reporting an increase of 9.0% and domestic Group companies reporting an increase of 12.0%.

  • * In 2014, the JCIA reviewed PRTR-designated chemical substances and revised the number of substances on its target list from 105 to 89.

Environmental Emissions of Targeted Chemical Substances(551 Substances, Including those Designated by the PRTR, and One Substance Group) in Fiscal Year 2016

DIC Emissions into the air 189metric tonnes
Emissions into water 12metric tonnes
Emissions into soil 0metric tonnes
DIC Group (Japan) Emissions into the air 385metric tonnes
Emissions into water 12metric tonnes
Emissions into soil 0metric tonnes

Targeted Chemical Substances for Which Emissions Exceeded 10.0 Metric Tonnes in Fiscal Year 2016

Substance DIC DIC Group (Japan)
Emissions
into the environment
Emissions
into the environment
Ethyl acetate 63metric tonnes 124metric tonnes
Toluene 48metric tonnes 57metric tonnes
Methyl ethyl ketone 30metric tonnes 58metric tonnes
Styrene 6metric tonnes 39metric tonnes
Acetone 7metric tonnes 20metric tonnes
Propyl alcohol 1metric tonnes 22metric tonnes
Butyl acetate 0metric tonnes 12metric tonnes

2.Managing Water Resources

Usable fresh water on the earth’s surface is said to account for only around 0.01% of the planet’s total fresh water resources. Accordingly, finding effective ways to conserve and manage water resources is a crucial global challenge. The DIC Group withdraws fresh water (tap water and industrial water) for use in production processes and air conditioning and for drinking, among others. The Group also discharges wastewater—after purifying it in line with internal standards that exceed official standards in the countries and territories where it has operations—into rivers and other fresh water bodies. In Japan, the Central Research Laboratories, in Chiba Prefecture, recovers purified wastewater (graywater) and reuses it on-site in research, as a result of which it currently discharges no wastewater. The Group also promotes the recycling and reuse of water to reduce its impact on water resources.
In fiscal year 2016, the Group continued to promote efforts to improve production processes, share information and centralize data on fresh water withdrawn, water used and wastewater discharged. Fresh water withdrawn by the global DIC Group in fiscal year 2016 rose 1.5% from the fiscal year 2015 level, to 41,528,000 ㎥, comprising withdrawals by the DIC Group in Japan (including the parent company) of 30,513,000 ㎥, up 1.5%, and by Group companies overseas of 11,015,000 ㎥, an increase of 1.4%. Wastewater discharged by the global DIC Group in fiscal year 2016 amounted to 37,593,000 ㎥, 28.0% higher than in the previous fiscal year.

[ Scope of Reporting for Fresh Water Withdrawn and Wastewater Discharged ] 

Fresh Water Withdrawn / Wastewater Discharged by the Global DIC Group in Fiscal Year 2016

Effective from fiscal year 2016, the scope of reporting for wastewater discharged has been expanded to include the Sun Chemical Group, which oversees DIC Group operations in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This change was the principal reason behind the sharp increase in wastewater discharged by the global DIC Group in fiscal year 2016. Data for the Sun Chemical Group was already included in the calculation of fresh water withdrawn.

3.Soil and Groundwater Pollution Studies

Japan’s Water Pollution Control Act was revised in 2012 to tighten structural standards governing equipment installed to prevent groundwater contamination caused by chemical substances. In addition to complying strictly with this Act and with the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act, the DIC Group in Japan implements soil and groundwater surveys and countermeasures as necessary and assesses related environmental and safety risks.

4.Reducing SOx, NOx and COD

SOx and NOx Emissions Volumes
SOx and NOx Emissions Volumes

COD
COD

Taking fiscal year 1990 as the base year, DIC Group companies in Japan have worked to reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions—key causes of acid rain—from boilers. The Group is also working to reduce chemical oxygen demand (COD), an indicator of water quality deterioration in wastewater, thereby enhancing its water quality management.
Overseas, Group companies are also switching fuel from light oil to natural gas and replacing light oil–fired and heavy oil–fired boilers with waste wood–fired biomass boilers at sites with appropriate infrastructure.
To reduce COD, the Group is promoting the reuse of water and installing closed-loop recycling and wastewater treatment systems at its sites that purify water to a level that exceeds the legally mandated standard.

5.Complying with Regulations Governing Emissions of Dioxins

In Japan, the DIC Group monitors emissions of dioxins from waste incinerators that produce these byproducts, a group of compounds with varying toxicities. At present, the Group has six such facilities. Continuous efforts to reduce emissions levels have enabled the Group to achieve results that greatly surpass standards specified in the Law Concerning Special Measures Against Dioxins.

Dioxin Emissions from Domestic DIC Group Incinerators

Site Scale of facility
(incinerating capacity)
Waste gas Wastewater
Standard
(ng-TEQ/Nm³)
Emissions reported in fiscal
year 2015
(ng-TEQ/Nm³)
Standard
(pg-TEQ/ℓ)
Emissions reported in fiscal year 2016
(pg-TEQ/ℓ)
Chiba Plant (DIC) Approx.3metric tonnes/hr 5.0
0.2 10 0.037
Hokuriku Plant (DIC) 0.28metric tonnes/hr 5.0
0.0040 10 0.00011
DIC Interior Co., Ltd. Approx.0.1metric tonnes/hr 10.0 0.019 NA -
Hokkaido Plant
(DIC Kitanihon Polymer Co., Ltd.)
Approx.0.2metric tonnes/hr 10.0 <0.04 NA -
Tohoku Plant
(DIC Kitanihon Polymer Co., Ltd.)
Approx.0.2metric tonnes/hr 10.0 0.0027 NA -
Harima Plant
(Seiko PMC Corporation)
Approx.0.2metric tonnes/hr 10.0 <0.07 NA -

DIC’s Kashima Plant installs anaerobic wastewater treatment system

Anaerobic wastewater treatment system, BIOIMPACT®, installed in Kashima Plant
Anaerobic wastewater treatment system, BIOIMPACT®, installed in Kashima Plant

DIC’s Kashima Plant is promoting efforts to increase its wastewater treatment capacity and conserve energy. With the aim of enlarging its wastewater treatment facilities, DIC’s Kashima Plant recently installed a BIOIMPACT® expanded granular sludge blanket (ESGB) anaerobic wastewater treatment system. This system is manufactured by Sumitomo Heavy Industries Environment Co., Ltd.
Conventional chemical wastewater treatment systems are aerobic, i.e., require oxygen. In aerobic wastewater treatment systems, activated sludge* is used to break down organic matter in wastewater into CO2 and water. In contrast, the BIOIMPACT® system uses ESGB, a newly commercialized anaerobic process whereby wastewater is flowed into a tank containing a dense blanket of sludge granules (aggregates of anaerobic microorganisms), which rapidly break down organic matter into methane and CO2. This innovative system, which also facilitates the reuse of methane produced for plant operation, is attracting considerable attention for its various performance features, which include superb efficiency and minimal space and energy requirements. The Kashima Plant expects the new system to reduce its annual emissions of CO2 by 720 tons, as well as to significantly lower its operating costs.

TOPICS Advanced Initiatives in the PRC Earn DIC Green Enterprise Certification

Green Enterprise certificate
Green Enterprise certificate

The PRC is reinforcing regulations pertaining to chemical substances with the aim of balancing economic growth and environmental protection. It is against that backdrop that 20 DIC Group companies in the PRC have promoted improvements in their own practices for handling chemical substances based on the Group’s environmental management system to reduce chemical substance emissions, water intake and discharge, waste disposal and energy consumption and have submitted data annually to the relevant authorities.
These highly transparent initiatives have garnered considerable praise. In June 2012, Nantong DIC Color Co., Ltd., which manufactures organic pigments and printing inks, was certified as a Green Enterprise by the Nantong City Environmental Protection Committee, a designation recognizing companies with environment-friendly business practices. As a consequence, Nantong DIC Color is now seen as a model chemicals plant.

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