Managing Water Resources

Goals and Achievements of Major Initiatives

Asses and manage water risks at production facilities.

Scope of target Global
Goals for fiscal year 2022 Target implementation rates for countermeasures at high-risk sites: 50% by fiscal year 2022, 100% by fiscal year 2024
Achievements in fiscal year 2022 The implementation rate for countermeasures at four high-risk sites was 50%.
Evaluation ★★★
Goals for fiscal year 2023 Target implementation rates for countermeasures at high-risk sites: 75% by fiscal year 2023, 100% by fiscal year 2024
  • 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 firm grasp of water risks relevant to Group operations and promotes a variety of initiatives to ensure the effective use of water resources.

Finding effective ways to conserve and manage water resources is a crucial global challenge. The DIC Group withdraws fresh water from multiple sources for cooling production equipment, as well as for use in products and as drinking water for employees. The Group also discharges wastewater—after purifying it in accordance with internal standards that exceed official standards in the countries and territories in which it has operations—into rivers and other fresh water bodies. In addition to evaluating water risks at each of its production sites around the world and implementing countermeasures, the Group works to protect and ensure the effective use of water resources.

Principal Initiatives in Fiscal Year 2022

01Assessing Water Risks

In recognition of the fact that water risks, which include drought, fl oods and water quality, vary greatly from region to region, companies are increasingly expected to set targets that take into account local water conditions in line with regional challenges as outlined recently by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).*1 In fiscal year 2018, the DIC Group began using the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas.*2 However, Aqueduct assesses only regional water risks, that is, risks associated with a site’s location, which are caused by external factors, and does not take into account operational water risks, which are attributable to internal factors. Accordingly, under the guidance of a third-party organization the Group established a consistent global framework for assessing water risks arising from both local water conditions and site operations, which it has deployed to screen sites in Japan, the PRC and the Asia–Pacific region. Specifically, the Group classified water risks into categories such as drought, floods and water quality, and mapped them using two scales, namely, “regional water risks” and “operational water risks,” classifying those sites that register at the upper end of both scales as being high risk, as shown in the diagram below. Regional water risks were assessed using the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, while operational water risks were evaluated using a questionnaire developed in-house. Screening identified 16 sites as being high risk.

Between fiscal years 2021 and 2024, the DIC Group will implement and confirm countermeasures at these 16 high-risk sites and set a target for their implementation. In fiscal year 2025, the Group will revise its water risk assessment criteria to identify sites with lower risk levels, which it will designate as medium-risk sites. In fiscal year 2022, the Group implemented countermeasures at four high-risk sites, the same number as in fiscal year 2021.

  • Targets were published in the World Resources Institute (WRI)’s Setting Site Water Targets Informed by Catchment Context: A Guide for Companies.
  • The DIC Group uses the WRI’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas to map water risks of water stress, drought and fl oods, among others, at 186 sites worldwide.
Mapping of regional water risks and operational water risks

Mapping of regional water risks and operational water risks

Water Risk Assessment Road Map (Fiscal Years 2021–2030)
「Aqueduct 」評価例

Assessment of regional water risks using Aqueduct

02Managing the Withdrawal and Discharge of Water at Sites

Since fiscal year 2017, the DIC Group has used the Global Reporting Institute (GRI’s) guideline* for collecting data on fresh water withdrawn and wastewater discharged at each of its sites. In fiscal year 2022, the DIC Group in Japan withdrew 27,651,000 m3 of fresh water and discharged 26,135,000 m3 of wastewater, both level with fiscal year 2021.

Water withdrawn at and wastewater discharged from DIC Group sites in other countries and territories were up sharply from the previous fiscal year, owing primarily to the addition of the Colors & Effects pigments business to results in the Americas and Europe, soaring 212%, to 26,957,000 m3, and 284%, to 24,901,000 m3, respectively. As a consequence, fresh water withdrawn and total wastewater discharged by the global DIC Group were up sharply in fiscal year 2022, with the former increasing 51%, to 54,608.000 m3, and total wastewater discharged climbing 57% to 51,036,000 m3.

  • This guideline is included in the GRI’s G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
Total Fresh Water Withdrawn (Fiscal Years 2019–2021)

03Efforts to Reduce Use of Water Resources and Address Risks Related to the Discharge of Wastewater

Most of the water used by the DIC Group is for the cooling of equipment. Accordingly, the Group uses cooling towers, among others, to recycle water and reduce use of water resources. To lower risks associated with wastewater generated by its production facilities, the Group purifies such wastewater to a level that exceeds that mandated by law. For example, plant domestic wastewater (gray water) undergoes primary treatment using a process such as oil–water separation before being discharged off-site. Wastewater from production processes also goes through secondary treatment—for example, an activated sludge process—before being cooled to a normal room temperature, undergoing oil–water separation and being discharged off-site. In some cases, a tertiary process such as activated carbon treatment is further employed to remove harmful substances.

DIC’s Central Research Laboratories in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, and subsidiary Siam Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., in Thailand have achieved zero discharge of wastewater. Both continue working to further reduce their impact on water resources. At the Central Research Laboratories, groundwater is used to supply the approximately 60 m3 of water used by the site daily. The facility has established a fully closed system, which means all water is treated and reused or disposed of on-site. The Central Research Laboratories has formulated a plan to install additional water purification equipment with the aim of improving the quality of treated wastewater, thereby reducing the amount of water it withdraws.

04Reporting to the CDP’s Water Security Program in 2022

In fiscal year 2022, the DIC Group received a score of B in the CDP’s* Water Security Program. Going forward, the Group will continue working to strengthen its water security initiatives and earn a higher evaluation.

  • The CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, is a nonprofit organization that operates a global disclosure system that seeks to promote greenhouse gas emissions reductions, water resources management and forest conservation.


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