Chemical Substances Management
Shimadzu uses a wide variety of chemical substances for manufacturing, R&D, application development, and other activities. Handling these improperly could cause an incident or accident and many are governed by a variety of laws and regulations.
Therefore, through cooperation between the departments in charge of legal and regulatory compliance and the departments using the chemical substances, Shimadzu makes sure the substances are managed appropriately in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. In addition, Shimadzu also ensures chemical substances are managed appropriately from a business continuity planning (BCP) perspective, such as by confirming that each department has applicable import/export licenses, conducts emergency response training for each item, and is making progress replacing hazardous substances with safer alternatives.
Also, the Chemical Registration Information System (CRIS) developed by Shimadzu System Development Corporation is used to control individual chemical agents entering and leaving the company. In addition to managing the quantities of chemical substances when they are purchased, used, and discarded, this system can also be used to calculate total inventory and usage quantities and quickly issue governmental reports required by PRTR (pollutant release and transfer register) laws.
Development of CRIS Chemical Management System
The Chemical Registration Information System (CRIS) was developed by Shimadzu System Development Corporation in 2001, in cooperation with the Faculty of Engineering, Kyoto University. The system has now been adopted by over 80 universities, research centers, and companies, including the University of Tokyo and Waseda University, and is regularly updated with customer requested customizations. In the future, it will include not only functionality for managing chemical substances, but will also include a host of functions (Safety Management & Information System or "SMIS") to support the activities of departments in charge of environmental conservation centers or environmental safety and public health. The functionality will be offered as optional software developed by Shimadzu based on customer feedback from those actually using the software.
The screenshot is from a system used to visualize risks associated with chemical substances, which was developed together with Research for Environment, Health and Safety Education (REHSE). When chemicals are being registered, it displays their danger level, accident examples, and other information all on one easy-to-view screen.
Use of an Air Dust Blower That Uses No CFC Substitutes
Air dust blowers are used to remove debris and dust from instruments in instrument manufacturing, R&D and after-maintenance stages and many of them use CFC substitutes. Since CFC substitutes have an extremely high global warming potential, use of a specified amount of them needs to be reported to the government in Japan.
We are currently trying to use air dust blowers that contain carbon dioxide gas, instead of CFC substitutes, with a relatively smaller impact on the environment, especially at affiliated companies that often use air dust blowers for maintenance of instruments.
Use of this type of air dust blower also helps to reduce gas cylinder waste because cylinders can be reused by adding carbon dioxide repeatedly.
Ozone depleting substances
In fiscal 2016, Shimadzu completely eliminated the use of HCFC (Hydrochlorofluorocarbons: ozone-depleting substances) in cleaning processes during manufacturing. As of the end of fiscal 2018, in Japan we had approximately 800 air conditioners and other equipment that use HCFC as a refrigerant, and we are managing HCFC to prevent its leakage into the atmosphere through regular maintenance and inspections as required by law. We will also gradually switch to refrigerants with low environmental impact, such as global warming potential.
Air Quality Measurements (Sanjo Works)
SOx and NOx levels in exhaust gases emitted from boilers used in factories are monitored regularly with respect to Shimadzu standards, which are stricter than the standards in Japanese air pollution laws and Kyoto prefectural environmental regulations.
At the Sanjo Works, aging fuel oil-fired boilers and natural gas boilers are being replaced successively to help prevent air pollution and to reduce CO2 emissions. In FY 2014, all of the fuel oil-fired boilers have been replaced.
Water Quality Measurements (Sanjo Works)
Plant effluents are regularly measured with respect to Shimadzu standards, which are stricter than the standards in Japanese wastewater laws and Kyoto city wastewater regulations. In addition to regular measurements of each water quality parameter, the Sanjo Works also utilizes a specialized monitor and intranet LAN to continuously monitor pH and TOC (total organic carbon) levels. Also, a rapid response system has been built to send email notification to the person in charge of the problem if the pH level of wastewater exceeds the Shimadzu standards.
On-Line Total Organic Carbon Analyzer
We are committed to reducing water usage, such as watering green areas with rainwater and installing waterefficient fixtures.
In addition to performing process steps that involve chemical substances in accordance with regulations and procedures, we also prevent releasing potential water pollutants during those processes and only release the chemicals outside the facility after they have been properly neutralized or otherwise treated. We control plant effluents to our own voluntary standards that are stricter than those required by current laws and regulations. We continuously monitor the total organic content (TOC) in effluent waters from Sanjo Works, Seta Works, and Hadano Works, Shimadzu’s main production locations. The ability of TOC analyzers to detect and quickly measure organic pollutants makes them ideal for quickly monitoring water from upstream effluent points. We will continue to deploy our experience from using TOC analyzers broadly throughout society to achieve widespread use and support customer environmental measures.