Environmental Risk Management
Any environmental pollution resulting from Epson's business activities could have a serious impact on residents of the surrounding area, as well as for the rest of the region or country. We follow Group-wide standards for pollution control and ensure that all members are well acquainted with the ideas and laws of environmental risk management. Each promotion unit uses ISO 14001 to identify and assess the risk of failing to meet standards or of experiencing environmental complaints or incidents in an ongoing effort to continuously mitigate those risks.
In the 2020 fiscal year, Epson’s emissions exceeded the legal limit in one incident and the company was assessed an administrative penalty in another, but the incidents were addressed with prompt government reporting and equipment improvements. Neither incident had a serious impact on the environment. There were no environmental complaints or accidents.
|Legal limit exceeded||NOx emissions exceeded the legal limit in soot producing equipment|
|Administrative penalty||Waste material was stored in an unapproved location (145,000 yuan fine)|
Environmental due diligence
We investigate the environmental aspects prior to acquiring new businesses and land through M&As as part of due diligence. We investigate all sites, and not only manufacturing sites, to confirm whether there are any problems involving things such as soil and groundwater pollution and hazardous wastes prior to entering into new contractual agreements.
Soil and Groundwater Remediation
Epson is pumping and treating groundwater contaminated by chlorinated organic solvents at several sites in Japan, including at its Head Office. In addition, we have barriers in place to prevent further contamination. The concentration of trichlorethylene in groundwater is under long-term management and is moving toward compliance with environmental standards.
Site Groundwater Data and Remediation Methods
Groundwater trichloroethylene concentration trend (annual average in wells with highest concentration at each site)
|Head Office||mg/L||6.2||18||11||Barrier, pump and treat, monitoring|
|Shiojiri||mg/L||0.17||0.12||0.10||Barrier, pump and treat, monitoring|
|Fujimi||mg/L||0.013||0.008||0.013||Barrier, pump and treat, monitoring|
|Suwa-Minami||mg/L||0.048||0.049||0.038||Barrier, pump and treat, monitoring|
Reference: Trichloroethylene standards
- Environmental quality standard for groundwater under Japan's Basic Environmental Law: 0.01 mg/L max.
- Groundwater remediation standard under Japan's Water Quality Pollution Control Act: 0.01 mg/L max.
- Groundwater standard under Japan's Soil Contamination Countermeasures Law: 0.01 mg/L max.
Epson's Chitose Plant is located upstream from Lake Utonai, which has been designated as a national wildlife protection area and a Ramsar Site.
Wastewater generated in manufacturing processes is detoxified and then discharged into sewers. To prevent leaked chemicals and other substances from leaking offsite, rainwater is collected in a retention basin to monitor the pH and oil levels before flowing into Lake Chitose and Lake Utonai via the Bibigawa River. All chemicals, waste materials, and wastewater treatment systems are located indoors to prevent them from leaking off the site.
Epson's internal policy specifies that wastes must be processed in the country in which they originate. We do not directly import or export any wastes, including hazardous wastes specified under the Basel Convention.
However, we employ subcontractors who satisfy the requirements of the Basel Convention to process fluorescent lamps, etc., that originate in countries and regions where it is difficult to process them domestically.
PCB Waste Storage
PCB waste storage in the domestic Epson Group is summarized below.
We plan to finish disposing of the PCB waste that is currently in storage by the legal deadline.
|Transformer equipment, etc.||Disposal already complete|
|Other electric facilities||Machinery and equipment are being investigated for the presence of PCBs. (They will be disposed of as soon as PCBs are found to be present.)|
|Fluorescent light ballast||Two units are awaiting disposal. All others have been disposed of.|
All buildings owned by the Epson Group in Japan were investigated for asbestos by the end of the 2019 fiscal year. Level 1 asbestos (extremely high friability) and level 2 asbestos (high friability) are enclosed, sealed or, when necessary, removed to prevent human exposure. We also regularly test for airborne asbestos dust indoors in areas where asbestos-containing building materials are used, including where asbestos has been enclosed and sealed, to verify safety.