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Pollution Prevention and Resource Utilization

Our basic approach

Many Unicharm products are consumables essential to a clean and healthy lifestyle. At the same time, our business development is closely related to the global environment through our use of natural resources and the generation of waste. Based on the above, we believe our role and responsibility in reducing environmental impact are significant and continue to expand with each passing year as our business grows.

Therefore our company, in line with our Basic Environmental Policy and Eco Plan 2020, is striving for effective utilization of resources and to prevent pollution.

The ESG Committee, chaired by the Representative Director, also meets four times a year to carry out PDCAs for achieving these goals by confirming progress on environmental activities, etc.

Management structure

Four times a year at the ESG Committee meeting chaired by the Representative Director, plans and progress on environmental activities, quality issues, social issues and other important governance matters are shared. Specific plans are reported using “Eco Plan 2020” as the baseline, in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) announced in June 2017.

Pollution prevention activities and controls are carried out in accordance with environmental laws and regulations and ISO14001.Three types of environmental audits are implemented in order to maintain and improve the level and performance of activities and controls.

  1. periodic audits in conformance with ISO14001-compliant environmental management systems;
  2. Periodic audits focused on confirmation of compliance with laws and regulations
  3. Onsite audits at industrial waste processing partners in order to confirm appropriate practices

Eco Plan 2020, goals and results of reduction of waste (from “Eco Plan 2020”)

Waste disposal reduction and effective utilization of resources

We promote waste disposal reduction and effective utilization of resources through activities focused on the following initiatives.

  • Ongoing verification testing for recycling used disposable diapers
    Ongoing verification testing in the Shibushi City and Osaki Town, Kagoshima Prefecture
  • Initiatives for not disposing of waste from factories externally, but to recycle it within the Unicharm Group
    Use of scraps produced during production of disposable diapers in Japan and overseas as the raw material for cat continence care products (Paper-sand®).
  • Aiming for achievement of zero emissions at the main production sites in Japan (four sites).
    We are contributing to CO2 reduction by reducing landfilling of industrial waste and shifting from thermal recycling to material recycling.

    Example: Reuse of paper tubes (paper cores from rolled materials)
    At the Unicharm Products Shikoku Chuo Factory, paper tubes were previously thermally recycled. We have achieved their reuse by returning them made of 100% paper to suppliers. We expect that 10 tons per year to be reused this way.
  • For waste that absolutely must be discarded outside of the factories, search for waste processing suppliers who will practice the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) and will not place strain on the environment and consign the processing to them.
    Improve manufacturing quality and reduce waste generation
    Prioritize recycling over heat treatment

Recycling rate

In fiscal 2019, we continued to maintain the high recycling rate of over 99%.The number of other plants that have achieved zero emissions status by attaining a recycling rate of greater than 99% is also on the rise.

Measures against airborne pollutants

We are working to reduce NOx (nitrogen oxide) and SOx (sulfur oxide) emissions through means such as increasing operation efficiency for boilers and other equipment.

Protection of the ozone layer

We manage CFCs in compliance with laws and regulations and conduct regular inspections in working to protect the ozone layer.

Ozone depleting substances (Japan)

Substance Business site Amount possessed (tons) Use
(Class 1)
Unicharm Products Shizuoka Factory 1.6 Fire retardant
Unicharm Products Shikoku Factories (Kagawa) 0.070
Unicharm (other development sites, etc. Kagawa) 0.00010
(Class 1)
Unicharm Products Fukushima Factory 2.6 Refrigerant
Unicharm Products Shizuoka Factory 3.6
Unicharm Products Kyushu Factory (Fukuoka) 2.3
Unicharm Products Shikoku Factories (Kagawa) 3.7
Unicharm Kokko Non-Woven Co., Ltd. (Ehime/Kagawa) 0.65
Unicharm Pet Care Co., Ltd. (Hyogo/Mie/Saitama) 0.93
Peparlet Co., Ltd. (Shizuoka) 0.038
Unicharm (other development sites, etc. Kagawa) 0.86
CFC Unicharm (other development sites, etc. Kagawa) 0.0010

* Reported for company properties based on the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons

[Korea] Introduction of biomass plastics in response to marine plastic problems

Our local subsidiary in Korea, LG Unicharm, has begun an initiative to replace petrochemical plastics with biomass plastics for some sanitary napkin products with the aim of addressing plastic problems and reducing CO2 at disposal.

These sanitary napkins use a bioresin backsheet film derived from sugar cane. By combining this backsheet with the organic cotton already being used, the amount of plant-derived raw materials in these products has increased by 20%.

[Japan] Participation in “Plastics Smart” Campaign organized by Ministry of the Environment of Japan

Unicharm endorsed and participated in activities for the “Plastics Smart” campaign. The Ministry of the Environment of Japan launched the campaign in 2018 to support the implementation of initiatives through the cooperation of diverse bodies including corporations, local governments, individuals and NGOs aimed at solving the global problem of plastic pollution in the oceans.

Logo for “Plastics Smart” Campaign organized by Ministry of the Environment of Japan Logo for “Plastics Smart” Campaign organized by Ministry of the Environment of Japan

[Japan] Introduction of activities to recycle plastic from factory waste

Unicharm recycles plastic from the waste generated in our factories. We turn scraps (trim) generated in manufacturing processes into pellets for recycling* to promote the efficient use of plastic.

Introduction of “recycling factory waste into plastic,” Unicharm's initiative under the Plastics Smart campaign

[Japan] Conclusion of an agreement with Ministry of the Environment of Japan as “Re-Style Partner Company” towards the building of a recycling-based society

We have participated in the Ministry of the Environment of Japan-sponsored “Re-Style FES!” and endeavor to promote consumer “3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) activities” towards the building of a recycling-based society.

Through these activities, we have signed an agreement as a “Re-Style Partner Company” and will continue to work with the Ministry of the Environment of Japan to broader understanding and the empathy of the public for “3R behaviors.”

Going forward, we will continue to work together with the Ministry of the Environment of Japan to promote initiatives for building a recycling-based society.

The exhibition booth at the Ministry of the Environment of Japan-sponsored festival at AEON MALL Makuhari New City

Participated in the "2019 Re-Style Partner Company" signing ceremony in March 2019

[Japan] Prevention of water pollution, soil contamination and offensive odor

We strive to prevent pollution by management according to laws and regulations and voluntary standards. For water quality, we comply with the Water Quality Pollution Control Act and the Law Concerning Special Measures for Conservation of the Environment of Seto Inland Sea. To prevent soil contamination and offensive odor, we conduct periodic measurements according to voluntary standards.

[Japan] Initiatives to reduce the use of hazardous chemical substances (business waste)

Unicharm has established measures to control its use of chemical substances that are harmful not only to people, but ecosystems as well. We have formulated guidelines and a dedicated department investigates toxicity and legal compliance.

Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) storage situation

A small amount of PCBs is stored at certain business sites awaiting processing for disposal.

Compliance assessments on storage conditions are carried out regularly and no abnormalities were found.

Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) substance management

With regard to toluene, we are gradually shifting to the use of toluene-free thinner.

PRTR substance management

Fiscal year Toluene
Ethylene oxide
2017 281 4 0.0001
2018 283 4 0.0001
2019 272 4 0.0002

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