As a company that manufactures and sells chemicals, the AGC Group promotes Responsible Care (Note 1), voluntarily secures the environment, safety and health in all processes from development through manufacture, use and disposal, and actively communicates with society. The AGC Group has also signed the Responsible Care Global Charter, which was revised in 2014.
With regard to the management of chemical substances in manufacturing processes, the management of chemical substances used at each production site, the placement of knowledgeable chemical substance managers, and the appropriate implementation of risk assessment are being promoted based on the introduction of risk assessment for chemical substances.
Meanwhile, the Group maintains and supplies SDS (Safety Data Sheets (Note 2)) on a global basis to provide customers with information regarding the proper handling of products during use and disposal and the product’s influence on health and the environment. At the end of December 2015, the Group had released Japanese language versions for 1,906 product types, English versions for 921 product types, and Chinese versions for 114 product types, and for a number of products, SDSs have been issued in Korean, Malay and other languages. In addition, the Group prepared Japanese, English and Chinese labels in the GHS (The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) format, the international standard, and to prepare versions in other languages tailored to the specifications at export destinations. It is also working to construct a system whereby SDS in each country’s language will be administered and maintained at each location in Europe, the U.S., Asia and elsewhere. Administration and management began in Europe and China in 2012, and in the U.S. in 2013.
With regard to the chemical substances contained in AGC Group’s products, in compliance with the EU's REACH chemical regulations, the Group is drafting plans to register chemical substances, thereby meeting chemical regulations in Japan and overseas. The registration deadline is 2018, and it will be promoted in the order of descending priority. Also in 2015, the Group transitioned to directly registering substances for which it had previously depended on raw material suppliers or intermediate tradesmen for registration—a move geared towards increasing the number of raw material suppliers. The Group is proactively handling other cases. These include Taiwan, where new laws have come into effect, Korea, where there have been significant legal reforms, and China, where regulations on chemicals are being tightened.
Based on the PRTR Act, the AGC Group (Japan) releases information via its homepage regarding emission and transfer of chemical byproducts discharged during manufacturing, and is working to reduce the amounts discharged.
Yellow Cards used by the AGC Group
When transporting chemical substances, the AGC Group (Japan) uses Yellow Cards printed with emergency measures to be taken by the persons concerned, tailored to the special properties of the chemical substances and products in the load. These cards are drafted for each product and product class. As of the end of December 2015, there are 73 kinds. In addition, the Group also creates Container Yellow Cards for use in labeling.
The AGC Group completed the removal of friable asbestos in 2008. The Group is also appropriately managing non-friable asbestos.
Under Japanese law, all PCBs need to be appropriately disposed by March 2027.
Accordingly, AGC Asahi Glass and the AGC Group (Japan) respectively discontinued the use of electric devices that contained PCBs by the end of 2005 and 2009. At present, these devices are stored according to the legislation, and the treatment, which has been entrusted to the Japan Environmental Storage & Safety Corporation (JESCO), is moving forward. Furthermore, the AGC Group (Japan) decided to continue processing low-concentration PCBs.
In October 2010, the Minamata Convention on Mercury was adopted by the United Nations, and the ramifications were still emerging in 2016. The AGC Group is endeavoring to fully grasp understand the current state of inclusion and use of mercury in its own manufacturing processes, and across its entire supply chain.