Environment Addressing Water Security

Water is an irreplaceable resource for all living things and is essential for achieving both quality and quantity in pharmaceutical research and manufacturing. As climate change progresses, risks including drought, water pollution, and floods will increase.

The Group is taking steps to reduce the amount of water used to mitigate its impact on water resources, and is considering measures to provide against emergencies such as draught and the deterioration of water quality, even in river water and groundwater that is now abundantly available.

Reduction of Water Withdrawal

In fiscal 2019, domestic water withdrawal increased by 24% year on year, and global water withdrawal increased by 23%. On the other hand, water withdrawal declined 32% in Japan and 34% globally compared with fiscal 2010, achieving the medium-term action plan targets. The main reason for the increased water withdrawal in fiscal 2019 was the operation of a new pharmaceutical production building at the Yoshitomi Plant and an increase in industrial water withdrawal at the Onoda Plant.

Water Withdrawal

Breakdown of domestic water withdrawal

Breakdown of overseas water withdrawal

*Water withdrawn from the river of the Onoda Plant will be allocated as industrial water this fiscal year since it is managed and supplied by the local government.

Initiatives to Reduce Water Withdrawal (Water Recycling)

The Group has promoted the effective use of water resource by using wastewater and rainwater. At the Yokohama Site, wastewater is treated with activated sludge, activated carbon, and other substances at facilities inside the site and reused it as recycled water. The recycled water of laboratory wastewater is reused as preliminary washing and cooling water for laboratory instruments, and the recycled water of domestic wastewater is reused as washing water in bathrooms. The amount of recycled water used in 2019 was 33 thousand m3, exceeding the city water withdrawal of 29 thousand m3. On the other hand, at the Head Office and Tokyo Head Office, rainwater is stored in pits and used as sprinkling water.

Analysis and Assessment of Water Risk

In recent years, the risk of natural disasters related to water has increased, such as water shortages, drought, floods, chronic storm surges, and water pollution that are thought to be the effects of climate change. On the other hand, the amount of water used is increasing worldwide with the development of economic activity. Moreover, wastewater regulations are being tightened to prevent water pollution. Against this backdrop, securing water resources and responding to water disaster risks have become important issues in our corporate activities.

Since high quality water is an important resource in pharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D , the Group conducts analysis using WRI Aqueduct*1. In addition, since fiscal 2019, we have been analyzing water risk at domestic and overseas production and research bases by including analysis using the WWF Water Risk Filter*2. As a result, we determined that two overseas laboratories were at high risk, but we will investigate the capabilities of those laboratories and the actual amount of water used and take necessary countermeasures. Understanding the potential water risks of the supply chain is also important for sustainable raw material procurement. The Group has started risk analysis using the above forecasting method.

Water stress evaluation using Aqueduct

Water stress evaluation using Water Risk Filter

  • *1A tool for evaluating water risk developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI)
  • *2A tool for evaluating water risk developed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

In addition, based on these analyses and evaluation results, we are assessing the impact of changes in water security on our business from the viewpoint of both risk and opportunity. We will continue to analyze and evaluate the measures and take the necessary steps to improve the Group's business resilience.

Classification Description Management method
Physical risk Hindrance of production activities and stable supply of products due to drought. Evaluate risk using analytical tools
Enhance water conservation efforts and secure water sources
Hindrance of production activities due to deteriorating water quality of water withdrawal Strengthen water quality data collection and analysis
Invest in purification equipment
Hindrance of production activities due to river floods and high tides Evaluate risk using analytical tools
Strengthen flood countermeasures
Suppliers are hit by water shortages or floods, causing material procurement delays Supplier engagement
Secure alternative supply routes
Regulatory risk Stricter water withdrawal regulations hinder production activities Conserve water sources
Secure water resources and maintain relationships with the community
Capital investment increases due to stronger wastewater standards Proper management of wastewater facilities
Capital investment
Reputation and Market Risk Environmental accidents related to wastewater occur and the Company's social reputation declines Reliable wastewater management
The cost of addressing water risk at suppliers is added to raw material costs, thus increasing production costs Promote supplier management