EnvironmentOther Approaches

1. Protection of Atmospheric, Water, and Soil Environments

JSR endeavors to protect the environment by complying with laws such as the Air Pollution Control Act in Japan, Water Pollution Prevention Act in Japan, and Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act in Japan and thereby avoid polluting the air, water or soil (including groundwater).

(1) Protection of the Atmospheric Environment

1) Initiatives to reduce emissions of sulfur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx)

JSR keeps its emissions below regulatory values by implementing various measures, including those described below.

  • Installation of flue gas desulfurization equipment (Yokkaichi Plant: in-house power generation)
  • Fuel conversion (from heavy oil to public utility gas) (FY2013, South Kashima Power Plant, Inc.)
  • Introduction of denitrification equipment and low-NOx burners

Through full management of the abovementioned measures, we will continue to maintain our current levels.

2) Initiatives for the Reduction of VOCs*1 Emissions into the Atmosphere

With a voluntary target that is even higher than that of the government and of the Japan Chemical Industry Association (specifically, to reduce emissions of VOCs by 75% compared to the FY2000 level), JSR is making large-scale capital investments and taking other actions to reduce its emissions.

  • Installation of regenerative thermal oxidizer (synthetic rubber finishing system flue gas treatment) (FY2006-2009; 5 devices at 3 plants)
  • Operational improvements (e.g., enhancing airtightness of release points, using a closed system for chemical sampling)
  • Preventing leaks (valves, axle seals, etc.)

As a result, our VOCs emissions in FY2020 were 435 tons (85% reduction as compared to FY2000), and thus we continue to meet our voluntary target. We will maintain our current voluntary target levels through full management of the abovementioned measures.

*1 VOCs: Volatile Organic Compounds.

VOCs emissions

VOCs emissions

3) Preventing freon leaks

JSR works to control leaks when using Class-1 Specified Equipment, including industrial air conditioners, refrigerators, and freezers, based on the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons in Japan.

To properly promote efforts to control freon leaks, we prepared management standards that expand the scope of management to include all devices that use freon (including those that are not designated products) and are continuing to manage leaks based on them. Our freon leaks in FY2020 amounted to 251 t-CO2 after CO2 conversion (reporting to the government is mandatory for leaks of 1,000 t-CO2 or more).
In addition, we are introducing a system, including at Group companies, to collectively and electronically manage documents in response to a legal revision (requiring, among other things, the storage of more documents) that was executed on April 1, 2020.
We will continue to appropriately manage leaks and link our efforts to control leaks.

(2) Protection of Water Environments

JSR performs rigorous wastewater management at all of its plants, and strives to maintain and improve water quality. JSR has been in full compliance with the 7th Total Pollutant Load Control that was put into operation in April 2012. It should be noted that nitrogen regulations in Mie Prefecture, where our Yokkaichi Plant is located, were strengthened in the 8th Total Pollutant Load Control. We achieved a level that meets the 8th Total Pollutant Load Control’s requirements by continuing to take steps to improve water quality. We will continue to strictly monitor water quality and strive to further reduce our impact on water.

(3) Protection of Soil Environments

JSR regularly conducts fixed-point studies of soil and groundwater (observation wells) at each of its plants. As in previous years, no problems were found in FY2020.
Additionally, whenever we plan construction that involves changing the soil’s form and nature over an area exceeding 900 m2, we voluntarily conduct a soil survey beforehand.
In FY2020, ordinance-based soil fluorine densities exceeding base values were detected in a voluntary survey conducted in the Yokkaichi Plant. We notified the authorities of our discovery of contamination and took appropriate measures in accordance with the law and ordinances.

2. Measures Targeting PRTR*2 Substances

Based on the Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof in Japan, JSR aggregates the amount of designated chemical substances emitted into the environment (atmosphere, water and soil), transferred by manufacturing, or used in the previous year, and notifies the government of Japan of the results. We have systematically implemented a range of measures primarily for substances that are highly hazardous or are emitted in significant amounts and have a great impact on the environment. Such measures include enhancing the airtightness of substance release sources, rendering substances harmless by incineration, and improving manufacturing processes.
As a result, our atmospheric emissions in FY2020 (106 tons) amounted to a 95% reduction as compared to FY2000.
We will maintain current levels through full management of the above-mentioned measures. We will also proceed with preparations in anticipation of future legal revisions (specifically, a reexamination of the substances subject to notification).

*2 PRTR: Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers

PRTR Substances

3. Asbestos Measures

JSR conducted a survey of locations sprayed with materials containing asbestos in all of its facilities, including Group companies. For those places that were identified as a result, we undertook removal and enclosure work in accordance with the Ordinance on Prevention of Health Impairment due to Asbestos. This work was completed in FY2006.

In addition, whenever we demolish structures, we take appropriate measures based on the Air Pollution Control Act in Japan and Ordinance on Prevention of Health Impairment due to Asbestos to ensure that no workers or others nearby suffer health problems due to exposure to asbestos. We will also take steps to respond to scheduled revisions of the Air Pollution Control Act in Japan.

4. Improving the Local Environment

JSR values the opinions of people living near its manufacturing and research bases, and considers high transparency of plant operations to be the key to improving the local environment. With this in mind, we strive to improve the local environment by implementing monitoring and tours of environmental equipment at regular intervals.

In FY2006 and FY2007, we installed equipment to incinerate dry synthetic rubber dry exhaust (RTO*3) at the Yokkaichi, Kashima, and Chiba plants to prevent foul odors. In FY2008, a ground flare was installed at the Yokkaichi Plant to prevent noise and flashes. Additionally, we are working to further diminish odors by continuing steady improvement activities while also taking such measures as sealing off sources of foul odors and spraying a special deodorant that we developed with a deodorant manufacturer.
We will continue striving to maintain our basic policy of improving the local environment.

*3 RTO (Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer): A device that combusts and breaks down VOCs into water and CO2 to make emissions clear

  • Dried-synthetic rubber waste incinerator (Kashima Plant)

    Dried-synthetic rubber waste incinerator (Kashima Plant)

  • Ground flare (Yokkaichi Plant)

    Ground flare (Yokkaichi Plant)

Number of Environmental Complaints (JSR and Domestic Group Companies)

FY 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
No. of environmental complaints Odor 0 0 0 0 0
Noise 0 0 0 0 0
Vibration 0 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 0

5. Investments in Environmental and Safety Equipment

JSR makes continuous investments in the environment and safety. In FY2020, our investments totaled 6.5 billion yen, combining investments in safety equipment (e.g., for prevention of workplace accidents and replacement of aging equipment) and in environmental facilities. We will continue actively making investments to maintain and improve the environment, safety, and health in accordance with our medium-term capital investment plan.

Investments in Environmental and Safety Equipment

* Equipment upgrade and safety investment after FY2016 are budget figures

* Environmental/safety equipment investment figures for FY2019 were corrected.