In today’s society, in which mass production and mass consumption continue to expand with global economic growth and increasing population, pollution of the environment and damage to ecosystems due to undisposed waste have become problems, while at the same time it is projected that our limited resources may run dry.
In order to sustain business activities while protecting the global environment, we set “Realization of a Resource Recycling Society” as one of the major items of its medium-to-long term ECO Vision, and the Resource Recycling Subcommittee, a sub-organization of the Environmental Management Committee, has led the company-wide efforts.
Please check here for our goals and progress.
The final landfill rate of our industrial waste in FY2021 was 0.04%, and we have continuously achieved zero emissions*1. In addition, while the total amount of our industrial waste decreased by 23.6 tons compared with the previous year, the Volume of industrial waste per production volume unit increased by 20.3% compared with the FY2017 level. The decrease in the total waste amount was achieved mainly through the conversion of waste plastics into a valuable resource at Fujiyama Plant, and a reduction in production volume of high potency drug product. The major causes of increases in production volume units were decreases in the number of product packages, which is the denominator, due to change in the specifications for major products (addition of high-volume products). The goal for production volume units is under review to change to a goal that uses a recycling rate that takes into consideration the internal status at the time of establishment of the goal and changes in the social environment.
Industrial waste volume and Special management industrial waste volume (hazardous waste volume)
Industrial waste volume (by item)
Final landfill disposal volume and Final landfill disposal rate of industrial waste
|Volume of industrial waste per production volume unit||0.197||0.128||0.174||0.223||0.237||0.167|
Activities are promoted based on the basic policies of "promotion of the 4Rs (refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle)" and "selection of materials with reduced environmental impact." In view of reducing waste volume, we are engaging in the investigation and analysis of processes that generate waste, we are considering and evaluating an introduction of equipment to reduce the volume of waste, and we are also promoting activities to circulate resources, by reuse and recycling, for example, and to switch to materials with a low environmental burden across the company.
Specifically, we have worked to reduce waste generation across the company by reducing paper documents through digitization. We have sold waste paper and metal waste that are no longer needed at our research institutes and production sites as valuable materials as well as experimental equipment that is no longer used at the research institutes due to replacement or aging. Furthermore, we have started transactions for used plastics as valuable materials in FY2021. In addition, for industrial waste (including specially controlled industrial waste) generated at research institutes and productions sites, we have selected intermediate treatment contractors that recycle wastes without landfilling as our contractors for residual processing after intermediate waste treatment. We continuously promote a variety of initiatives and are working to realize a resource-recycling society.
A meeting of the persons in charge of waste is held every month to discuss measures for the promotion of the 4Rs and the appropriate disposal of waste; the implementation of measures is examined, and their effects are validated.
In addition, in order to implement the appropriate disposal of waste, our policy is to give priority to contractors that are certified as excellent companies when concluding an agreement. On-site observation of contractors for intermediate processing is conducted every year, and we confirm that appropriate disposal of waste is implemented. The final landfill sites are checked every three years. We continuously implement thorough and appropriate disposal of waste.
We are introducing and promoting the familiar 4Rs and engaging in internal activities to increase employee awareness of appropriate waste disposal, waste sorting, etc. through various methods, including committee meetings that are organized by each plant and research institution, training provided for persons in charge of practice and for applicants, and dissemination of internal newsletters. We set themes that participants can practice in their operations and opportunities for them to read about the relevant laws and regulations, and in this way, we foster employee awareness.
We are also utilizing computer simulation technology in pharmaceutical development, a step that will reduce the number of experiments conducted, which in turn is expected to lead to a reduction in raw materials (waste).
In addition, we are also working to shift the wet granulation phase of the production process for a portion of our products from a batch processing system to a continuous manufacturing system. Doing so will yield various advantages, such as allowing us to respond flexibly to changes in demand while also saving space by making manufacturing equipment more compact. This shift is expected to help reduce the amount of raw materials needed during pharmaceutical development. We estimate that this can allow us to slim down the amount of raw materials needed during pharmaceutical development by approximately 13% when it comes to products under development. By expanding the scope of continuous manufacturing applications in the future, we aim to not only save more energy but also further reduce the amount of raw materials used in our operations.
We strive to extend the validity period of our products by obtaining long-term quality assessment data for each product. Extending the shelf life of products is expected to reduce the risk of product disposal due to expiration.
When it comes to product packaging, we work to promote the reduction of its environmental impact by changing packaging materials and forms to help save resources, and selecting eco-friendly materials. Upon disposal, we also switch to material labels and packaging forms that encourage recycling.
In an effort to reduce the amount of plastic we use, plastic compartment materials that were previously used for the packaging of injectable solutions were changed to paper-based materials in FY2019, and we began distributing those newly packaged products in FY2020. Furthermore, in response to the results of a questionnaire survey on product packing conducted at medical institutions, we have changed the method of binding Blister package sheets for new products from a bag-type (transparent pillow packaging) to a band-type, thereby reducing the amount of plastic used.
In addition, we have changed paper-based materials for individual packaging boxes to FSC®-certified paper, and switched the inks we use to vegetable oil inks. We also verify the quality of primary packaging that comes into direct contact with pharmaceuticals to further promote the selection of materials that reduce our environmental impact.
|Changing packaging materials from plastics to paper-based materials||Changing packaging materials for parts of products. Started distribution of the products in FY2020.|
|Reconsideration and changing the method of binding Blister package sheets（Adopting the band-type）||Started distribution of 1 product in FY2021. (A total of 8 products as of the end of March 2022)|
|Switching individual packaging box materials to FSC®-certified paper.||Started distribution of 7 products in FY2021. (A total of 15 products as of the end of March 2022)|
|Selecting vegetable oil inks.||Started distribution of 2 products in FY2021. (A total of 6 products as of the end of March 2022)|
In Japan, there is an enforced law called the Containers and Packaging Recycling Law, which covers the recycling amounts of containers and packaging waste for products sold by sellers. This is to promote the recycling of containers and packaging waste, and based on this law, some of the containers and packaging materials for the products we sell are recycled.
|Container and packaging usage||Obligatory recycling amount|
|Commissioning fee paid for recycling：1,958 thousand yen|
We have introduced paper-based files since January 2020. By switching some plastic files to paper files, we are able to reduce the amount of plastic used.
For photocopies, we perform print management, and a cloud storage system "BOX", which was introduced globally in October 2017, promoted paperless storage and reduced the amount of work required to store and share files. As for purchasing, we have indicated in an easy-to-understand manner whether the products listed in the purchasing system are in compliance with the “Act on Promotion of Procurement of Eco-Friendly Goods and Services by the State and Other Entities” and promoted awareness within us so that each employee has environmental awareness.