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.
Complying with Legislation of Chemicals and High Pressure Gases
Following revisions to the Industrial Safety and Health Law, it became mandatory to perform risk assessments of hazardous chemicals from June 2016. The SCREEN Group introduced “Hazard Manager” to improve the management level of chemicals and high-pressure gases. From the fiscal year ended March 2018, we have been working to implement inventory management using “Hazard Manager” .
In accordance with Japan’s Pollutant Release and Transfer Register（PRTR）Law, we report the volumes of chemical substances such as ferric chloride, hydrogen fluoride and its water-soluble compounds handled and emitted at Hikone Plant.
In addition, we perform both spot and regularly scheduled inspections of all relevant equipment in accordance with Fluorocarbon Emission Control Law. In the fiscal year ended March 2022, none of our facilities detected fluorocarbons leakages beyond the reporting standards.
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 ending March 31, 2022, confirmed our full compliance with all relevant laws.
In the fiscal year ending March 31, 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. We work to ensure our products comply with applicable laws and regulations, and as part of that effort we revised our Green Procurement Standards in April 2022 to prohibit inclusion of newly prohibited substances in procured items.
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 industrial waste. Rinsing liquid is discharged into a river after being purified at a wastewater treatment plant in compliance with voluntary standards that are stricter than legal standards. We establish and adhere to voluntary standards that are stricter than legal standards.
During the fiscal year ending March 31, 2022, we not only continued to adhere to voluntary standards, but also conducted an environmental impact assessment using a technique known as WET testing* to ascertain how wastewater from our production facilities affects various forms of life. We monitor our wastewater treatment facility 24 hours a day, and there’s a population of fireflies in the area downstream of the river into which the purified water is discharged. We’ve also installed an emergency tank to collect contaminated water in the event of an emergency, and the facility is designed to keep pollutants from being discharged outside the site.
*Whole effluent toxicity, a wastewater management technique that uses biological assays to make a comprehensive assessment of the impact of chemical substances contained in rivers, public water supplies, and industrial wastewater.
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.