Environmental Efforts at Konica Minolta Group Sites
Reduction Measures for Priority Chemicals
Konica Minolta follows its Master Plan for Chemical Safety Management to reduce the risk of hazardous chemicals.
Of the many chemical substances we use at our factories, 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. We are promoting chemical reduction activities using the same standards worldwide, with group-wide targets that also cover production sites outside Japan.
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. We have set a target on the basis of this indicator. The target is to cut emissions in fiscal 2010 to 1/10th the level of fiscal 2000.
We were not able to achieve our fiscal-2007 target to cut emissions by 90% of the fiscal 2000 level, but we did manage to achieve 89% reduction, putting us very close to the goal. In fiscal 2008 and beyond, Konica Minolta will continue to reduce atmospheric emissions.
- VOCs are widely used in detergents, solvents, and fuel. In recent years they have been regarded as hazardous substances that cause pollution like photochemical smog and health problems like sick-house syndrome
Safety Management for Chemicals
We evaluate the risk of chemicals in advance, and strive to prevent accidents and any harmful impact on the environment.
Konica Minolta strives to prevent chemical-related accidents and adverse environmental impact. This is done by carrying out pre-manufacturing evaluation and risk management (based on our safety verification system), and the advance investigation of risk management necessary for any new chemicals to be adopted.
In fiscal 2007, the evaluation scheme for the safety verification system was revised. Previously we assigned points based on hazardousness posed by individual chemicals and the amounts used. By incorporating the exposure format into the evaluation, it is now possible to carry out the initial risk assessment more efficiently.
Using this system, risk evaluation is carried out from various standpoints including product safety, environmental protection, and labor safety. Konica Minolta determines the content of its chemical management by focusing on chemicals to be avoided, and those that require strict management, according to the usage conditions.
Chemicals that require care in handling are listed as Konica Minolta's managed chemicals. When they are brought into a manufacturing process for the first time, whether in Japan or elsewhere, safety measures are confirmed in advance by internal and external experts, as well as by an industrial physician.
Countermeasures against Contamination of Soil and Groundwater
Reliable Management of Contaminated Sites through Regular Inspections and Further Purification to Prevent Contamination Spread
We survey our sites in Japan that have a history of using chemical substances, which may have caused soil or groundwater contamination. If any contamination of soil or groundwater is found at our sites, we implement regular inspections for more reliable management, so as to prevent identified pollutants from impacting the neighborhood.
To facilitate purification of contamination and prevent any further spread, a specialist team has been organized. Under the team's supervision, we carry out detailed examinations to work out decontamination measures, and study purification technologies. Based on the results of these examinations and studies, we are further strengthening our purification activities.
The outcome of these activities and inspection results are regularly reported to the local government agencies concerned.
|Site||Substances||Progress in fiscal 2007|
|Tokyo Site Hino||Fluorine||The fluorine soil contamination discovered in fiscal 2005 was largely cleaned up through soil replacement in August 2006. The groundwater continues to be monitored, in order to confirm that there has been no effect on the surrounding areas.|
|Tokyo Site Hachioji||Hexavalent chromium||A pumping well has been set up on the site, and groundwater remediation and monitoring continues to be carried out. It has been confirmed that there was no effect on the surrounding areas. As a new measure, electrophoresis technology was introduced in November 2007 in order to remove hexavalent chromium from the groundwater.|
|Itami Site||Lead, arsenic, boron, cadmium, and fluorine||In a detailed soil and groundwater survey carried out in 2005, five substances including lead that were used as materials for optical glass making were discovered here in levels higher than allowed by environmental standards. The contamination has been limited within the site and no contamination has been reported outside the site. After discussing the situation with government and local residents, cleanup efforts began in January 2007, involving the removal of contaminated soil and replacing it with clean soil. The work is scheduled for completion by the end of fiscal 2008.|
|Sakai Site||TCE, PCE, and c-DCE||Ongoing groundwater pumping and remediation is being carried out. A detailed contaminant survey was carried out for TCE, PCE, and c-DCE, and cleanup measures for the pollution source are under investigation.|
|Lead, arsenic, and cadmium||Through monitoring, it has been confirmed that the contamination is limited and has not affected the groundwater. Monitoring will continue to be carried out.|
|Osakasayama Site||TCE, PCE, and c-DCE||Groundwater pumping and remediation is continuing. Remediation is being carried out using a method that involves specification of the aquifer layer that contains the groundwater, gas absorption and pumping, together with bio-remediation. The effectiveness of this method has been confirmed, and additional measures are currently under investigation.|
|Site of the former Nankai Optical Co., Ltd.
(Kainan City, Wakayama Prefecture)
|TCE, PCE, and c-DCE||Bio-remediation was begun in fiscal 2004, and has been proceeding according to plan. The levels measured at the monitoring wells on the site are now within the standards. Continued observation is now being carried out.|
|Toyohashi Precision Products Co., Ltd.
(Toyohashi City, Aichi Prefecture)
|TCE, PCE, and c-DCE||Levels of TCE, PCE, and c-DCE are now within the standards at most monitoring wells. After boring in fiscal 2005, pumping and remediation continues to be carried out to eliminate hexavalent chromium contamination. It has been confirmed through groundwater monitoring that the contamination has not spread from the site. Continued monitoring, pumping, and remediation will be performed.|
|Konica Minolta Opto Products Co., Ltd.
(Fuefuki City, Yamanashi Prefecture)
|TCE, PCE, and c-DCE||Measures are under way to prevent the contamination from spreading beyond the existing area by installing a penetration response barrier, and through bioremediation. Detailed examinations were conducted to identify the pollution source at the site. To decontaminate the detected area of contamination, in 2005 we launched a remediation program combining gas absorption and the pump-and-treat process. This program is currently in progress.|
|Konica Minolta Supplies Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
(Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefecture)
|TCE, PCE, and c-DCE||The pump-and-treat process was suspended; purification via bioremediation was commenced in 2004.Status monitoring continues.|
- The use of lead, arsenic, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, TCE, and PCE has already been completely abolished.
- TCE: Trichloroethylene, PCE: Tetrachloroethylene c-DCE: cis-Dichloroethylene (discomposed substance of TCE and PCE)