Management of Chemicals
Safety Checks on Chemicals
Comprehensive Management of Chemicals throughout Product Lifecycle
We at Konica Minolta view chemical management as an important aspect of environmental management, and implement pre-manufacturing evaluation and risk management (based on our safety verification system) in accordance with strict assessment criteria, so as to prevent chemical-related accidents and adverse environmental impact.
The Konica Minolta Group's risk reduction efforts focus particularly on the following: “Reduction of atmospheric emissions of hazardous substances,” “Elimination of hazardous substances from products,” and “Improvement in occupational health and safety.”
Moreover, we are comprehensive in our risk communication activities, which include the disclosure of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) on our website.
Safety Verification System
Eliminating Hazardous Chemical Substance at the Development and Design Stages, through our Chemical Safety Verification System
The Konica Minolta Group assesses the safety of chemicals used for production or contained in chemical products, every time a new substance is employed, based on its Safety Verification System. To comply with laws and regulations, prevent environmental pollution, and secure the safety of product users and workers handling these products, we specify items to be assessed at each stage of product development, so that only chemical substances that satisfy Konica Minolta standards are used. Based on this system, we have eliminated materials whose use is restricted by laws and regulations and hazardous chemical substances.
Concerning subsidiary materials used in product processing/assembly and in after-sales services, we conduct surveys based on our procurement standards for chemical materials. We promote their standardization by designating subsidiary materials that meet Konica Minolta's standards for recommended subsidiary materials, with relevant data published throughout the Group.
For the management of chemical substances used in office equipment products, please refer to Green Procurement in the section “Environmentally Sound Products.”
Reduction Measures for Priority Chemicals
Reducing the Risk of Hazardous Chemicals, Based on the Master Plan for Chemical Safety Management
Of the many chemical substances we use, since 1997, the Konica Minolta Group has voluntarily set reduction targets, prioritizing several types of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are deemed particularly risky in terms of toxicity and usage volume, and RoHS-designated heavy metals.
In cooperation with our suppliers, we have already phased out specific heavy metals subject to the RoHS Directive. Concerning non-RoHS designated products, we have taken measures to phase out the use of specified heavy metals in new products released in fiscal year 2005. We are planning to discontinue the use of these heavy metals in all our products, except in certain medical and measurement instruments, due to difficulty in procuring alternatives.
|Mid-term environment plan targets||Targets for fiscal year 2006||Results for fiscal year 2006|
|1,2-Dichloroethane||Reduce to 3 tons or less||Reduced to 2 tons|
|RoHS-designated specific heavy metals||Discontinue use in RoHS-designated products*1
Develop and implement plan for each business company to phase out use in non-RoHS-designated products
|Use in RoHS-designated products discontinued
Plan developed and implemented by each business company as scheduled
|PVC||Discontinue use in product packaging materials*2||Use discontinued|
|Dichloromethane||116.5 tons or less||99.5 tons|
|Ethyl acetate||175 tons or less||121 tons|
|Methanol||69 tons or less||64.2 tons|
|Methyl ethylene ketones||24 tons or less||15.5 tons|
|Total VOC emissions*3||FY2008: 70% reduction||82% reduction||84% reduction|
- Excluding applications exempt from RoHS Directive
- Excluding some sealing applications
- Risk indicator as compared to fiscal year 2000 level
We have established Konica Minolta's original risk indicator, as defining the risk posed by the adverse effects of VOC atmospheric emissions which is the sum of the human health risk and the air pollution risk. In fiscal year 2005, we set new targets on the basis of this indicator, and are working to reduce the risk of atmospheric emissions.
The introduction of this indicator has enabled us to better manage the risk of atmospheric emissions, while taking into account the risks derived from alternative solvents.
In the planning and development stages, chemical substances to be used in production processes are assessed prior to manufacturing, to ensure that they can be used only after industrial physicians and external specialists have confirmed that all necessary safety measures have been taken, whether in Japan or overseas. As for activities to reduce high priority substances and total atmospheric VOC emissions, actions are being taken with the same standards applied to manufacturing sites both in Japan and overseas, to achieve Group-wide targets. For example, in fiscal year 2006, our Dalian Plant, in China, successfully phased out the use of chlorinated solvents, as planned.