Management of Chemical Substances
New Chemical Substance Management System
The Sumitomo Electric Group has established a new chemical substance
management system to enhance the management of the chemical substances
handled in the Group. The new system has been operated in Sumitomo Electric's
three Works in Osaka, Itami and Yokohama, and our affiliates in the Works from
fiscal 2011.The management of the PRTR-designated substances has been
transferred from the conventional PRTR system to this new system.
The features of this system are as follows:
- The storage areas of chemical substances are displayed on the building plan so that the amount of the substances stored in the areas can be checked on the screen.
- Relevant laws and regulations as well as MSDS[*1] can be searched and displayed.
- The proper condition for the storage and handling of chemical substances are displayed so that they can be compared with the actual management status in the places of storage and handling to determine whether or not chemicals are properly managed.
- Based on the amount of the materials handled and other data, the amount of the PRTR-designated chemical substances handled, released and transferred can be calculated.
We will introduce this system to our affiliates in Japan and overseas to unify and enhance the management of chemical substances throughout our Group.
Management of Chemical Substances in Products
In pursuit of reducing environmental impact of the products of the Group and our customers, as well as improving compliance, the Sumitomo Electric Group is committed to proper management of chemical substances in products. To this end, we implement the “SEI Guidelines for the Management of Chemical Substances in Products” (note), which was established to specify the items to be carried out at each phase of the manufacturing process such as procurement, design, production and quality assurance based on JIS Z7201 "Management of Chemical Substances in Products - Principles and Guidelines".
We have also established standards for chemical substances in products to be managed at each of the phases, and implement the “SEI Guidelines for Green Quality Purchases” (note) based on the standards, while conducting product assessment at the design and development stages. Through these initiatives, we strive to prevent hazardous chemical substances with large environmental impact such as mercury and cadmium from being contained in products.
The Sumitomo Electric Group also has the Chemical Management Task Committee in place to enhance coordination within the Group.
(Note) As the types of products and requirements from customers differ greatly between divisions and affiliates, the guidelines and standards are applied flexibly according to their respective circumstances.
Compliance with Regional Regulations on Chemical Substances across the Globe
The Sumitomo Electric Group has taken measures to replace the substances listed in the EU RoHS* and ELV Directives*, and is meeting customer demand for products that contain no prohibited substances. While phthalates and some bromine-based flame retardants are considered to be potentially added to the list of substances banned by the RoHS Directive, we have launched efforts to discontinue their use in the products subject to the directive as part of an initiative in the Action ECO-21 (Phase Ⅴ) Campaign. In fiscal 2013, we completed the survey to identify the amount of those substances used in each of the Group companies.
At the same time, to comply with the REACH* regulation, we are preparing for final registration of the chemical substances subject to this obligation, and completed the registration of gallium arsenide (GaAs) in 2012. We are also making efforts to ensure appropriate response to the requirements of the REACH regulation including reporting of the SVHC* contained in products.
In the meantime, to quickly respond to progressive tightening of regional regulations on chemical substances across the globe, we are continuously working to collect information on regulations in Europe, China and other countries and share the information within the Group.