CSR / Environment

Safety and Security

Sharp’s Stance on Management of Chemical Substances

Sharp’s products are built from a plurality of parts and materials and contain wide-ranging chemical substances. Our production processes at factories also use chemical substances.

Chemical substances are useful for enhancing the performance and quality of products, whereas some of them may have negative effects on the natural environment and human health. There were pollution and environmental problems caused by chemical substances in the past. Today, regulations to manage chemical substances are imposed in many countries. Some include prohibited or restricted use of specified chemical substances and labeling requirements, and others require the management of information on product content data, reporting of the amounts discharged into the atmosphere and water areas, management of the working environment, and occupational health management.

In accordance with our Basic Environmental Policy of “Creating an Environmentally Conscious Company with Sincerity and Creativity,” the Sharp Code of Conduct stipulates the management of chemical substances as follows, on the precondition of compliance with applicable environmental laws, regulations, and regional agreements.

  • We will work to compile information related to hazardous substances that might damage the environment or human health, and will not, as a matter of principle, make use of these hazardous substances in our products and services.
  • We will ensure proper use and control, and also reduce our consumption of chemical substances in our business activities, including research, development, and manufacturing, at levels meeting or exceeding those stipulated by laws and regulations.

To “properly manage chemicals in order to protect people’s health, the natural environment, and ecosystems” is another goal of Sharp. It is a long-term objective set in the SHARP Eco Vision 2050 long-term environmental vision in the safety and security field of action.

An example of our specific efforts to manage chemical substances in products is Delivered Goods Evaluation, in which we check chemical substances contained in components and materials delivered for our production in cooperation with our suppliers. It allows us to monitor and manage information on chemical substances contained in our products. At the factory-level, the process assessment system is in place. It is a preliminary assessment of new chemical substances to be used or equipment retrofitted or modified for handling chemical substances and is performed to check their safety and environmental impact.

Chemical Substance Management System

Managing Chemical Substances Contained in Products

In order to reduce environmental impacts of its products and to comply with chemical substance regulations in relevant countries, Sharp manages chemical substances contained in its products in accordance with its own management categories that take into account applicable laws and regulations in relevant countries, voluntary standards set by industry groups, and even potential future regulations. We determine chemical substances that we should manage according to these categories, notify suppliers, and conduct a survey of chemical substances contained in products to obtain chemical substance content data.

Determining Which Chemical Substances to Manage

Sharp’s Standard Manual for Management of Chemical Substances Contained in Parts and Materials is made available to the public to clarify the chemical substances it manages according to its own management categories. This manual divides the target chemical substances into three categories: banned substances, substances banned depending on the application, and managed substances. For each category, applications, criteria values, and the date of total abolition are defined.

Management Categories of Chemical Substances

Category Description Remarks
Banned substances Substances that cannot be used for any purpose
  • Substances whose inclusion in products is currently regulated or is expected to be regulated in the future under laws and regulations and on environmental labels in Japan or overseas
  • Substances that Sharp regulates on its own initiative in advance of global trends because it is widely known that their environmental impact is high and alternative substances exist
Substances banned depending on the application Substances regarded as banned by Sharp depending on the application (excluded applications)
Managed substances Substances for which it is necessary to ascertain whether the specified substance is present, the amount contained, and so on
  • Substances for which disclosure of information on their usage status in products is required, or is expected to be required in the future, under laws and regulations and on environmental labels in Japan or overseas
  • Substances for which customers have requested, or for which there is a possibility of being requested, that their usage status information in products be disclosed

Delivered Goods Evaluation

We conduct Delivered Goods Evaluation in cooperation with suppliers. Its purpose is to assess the chemical substances contained in parts and materials (materials, general components, finished and semi-finished products, indirect materials, others) sourced from suppliers according to the chemical substance management categories. Information obtained through the Delivered Goods Evaluation is used for understanding chemical substances contained in products and compiling information to be shared with our supply chain.

Report on Chemical Substances Contained in the Product and Analysis Data

Sharp’s suppliers are required to submit a Report on Chemical Substances Contained in the Product before they deliver a new component or material for the first time. This is used to confirm their conformity with the regulations prohibiting the use of specific chemical substances in products in relevant countries. With this report, we check the presence of banned substances and decide whether to purchase the component or material.

Suppliers must also submit analysis data on the 10 substances regulated under the EU RoHS Directive*(lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, PBB, PBDE, DEHP, BBP, DBP, and DIBP) for confirmation of compliance with the regulatory requirements.

  • An EU directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.

Chemical Substance Content Survey

The EU REACH regulations*1 and other legal requirements in countries around the world oblige companies to communicate and disclose information on chemical substances contained in their products throughout their supply chain. To meet these requirements, there should be a system through which all supply chain partners—whether supplying raw materials, materials, parts, or finished products—cooperate to gather, aggregate, and share information on chemical substances.

Sharp’s suppliers are asked to enter information on how much chemical substances are contained in their parts and materials, and where, in the Chemical Substance Content Survey System. This helps us gather information on chemical substances contained in our products, which is then used to manage and aggregate data on our chemical substance management system. For information collection, Sharp also utilizes chemSHERPA*2 an information sharing scheme compliant with the IEC 62474*3 international standard.

Delivered Goods Evaluation (Evaluative Process for Newly Delivered Parts and Materials)

  • *1 An EU regulation mandating the registration, evaluation, authorization, and restriction of chemical substances manufactured or imported into the EU.
  • *2 An information sharing scheme developed under the leadership of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for the purpose of efficiently communicating information on chemical substances in products over the entire supply chain.
  • *3 An international standard on the procedures and details of information sharing in the supply chain for products and components in the electrical and electronics industry containing chemical substances.

Effective Management of Chemical Substances Used at Factories and Their Risk Management

Sharp strives to minimize the risk of environmental pollution and accidents associated with chemical substances and to properly meet chemical substance regulations. To this end, Sharp controls chemical substances used at, and released from, its production bases by implementing the process assessment system and the monitoring and risk management of chemical substances. To minimize the environmental impact and ensure occupational safety, workers handling chemical substances go through regular education and training. They also receive regular health checks.

Process Assessment System

The process assessment system is Sharp’s in-house system for preliminarily assessing the hazards, safety measures, and other factors of chemical substances. This assessment applies when a new chemical substance is to be introduced or when the procedure for handling chemical substances needs to be changed, for example. The system ensures that chemical substances are properly managed at all stages from procurement to disposal and that safety measures are implemented for the equipment handling them. It is designed to review the appropriate disposal of waste chemical substances, the proper treatment of exhaust gas and wastewater, and safety procedures for workers handling chemical substances, and to evaluate and determine the conditions for the safe use of chemical substances.

Chemical substances are grouped into four categories according to their gravity of impact on safety/health, hazard/explosion, and environmental conservation: legally banned substances, sensitive substances, managed substances, and registered substances. An appropriate management level is assigned to each category.

Chemical Substance Management Categories under the Process Assessment System

Category Description
Legally banned substances Chemical substances that are banned for production, etc. under laws and regulations. Substitutes for them need to be searched for.
Sensitive substances Chemical substances that are not legally banned but are banned by Sharp for use due to their high levels of toxicity (acute toxicity/carcinogenicity) or hazards (explosiveness/flammability). Substitutes for them need to be searched for.
Managed substances Chemical substances that have toxicity (corrosiveness/irritancy), hazards (combustibility/spontaneous combustibility), or other concerns but may be used under adequate control.
Registered substances Chemical substances that have limited toxicity or hazards and thus may be used under specified control.

Monitoring and Risk Management of Chemical Substances

Sharp has established voluntary standards that are stricter than either the regulatory requirements or the levels agreed upon with local communities for chemical substances used at its production bases. These standards ensure the comprehensive monitoring and management of the target chemical substances released and transferred, as well as the concentrations and emissions of air and water pollutants.

Release and Transfer of PRTR-listed Substances*1(Fiscal 2019)

Sharp monitors and reports the release and transfer of chemical substances covered by the Japanese PRTR Act. Of these PRTR chemicals, 13 were handled in Japan and nine overseas*2 in quantities of 500 kg or more by one or more plants during fiscal 2019.

  • *1 PRTR: Pollutant Release and Transfer Register. A system that mandates the collection and dissemination of information, such as the amount of harmful chemicals discharged and transferred.
  • *2 Sharp defines target substances based on laws in Japan

PRTR Data for Japan (Fiscal 2019)

(kg)

PRTR
No.
Chemical Amount
Handled
Amount
Discharged
Amount
Transferred
Amount
Consumed
Amount
Removed
Into Atmosphere Into Public Water Areas Into Sewerage Into Waste, etc Contained in Products Recycled
1 Zinc water-soluble compounds 1,429 0 0 0 937 0 492 0
20 2-Aminoethanol 2,274,241 247 39 0 12,343 0 1,882,815 378,797
44 Indium and its compounds 12,097 0 0 0 3,266 363 8,468 0
71 Ferric chloride 53,015 0 0 0 0 0 40,411 12,604
232 N, N-dimethyl formamide 18,630 0 0 0 0 0 0 18,630
272 Copper salts (water-soluble, except complex salts) 14,792 0 0 0 14,218 574 0 0
343 Pyrocatechol (also called catechol) 1,584 0 0 0 1,584 0 0 0
374 Hydrogen fluoride and its water-soluble salts 448,282 193 0 34 337,284 0 61,337 49,434
401 1,2,4-benzenetricarboxylic 1,2-anhydride 698 0 0 0 25 673 0 0
405 Boron compounds 3,571 0 0 0 3,136 78 357 0
412 Manganese and its compounds 23,625 0 0 0 0 23,625 0 0
438 Methylnaphthalene 14,055 70 0 0 0 12,380 0 1,605
453 Molybdenum and its compounds 10,562 0 0 0 1,220 317 9,025 0
Total 2,876,581 510 39 34 374,013 38,010 2,002,905 461,070

Overseas PRTR Data (Fiscal 2019)

(kg)

PRTR
No.
Chemical Amount Handled Amount Discharged Amount Transferred Amount Consumed Amount Removed
Into Atmosphere Into Public Water Areas Into Sewerage Into Waste, etc. Contained in Products Recycled
31 Antimony and its compounds 1,935 0 0 0 19 1,288 628 0
82 Silver and its water-soluble compounds 1,513 0 0 0 132 1,381 0 0
104 Chlorodifluoromethane 2,436 8 0 0 0 2,428 0 0
291 1,3,5-tris (2,3-epoxypropyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4,6 (1H,3H,5H)-trione 2,330 0 0 0 23 1,551 756 0
300 Toluene 3,675 3,675 0 0 0 0 0 0
355 Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate 2,400 0 0 0 0 0 2,400 0
392 N-hexane 17,950 17,950 0 0 0 0 0 0
413 Phthalic anhydride 1,646 0 0 0 16 1,096 534 0
448 Methylenebis(4,1-phenylene) diisocyanate 2,898,890 0 0 0 22,140 2,876,750 0 0
Total 2,932,775 21,633 0 0 22,330 2,884,494 4,318 0

Managing Environmental Load into Air and Water Areas

Sharp properly manages pollutants that affect air and water quality by establishing voluntary standards that are stricter than those set forth in laws and regulations and stricter than those agreed upon with local communities. It also actively conducts risk communication with local communities.

Case Study

Analyzing Plant Wastewater Samples (Fukuyama Plant)

Sharp’s Fukuyama Plant (Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture) collects and analyzes plant wastewater in collaboration with local residents and Fukuyama city officials as part of its risk communication activities.

The collected wastewater undergoes individual analyses by the three parties. The results are then shared and used for an exchange of views.

This also provides Sharp the opportunity to foster good relations with all relevant parties.

Wastewater sampling and analyses by three parties

Atmospheric Emissions in Japan

NOx Emissions

SOx Emissions

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Emissions

Emissions into Water Areas in Japan

COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand)

Nitrogen Pollutant Load

Phosphorous Pollutant Load

Risk Management of Soil and Groundwater Pollution

Sharp set in-house standards in 1999 to minimize the risk of environmental pollution and accidents caused by chemical substances. It also strives to prevent such incidents from occurring by taking multi-layered leakage prevention measures at facilities that handle chemical substances. For plants where chlorine solvent contamination was found in the past, Sharp regularly notifies local government authorities and others of the cleanup progress.