Management of Chemical Substances
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 stage 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 the “SEI Standards for Chemical Substance Management,” which are the standards for the management of chemical substances in products to be managed at each of the stages, 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.
Compliance with Regional
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. For example, we already discontinued the direct use of the four types of phthalates to be banned by the RoHS Directive from 2019 in our products by the end of fiscal 2017 in advance. We are also making efforts to avoid the use of these substances in the parts to be used in our products through cooperation with suppliers.
At the same time, to comply with the REACH* regulation, we are working for final registration of chemical substances one by one as required and completed the registration of gallium arsenide (GaAs) in 2012 and tungsten carbide (WC) in 2017.
We are also making efforts to ensure appropriate responses to the requirements of the REACH regulation including reporting of the SVHC* contained in products.
To quickly respond to progressive tightening of regional regulations on chemical substances across the globe, our group is working to collect information on regulations in Europe, China, Southeast Asia and other countries and share the information within the Group.
* RoHS Directive
RoHS stands for Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances. This EU Directive restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.
* ELV Directive
ELV stands for End of Life Vehicles. This EU Directive restricts the use of lead and three other hazardous heavy metals in automobiles to reduce the impact of end-of-life vehicles on the environment.
* REACH regulations
REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. Regulations of the European Parliament and of the Council for protection of human health and the environment in the European Union.
* SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern)
SVHC stands for Substances of Very High Concern. Chemical substances designated by the EU as substances which may cause serious effects to human health or the environment.
Reduction of the Release of Harmful Chemical Substances
Release and Transfer of Chemical Substances Specified in the PRTR Law
Sumitomo Electric and its affiliates in Japan, using the chemical substance management system developed by the Company, measure the amount of PRTR substances treated per month, and calculate the amount of these substances released and transferred in order to report annually in accordance with the law.
＊PRTR Law： Act on Confirmation, etc. of Release Amounts of Specific Chemical Substances in, the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof.
Soil and Groundwater Remediation
We disclosed the pollution status of three major Works (Osaka, Itami and Yokohama) in August 2001. At those three Works and other domestic sites where pollution has been identified through our surveys conducted thus far, we are continuing soil and groundwater remediation by soil replacement, groundwater pumping and soil gas absorption. We also conduct groundwater monitoring on a regular basis, and have confirmed that the pollution has not spread outside the sites.
Measures against Dioxins and Asbestos
The aluminum alloy manufacturing facility and its exhaust gas purification facility at Sumitomo Electric Toyama Co., Ltd. are subject to the Law Concerning Special Measures against Dioxins. We have ensured that emissions from these facilities remain within regulated standards.
At present, the Sumitomo Electric Group produces no products using asbestos.