Since 2004, we have been managing chemical substances in products. We are committed to staying up to date with the latest information regarding chemicals through industrial associations and responding swiftly and appropriately to new regulations.
It is universally understood that the regulation and management of chemicals is an integral part of the international background against which manufacturers operate. Strict compliance with such rules and regulations is essential for the continuation of business. The international management of chemicals dates to the adoption of the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21, at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the “Earth Summit”). The events of the Earth Summit later led to the enactment in Europe of regulations on chemicals in products. Similarly, international treaties were concluded that prohibits the use of specified chemicals, taking a strategic approach to international chemical management. In Japan, efforts are under way to pass and overhaul laws to accord with laws overseas. To comply with these regulations on chemicals is a requirement of manufacturers in all markets.
Against this background, we at Hamamatsu Photonics are advancing management of chemicals in products based on Management of chemicals in products-Principles and guidelines, a JIS standard; and Guidelines for the management of chemicals in products, published by the Joint Article Management Promotion Consortium (JAMP). On this basis, we have established the Green Procurement Management Standard for Chemical Substances for HAMAMATSU Group. At the same time, we recognize that effective management of chemicals in products is impossible without a consistent framework imposed across the entire supply chain. For this reason our Green Procurement Policy requests that business partners implement their own systems for management of chemicals included in products.
At Hamamatsu Photonics, the task of responding to regulations on chemicals in products falls to the Headquarters Product Assessment Working Group, which is one of the Headquarters Environmental Working Groups within the Headquarters Environment Committee, the decision-making body of our environmental management system. The Headquarters Product Assessment Working Group is composed of the representatives of each business location of the Company as well as the Environment Committee Secretariats. For their part, similar Working Group are established at each business location, where they coordinate with the to frame specific regulatory responses at their locations.
Hamamatsu Photonics manages chemicals in products based on the Green Procurement Management Standard for Chemical Substances for HAMAMATSU Group. This management standard is applied consistently throughout the Company, governing all products, purchased materials and substances used in production processes. In preparing this standard and listing controlled substances, we referred to a number of international treaties, such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants; international regulations, such as the RoHS and REACH directives in the European Union; and lists of controlled substances, such as IEC 62474. The inclusion and use of the chemicals in question are managed according to three levels: prohibited substances, restricted substances and controlled substances. To ensure that these criteria reflect updates to the related laws, they are reviewed regularly, and knowledge of any revisions is circulated by the Headquarters Environment Committee and through our environmental training programs.
Guided by the Green Procurement Management Standard for Chemical Substances for HAMAMATSU Group, we strive to reduce the environmental impact of the chemicals it uses at every stage. (Please refer to the illustration.)
To confirm the status of chemicals in products and evaluate their compliance with regulations, Hamamatsu Photonics has introduced an information system for management of chemicals in products. This system centrally manages information on our products and information obtained from business partners about their materials. We use the system Company-wide to inform customers of the results of surveys and investigations and to manage documents to confirm compliance. To make as many employees as possible familiar with the system, we conduct regular in-house training on its use. Today the system has over 500 users throughout Hamamatsu Photonics, in departments such as Quality Control, Production Management, Environmental Management and Material Management.
Hamamatsu Photonics has completed our response to the EU RoHS directive on six restricted substances and now supply products that are fully compliant with the directive. Four phthalate esters have been added to the list of restricted substances; we are working with our business partners to ensure an effective response. On required exemptions, we are participating in industry-association activities between Europe and Japan to gather information and continue responding in partnership with other related parties.
We publish the status of RoHS compliance in its products on the Hamamatsu Photonics website, where anyone can confirm it at any time.
To continue to fulfill its social responsibilities in the environmental aspects in cooperation with its business partners, Hamamatsu Photonics intends to place priority on partnership with companies that respond effectively to regulations on chemicals included in products. Informed by the checksheet with the Guidelines for the management of chemicals in products published by JAMP, Hamamatsu Photonics conducts regular on-site checks of implementation by its business partners. If these checks indicate that improvements are required, we will ask those business partners to take action and will provide support for them in doing so.
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