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 2021||Conduct water risk assessments; target implementation rate for countermeasures at high-risksites of 20%.|
|Achievements in fiscal year 2021||The implementation rate for countermeasures at high-risk sites was 24%.|
|Goals for fiscal year 2022||Target implementation rate for countermeasures at high-risk sites of 50%.|
- Evaluations are based on self-evaluations of current progress.
Key: ★★★ = Excellent; ★★ = Satisfactory; ★ = Still needs work
Policies and Organization
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 (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 voluntary 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 2021
01Assessing Water Risks
In recognition of the fact that water risks, which include drought, floods 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 the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which has stepped up efforts to help formulate such targets, publishing Setting Site Water Targets Informed by Catchment Context: A Guide for Companies. In fiscal year 2018, the DIC Group began using the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas,* the preferred water risk assessment tool, to map risks at its production sites around the world. However, Aqueduct assesses only regional water risks, that is, risks associated with a site’s location, which are caused by external factors, and do 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 deployed to screen sites in Japan, the PRC and the Asia–Pacific region.
The Group began by classifying water risks into categories such as drought, floods and water quality, and mapping them using two scales, namely, “regional water risks” and “operational water risks,” and classifying those sites that register at the upper end of both scales as being high risk. Regional water risks were assessed using Aqueduct, while operational water risks were evaluated using a questionnaire developed in-house. Screening identified 17 sites as being high risk.
The Group then ranked production sites in terms of potential business impact, designating four that account for approximately 90% of projected impact as priority sites. In fiscal year 2021, the Group implemented and confirmed the effectiveness of a variety of countermeasures for these priority sites under the auspices of the aforementioned third-party organization. (The implementation rate for countermeasures was 24%.) The Group aims to complete its implementation of countermeasures at all high-risk sites by fiscal year 2024. In fiscal year 2025, the Group will further tighten its water risk assessment criteria to identify sites with somewhat lower risk levels, which will be designated medium risk. Between then and fiscal year 2030, the Group aims to also gradually implement countermeasures at these medium-risk sites.
- The DIC Group uses the World Resources Institute (WRI) Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas to map water risks, including water stress, drought and floods, at 186 sites worldwide.
02Managing the Withdrawal and Discharge of Water at Sites
Since fiscal year 2017, the DIC Group has used the Global Reporting Institute (GRI) guideline* for collecting data on fresh water withdrawn and wastewater discharged at each of its sites. In fiscal year 2021, the DIC Group in Japan withdrew 27,625,000 m³ of fresh water and discharged 26,094,000 m³ of wastewater, both up 3% from fiscal year 2020. In contrast, the DIC Group overseas withdrew 8,632,000 m³ of fresh water and discharged 6,481,000 m³ of wastewater, down 10%, and 16%, respectively. As a consequence, fresh water withdrawn by the global DIC Group in fiscal 2021 amounted to 36,257,000 m³, while wastewater discharged by the global DIC Group totaled 32,574,000 m³, both down 1%.
- This guideline is included in the GRI’s G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
03Efforts to Reduce Water Use
Most of the water used by the DIC Group is for the cooling of equipment. Accordingly, the Group works to recycle water using towers, among others. In addition, DIC’s Central Research Laboratories in Chiba, Japan, and subsidiary Siam Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. in Thailand have achieved zero emissions of wastewater and are working to reduce their respective impact on water resources.
At DIC’s Central Research Laboratories, groundwater is used to supply the approximately 60 m³ of water consumed by the site daily, of which two-thirds is for “domestic” (general) use and one-third 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 others, cooling and the washing of instruments. Residual water is disposed of into the atmosphere using an evapotranspiration device, the final 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 purification equipment to improve the quality of reused wastewater.
04Reporting to the CDP’s Water Security Program in 2021
The CDP is an international non-profit organization that operates a global disclosure system that seeks to promote greenhouse gas emissions reductions, water resources management and forest conservation. The CDP works on behalf of institutional investors around the world to collect and evaluate information on corporate initiatives to address environmental issues. In fiscal year 2021, DIC received a score of B in the CDP’s Water Security program. Going forward, the Company will continue working to strengthen its water security initiatives and earn a higher evaluation.
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.