Chemicals Management

Promotion of Chemicals Management

Strengthen statutory and regulatory compliance in line with globalization

The enforcement of regulations to achieve the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) goals has become more active, not only with respect to the EU REACH regulation, but also regulations in Asian countries since 2015. In Korea, the first list of 510 designated existing substances subject to registration was publicly announced in July 2015 under the Act on the Registration and Evaluation, etc. of Chemical Substances (K-REACH), and moves begun toward their registration. In Taiwan, the end of March 2016 was the Phase I registration deadline for existing substances under the Toxic Chemical Substance Control Act.

In order to engage in business globally, the Mitsui Chemicals Group strives to keep abreast of government policy for chemicals management in each country and the latest regulatory trends while working on timely regulatory compliance. The Mitsui Chemicals Group quickly obtains regulatory information from each country through, for example, active participation in industry initiatives such as those of the Japan Chemical Industry Association (JCIA), and through close exchanges of information with local subsidiaries and affiliates and local consultants. At the same time, the Group works to ensure thorough compliance.

Holding monthly meetings of the Global Chemical Regulation Compliance Team, in which business divisions and all corporate divisions participate, Mitsui Chemicals is sharing the latest trends throughout the Company and speedily implementing Companywide efforts to address legal revisions.

In Korea, Mitsui Chemicals is identifying the challenges of joint registration through participation in K-REACH joint registration pilot projects of its local subsidiary and leveraging that company’s product registration preparations. In Taiwan, Mitsui Chemicals made progress in quickly selecting representatives and in specifying an importer, and completed Phase I registration of the Company’s products ahead of the deadline. Under the EU REACH regulation, the evaluation of chemical substances is being progressed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and EU member state authorities. Mitsui Chemicals plans to keep pace with trends and to steadily ensure the necessary compliance.

Countries strengthening laws for chemical substance management

Countries strengthening laws for chemical substance management


Instill a Management System Based on Our Chemical Safety Information System

Chemicals management at Mitsui Chemicals is based on a chemical product safety information system (SAP–EHS). This system integrates the management of information on all Mitsui Chemicals products, raw materials and chemical components as well as links to basic business processes. Through this system, we confirm compliance with relevant laws and regulations inside and outside Japan, manage manufacturing and import volumes, and automatically create safety information such as multilingual SDS*1, product labels and MSDSplus*2. As a result, we are able to more rapidly provide information to our customers and strengthen compliance with chemical laws and regulations.

In fiscal 2015, we worked on automating the creation of SDS compatible with Taiwanese regulations. Currently, we are able to automatically create SDS compatible with the regulations in Europe, the United States, Korea, and Taiwan, and the plan is to add to the countries covered in the years to come.

To strengthen the legal compliance capabilities of our overseas subsidiaries and affiliates, we are making progress with the overseas deployment of the chemical safety information system (SAP-EHS). In fiscal 2015, we reached the stage of being able to share information on product-related regulations and safety with our subsidiaries and affiliates in Europe and the United States as well as some of them in China. In fiscal 2016, the plan is to continue enhancing the system’s functions and deploying the system to our overseas affiliates and subsidiaries.

*1
Safety Data Sheet
*2
MSDSplus: A basic information sheet used to communicate information about chemical substances contained in products, as recommended by the Joint Article Management Promotion (JAMP) consortium

Outline of integrated information system

Outline of integrated information system


Risk Assessment and Risk Management Based on Product Stewardship

Based on product stewardship (PS), Mitsui Chemicals takes a risk-based approach to the safety management of chemicals throughout the product life cycle.

Based on existing internal regulations, new products undergo the necessary risk assessments step by step, broken down into each of the five product development stages.
In addition to the risk assessments of the products themselves, we perform risk assessments through the entire product life cycle, performing them on the raw materials, catalysts, and additives used in the manufacturing process, on the by-products that arise from the manufacturing process, and on the chemical substances’ effects on operator safety and on the products. The results of these kinds of assessments and getting to know the appropriate ways of using chemical substances and chemical products are the first stage of product stewardship.

In the case of existing products that are already on the market, we are advancing product risk assessments and risk management in conjunction with activities carried out by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and JIPS at the Japan Chemical Industry Association (JCIA). In order to have effectively assessed all products by 2020, we will determine risk levels of all products from the points of view of the amounts of exposure and hazard, and then systematically conduct risk assessments starting with high-priority products. The outcomes of the risk assessments are publicly announced to stakeholders as safety summary sheets. To date, we have created safety summary sheets for 48 products and disclose this information on our website.

JIPS (Japan Initiative of Product Stewardship): a Japan Chemical Industry Association initiative to promote PS in Japan.

Safety Summary Sheet

Safety Confirmation and Legal Compliance in Line with the Transformation of Our Business Portfolio

The Mitsui Chemicals Group is moving ahead with the transformation of its business portfolio. The Group has been placing new products on the market prior to launch, having confirmed safety by a risk assessment in compliance with applications and having undertaken appropriate legal compliance. Following the transformation of the business portfolio, however, the applications for new products are expanding, and the Group is advancing the acquisition of technologies for assessing application-compliant safety and upgrades to its legal compliance structure.

In fiscal 2015, the Group worked to acquire new safety assessment technologies, for example by sending researchers to Japan’s National Institute of Health Sciences. In the medical equipment field, Mitsui Chemicals set up a dedicated group covering the relevant laws and certifications.

Developing safe chemical products requires a variety of safety tests and also requires animal testing in some cases. Based on the 3R principles of replacement, reduction, and refinement, we are working to realize appropriate animal testing that takes animal welfare into consideration. We are also focusing on the introduction and development of alternative experiment methods that dispense with the need for animal testing, and proactive use of technologies that predict the hazardous nature of a chemical substance from its chemical structure.

Participation in Industry Initiatives for Chemicals Management

Achieving the WSSD goals requires not only compliance with laws but also calls for voluntary efforts on the part of companies.

To achieve the WSSD goals, Mitsui Chemicals endorses and proactively participates in the voluntary initiatives encouraged by the ICCA and JCIA.

Since fiscal 2015, Mitsui Chemicals has chaired the Capacity Building Task Force of the ICCA Chemicals Policy and Health Leadership Group and displayed its leadership qualities in international activities. We also proactively participated in activities that involved the planning and management of training programs and lectures relating to capacity building toward the achievement of the WSSD goals for developing countries as well as small and medium-sized enterprises. In fiscal 2015, we took part in a GPS/ PS workshop in Vietnam, conducted by the JCIA in collaboration with the ICCA’s Responsible Care Leadership Group, and supported GPS adoption activities in Asian countries.

In Japan, in its capacity as a key member in reinforcing JIPS promotions, Mitsui Chemicals proactively participates in JCIA promoted activities. To provide some examples, in fiscal 2015 Mitsui Chemicals served as chairperson for an assessment technologies working group of the JIPS Promotion Committee and also served as lecturer at JCIA-sponsored seminars on the subjects of risk assessment and global trends in chemical regulations.

GPS (Global Product Strategy) :
A chemical industry voluntary initiative to undertake risk management throughout the life cycle of a chemical product