In today’s society, in which mass production and mass consumption continue to expand along with global economic growth and increases in population, pollution of the natural environment and damage to ecosystems related to the disposal of waste have become problems, while at the same time it is projected that our limited resources may run dry. In consideration of this situation, we have set Realization of a Resource Recycling Society as one of the major items of our medium-to-long term ECO Vision for implementing our business activities, and have been promoting a variety of initiatives on a company-wide basis.
We have implemented activities towards the achievement of a medium-to-long term environmental vision, which was defined in FY2019; however, in consideration of internal and external environmental changes, we have set new targets to accelerate the realization of a resource recycling society in FY2022.
|Final Landfill Disposal Rate of Industrial Waste||
|Reduce the Environmental Impact of Product Packaging||
The total volume of our industrial waste in FY2022 increased by 13.1 tons compared with the previous year. The major causes of the increase were the disposal of all unnecessary furniture and fixtures in association with the closing of the Fukui Research Institute and the generation of highly active liquid waste in association with test production and verification of our new product, Kyprolis, at Yamaguchi Plant.
The final landfill rate of our industrial waste in FY2022 was 0.02%. We defined “Reduce the final landfill rate (Final landfill volume/industrial waste volume×100) to no more than 1.0%” as zero emissions. We continued to achieve zero emissions in FY2022 as well by recycling rather than landfilling industrial waste that was emitted in association with business activities.
In FY2022, we also set our target for recycling. Our calculation method for recycling is based on the ideas on recycling of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Associations of Japan and thermal recycling is not included in the recycling.
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
We organized a resource recycling sub-committee consisting of waste management operators under the Environment Management Committee and we have been promoting activities by setting the following basic policies: "promotion of the 4Rs (refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle)" and "selection of materials with a reduced environmental impact." We have worked to reduce waste generation across the company by reducing paper documents through digitization as well as engaging in the investigation and analysis of processes that generate waste and we are considering and evaluating the introduction of equipment to reduce the volume of waste to reduce emissions. Furthermore, we are promoting resource recycling activities, such as reuse and recycling, etc., and switching materials to materials with low environmental burden.
Minase Research Institute landfilled incinerated kitchen waste and leftovers that were generated at the cafeteria; however, they achieved the recycling of general waste from business activities for which recycling is difficult by switching to recycling them as animal feed. In addition, in association with diverse working forms, such as telework, etc., the number of employees who come to work varies every day. Therefore, they strive to reduce food loss by sharing the number of employees who come to work on the day with the cafeteria vendor.
Pallets that are used to transport products are crushed in the plant and recycled as wood chips. In FY2022, it resulted in a reduction of approximately 7 tons of wood debris. Spreading wood chips in the green areas on the plant premises prevents weeds and leads to landscape improvement.
Monthly meetings are held by waste management operators 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, we have determined to give priority to contractors that are certified as excellent companies. On-site observation of intermediate treatment contractors is conducted every year, and we confirm that the appropriate disposal of waste is implemented. The final landfill sites are checked every five years. We continuously implement thorough and appropriate disposal of waste.
We are introducing the familiar 4Rs activities 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 at each plant and research institution, training for waste treatment operators and for applicants, and the distribution of internal newsletters and provision of internal intranet for the entire company. We provide opportunities so that employees can learn relevant laws and regulations, set themes that they can practice in their operations, and in this way, foster employee awareness of environmental preservation.
We are also utilizing computer simulation technology in pharmaceutical development. This step will reduce the number of experiments and 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 production 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 volume of raw materials needed during pharmaceutical development. We estimate that this can allow us to slim down the weight 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 volume 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 will result in reducing the risk of product disposal due to expiration.
When it comes to product packaging, based on the results of a questionnaire survey at medical institutions on product packaging, we are engaging in activities from the two aspects of ease of use and environmental friendliness. In terms of the environment, we are working 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 have also switched to material labels and packaging forms that encourage recycling.
Furthermore, in response to the results of the questionnaire survey, we changed the method of binding blister package sheets for new products from bag-type (transparent pillow packaging) to band-type. We also changed the tray (partition) of the injection packaging box from plastic to paper materials, which not only reduced the volume of plastic used, but also reduced the capacity (48% per box). Regarding the volume of paper used, with the introduction of electronic package inserts, which became operational on August 1, 2021, we estimate that we will be able to reduce about 44tons of paper per year by reducing package inserts (Estimate based on the shipment volume of our marketed products from plants in FY 2022).
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）||A total of 8 products as of the end of March 2023|
|Switching individual packaging box materials to FSC®-certified paper.*||A total of 31 products as of the end of March 2023（Started distribution of 16 products in FY2022.）|
|Selecting vegetable oil inks.||A total of 11 products as of the end of March 2023（Started distribution of 5 products in FY2022.）|
In Japan, there is an enforced law called the Containers and Packaging Recycling Law, which covers the recycling volume 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 volume|
|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 volume 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 volume 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.