The SCREEN Group maintains an environmental, health and safety (EHS) policy that helps us to observe all applicable legislation as we work to meet the expectations of our stakeholders. We regularly assess our activities under this policy to ensure full compliance with regulations. The evaluations are carried out twice a year utilizing regulatory registration tables and compliance assessment and outcome reports. This process also covers the legal requirements for chemical substances. Our latest evaluation, conducted for the fiscal year ended March 2018, confirmed we are in full compliance with all relevant laws.
Following revisions to the Industrial Safety and Health Law, it became mandatory to perform risk assessments of chemical substances from June 2016. However, under Phase III of Green Value (GV) 21, the SCREEN Group was already targeting improved management of chemicals and gases and had previously introduced HazardManager. This IT system enables us to undertake thorough risk assessments whenever we begin using new chemicals or gases. In line with Phase IV of GV 21, from the fiscal year ended March 2018, we have also been working to implement inventory control using HazardManager.
In accordance with Japan’s PRTR Law, we carefully report the volumes of chemical substances such as hydrogen fluoride and ferric chloride handled and emitted at our Hikone Plant. In addition, under Japan’s law to limit fluorocarbons (CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs) emissions, we perform both spot and regularly scheduled inspections of all relevant equipment. During the fiscal year ended March 2018, none of our facilities detected fluorocarbons leakages that reached required reporting standards.
As of March 31, 2015, the Group had safely disposed of 234 condensers containing high concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 15 other pieces of equipment containing low concentrations of PCBs, as required under the Law on Special Measures concerning Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Waste and the Waste Disposal and Public Cleansing Law. We have also completed packaging and registration of 179 fluorescent light ballasts, which are currently awaiting disposal. The Group thus carefully stores and reports on the storage status of PCBs in accordance with all relevant legislation.
Complying with Product Legislation
The SCREEN Group is committed to sustainable management based on a policy of delivering products that take safety and the global environment into consideration. This approach is included in our EHS management framework. To satisfy the requirements of environmental legislation in different countries, we share regular updates through the Product EHS subcommittee and closely support the efforts of individual operating companies to maintain full compliance.
We also perform regular assessments at related Group companies to ensure compliance with product legislation. The evaluations are carried out twice a year using regulatory registration tables and compliance assessment and outcome reports. Our latest evaluation, for the period ended March 2018, confirmed our full compliance with all relevant laws.
In the fiscal year ended March 2012, the Group introduced the ProChemist IT system, used for investigating constituent substances, to ensure we adhere to the EU’s REACH chemical regulations. The system allowed us to start tracking substances of very high concern (SVHC) throughout the entire supply chain. In March 2018, ProChemist was upgraded, with the completion of work to support the chemSHERPA research format promoted by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
The EU has also expanded the number of prohibited substances covered by its RoHS directive from six to ten. To accommodate these changes, we revised our Green Procurement Standards in September 2018 in order to prevent any sourcing of items containing these four newly banned substances. The Group will continue to make every effort to comply with product-related legislation.
Advanced scrubbers (exhaust cleaning devices) are installed at all laboratory and research facilities handling the chemical substances used by our semiconductor production equipment business. After contaminants have been removed from the exhaust gas, it is discharged into the outdoor air. Facility staff are also working to reduce risk factors by regularly analysing exhaust particles and inspecting equipment.
Used undiluted solution is collected in tanks and processed as waste while rinsing liquid is purified using waste treatment equipment before being discharged into local rivers. The facilities have established extremely strict independent standards as well as a 24 hour monitoring protocol. The water discharged into rivers is so pure that even highly sensitive fireflies have been found living in downstream areas.
Emergency storage tanks have also been installed to receive contaminated water in the unlikely event of an accident. The configuration ensures harmful substances will not be released outside the facilities under any circumstances.
Chemical Leakage Training
Hikone Plant, Yasu Plant, Rakusai Site and other facilities handling chemicals conduct regular training on how to clean up leakages of substances with different characteristics. The frequently repeated drills ensure employees can respond quickly even if an accident unexpectedly occurs.
Managing Soil and Groundwater Contamination Risks
Hikone Plant is the main manufacturing base for SCREEN’s semiconductor and display production equipment businesses. The facility uses above-ground piping to handle any waste liquid requiring purification as a measure to prevent contamination of soil and groundwater.
As the waste liquid is transported via the above-ground piping as far as the treatment equipment, employees can visually monitor conditions and respond quickly in the event of an emergency. The piping system is also inspected regularly to minimize any risk of a leakage.
Embankments have been created around the locations of storage tanks for chemicals that require waste treatment processing. These areas have also been made chemical resistant. Even if a leak does occur, the structure means no harmful substances leave the site.
Groundwater observation wells
Yasu Plant is equipped with groundwater observation wells to improve its chemical handling. Employees perform regular water quality surveys to confirm there is no contamination.