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Management of Chemical Substances in Products

Canon has built a Groupwide environmental assurance system for managing chemical substances in products. Our product development is based on some of the world’s most stringent in-house standards that take into consideration laws and major environmental-labeling requirements around the world. Specifically, our management system classifies chemical substances into three types: “prohibited substances,” which cannot be used in products; “use-restricted substances”, for which we are working to find alternatives by specific deadlines; and, “controlled substances,” the amount of which should be monitored.

Understanding the Latest Information on Chemical Substances in Products and Taking Preemptive Action

Research and studies are being carried out around the world on the impact risk of chemical substances on the environment and people’s health. Europe, in particular, has taken the lead in expanding its regulations.

Canon strives to grasp new regulatory trends at an early stage and take action, ensuring that it provides products that are safe for the environment and people in every country and region where Canon products are used.

Proactive Contribution to International Standards for Transmitting Information on Chemical Substances

To manage chemical substances appropriately, it is important to share information on the chemical substances contained in raw materials, parts, and products accurately and efficiently along the supply chain from upstream to downstream, and to ensure compliance with all regulations.

In the past, companies each employed their own survey formats to convey information about chemical substances in products, which meant responding to questions multiple times in different formats even with regard to the same parts or chemicals. This situation incurred substantial burden on and costs to the entire supply chain. Furthermore, using such a variety of survey formats presented concerns about data becoming less reliable as it was communicated across the supply chain.

In such a situation, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Japan) sponsored chemSHERPA (chemical information SHaring and Exchange under Reporting PArtnership in supply chain) as a common platform for sharing information, facilitating the smooth transmission of information between companies to confirm compliance with regulations on chemical substances in products. Canon has been proactively involved as a member company considering the scheme.

The chemSHERPA makes use of the data scheme under the IEC62474* international standard. In 2016 Canon went ahead with preparations, such as putting internal systems and operating rules in place, and launched the system in January 2017.

  • * IEC62474 : Material Declaration for Products of and for the Electrotechnical Industry. International standards issued by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) in March 2012 aiming to streamline the material declarations on chemical substances and compositions contained in the product of the electrotechnical industry in the global supply chain.