Preventing Environmental Pollution

Goals and Achievements of Major Initiatives

Reduce VOC emissions into the air.

Goal for fiscal year 2019 DIC Group (Japan): 366 tonnes (essentially level with fiscal year 2018)
Achievement in fiscal year 2019 DIC Group (Japan):
  • Emissions attributable to normal activities totaled 345 tonnes, down 6% from fiscal year 2018.
  • Owing to an accident involving a major fire at the Saitama Plant total emissions climbed 48%, to 541 tonnes.
Goal for fiscal year 2020 DIC Group (Japan): 345 tonnes (essentially level with emissions attributable to normal activities in fiscal year 2019)
  • Evaluations are based on self-evaluations of current progress.
    Key: ★★★ = Excellent; ★ = Satisfactory; ★ = Still needs work

Policies and Organization

Basic Approach

The DIC Group works to grasp the environmental impact of its operating activities and promotes systematic measures to reduce its environmental footprint. The Group also advances efforts aimed at preventing environmental pollution.

Since 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 substances into the environment. Against this backdrop, the DIC Group strives to ensure a grasp of the environmental impact of its operations and promotes systematic efforts to prevent environmental pollution. DIC has worked since fiscal year 2000 to reduce emissions into the air, water and soil of substances designated under pertinent laws and regulations in Japan—including the Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof, the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act, the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) Law, the Ozone Layer Protection Law, the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons and the Law Concerning Special Measures for Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes—and of substances targeted under a voluntary scheme created by the Japan Chemical Industry Association (JCIA)*. Other DIC Group companies in Japan have done the same since fiscal year 2005.

  • The JCIA is a g eneral incorporated association. As one of Japan’s major industry organizations, JCIA is a m ember 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.

Framework for Promotion

The chair of the Sustainability Committee (president and CEO), oversees the planning and promotion of environmental conservation initiatives by the Responsible Care Department and production and R&D site Safety and Environment groups. To ensure compliance with pertinent laws and regulations, the Responsible Care Department monitors legal and regulatory trends worldwide to ensure sites are able to comply promptly and effectively.

Principal Initiatives in Fiscal Year 2020

01Reducing Emissions of VOCs

Having succeeded in achieving a voluntary target—set in fiscal year 2007—for reducing emissions of VOCs into the air of 30% from the fiscal year 2000 level by fiscal year 2010, DIC Group companies in Japan continue to pursue steady annual reduction through facility improvements and emissions management.
In fiscal year 2020, DIC reported emissions of VOCs of 162 tonnes, a 44% decrease from fiscal year 2019. Factors behind this result included the fact that an accident involving a warehouse fire at the Saitama Plant had caused a sharp increase in emissions in the previous period and a decrease in production activities owing to COVID-19. As a consequence, total emissions of VOCs by the DIC Group in Japan amounted to 327 tonnes, down 40% from fiscal year 2019. Overseas, Group companies in Greater China and the Asia–Pacific region continued to promote efforts to reduce emissions. In the PRC, in particular, the Group is updating equipment and stepping up emissions management practices in response to the tightening of pertinent local regulations.

Emissions of Targeted Chemical Substances into the Air
  • PRTR is a scheme for assessing, aggregating and disseminating data on the source of hazardous chemicals, amounts released into the environment and amounts transferred off-site from industrial establishments via waste products.
  • Japan’s PRTR Law requires reporting on 462 class-1 chemical substances designated under the country’s PRTR scheme.
  • The “551 substances and one substance group” comprises 462 chemical substances designated by Japan’s PRTR and 89 PRTR-designated substances (other than class-1) and one substance group (chain hydrocarbons with up to 4–8 carbon atoms) targeted for study by JCIA.
Number of Targeted Chemical Substances Used and/or Produced in Japan in Amounts Exceeding 1.0 Tonne in Fiscal Year 2019

02Reducing SOx, NOx and 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 has also worked to reduce chemical oxygen demand (COD), an indicator of the quality of wastewater. In fiscal year 2019, DIC’s emissions of SOx and NOx amounted to 2 tonnes, a decrease of 76% from fiscal year 2018, and 144 tonnes, down 15%. The decrease in SOx emissions reflected a shift to higher-grade fuels for biomass boilers. Thanks to these declines, emissions of SOx and NOx by the DIC Group in Japan were also both down from the fiscal year 2018 level. However, owing to changes to product portfolios, DIC’s COD increased 3%, to 697 tonnes, while that of the DIC Group in Japan rose 6%, to 850 tonnes. The Group will continue taking steps to reduce COD load rates by enhancing its water quality management.
Overseas, DIC Group c ompanies are switching fuel from diesel to natural gas and diesel- and heavy oil–fired boilers to biomass boilers at sites with appropriate infrastructure. To reduce COD, the Group is promoting the reuse of water and installing environment-friendly closed-loop recycling and wastewater treatment systems that purify wastewater to a level that exceeds that mandated by law.

SOx and NOx Emissions Volumes in Japan

SOx and NOx Emissions Volumes in Japan

COD 排出量の推移

COD in Japan

03Complying 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 Act on Special Measures Against Dioxins.

Dioxins in Waste Gas and Wastewater Emissions from DIC Group Incinerators in Japan

04Ensuring the Appropriate Collection and Storage of PCBs

The DIC Group in Japan continues working to ensure the appropriate collection, storage and management of equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), including older-model transformers, capacitors and stabilizers, in accordance with the Law Concerning Special Measures for Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes. The Group also ensures that PCBs are disposed of in accordance with the practices of Japan Environmental Storage & Safety Corporation (JESCO).

05Responding to Asbestos Risks

The DIC Group ensures awareness of potential risks associated with asbestos during demolition or when retrofitting equipment, and takes care to respond in an appropriate manner. In fiscal year 2019, materials containing asbestos were discovered during the removal of existing equipment in Japan. These materials were disposed of in accordance with the Ordinance on the Prevention of Health Impairment due to Asbestos (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Ordinance No. 21 of 2005).

Preventing Marine Pollution Resulting from Waste Plastics

In recent years, waste plastic and marine plastics, a result of the improper disposal of end-of-life plastic containers and other products, have become issues of major concern worldwide. In Japan, the DIC Group works to prevent pollution of the environment, particularly through measures to preclude leaks of raw materials from production facilities and by recycling of waste plastic generated in production processes. In fiscal year 2019, approximately 55% of waste plastic generated by the Group was recycled. Approximately 95% of this was reused, including through the recovery of energy from fuel utilization.
As the issue of marine plastics is one that cannot be resolved by any one company, key initiatives are being promoted by industrial and public–private partnerships around the world. In Japan, five chemicals industry organizations have joined forces to establish the Japan Initiative for Marine Environment (JaIME) in September 2018. January 2019 brought the creation of the Japan Clean Ocean Material Alliance (CLOMA), a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry–led alliance of companies in the plastic products supply chain in the chemicals, distribution and retail industries. DIC is a member of both JaIME and CLOMA, which ensures it has access to the most up-todate information. The Company has also organized projects involving various departments concerned with the circular economy to promote the collection of plastics and shift to alternative and/or biodegradable materials.


PT DIC Astra Chemicals Wins Award Under DKI–Jakarta–Company Environment Performance Appraisal Program.

In fiscal year 2018, PT DIC Astra Chemicals won an award from the Special Capital Region of Jakarta (Daerah Khusus Ibokota Jakarta (DKI Jakarta) in Indonesian) under the DKI–Jakarta–Company Environment Performance Appraisal Program. High marks were given to the company’s efforts to comply with Indonesia’s environmental management laws and related regulations, as well as the excellence of its systems for managing treating industrial effluents and air pollution. These awards are conferred on companies demonstrating excellence in the area of environmental protection based on the results of environmental performance audits of all companies in the special capital region, which are conducted by the Jakarta government. PT DIC ASTRA Chemicals was one of only eight award winners chosen from among more than 1,000 Jakarta-based manufacturers.

PT DIC Astra Chemicals Wins Award Under DKI–Jakarta–Company Environment Performance Appraisal Program.

DIC’s Kashima Plant installs anaerobic wastewater treatment system

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.

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

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

Advanced Initiatives in the PRC Earn DIC Green Enterprise Certification

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..

Green Enterprise certificate

Green Enterprise certificate

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