Managing Water Resources

Goals and Achievements of Major Initiatives

Maintain a firm grasp of water risks relevant to DIC Group operations and ensure the effective use of water resources.

Goals for fiscal year 2019
  • Further advance efforts to centralize data for fresh water withdrawn, water used and wastewater discharged.
  • Promote the conservation and effective use of water resources.
Achievements in fiscal year 2019
  • The scope and accuracy of data collection were enhanced.
  • Steps were taken to promote the conservation and effective use of water resources.
Evaluation ★★
★★
Goals for fiscal year 2020
  • Enhance the accuracy of water management and fully grasp the impact of water risks relevant to DIC Group operations.
  • 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 firm 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 fine chemicals. For example, in manufacturing processes water is used in heating and cooling, washing, chemical removal and wastewater drainage systems. The Group maintains a firm grasp of risks associated with crucial water resources and promotes various initiatives designed to ensure their effective use.

Principal Initiatives in Fiscal Year 2019

Usable fresh water accounts for only around 0.01% of the earth’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 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 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, thereby reducing its impact on water resources. The Group also promotes the recycling and reuse of water.

In fiscal year 2019, the DIC Group once again used the GRI’s guideline*1 to collect data on water withdrawn and discharged. Fresh water withdrawn by the global DIC Group in the period amounted to 39,012,000 m³, a decline of 2% from fiscal year 2018. This total comprised withdrawals by the DIC Group in Japan of 27,925,000 m³, down 5%, and by Group companies overseas of 11,087,000 m³, up 6%. Wastewater discharged by the global DIC Group in the period amounted to 35,401,000 m³, down 1% from the previous period.
The Group has also used the Aqueduct*2 water risk assessment tool to map and analyze initial water risk at 186 sites worldwide, which account for 75% of its global production. With the aim of enhancing its ability to manage water resources, the Group also reviewed the status of water recycling efforts. 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, droughts and floods at 186 sites worldwide.
Water risk map

Water risk map

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 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 water.

Scope of Reporting for the Management of Water Resources

Effective from fiscal year 2017, the DIC Group adopted a new format for gathering data on the management of water resources based on the GRI Guidelines that calls for collecting data on the withdrawal of fresh water by source and the discharge of wastewater by destination. With this change, the Group also began calculating water recycled, but various difficulties prevented a calculation of the total volume. Going forward, the Group will continue to take steps to ensure the accuracy of this calculation.

Correction of Water Management Data for Fiscal Year 2018

Some of the data for fresh water withdrawn and wastewater discharged by the DIC Group in Japan and the global DIC Group published in DIC Report 2019 was incorrect. The corrected data is shown below.

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

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

Fresh Water Withdrawn and Wastewater Discharged by the DIC Group in Fiscal Year 2020
  • WWTP:Waste Water Treatment Plant

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 countermeasures as necessary and assesses related environmental and safety risks.

TOPICS

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