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Eliminating Hazardous Substances and Preventing PollutionManaging Chemical Substances Used in Manufacturing Processes

The chemical substances used in production processes are managed appropriately based on the relevant risks.

The chemical substances handled during manufacturing at Canon include “controlled chemical substances” regulation in terms of adverse effect on the environment, human health and safety, and so forth. Canon separates these substances into three categories: A) Prohibited substances; B) Emission reduction substances; and C) Regulated substances. In turn, effective measures are in place for each category.

Reducing Use and Emissions of Controlled Chemical Substances

Canon engages in various initiatives at its operational sites to reduce emissions of controlled chemical substances, including reducing the consumption or re-use of chemical substances through improvement of production processes.

Canon Dalian Business Machines is trying to re-use or recycle solvents to help reduce VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions. In 2017, the company posted a year-on-year reduction of 30% in VOC usage based on efforts to expand the types of solvents that could be re-used or recycled and related processes.

Canon Vietnam has cut its chemical usage by 7.0 tons via in-house manufacture of production tools for modifying amounts of coating oils or grease used in assembly processes (cutting oil usage by 4.4% and grease usage by 2.2%), alongside measures to improve coating operations and reduce the number of areas requiring coating.

Emissions of Controlled Chemical Substances and Amount of Chemical Substances Designated by PRTR Systems*

Emissions of Controlled Chemical Substances and Amount of Chemical Substances Designated by PRTR Systems
  • * Note: PRTR System: Pollutant Release and Transfer Register System, a notification system for the transfer and release of substances.
  • * Note; Refer our calculation method on the page 61 of our Sustainability Report 2018

Total emissions of controlled chemical substances in 2017 amounted to 600 tons. The increase compared with 2016 was minimal despite the addition of Canon Medical Systems and business expansion. Emissions per unit of sales improved to 0.0147 t/100 million Yen due to a range of emissions-reduction initiatives at sites.

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, where 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 in principle.

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 those 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 2017 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.

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. In 2017, cleanups were completed at Canon’s Meguro and Kanuma sites in Japan, and the related regulatory filings were made.

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.

Operational Site Substances Measures
Shimomaruko Trichloroethylene, etc. Water quality measurement
Utsunomiya parking lot 1 Fluorine and its compounds, etc. Pumping, 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 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 2017, 14 operational sites were storing PCB waste. In terms of highly concentrated PCB waste, there are 22 capacitors and transformers and 1,922 fluorescent ballasts in storage.

This PCB waste is processed sequentially by the Japan Environmental Storage & Safety Corporation (JESCO).