As economic development progresses around the globe, pollution issues such as chemical spills, water pollution and soil contamination, air pollution resulting from hazardous waste, and ocean pollution have become serious issues. In response, countries around the world are advancing preventive measures and formulating various standards and laws. Sojitz believes that it is extremely important to reduce its environmental impact and conserve the environment by preventing pollution, curbing waste, recycling, and reusing resources as part of its corporate responsibility in the course of its business activities.
For Sojitz Group, which is engaged in a variety of businesses around the world, including handling various chemicals and materials, preventing pollution is one of the most fundamental and critical aspects of ensuring the sustainability of our businesses. Sojitz Group promotes a wide variety of initiatives related to pollution prevention with the aim of fulfilling its responsibility to society.
One of Sojitz’s Key Sustainability Issues (Materiality) is to “contribute to the global environment through our businesses.” As a component of these efforts, Sojitz "strives to preserve the environment and create businesses that are both highly competitive and environmentally friendly by pursuing environmental sustainability in its businesses.” Furthermore, as outlined item 3, “Minimize Environmental Burden” and item 5, “Consider the Environment in New Businesses” of Sojitz’s Environmental Policy, Sojitz will work to "reduce the burden on the environment and prevent pollution.”
Compliance with Environmental Laws and Regulations
We remain apprised of the applicable laws and regulations to regularly confirm compliance conditions not only at Sojitz Corporation, but also at our Group companies. Internal audits of our Group companies also include checks on these compliance conditions.
Promoting Employee Awareness
We will make this policy known to all executives and employees, and continue to carry out educational and awareness-raising activities.
The Sustainability Committee discusses the formulation of company-wide policies and targets related to sustainability, including pollution prevention, the establishment and maintenance of systems to implement these policies, and monitoring various measures that utilize the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard. The Sustainability Committee reports to the Management Committee and Board of Directors, and receives supervision and direction from the Board of Directors.
In addition, the Finance & Investment Deliberation Council, which deliberates investments and loans, checks individual proposals for their relevance in terms of sustainability and environmental and social (human rights) risks. Furthermore, the Corporate Sustainability Office, a dedicated body, is in charge of monitoring the policies and targets formulated by the Sustainability Committee, as well as environmental and social (human rights) risks.
Sustainability Committee Members (Current as of June 20, 2023)
Asterisk (*) indicates a Director
Double asterisk (**) indicates a Representative Director
Systems to Promote and Implement Sustainability
Risk Management Systems
Environmental and Social Risk Management in New Business
Monitoring Existing Businesses
Through external and internal analysis, we identify business areas that pose a high risk of environmental and wastewater pollution from among Sojitz Group businesses, including Group companies (consolidated subsidiaries and holding companies) and business partners, and analyze where environmental and social issues are generally prone to occur throughout entire supply chains from upstream to downstream. Moving forward, we will implement the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Action) cycle for risk response based on third-party opinions from external experts, maintain a high level of awareness of environmental issues throughout the Group, and strengthen our initiatives for identifying new risks.
In addition, Sojitz Corporation has acquired ISO 14001 certification, the international standard for environmental management. We will also conduct monitoring from the perspective of our pollution prevention efforts.
Confirming Compliance with Laws and Regulations
We confirm that all Sojitz departments and target Group companies comply with the laws and regulations related to chemical substances and anti-pollution measures, such as RoHS regulations, REACH regulations, and industrial waste laws. Sojitz’s president serves as the chair of the Sustainability Committee, which confirms issues such as whether Sojitz is in compliance with these anti-pollution laws and regulations, and carries out management reviews to provide corrective instruction.
Establishing Action Plans for Departments and Offices
The policies and items resolved by the Sustainability Committee and reported to the Management Committee and Board of Directors are made known to employees not only through the company intranet, but also through regularly held briefing sessions with each department, organized by the Sustainability Committee secretariat.
Items resolved by the Sustainability Committee are established by each department and office at the beginning of the period. These consist of 1) environmental impact of business activities around the world, and an analysis of related laws and regulations; and 2) goal setting and action plans to mitigate these environmental impacts, including those related to pollution prevention. These items are reviewed by each department and office every six months, and the results of these reviews are evaluated by the Sustainability Committee and reported to the Management Committee at the beginning of the following year.
Safety Management in the Chemicals Business
The Chemicals Division implements the following safety management system in line with the aforementioned policies and targets set out by Sojitz Group.
Compliance with Chemicals Management Regulations and Sojitz Safety Initiatives
The Chemicals Division has established a set of policies regarding the handling of chemicals that includes the Chemicals Management Guidelines and the Chemicals Management Regulations—a document created in accordance with current chemicals-related laws and regulations. The Chemicals Division maintains the following records and keeps division members informed regarding their content: an organizational chart for the Sojitz chemicals management system, a record of all approved chemicals, a registry of employees bearing legal liability in chemicals-related matters, and an emergency contact chart.
The Chemicals Division ensures compliance with a wide range of laws and regulations designated by environmental management systems including Japan’s Chemical Substances Control Law, Industrial Safety and Health Act, PRTR Act, Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act, Fire Service Act, and High-Pressure Gas Safety Act.
Sojitz notifies its business partners regarding hazardous chemical products through Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), which are issued for each chemical handled within Sojitz supply chains. SDSs are included on the label of every chemical product, and Sojitz communicates with business partners as appropriate regarding hazardous materials. SDSs also include information regarding relevant environment protection-related laws and regulations including the PCB Special Measures Law, Fluorocarbon Emissions Control Act, Water Pollution Prevention Act, Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act, Air Pollution Control Act, and Offensive Odor Control Law.
No violations of environment-related laws and regulations were reported within Sojitz Group in FY2022.
Disclosure of Chemical Content and Centralized Management of Relevant Laws and Regulations
The Chemicals Division maintains a lists of the CAS numbers and chemical content by percentage found on the SDS for each product handled by Sojitz Group. In the event that relevant laws and regulations such as the Industrial Safety and Health Act, PRTR Act, or Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act undergo revision and cause new chemicals to become subject to regulation, Sojitz’s centralized management system allows the Chemicals Division to quickly identify which products contain the newly regulated chemicals and comply appropriately.
The centralized management system features an at-a-glance view of the relevant laws and regulations listed on each product’s SDS, and employees can also view the product codes for all products subject to a specific law. This structure ensures Sojitz’s full compliance with all laws and regulations.
Chemicals Management Training
The Chemicals Division conducts ongoing trainings and seminars for all employees on chemicals management and environment-related laws and regulations. In FY2022, a total of roughly 900 employees participated in chemicals management trainings both in person and online.
(Current as of March 2023)
|Training on the basics of chemicals management||370|
|Training for review of chemicals management knowledge||232|
|Training on the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act||255|
|New employee training: Chemicals and trade security controls||38|
|On-site training at chemical tank operating company||14|
Chemicals Requiring Gradual Phase-Out
The Chemicals Division does not handle any chemicals that require a gradual phase-out.
Use and Management of Substitutes for Substances of Concern
The Chemicals Division has no history of utilizing substitutes for substances of concern.
Environmental Incidents and Risk Management System: Initial Reporting Process (IPPOU)
The Chemicals Division has established a system for ensuring prompt reporting to relevant departments and regulatory authorities in the event of an unexpected chemicals-related incident. Sojitz’s chemicals management organizational chart and emergency contact chart enable those on site to quickly report any incident to management and other relevant departments, identify the cause, take appropriate corrective measures, and consider future preventative measures. Through this system, the Chemicals Division aims to minimize the spread of damages and to be thorough in imple menting prevention strategies.
There were no environment-related incidents at Sojitz Corporation and Group consolidated subsidiaries in FY2022.
Quality Management Policy
Sojitz Group has established the Sojitz Group Quality Management Policy for the purpose of ensuring the quality of services and products handled by Sojitz Corporation and Group consolidated subsidiaries.
Based on the aforementioned policies, Sojitz Group implements various initiatives to prevent pollution as describe below.
Initiatives at NI Chemical Corporation
1) VOC Measures
2) Management of Hazardous Waste
3) Installation of Oil Fences
4) Establishment of a joint maritime disaster prevention organization with neighboring companies
Disaster drills are held regularly.
Partnering with neighboring companies, NI Chemical has established a joint maritime disaster prevention organization, which regularly holds joint drills that include flood control and other practices to strengthen its disaster prevention capabilities.
This joint organization owns two fire engines and has three people stationed on duty at all times throughout the year.
In order to maintain quality control, safety standards, and efficient handling of chemical products, NI Chemical obtained ISO9001: 2015 certification and strives to maintain certification for 20 years.
Number of incidents or violations by Sojitz Group concerning water intake and discharge
FY2021: 0 cases
In the fiscal year ended March 31st, 2018, Sojitz held a seminar regarding the Waste Management Act featuring outside experts. Including attendees from Group companies, 80 people took part in the seminar.