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Environment:Chemical Substance Management

Initiatives to Minimize the Environmental Impact of Chemical Substances

As represented by the enforcement of the REACH regulation*1 in the European Union, the world is moving toward the goals agreed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in 2002, which is to produce and use all chemical substances in a manner that minimizes their impact on human health and the environment by 2020. In support of the precautionary approach proposed in the Rio Declaration made at the Earth Summit in 1992, we have been manufacturing products in line with our basic policy of minimizing the use of chemical substances that might adversely affect human health and the environment throughout their lifecycles. As specific initiatives, we aim to minimize the environmental impact of our products by (1) identifying hazardous substances contained in our products, (2) evaluating these substances on their environmental impact, and (3) voluntarily reducing or discontinuing their use in case of any environmental risks.

  • *1Regulations on the registration, evaluation, authorization, and restriction of chemical substances.

Process to Minimize Environmental Impact

To promote our initiatives clearly, we set forth our Chemical Substances Management Rank Guidelines, which prohibit or specify certain substances for management in terms of our products and factory activities. Companies in the Panasonic Group are requested to follow the Guidelines, and suppliers are also requested for support as necessary. In fiscal 2013, we added Level 3 to the Chemical Substances Management Rank Guidelines to review the timing for the prohibition of further substances that may adversely affect humans and the environment, in addition to the current and forthcoming prohibitions.

Chemical Substances Management Rank Guidelines (for products)

Rank Definition
Prohibit Level 1
  1. (1)A substance contained in products that is prohibited by existing laws and regulations; or a substance where the upper limit of concentration is specified.
  2. (2)A substance that will be prohibited in products by laws and regulations or where the upper limit of concentration will be specified within one year of the revision of these Guidelines.
Level 2
  1. (1)Substances other than those specified as the Level 1 Prohibited Substances that will be prohibited in products after a certain period by a treaty, law, or regulation.
  2. (2)Substances that are prohibited in products by the Panasonic Group prior to the effective period specified by a treaty, law, or regulation.
  3. (3)Substances whose use is voluntarily restricted by the Panasonic Group.
Level 3 These substances, none of which are prohibited by the Panasonic Group at present, are those reviewed for prohibition by legislation etc., and the clarification of substitution-related issues as well as the timing for prohibition is reviewed by the Panasonic Group in light of future legislation trends.
Manage Substances whose consumption needs to be monitored and for which consideration needs to be given to human health, safety and hygiene, adequate treatment, etc. The intentional use of these substances is not restricted, but their use and contained concentration must be monitored.

Chemical Substances Management Rank Guidelines (for factories)

Rank Definition
Prohibit Use of the following substances should be immediately discontinued:
• Carcinogens for humans
• Ozone depleting substances (excluding HCFCs)
• Substances whose use is prohibited by Panasonic
• Chemical substances designated as Class I Specified Chemical Substances by the Japanese Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture, etc.
• Substances whose manufacture is prohibited by the Japanese Industrial Safety and Health Act
• Substances whose manufacture and use are prohibited by international treaties
Reduce • Substances whose use, release and transfer should be identified and reduced
• Substances other than prohibited substances that might pose risks to human health and the environment

Chemical Substances Management Rank Guidelines

  • *2Excluding applications where the quality such as safety cannot be ensured, or applications where the material is designated by laws and regulations.

Management of Chemical Substances in Products

To minimize the environmental impact of chemical substances contained in products, we endeavor to identify chemical substances used in the components and materials of our products. In addition, for substances that are prohibited in products in major developed countries due to legislation such as the European RoHS Directive, we specify prohibited substances to globally ensure that they are not used or contained in our products, except in certain cases where substitution of the substances are infeasible. Moving forward, we will conduct environmental impact assessments for managed substances contained in our products, take steps to reduce the use of substances where the impact on human health and the environment cannot be ignored, and create plans to eventually prohibit the use.

Identifying Chemical Substances in Products

To contribute to the achievement of the global goals set at the WSSD, it is important for us to disclose and communicate information on the chemical substances used in our products across the supply chain, for which we must promote cross-industrial initiatives to establish and disseminate an effective system. We are a member of the Joint Article Management Promotion consortium (JAMP) together with about 400 major companies from various industries, such as chemical, component, and equipment manufacturers. We are proactively formulating, utilizing, and disseminating chemical substance management standards and systems through this organization.

Since fiscal 2005, we have been using a chemical substance management system, GP-Web, to gather data concerning the chemical substances contained in the components and materials for our products from our suppliers. From July 2009, this data has been collected from more suppliers in a common format by the Joint Article Management Promotion Consortium (JAMP).

Because only the manufacturer of a certain part knows what substances are contained therein, it is necessary to request information not only to our suppliers but also to further upstream suppliers who do not have direct transactions with Panasonic. In order to ensure that the communication of this information flows efficiently, we have created an online e-learning site regarding chemical substance management in Japanese, Chinese, and English. In accordance with the update of the JAMP format in January 2012 in light of the recast of the European RoHS Directive, we have also updated the e-learning site in March 2012 and are providing explanations to suppliers.


Session held for our Thai suppliers

Session held for our Thai suppliers

Companies that procure electronic components may need to have a full understanding of the substances contained in the components at the point of selection or usage in order to adhere to the EU RoHS Directive and REACH regulation. Particularly, as the REACH Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) List is updated every six months, those companies expect their suppliers to provide the latest substance data to demonstrate compliance with the list.

Also, as a company supplying electronic components to other companies, we have published a table of RoHS and REACH compliance status on our website since November 2012 so that our clients can obtain relevant chemical substance information from us quickly and efficiently. The table covers our RoHS Directive compliance information and the substances designated in the REACH SVHC List for all our major generic electronic components.

Table of RoHS and REACH compliance status

Further, in addition to confirming the chemical substance data, we confirm the chemical substance control efforts at our suppliers. In fiscal 2013, we conducted the Green Procurement Survey to ascertain the efforts of our suppliers in reducing environmental impact. One of the focuses in the survey is thorough control of chemical substances. Details of the survey can be found in the Green Procurement Standards.

Green Procurement Standards

Assessing the Impact of Chemical Substances

Scientifically identifying the impact on human health and the environment of products containing chemical substances is vital to the development of products with low environmental impact. We are engaging in activities designed to assess the levels to which customers are exposed to substances of very high concern (SVHC), as well as safety at the time of product use.

To date, we have undertaken assessments on the impact of phthalate ester contained in power supply cables and ceramic fibers used in some models of professional microwave ovens. As part of our efforts to comply with the EU REACH regulation which requires preparing information for the safe use of products containing SVHC we have created and disclosed a safety assessment document for both cases. In each case, exposure was considered to be nominal with little concern for any impact on human health.

Management of Chemical Substances in Products

Reducing the Use of PVC Resin

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a material of concerns to the generation of hazardous substances from inappropriate disposal, as well as the harmful effects of certain additive agents (phthalate ester) used to render PVC more pliable. In light of the significant potential for inappropriate disposal of the PVC resin used in the internal wiring of products-due mainly to difficulties associated with the sorting of this resin from used products-we have switched our new products launched from April 2011 to non-PVC.

List of Our PVC-free Products*3 (as of the end of June 2013)

PVC-free Product Description Model Numbers
Cellular phone P-02E, and 5 other models
Ventilating fan FY-17C7, and 28 other models
Blood pressure monitor EW-BW50, and 5 other models
Men's shaver ES6500, and 4 other models
Nail polisher ES-WC20, and 1 other model
Pedicure care heel buffer ES2502
Toothbrush EW-DS15
Nose hair trimmer ER-GN10, and 2 other models
Ear hair trimmer ER402
Baby hair trimmer ER3300
Household body composition balance monitor EW-FA71, and 1 other model
Eyelash curler EH-SE50, and 5 other models
Ladies shaver ES2235, and 2 other models
Epilator ES2011, and 2 other models
Facial trimmer ES2105, and 5 other models
Step counter EW-NK52, and 2 other models
Low-frequency muscle stimulator EW-NA11
Electric inhaler EW-KA30
LED panel display unit LNP193074, and 3 other models
Office/business lighting equipment LGBJ71000, and 2 other models
Earth leakage breaker BKS23020NT
Time switch/box type TB311, and 1 other model
Ballast cabinet BNDE4101VN
Network adapter BNZY8210NA
Fiber to the home system AD-F1108/AD-F1211
Optical feeder AMPlifier EA-WD0DL210
Multi-branch repeater AD-4607RULEA
Evolved node base station system EA-B1BDE
PCS (1.9GHz) RRH (TX25MHz) EA-L19RHAA0
Underground optical feeder system EA-WEBASAA
800MHz transceiver duplexer unit EA-L80TRA70/80
Multi-drop optical feeder EA-WFBASAA
AWS(2.1GHz/1.7GHz) transceiver duplexer unit EA-LAWTRAA0
LED flash module LNU000103B, and 1 other model
  • *3Excluding a resin binder containing PVC-vinyl acetate copolymer (ink, etc.). In refering to "PVC-free" here, a main body of each model is covered , and some of the peripheral accessories contain PVC.

Management of Chemical Substances at Factories

We have continued to promote cutbacks in the use, release, and transfer of chemical substances at our factories since fiscal 2000. Compared with the level of fiscal 1999, we reduced the amount of chemical substances used by 81% and also reduced the release and transfer of chemical substances by 60% in fiscal 2006. Particular attention was placed on substances that have a large amount of release and transfer since then, and as a result we reduced the amounts of key reduction-target substances by 46% in fiscal 2011 compared with fiscal 2006.

Reflecting international trends in chemical substance management, our reduction measures have focused increasingly on particularly hazardous substances from fiscal 2011. Under our Chemical Substances Management Rank Guidelines for factories, we have focused our management on select chemical substances that are hazardous to human health and the environment. Moreover, we classified chemical substances based on their hazardousness and created a unique indicator, Human Environmental Impact,*4 by specifying a "hazardousness factor" for each substance.

Based on data in fiscal 2011, we developed a plan to reduce the Human Environmental Impact by 3.5% in fiscal 2013. We improved the efficiency of removal/deodorization equipment, improved yields, promoted recycling, introduced substances with low solvents and hazards, and improved processes including reviewing the amount of substances used or the number of times for washing, and these efforts enabled us to reduce the Human Environmental Impact by 19.7%.

  • *4Human Environmental Impact = Hazardous factor x Release and transfer amount.*5
  • *5Release amount: Includes emission to air, public water areas, and soil.
    Transfer amount: Includes transfer as waste and discharge into the sewage system. Recycling that is free of charge or recycling where Panasonic pays a fee for treatment under the Waste Management Law is included in “Transfer.” (Different from the transferred amount reported under the PRTR Law.)

Approach to the Management of Substances Based on the Chemical Substances Management Rank Guidelines (for factories)

Governing laws and regulations (Japan):
  • Regulations on the management of chemical substances (PRTR Act, etc.)
  • Regulations on environmental conservation (environmental criteria under the Basic Environment Act, etc.)
  • Regulations on occupational health and safety (Industrial Safety and Health Act)
  • International treaties (Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, etc.)
Hazards to be included in the assessment target:
  • Hazards to human health: Carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, reproductive toxicity, and acute toxicity
  • Hazards to the environment: Substances that might cause ecological toxicity, ozone layer depletion, global warming, or generate photochemical oxidants

Classification of Hazards

Classification Hazards to human health Hazards to the environment Hazardousness factor
A Carcinogenicity Ozone layer depletion ×10,000
B Serious or direct impact ×1,000
C Medium impact ×100
D Small or indirect impact ×10
E Minor impact or not assessed ×1

Human Environmental Impact

Note: Overseas sites of former SANYO Electric not included in fiscal 2011 through 2012.

Material Balance of Substances Requiring Management*6 in Fiscal 2013

  • *6Based on the Chemical Substances Management Rank Guidelines (for factories). Including the substances in the Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers.
  • *7The amount of substances converted into other substances through neutralization, decomposition, or other chemical treatment within the factory.
  • *8The amount of substances recycled with revenue, as well as those recycled free of charge or with any payment.
  • *9The amount of substances that have been changed to other substances as a result of chemical reactions, and/or those that are contained in or accompanied with products and shipped out of factories.
  • *10Includes substances transferred as waste, as well as those discharged into the sewage system. Recycled amount which is free of charge or accompanies treatment cost under the Waste Management Law is included in “Recycled.” (Different from the transferred amount reported under the PRTR Law.)

Note: Overseas sites of former SANYO Electric not included in fiscal 2012.

Results of Surveys on Substances Requiring Management in Fiscal 2013


Chemical substances PRTR category Used Total amounts released and transferred Released Transferred Removed Recycled Shipped as products
Released into air Released into public waterways Released into soil Landfill
Carbon dioxide   1127.9 1126.8 1126.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.1 1.0
Isopropyl alcohol   2571.7 779.4 713.7 1.5 0.0 0.0 64.2 123.2 1572.7 96.4
Ethanol   492.3 403.0 383.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 19.6 18.1 55.8 15.4
Xylene 1-080 341.6 232.8 229.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.3 71.8 17.0 19.9
cyclopentane   1350.8 232.0 231.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1 0.0 0.0 1118.7
Toluene 1-300 1030.7 206.5 199.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 7.2 618.6 158.5 47.1
Methyl ethyl ketone   3656.3 177.2 174.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.3 2820.7 515.1 143.3
Methanol   4047.1 158.8 156.3 0.2 0.0 0.0 2.3 2517.7 843.3 527.2
Fused silica   2140.9 154.9 0.3 0.0 0.1 0.0 154.6 5.0 441.1 1539.8
Acetone   2014.3 145.7 143.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.4 1509.4 343.7 15.5
Styrene 1-240 5732.5 78.9 74.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.2 745.5 92.3 4815.9
Ethylene glycol mono-n-butyl ether   100.9 78.8 78.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9 5.4 13.9 2.8
n-butyl acetate   266.9 76.1 75.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.7 110.3 79.5 1.0
N-Methyl-2-pyrrolidone   3180.9 73.1 4.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 68.7 7.4 3099.5 0.8
1 - butanol   174.3 71.1 35.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 35.3 12.6 69.1 21.5
Manganese and its compounds 1-412 28242.6 69.6 0.7 0.3 0.0 0.0 68.6 0.2 199.1 27973.7
Methyl isobutyl ketone   82.0 64.4 62.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.2 7.1 8.9 1.6
Phosphoric acid   390.1 63.3 3.9 1.2 0.0 0.0 58.2 253.0 64.2 9.6
Ethyl acetate   70.4 53.4 52.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9 2.2 3.8 11.1
Calcium hydrate   3598.9 52.8 0.0 34.7 0.0 0.0 18.1 2370.0 745.9 430.2
Other PRTR substances   122240.2 395.5 244.9 46.9 0.0 0.0 103.7 3401.7 3472.2 114970.9
Other substance groups   144823.6 718.8 416.4 33.0 0.3 2.2 266.9 22068.6 10457.7 111578.5
Total   327677.0 5412.9 4406.1 118.1 0.4 2.2 886.0 36668.6 22253.2 263342.2

Release/Transfer of Substances Requiring Management

Note: A Number of substances were added to the scope of the Management Rank in fiscal 2011. Former SANYO Electric is not included in fiscal 2009 through 2010. Overseas sites of former SANYO Electric are not included in fiscal 2011 through 2012.

Release ⁄ transfer of Substances in the Management Rank Per Basic Unit of Consolidated Sales*11 for Fiscal 2013

Global 0.07 tons⁄ 100 million yen
  • *11Release ⁄ transfer of substances in the Management Rank per basic unit of consolidated sales = release⁄ transfer of substances in the Management Rank ⁄ consolidated sales.




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