Epson and the Environment
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.
While Epson incurred regulatory violations and administrative penalties in fiscal 2017, these incidents were quickly reported and corrective actions such as improvements to equipment are being completed. None of these had any significant impact on the environment, nor did they result in any large fines (fines in excess of US$10,000), claims, or accidents.
|Legal/regulatory violations||Volume of grease flushed into sewer exceeded discharge limit.|
|Administrative penalties||Violations of installation controls on VOC treatment equipment. (fine)|
|Violations of installation controls on warning equipment for high concentrations of flammable gases in a storage vault for hazardous materials -- waste products. (fine)|
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. In addition, treated wastewater discharged into sewers is monitored to ensure that it remains within 1/1000th of the discharge standard (0.1 mg/liter).
Site Groundwater Data and Remediation Methods
Groundwater trichloroethylene concentration trend (annual average in wells with highest concentration at each site)
|Head Office||15||17||17||Barrier, pump and treat, monitoring|
|Shiojiri||0.22||0.21||0.31||Barrier, pump and treat, monitoring|
|Fujimi||0.043||0.025||0.014||Barrier, pump and treat, monitoring|
|Suwa-Minami||0.050||0.045||0.041||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.