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Preventing Pollution

Reducing Emissions into the Atmosphere and Waterways and Preventing Pollution

Canon alleviates the environmental impact of its operational sites by reducing emissions of NOx*1 and SOx*2, which are major causes of air pollution and acid rain; reducing discharges of phosphates and nitrogen compounds, which cause the eutrophication of water environments; and, reducing BOD*3 and SS*4 indexes, which have an environmental impact on water environments.

To prevent air pollution, when installing or updating equipment that uses fuel, we opt for fuels that do not generate air pollutants (such as sulfur oxide, nitrogen oxide and soot), and have banned the use of heavy oil.

Furthermore, we have designated ozone-depleting substances and persistent organic pollutants cited in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants as banned substances.

With regard to wastewater, each operational site sets its own levels based on those stipulated in local laws and regulations. We have 80% as an internal management value for these items, and we regularly check the status of compliance with management standards.

As a result of these initiatives, Canon’s emissions or discharges from its operational sites in 2016 again did not exceed established standards.

  • *1 Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
    A major cause of air pollution, acid rain and photochemical smog, NOx is generated when the nitrogen in fuels is oxidized or when nitrogen in the atmosphere is oxidized during high-temperature combustion.
  • *2 Sulfur oxides (SOx)
    A major cause of air pollution and acid rain, SOx is generated when fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, are burned.
  • *3 Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)
    BOD is the amount of oxygen consumed when microorganisms degrade organic matter in water.
  • *4 Suspended solids (SS)
    A collective term used for substances of less than 2mm in diameter that float in the air and do not dissolve.

Canon Virginia Group Named an Exemplary Environmental Enterprise (E3) for 10 Consecutive Years

In 2016, Canon Virginia (CVI) and its group company Canon Environmental Technologies, Inc. (CETI) received their 10th consecutive annual Exemplary Environmental Enterprise (E3) designation. Bestowed by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ), the E3 designation recognizes exemplary environmental management systems and pollution prevention activities.

VDEQ established the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP) in 2005 with the dual aims of fostering environmental preservation and economic development in the state of Virginia, as well as promoting the health of residents. The program encourages environmental management at factories established within the state. CVI and CETI comply with environmental requirements and engage in ongoing efforts to improve environmental performance (particularly in energy, gas and recycling). The companies were praised for these efforts as well as other initiatives, including the reduction in chlorinated solvents through a switch to non-chlorinated solvents, and toner cartridge recycling.

CVI and CETI employees, pleased at having been named for 10 consecutive years

CVI and CETI employees, pleased at having been named for 10 consecutive years

Soil and Groundwater Remediation Status

Canon places high priority on soil and groundwater protection. In line with this, we established the Canon Group’s Basic Policy on Soil and Groundwater Pollution and implement comprehensive measures based on it. In the unlikely event that soil or groundwater pollution is found at one of our operational sites, cleanup and remedial actions are carried out in close accordance with all relevant laws.

Also, our standard when acquiring new land is to conduct a preliminary soil examination and carry out any other necessary procedures, such as soil remediation, before making the purchase. We also monitor the chemical substances used at each site, remaining fully aware of the national and regional standards where each site is located in order to implement countermeasures according to the situation at each location.

Going forward, we will continue with the above initiatives and carry out monitoring and reporting of operational sites with completed remediation in a timely manner.

Status of Soil and Groundwater Cleanup Activities*
Operational Site Substances Measures
Shimomaruko Trichloroethylene, etc. Water quality measurement
Meguro Tetrachloroethylene, etc. Water quality measurement
Utsunomiya parking lot 1 Fluorine and its compounds, etc. Pumping, water quality measurement
Kanuma Tetrachloroethylene, etc. In-situ cleanup, water quality measurement
Toride Trichloroethylene, etc.
Hexavalent chromium and its compounds
Pumping, excavation and elimination, water quality measurement
Bando 1,1-dichloroethylene, etc. Pumping, covering, water quality measurement
Nagahama Canon Hexavalent chromium and its compounds Covering (soil pollution from soil improvement agents), water quality measurement
  • * Reports are made to the authorities concerning sites where cleanups are in progress.

PCB Waste Management

In accordance with relevant laws, Canon strictly manages polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), which damages living organisms and the environment.

As of December 2016, 17 operational sites were storing PCB waste. In terms of highly concentrated PCB waste, there are 57 capacitors and transformers and 1,834 fluorescent ballasts in storage. This PCB waste is placed in interim storage and is processed sequentially by the Japan Environmental Safety Corporation.