Managing Water Resources

Goals and Achievements of Major Initiatives

Promote the management of water risks relevant to DIC Group production activities.

Goals for fiscal year 2020
  • Determine a method for assessing water risks and apply it to water risk management.
  • Promote the conservation and effective use of water resources.
Achievements in fiscal year 2020
  • A consistent global framework was established for assessing water risks (Japan, the PRC and the Asia–Pacific region).
  • Steps were taken to promote the conservation and effective use of water resources.
Evaluation ★★
Goals for fiscal year 2021
  • Continue promoting the management of water risks based on a consistent global framework.
  • Promote the conservation and effective use of water resources.
  • Evaluations are based on self-evaluations of current progress.
    Key: ★★★ = Excellent; ★★ = Satisfactory; ★ = Still needs work

Policies and Organization

Basic Approach

The DIC Group maintains a fi rm grasp of water risks relevant to the Group’s operations and promotes various initiatives designed to ensure the effective use of water resources. Water resources are essential in the production of the DIC Group’s broad range of fi ne chemicals. For example, in manufacturing processes water is used in heating and cooling, washing, chemical removal and wastewater drainage systems. The Group maintains a fi rm grasp of risks associated with crucial water resources and promotes various initiatives designed to ensure their effective use.

Principal Initiatives in Fiscal Year 2020

Usable fresh water accounts for only around 0.01% of the earth’s total fresh water resources. Accordingly, fi nding 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 accordance with internal standards that exceed offi cial standards in the countries and territories in which it has operations—into rivers and other fresh water bodies. In Japan, the Central Research Laboratories, in Chiba Prefecture, recovers purifi ed wastewater (graywater) and reuses it on-site in research, as a result of which it currently discharges no wastewater, thereby reducing its impact on water resources. The Group also promotes the recycling and reuse of water.
Since fi scal year 2017, the DIC Group has used the GRI’s guideline*1 to collect data on water withdrawn and discharged at each site. In recognition of the fact that water risks, which include drought, fl ooding and water quality, vary greatly from region to region, companies have been required to set context-based water targets, i.e., targets that take into account local water conditions and site operations. Accordingly, DIC has established a consistent global framework for assessing water risks and screened sites in Japan, the PRC and the Asia–Pacifi c region to set appropriate targets. This involved classifying water risks into categories such as drought, fl ooding and water quality and mapping regional water risks using two scales, namely, “regional water risks” and “operational water risks.” Regional water risks are mapped using the Aqueduct*2 water risk assessment tool, while operational water risks are mapped using a questionnaire developed in-house. In fi scal year 2020, screening identifi ed four sites as risk candidates. Subsequent investigations revealed that risks at all four sites were low and/or that proper countermeasures had been implemented. Looking ahead, the Group will continue working to enhance initiatives designed to help protect and ensure the effective use of precious water resources.

  • This guideline is included in the GRI’s G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
  • DIC uses the World Resources Institute (WRI) Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas to map water risks such as stress, drought and floods at 186 sites worldwide.
Regional water risk assessment

Regional water risk assessment

Mapping of regional water risks and operational water risks

Mapping of regional water risks and operational water risks

Closed System Installed at the Central Research Laboratories

At DIC’s Central Research Laboratories, groundwater is used to supply the approximately 60 m3 of water consumed by the site daily, of which 2/3 is for “domestic” (general) use and 1/3 is for “research” (industrial) use. Domestic wastewater (graywater) is recovered, treated using a combined septic system and reused as non-potable water for flushing toilets, while industrial wastewater is biologically or physically/chemically treated, purifying it to a level comparable with tap water, and then reused in research for, among other, cooling and the washing of instruments. Residual water is disposed of into the atmosphere using an evapotranspiration device, the fi nal component of a fully closed system that means all water is treated, reused or disposed of on-site. Looking ahead, the Central Research Laboratories will continue working to reduce the amount of water it withdraws by promoting the introduction of purifi cation equipment to improve the quality of reused wastewater.

Fresh Water Withdrawn and Wastewater Discharged by the DIC Group in Fiscal Year 2020

In fiscal year 2020, the DIC Group in Japan withdrew 26,902,000 m3 of fresh water, a decline of 4% from fiscal year 2019, and discharged 25,220,000 m3 of wastewater, also down 4%. In contrast, the DIC Group overseas withdrew 9,621,000 m3 of fresh water and discharged 7,717,000 m3 of wastewater, representing decreases of 13% and 16%, respectively. As a consequence, fresh water withdrawn by the global DIC Group in fi scal year 2020 amounted to 36,524,000 m3, down 6%, while wastewater discharged by the global DIC Group totaled 32,937,000 m3, a decline of 7%.

Fresh water withdrawn in fiscal year 2020 (1,000 m3)

Soil and Groundwater Pollution

Japan’s Water Pollution Control Act was revised in 2012 to tighten structural standards governing equipment installed to prevent groundwater contamination by toxic 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 countermea sures as necessary and assesses related environmental and safety risks.


Installation of Wastewater Odor Scrubber at Qingdao DIC Liquid Crystal

In late October 2019, Qingdao DIC Liquid Crystal invested approximately RmB500,000 to install an odor scrubber at its wastewater treatment facility in an effort to prevent release into the atmosphere and minimize environmental impact, and also lower the risk of complaints from neighboring companies. The scrubber captures odors by sealing the basins and tanks from which they originate, including oxidation, sedimentation pits and fresh water pits, and collecting foul air via pipework and fans. Microorganisms are used to biologically remove odors from the collected air and the treated gas is discharged through an existing chimney. The scrubber commenced operation in January 2020, as a result of which odors have been essentially eliminated, greatly improving the environment in the vicinity of the company.

Graywater pit after sealing and treatment to remove odors

Graywater pit after sealing and treatment to remove odors