Astellas' basic stance toward the environment as well as the health and safety of its employees is outlined under the Astellas EHS Policy. Moreover, Astellas is working organizationally and continuously toward achieving this stance as described in the Astellas EHS Guidelines. In addition, Astellas has set medium-term targets for its key priorities in its EHS Action Plan and is working to achieve those targets.
Astellas Environment, Health & Safety Policy
The Astellas EHS Policy represents Astellas’ universal stance on EHS issues. The policy applies to all domestic and overseas Group companies, and forms the basis of all our corporate activities.
Rules of conduct governing environment and safety activities
At Astellas, the environment is positioned, metaphorically, as a stakeholder in our business philosophy. To conscientiously fulfill our responsibilities to the environment, we implement specific measures and initiatives based on the Astellas Group Code of Conduct.
Astellas EHS Guidelines
The Astellas EHS Guidelines set forth unified standards that identify Astellas' aspirations in its EHS activities.
The guidelines qualitatively describe our aims, and concrete numerical targets, including their deadlines, will be stipulated through short- and medium-term action plans that will be updated every fiscal year. We ask outsourced manufacturers to cooperate in implementing the guidelines through assessments and other actions.
EHS Risk Management and Governance
Fundamental policies and action plans relating to EHS matters are positioned as an important issue in sustainability in which Astellas is engaged. Measures for implementing these decisions in specific form are examined by the EHS Committee. Committee members are appointed on a cross-functional basis and details of discussions are reported to Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer (CECO).
The system is that a specialist department monitors risk management related to EHS and periodically reports to CAO/CECO who issues instructions as necessary. The Executive Committee* or Board of Directors discuss and decide on important issues, such as investment related to climate change measures or responses to EHS-related risks. In fiscal 2020, the Executive Committee and Board of Directors discussed issues such as initiatives to improve sustainability, including the climate change response, for integration into management planning, and these issues have been reflected in the new corporate strategic plan, CSP2021.
Astellas has acquired ISO 14001 certification covering all its production sites in Japan and outside Japan, and also acquired ISO 45001 certification for occupational health and safety at its European production bases.
*An advisory body that discusses important matters related to management of the entire Astellas Group, and makes decisions.
Astellas conducts a companywide EHS assessment every fiscal year, in line with the Astellas EHS Guidelines, in order to evaluate the progress of EHS activities throughout the Astellas Group. In fiscal 2020, EHS assessments were conducted at 17 facilities of production and research sites. The status of actions taken to resolve the issues identified in the assessments are confirmed through follow-up assessments in writing and the assessment in the following fiscal year. Societal demands and problem awareness at each site are shared through an exchange of opinions between the EHS Management Department and each site. In this manner, one objective of assessments is to ensure that Astellas’ aspirations are aligned in the same direction. In addition, Astellas conducts assessments of Contracted Manufacturing Organizations (CMOs) in the value chain based on the same guidelines. In fiscal 2020, Astellas conducted on-site assessments of two companies in Japan as the impact of COVID-19 resulted in restrictions on movements, and carried out risk assessments related to such matters as the operational status of wastewater treatment plants, employees' working environments and initiatives to prevent employees from being exposed to chemical substances. In cases where items were pointed out, Astellas indicated an improvement proposal, requested a plan for corrective measures to be drawn up, and is currently following up on progress of the improvements based on the corrective measures plan. Circumstances make it difficult to conduct on-site assessments due to the impact of COVID-19, but paper-based evaluations of risk assessments will continue wherever possible.
Product Assessment System
The total environmental load resulting from the production, sale, distribution and disposal of products is determined almost entirely at the research and development stages. With regard to the production and sales of pharmaceutical products, it is necessary to obtain government approval for each product. Since government approval also covers production methods and packaging specifications, when there are changes in either approved production methods or packaging, new approval must be obtained even if the changes are related to work safety or reducing the environmental impact. Therefore, these changes are very time consuming and costly. Astellas has introduced a product assessment system as a tool that requires efforts to minimize the environmental load at every stage, particularly research and development, production, distribution, and disposal.
Under this assessment system, we examine issues such as the reduction of air pollutant emissions and the excessive use of packaging, safety measures at production sites, and the prevention of exposure of employees to hazardous substances prior to the commencement of mass production, including development based on green chemistry.
When conducting product assessments, an assessment team conducts EHS assessments in stages for the development of products. The results determine whether development of the product can move on to the next stage.
Specifically, the assessment must identify raw materials or processes that might have a negative impact on the environment and/or employee health and safety. The progress on remedial measures must be assessed, and action plans evaluated. Countermeasures being considered are evaluated in the subsequent stages of the assessment.
Education and Training
In order to promote further improvements in its EHS activities, the Company acknowledges the critical need to ensure that all employees have a correct understanding of their own roles and responsibilities.
To this end, we are working to develop employees professionally qualified in EHS matters and improve our skill base through a wide variety of training programs, including specialized education for employees engaged in roles requiring specialist knowledge and skills in areas such as environmental conservation or hazardous operations.
We also explain our policies and site rules to construction workers at our business sites, raw materials suppliers and waste transport and disposal contractors, and request cooperation with our EHS activities.