Astellas believes that maintaining a healthy global environment is an essential theme for building a sustainable society, and it is also an important element in ensuring the continuation of business activities. In order for Astellas to achieve sustainable growth, Astellas must fulfill its corporate social responsibilities regarding issues that impact on the local environment, including climate change problems, environmental pollution, and waste disposal. Astellas will strive to develop its aspirations for the company based on a long-term timeframe and global perspective. At the same time, we will continue efforts to address regional social issues and pursue corporate activities in harmony with the global environment.
Environmental Action Plan
Our Environmental Action Plan sets out short-term and medium-term targets for our activities regarding the key points of the Astellas Environment, Health & Safety Guidelines. We renew our action plans on a rolling basis, by reviewing progress and conditions during the previous year and incorporating our findings into our action plan for the following year. We are always working to achieve the targets set out in our Environmental Action Plan, which are also reflected in individual action plans drawn up by Japanese and overseas group companies.
In November 2018, the Environmental Action Plan involving Climate-Related Measures obtained Science Based Target (SBT) certification from the SBT Initiative, which recommends that private companies set reduction targets aligned with the Paris Agreement, which entered into force in 2016. Our environmental action plans for natural resource conservation measures and waste management have been consistently managed well. We are continuously implementing measures eyeing the target fiscal years of each plan. Results for fiscal 2018 are as follows:
Results of fiscal 2018
|Item||Goal||Fiscal 2018 Results|
|Measures to Address Climate Change||Reduce GHG emissions (Scope 1 + Scope 2) by 30% by fiscal 2030 (Base year: fiscal 2015) (Emissions in the base year: 211 kilotons)||Ratio to fiscal 2015 level
8.5% (Emissions: 193 kilotons)
|Reduce GHG emissions (Scope 3) by 20% per unit of revenue by fiscal 2030 (Base year: fiscal 2015)||Ratio to fiscal 2015 level
|Measures for the Conservation of Natural Resources||Enhance water resource productivity by around 2.5 times the fiscal 2005 result by the end of fiscal 2020
(For research and production sites in Japan and overseas)
Indicator: Revenue (¥ billion)/Water resources withdrawn (1,000 m3)
|Ratio to fiscal 2005 level
|Waste management||Improve waste generated per unit of revenue to around 20% of the fiscal 2005 result by the end of fiscal 2020
For research and production sites in Japan and overseas
Indicator: Volume of waste generated (tons)/Revenue (¥ billion)
|Ratio to fiscal 2005 level
|Biodiversity||Triple the biodiversity index by fiscal 2020 from the fiscal 2005 level||Ratio to fiscal 2005 level
Response to Accidents and Emergencies
Being prepared for emergency situations caused by an accident or natural disaster can help to prevent an environmental catastrophe and minimize damage. Accordingly, we have developed specific measures and procedures. Moreover, we conduct regular education sessions and training drills, and reconfirm and test the validity of our procedures, communication networks and the division of roles focusing on risks that are recognized as a high priority. In this manner, we continue to work diligently to reduce environmental risk.
In particular, the discharge of harmful substances could lead to the pollution of rivers as well as cause problems at public sewage treatment plants. This in turn could have a grave impact on regional communities. In preparation for accidents and emergency situations, we are therefore systematically implementing measures for the prevention of environmental pollution, including the installation of backup equipment, while working to reduce the risk of pollution. In addition, in order to avoid accidents and other problems, we are bolstering efforts to optimize the operation and management of wastewater treatment systems, and to monitor and measure the quality of water draining out of our plants to confirm compliance with relevant effluent standards.
Compliance with Environmental Laws and Regulations
Over the past five years, there were no infractions of laws or regulations, and no lawsuits, related to environmental issues that were identified at Astellas’ business sites. However, over the past five years, there was an incident in which Astellas exceeded the upper limit of agreed values specified in a pollution prevention agreement with a local government. However, Astellas reported the incident to the local government and is implementing response measures based on its instructions.
● Tsukuba Biotechnology Research Center: Noise (fiscal 2017)
● Tsukuba Research Center: Noise (fiscal 2017)
Environment-Related Accidents and Complaints
In fiscal 2018, there were no environment-related accidents in Japan. In fiscal 2015, there was an accident in which the pressure in the reaction vessel became higher than normal, and a part of the gas being generated was released into the atmosphere, in the pharmaceutical manufacturing process at the Takahagi Facilities. Because exhaust gas falls under the scope of the specific substances of the Air Pollution Control Law, we submitted an accident report, including the measures taken to prevent recurrence. Except for this accident, Astellas has not recorded an environment-related accident in Japan over the past five years.
With regard to environment-related complaints associated with facilities operations, Astellas received complaints on nighttime noise from neighboring residents of the Tsukuba Research Center. Astellas has continued to implement measures to improve the situation.
Soil Contamination Assessments
In fiscal 2018, the Toyama Technology Center was designated as a contaminated area on the basis of the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act. In the construction of new facilities, Astellas has taken appropriate action to prevent the spread of pollution in consultation with the governmental authorities.
The substances that were discovered to be present in levels that exceeded the standards are as follows:
● Arsenic and its compounds
● Fluorine and its compounds
Drawing on the results of soil contamination assessments completed over the past five years, sites other than the above where contamination has been found are as follows: Former Kashima R&D Center: Designation as a contaminated area (fiscal 2016)