Environment Prevention of Environmental Pollution
The Group works to prevent air, water, soil, noise, vibration, and odor pollution. Each base sets and applies stricter voluntary standards as well as legal emissions standards for pollutants.
We also work to prevent the leakage of PRTR substances, VOCs, PCBs, asbestos, and other substances, which are regulated by environmental-related laws, to the outside and reduce the amount that we handle.
Air Pollutant Emissions
The Group controls the generation of soot and smoke by reducing the operating time of fuel-driven boilers, water heaters and coolers, and power generators. Furthermore, we reduce the concentration of air pollutants in soot and smoke by converting the fuel for these soot and smoke generating devices from oil to gas.
Domestic Group NOx emissions in fiscal 2019 were down 35% year on year, SOx emissions declined 5.7%, and particulate matter emission were down 40%. Small boilers, for which the measurement of exhaust gas is not mandatory, are excluded from the scope of data collection.
The Group's production and research bases control the mixing of harmful substances in wastewater, by processing them as waste as much as possible. Also, we adjust the pH, and purify wastewater before discharge to comply with emission standards. Especially at the Onoda, Yoshitomi, and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Indonesia Bandung plants, where wastewater is discharged into public water bodies, wastewater undergoes activated sludge treatment, and we comply with emission standards for public water bodies that are stricter than that for sewage discharge. At two domestic plants, we constantly measure the pH, COD, nitrogen, and phosphorus of the wastewater, and when we detect an abnormality, we immediately stop its discharge and store it in a reserve tank.
The domestic discharge of wastewater in fiscal 2019 was 5,355 thousand m3 (up 21% year on year) for public water bodies and 200 thousand m3 (down 4.8%) for sewage. Emissions of water pollutants contained in wastewater discharged into public water bodies were BOD up 2.4%, COD up 31%, nitrogen up 13%, and phosphorus up 21%. The increase in the amount of wastewater discharged into public water bodies and emissions of water pollutants was the result of increased production due to the operation of a pharmaceutical production building in the Yoshitomi Plant.
Prevention of Soil and Groundwater
The Group conducts land use history surveys of domestic bases where it owns land to identify soil contamination risk. If the survey finds that the soil or groundwater is contaminated, we notify the authorities and take appropriate action.
|Onoda Plant||The soil survey of the planned site for the new research building confirmed the presence of soil contamination in one section of a 10-meter grid that was designated an Area for which Notification is required upon Change to Form or Nature|
|Yoshitomi Plant||The plant continues to purify and monitor groundwater contamination found in fiscal 2013 by pumping up the groundwater|
|Taiwan Tanabe Seiyaku's Hsinchu Plant||The results of the groundwater analysis conducted by relevant authorities in March 2018 revealed that one item deviated from the standard value. They are now investigating the extent of pollution and drawing up a cleanup plan.|
PRTR Substances and VOCs
In fiscal 2019, in the Group's domestic emissions of PRTR substances, air emissions decreased by 62% year on year, and emissions into public water bodies decreased by 20%. Air emissions of VOCs were down 14% year on year, and emissions into public water bodies were down 12%. The handling volume of PRTR substances and VOCs varies greatly depending on the pharmaceutical ingredients manufactured that year, but emissions into the air and public water bodies are steadily decreasing due to the collection and treatment of waste. Similarly, domestic toluene emissions, the targets of which are set in the Medium-Term Environmental Action Plan, declined 76% compared with fiscal 2010, exceeding the target value.
On the other hand, Group overseas PRTR substances handling volume was 0, air emissions of VOCs were 15.6 tons, and emissions into public water bodies were 0.9 tons. Since the overseas VOC data collection method was revised, a comparison with the previous fiscal year was not performed.
Disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
In fiscal 2019, we completed a PCBs content survey of ballasts at our domestic bases. We will dispose of PCBs ballasts owned by the Group by the disposal deadline of March 31, 2021.
On the other hand, we are now conducting a PCBs content survey for transformers and capacitors. Devices that use a low concentration of PCBs will be sequentially disposed of by March 31, 2027, the disposal deadline.
The Group's domestic bases have previously conducted surveys of air-borne asbestos and took anti-scattering measures where applicable. In addition, when we demolish facilities, we check for the presence of asbestos in sprayed materials, heat insulating materials, building materials, and other materials that are removed, and as needed, we take measures to properly manage and prevent scattering.
Genetically Modified Organisms, Pathogens, etc.
The Group is engaged in drug discovery research aimed at various modalities, and opportunities to handle various research materials and samples are increasing. In the use of genetically modified organisms, we have established in-house regulations based on relevant government and ministerial ordinances, such as the "Law Concerning the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity through Regulations on the Use of Living Modified Organisms (Cartagena Act)," which we comply with. Moreover, the in-house Ethics Review Committee prevents the spread of living modified organisms by receiving preliminary reviews of measures to prevent the spread of these organisms into the environment.
In addition, regarding the use of pathogens and research materials and samples that may contain them, we have established internal regulations based on laws and regulations including the "Act on the Prevention of Infectious Diseases and Medical Care for Patients with Infectious Diseases (the Infectious Diseases Control Law)" and prevent the leakage of pathogens.
In fiscal 2019, the Environment and Safety Management Department conducted an internal inspection and confirmed that operations are being carried out legally and appropriately.