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CSR Report

Fujikura Group CSR Report 2011
Environmental Performance

Managing Chemical Substances and VOCs

Managing and Reducing the Use of Chemical Substances

Lead-free and eco-friendly product design

For chemical substances used by Fujikura and other Group manufacturing companies in Japan, including substances contained in materials and those used in the manufacturing processes, the release and transfer of the following chemical substances are notified to the government by each of the manufacturing sites: specified chemical substances treated in amounts of one ton or more, as provided for in the Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof ("PRTR Act"). In fiscal 2010, the PRTR Act was revised and the number of specified chemical substances was increased from 354 to 462. In fiscal 2010, the total release and transfer of these substances from Fujikura and 18 other domestic Group companies came to 32 tons, down 22% on the fiscal 2007 level.

The main chemical substances that we treat include antimony, lead compounds, and bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, which are all used as additives to plastics and rubber materials, and xylene and toluene used in ink solvents and in gasoline for transporting vehicles. To reduce the release and transfer of these chemical substances, we will discontinue the use of lead and foster the use of eco-friendly substances in our products, and convert them to alternative materials.

Release and transfer of chemical substances specified in the PRTR Act

Management of VOCs

Reducing atmospheric emissions of VOCs

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals that easily form vapor at normal temperature and pressure.

VOCs are suspended particulate matter and one of the pollutants that are said to be a cause of photochemical oxidants. The Fujikura Group designated the following nine substances as priority VOCs, the use of which should be reduced before others: xylene, toluene, acetone, cyclohexanone, methylethylketone, isopropyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, and ethyl acetate. We are working to reduce their use and atmospheric emissions.

The table below shows domestic Group companies' total atmospheric emissions of substances that each exceeded one ton per year.

We have been promoting the use of alternatives and the prevention of atmospheric VOC emissions since fiscal 2005, and as a result have achieved a 50% reduction for isopropyl alcohol and methyl alcohol and a nearly 80% reduction for ethyl acetate. Due to increases in the production of some products, however, the use of toluene substantially increased, resulting in only a 4% reduction in our total atmospheric VOC emissions.

Annual atmospheric VOC emissions
Fiscal 2005
(base year)
Fiscal 2006 Fiscal 2007 Fiscal 2008 Fiscal 2009 Fiscal 2010
Atmospheric
emissions
(tons)
85 81 92 82 82 82

Atmospheric VOC emissions in Japan