Environment Reduction of Waste, Effective Use of Water Resources

Waste Emissions and Target Achievement Status

Under the Medium-Term Environmental Action Plan, the Group has set the goal of reducing waste and is advancing the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) from the standpoint of correct handling and effective resource use.
In fiscal 2018, the amount of waste generated at domestic bases was 5,768 tons (down 40% year on year), emissions were 2,385 tons (down 40%), and the amount of final waste disposed was 34 tons (down 24%). The decrease in the amount of waste generated was due to a decline in activated sludge from the wastewater processing facilities of the Onoda and Yoshitomi plants, which accounted for 63% (75% in fiscal 2017) of the decrease. Since about 99% of this activated sludge is water, it is dewatered in the plant and reduced to less than one-tenth its original volume before being discharged to an outside waste disposal company. The amount of activated sludge generated is thought to fluctuate each year depending on the water content at the time generated and the amount of activated sludge remaining in the wastewater processing facility. In fiscal 2018, the amount of waste generated decreased by excluding the activated sludge of other companies located within the Yoshitomi Plant area, which had been included in the calculation until fiscal 2017. In addition to the aforementioned decrease in activated sludge, the decrease in emissions was also due to unsteady discharge of waste following the closure of Bipha Corporation and the functional integration of the Kashima Site.
On the other hand, the amount of waste generated at overseas bases was 783 tons (up 12% year on year), emissions were 764 tons (up 16%), and the amount of final waste disposed was 350 tons (down 25%).
Under the Medium-Term Environmental Action Plan, our objective is to reduce the amount of domestic waste generated and achieve zero emissions (the final waste disposal rate ([amount of final waste disposed / total amount of waste generated x 100] was less than 0.5%). In fiscal 2018, we achieved a reduction in the amount of waste generated, but the final waste disposal rate was 0.59% and we did not achieve zero emissions. The main reason was that only the amount generated — the denominator of the final disposal rate — substantially decreased as a result of the reduction in activated sludge that does not affect the final disposal amount described above, since all the residues after intermediate processing are recycled.

Amount of Waste Generation and Emissions (Domestic)
Amount of Final Waste Disposed (Domestic)

Appropriate Management of Waste

As a waste-discharging enterprise, we are taking steps to advance the appropriate management of waste. These include concluding agreements with contractors for the collection, conveyance, and processing of waste; issuing manifests; and implementing on-site surveys, etc., of disposal contractors. We have transitioned to digital manifests at all worksites, except at distribution centers. In addition, we utilize outside lecturers for collective educational initiatives once a year. We are working to enhance the capabilities of the people in charge of waste management at each worksite.

Disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB)

The Group continues advancing the disposal of PCB waste.
In fiscal 2018, we completed the treatment of high-concentration PCB oil and contaminants.
Regarding high-concentration PCB ballasts, including those newly identified in fiscal 2018, currently, 674 ballasts have been removed and stored at domestic Group offices and will be properly disposed by the deadline of March 31, 2021.
On the other hand, low-concentration PCBs had four transformers, and oil and contaminants. The deadline for disposal of the low-concentration PCBs is March 31, 2027, but we are planning for an early disposal.

Reduction of Water Withdrawal

The Group is working to reduce water withdrawal by reviewing its water supply contracts, systematically reducing fresh surface water supply, recycling wastewater, and using rainwater.
In fiscal 2018, domestic water withdrawal was 4,792 thousand m3 (down 9.1% year on year), overseas water withdrawal was 121 thousand m3 (up 19%), for a global water withdrawal of 4,913 thousand m3 (down 8.6%). On the other hand, water withdrawal is classified into city water/industrial water, fresh surface water, and ground water, with river water accounting for about 90%.
The decrease in water withdrawal in fiscal 2018 is thought to be mainly due to a reduced supply volume caused by a revision to the fresh surface water supply contract at the Onoda Plant, and by drought.
The Medium-Term Environmental Action Plan aims to reduce water usage volume (production and research bases) by 15% or more, both in Japan and overseas, by fiscal 2020 compared with fiscal 2010. In fiscal 2018, domestic sales decreased 45% and global decreased 46% compared with fiscal 2010.

Water Withdrawal
Breakdown of domestic water withdrawal
Breakdown of overseas water withdrawal

Water Recycling

At the Yokohama Site, wastewater is treated with activated sludge, activated carbon, and other substances at wastewater processing facilities inside the plant and reused as recycled water. There are two types of wastewater processing facilities at the site: one for laboratory wastewater and the other for domestic wastewater. The recycled water of laboratory wastewater is reused as preliminary washing and cooling water for laboratory instruments, and the recycled water of domestic wastewater from cafeterias, residential rooms, bathrooms etc. is reused as washing water in bathrooms.
The amount of recycled water used in 2018 was 33 thousand m3, exceeding the city's water withdrawal of 29 thousand m3.

Evaluation of Water-related Risks

In recent years, addressing water resources in corporate activities, including drought and flooding, which are thought to be associated with climate change, as well as water pollution, global water usage increases and tightening wastewater regulations has become an important issue. Water is an important resource in pharmaceutical manufacturing and research and development, and therefore the Group is also addressing water-related risks.
From fiscal 2018, the Group conducted research on local water-related risks at domestic and overseas production and research bases using the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas of the World Resources Institute. As a result of the research conducted this fiscal year, one base in China falls under "high risk," while other bases fall under "low to medium" or "medium to high risk," though no areas fall under "extremely high risk."

Water-related Risks

Bases and Physical Risk Quantity

  • Japan:
    • Toda Site: Medium to high risk (2-3)
    • Yokohama Site: Medium to high risk (2-3)
    • Kashima Site: Medium to high risk (2-3)
    • Onoda Plant: Low to medium risk (1-2)
    • Yoshitomi Plant: Low to medium risk (1-2)
  • China: Tianjin Tanabe Seiyaku: High risk (3-4)
  • South Korea: Hyangnam Plant: Medium to high risk (2-3)
  • Taiwan: Hsinchu Plant: Low to medium risk (1-2)
  • Indonesia: Bandung Plant: Medium to high risk (2-3)
  • Canada: Medicago R&D: Low to medium risk (1-2)
  • United States:
    • Medicago USA: Low to medium risk (1-2)
    • Tanabe Research Laboratories U.S.A.: Medium to high risk (2-3)
Working to Effectively Utilize Water Resources

Taiwan Tanabe Seiyaku is taking various initiatives to promote KAITEKI activities for the environment, safety and health.
Above all, in its environmental activities, it actively works to effectively use water resources as part of an ecological cycle. Rainwater is stored in storage tanks within the plant and used to water plants in and around the plant. This reduces the amount of water used by about 1,500 tons annually and contributes to improving the internal environment with natural plants. In addition, it has adopted equipment that uses less water, such as by changing the purified water line in the production plant from a hot water disinfection apparatus to a pipe-type heat exchanger.
Taiwan Tanabe Seiyaku has voluntarily participated in local beach cleanups and cleaning public sidewalks around its plants, and will continue to take a more conscious approach to harmoniously coexisting with society, and proactively work to create a KAITEKI environment.

Taiwan Tanabe Seiyaku - Chang, Shen-Chuan (right) and Wu, Yong-Lin (left), Section Manager of Environment and Safety,