Conserving Resources

Water Resource Conservation, Water Pollutant Elimination

FY2019

Target:

Achieve 1% reduction of water withdrawal in intensity at an annualized rate
Achieve 1% reduction of water pollutant discharge in intensity at an annualized rate

Results:

The annualized reduction rate from FY2016 to FY2019 was 6.7% in the water withdrawal volume and increased 2.9% in the BOD emissions amount

Evaluation:

The water withdrawal volume achieved the target.

FY2020

Target:

Achieve 1% reduction of water withdrawal in intensity at an annualized rate
Achieve 1% reduction of water pollutant discharge in intensity at an annualized rate

Result

The Shin-Etsu Group's major manufacturing plants are located where clean water is abundant.
However, due to the scarcity of water in many regions of the world, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has predicted that water scarcity in some regions will become serious by the year 2025.

The Group carries out water risk assessments and works proactively to conserve water resources on a routine basis by reducing water withdrawal, ensuring water is recycled, and implementing thorough wastewater purification and water quality management. We also comply with regulations concerning water contaminants in emitting water, and check the water quality ourselves for verification.

Water Withdrawals Trends

Water Withdrawals Trends

Amount of Water Recycled Trends

Amount of Water Recycled Trends

BOD Emission Volume Trends

BOD Emission Volume Trends

COD Emission Volume Trends

COD Emission Volume Trends

Related Information

ESG Data

Environmental Data

Employee Initiatives

Shin-Etsu Chemical Naoetsu Plant Mr.S, Environment and Safety Department

Shin-Etsu Chemical Naoetsu Plant Mr.S, Environment and Safety Department

I manage various emissions from our plants appropriately.

1.Please tell us about your business.
Many substances are discharged from the production processes of the Group's plants, but we are actively working to improve the environment, not merely complying with laws and regulations. The main issue facing the plant is to reduce the risk of releasing waste water from the production process to the outside of the plant. Examples include optimizing the drainage system, separating drainage from production processes and rainwater, and improving the quality of discharged water.

2.How is the Naoetsu Plant working to reduce BOD and SS?
At this plant, wastewater, including high-concentration BOD and SS1 generated in the production process, is treated and adjusted to below emission standards for biological treatment facilities (anaerobic and aerobic treatments) and sedimentation treatment facilities before being released into rivers. Currently, we are working to reduce the risk of releasing BOD and SS into rivers by improving the efficiency of biological treatment, increasing treatment capacity, and reviewing and optimizing wastewater systems. To reduce the risk of environmental pollution through early detection of irregularities, we are expanding our lineup of measuring and monitoring instruments, such as TOC2, turbidity3, and pH4, at each site of the plant's drainage grooves. As the total amount of wastewater discharged from plants is large, even a small reduction in BOD emissions would result in a significant reduction in the annual amount of BOD emissions. It is difficult to optimize how to treat wastewater at the optimal location while satisfying the requirements of many related laws, such as site conditions and layout regulations, taking into account feasibility. However, achieving SDGs target of 12 "Responsible Consumption And Production" is linked to the achievement of environmental impact reduction even when facilities are being expanded in order to develop new businesses and new products.

  1. 1 SS (Suspended Solids)
    A generic term for insoluble substances with a particle size of 2mm or less suspended in water. One of the water quality indicators.
  2. 2 TOC(Total Organic Carbon)
    The amount of carbon contained in organic matter in water. It is used as an indicator of organic pollution.
  3. 3 Turbidity
    An indicator of the degree of water turbidity.
  4. 4 pH
    Potential of hydrogen. Represents the degree of acidity, alkalinity of the solution.

Water Resource Conservation Efforts by the Shin-Etsu Chemical Gunma Complex

The Shin-Etsu Chemical Gunma Complex manufactures highly functional materials such as silicones. Located inland in the south-west region of Gunma prefecture, the Complex draws its water required for manufacturing almost from nearby rivers and purifies the wastewater from the Complex before discharging.

The Gunma Complex is situated in a rich natural environment. Downstream from the nearby rivers sits the Tokyo metropolitan area where these rivers sustain the daily lives of its residents as well as industry and agriculture. Although the manufacturing of chemical products requires large quantities of water, the Complex strives to conserve valuable water resources by keeping its water intake from these rivers to a minimum. For this reason, the Complex reuses as much water as possible in its manufacturing and water cooling processes by recycling and circulating water and ensuring there is no water leakage outside of the Complex.

Besides purifying the water before return to the rivers, rigorous water quality management is also applied. The Complex strives to maintain optimum conditions by continually monitoring the operating status of water treatment facilities and conducts regular water quality analysis of discharged water to verify that it is in strict compliance with high water standards. Furthermore, they separate rainwater to prevent inflow of rainwater during heavy downpours as a measure to protect their treatment facilities from being damaged by natural disaster. In addition, since 2014 they have been carrying out seismic strengthening works assuming large-scale earthquakes.

By effectively utilizing limited water resources, the Gunma Complex will continue to fulfill its responsibility as an upstream located production base.

Water Flow at the Shin-Etsu Chemical Gunma Complex

Water Flow at the Shin-Etsu Chemical Gunma Complex (FY2019)

Rainwater Utilization at Overseas Group Company

Calls are increasing for the protection of the world's water resources, and since its foundation Asia Silicones Monomer Limited has been making effective use of the plentiful rainfall it enjoys in its location in Thailand.

It stores rainwater in storage tanks on-site, using it for industrial water and as coolant for waste gas incinerator. It always maintains a reserve of rainwater for use in fire fighting in the event of an emergency. It also supplies Group company Shin-Etsu Silicones Thailand and its nearby partners with rainwater for uses such as industrial water.

Rainwater Utilization at Overseas Group Company

Waste reduction

FY2019

Target:

Achieve zero waste emissions (landfill waste 1% or less of the final amount of all waste generated)
Promotion of reduction of waste generation in intensity

Results:

The final waste landfill disposal rate was 1.41% in the Shin-Etsu Group and 1.31% in Shin-Etsu Chemical

Evaluation:

The target was not achieved

FY2020

Target:

Achieve zero waste emissions
Promotion of reduction of waste generation in intensity

Results

Although the production volume in FY2019 increased compared to FY2018, the amount of waste generated, the amount of waste recycled, and the amount of waste for landfills decreased. In FY 2019, we endeavored to reduce waste sulfuric acid by refining and recycling it, and reduce wastewater sludge by readjusting polymer coagulants and neutralizing agents.

We have external contractors to handle our disposals. We check to confirm that the contractor properly handles disposals by regularly inspecting their operation.

Flow of Waste Disposal (thousand tons)

Flow of Waste Disposal (thousand tons)

  • *The figures are aggregated only for Shin-Etsu Chemical and group companies in Japan because waste standards differ from country to country.

Amount of Waste Recycled

Amount of Waste Recycled

Amount of Waste for Landfill

Amount of Waste for Landfill

Related Information

Environmental Data

Waste Recycling at Overseas Group Companies

Simcoa’s Waste Utilization
								Drew Harris
								General Manager - Production

Drew Harris General Manager - Production

Simcoa's Waste Utilization

As an environmental initiative, Simcoa in Australia, manufactures and sells silicon metal, is committed to waste utilization. The waste utilization not only reduces environmental impact but also results in waste materials becoming a valuable resource by treating them as a by-product, and as such, the company is positively working towards reuse.

Charcoal is one example of a way in which waste materials are utilized. Wood from forest clearing for a bauxite mining operation is processed to produce charcoal. Previously, the wood from the forest clearing operations was partially burnt, however, in 2004 the company began producing charcoal for incineration with the goal of effectively using the resource as a by-product.

Currently, Simcoa uses 100,000 tons of wood to produce 25,000 tons of charcoal each year. The source for the wood is felled trees from the bauxite mining operation, plantation wood, waste from sawmill and so on.

Other examples of waste utilization in addition to charcoal are listed below. We hope these example initiatives help to demonstrate our commitment to the environment and waste utilization.

Silica fume Amorphous silica fume is a by-product of silicon metal. Initially when Simcoa began operations, there was no market for silica fume and the waste had to be buried in an on-site landfill. Simcoa developed a market in Australia for silica fume as an additive to increase the strength of cement, and has sold its silica fume for the past 25 years.
Charcoal fines Fine charcoal is screened off from the lump charcoal because it cannot be used in the silicon metal furnaces and is sold for the production of barbecue briquettes.
Dross A certain amount of slag1 is generated as a by-product during the manufacturing process of silicon metal. Slag is treated as a waste product by most silicon smelters, however, Simcoa sells this slag as a resource for producers of steel for deoxidization.
Sawdust and wood mulch Sawdust and wood mulch are generated during cutting timber. It is sold for use in soil improvement. Investigations are underway into the potential use of this by-product for biomass energy generation in the future.
Undersized quaitz As some of the quartz rock recovered from the quartz mine is too small for use in the silicon metal furnaces, it is sold as flux materials for use in metallurgical operations and as decorative stone for use with concrete.
  • 1 Slag
    Slag is a waste produced when molten metal is separated into fractions during metal smelting.

Related Information

Simcoa Operations

Resource recycling

The Group collaborates with customers and related industry groups, using cutting-edge technologies to recover used products, extract resources, and reuse them in the Group's products. Through these initiatives, it is possible to reduce the waste output of our customers and the Group itself. We are also contributing to environmental conservation through reuse of resources.

Rare Earth Magnet Resource Recycling

The Group manufactures rare earth magnets by our integrated production process using separation and refinement techniques to extract various rare earths from rare earth raw materials.

As one of the measures to achieve stable procurement of raw materials, since 2007, the Group has been recycling magnet powder generated by our rare earth magnets manufacturing processes. Furthermore, since March 2013, we have also been developing techniques for recycling rare earth magnets used in recovered power-saving air conditioners and hybrid cars in order to re-use resources.

These initiatives have made it possible to reduce the environmental impact that comes along with resource development and to safely and securely protect the valuable rare earth resource. The Group's rare earth magnets create significant economic and social value as recycled products and also contribute significantly to energy conservation.

Rare Earth Magnet Resource Recycling Process

Rare Earth Magnet Resource Recycling Process

Recycling of PVC Products

Initiatives for the recycling of products containing PVC are making progress. There are various methods for recycling PVC, the most common of which is material recycling.

Material recycling uses used PVC products as raw materials to create new PVC products. PVC pipes, flooring materials and other PVC products are not greatly influenced by foreign substance contamination, so various kinds of recycling are conducted for those products. In particular, 60% of used PVC pipes and joints are recycled for reuse in new PVC pipes and joints, and 70% of agricultural film is recycled for use in flooring material.

Examples of Recycling of PVC Products

Examples of Recycling of PVC Products

Related Information

Vinyl Environmental Council

Recycling use of product shipping cartons

Shin-Etsu Chemical started recycling product shipping cartons for heat-dissipating silicone grease from FY2018.

Heat-dissipating silicone grease must be transported at a frozen states to stabilize product quality. Therefore, we used dry ice to cool products in disposable boxes in transit in the past. As a result of extensive research conducted collaboratively with customers, the Company has successfully replaced packaging with newly developed packaging that can be recycled multiple times while maintaining optimal temperatures. In addition, this new packaging eliminates the need for dry ice, resulting in a reduction of 28.2 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Marine plastic problem

Marine plastic problem is one of the most important issues for the chemical industry. We believe that there are business opportunities since the problem is unlikely to be resolved with existing products. It is therefore all the more worth taking on the challenge for the Group. Our group is working on this issue together with the Japan Initiative for Marine Environment1.

  • 1 Japan Initiative for Marine Environment
    An organization established in September 2018 by the Japan Chemical Industry Association, the Japan Plastics Industry Federation, the Plastics Waste Management Institute, the Japan Petrochemical Industry Association, and the Vinyl Environmental Council to address the marine plastic waste problem as the whole chemical industry.