Sustainability Report 2008
|1. Environmental Activities & Performance (3)
Reducing Hazardous Substances
|The Kobe Steel Group is implementing tight controls on chemical substances, reducing the quantities of hazardous materials used, and substituting safer alternatives. In line with international trends in the control of hazardous and chemical substances, we are continuing efforts to reduce hazardous substances, ensuring full compliance with regulations, and sharing information among all members of the Group.|
|Uncompromising Control Toward Reduction|
|Kobe Steel set up the Kobe Steel Group Policy on Controlling Hazardous Substances and strives for thorough control of chemical substances.
For example, a Management Sheet for Designated Chemical Substances is used in all workplaces. This Sheet sets out usage and control methods for each substance, and enables quantities transferred or released to be calculated accurately for notification in accordance with the PRTR Law. It is also utilized in our efforts to reduce quantities consumed and limit emissions. All Group companies use the Management Sheet for chemical substance control.
The reported figures for fiscal 2007 under the PRTR Law showed that 34 substances were handled at Kobe Steel works and plants, 282 metric tons were released, and 621 metric tons were transferred. For Group companies, 34 substances were handled, 925 metric tons were released, and 786 metric tons were transferred.
*PRTR Law: Pollutant Release and Transfer Register: Legislation that requires notification of releases of designated chemical substances into the environment and promotes improved controls.
|Control of PCBs|
|In accordance with government regulations on the proper handling of wastes containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), equipment such as transformers and condensers that contain PCBs are placed in special storage facilities when no longer used, with notification made to government authorities.
The Kobe Steel Group is striving to ensure appropriate disposal through early registration with the Japan Environmental Safety Corporation (JESCO), a body that manages the disposal of PCBs.
|Measures to Control Dioxins|
|Generation of dioxins from waste incinerators is limited by thorough maintenance of facilities and proper operating control of combustion temperature.
Proper operating control and maintenance is undertaken of sintering furnaces, aluminum alloy manufacturing facilities, electric furnaces for steelmaking, and wet exhaust gas scrubbers and their wastewater. Through these measures, any unintentional generation of dioxins that occurs during manufacturing processes is kept well within regulatory limits.
|Protection of the Ozone Layer|
|At Kobe Steel all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that were once used for cleaning purposes were disposed of at the end of fiscal 1994. Since then, we have worked toward the systematic reduction of all substances that damage the ozone layer.|
|Appropriate replacement of asbestos is proceeding in accordance with the lndustrial Safety and Health Law and guidelines on waste disposal from the Ministry of the Environment.
All emergency renovations to buildings to eliminate asbestos that can circulate in the air have been completed. Sprayed and pasted materials, which might release asbestos into the air, are currently the subject of a program of countermeasures. Building materials as well as facilities and equipment that contain asbestos of the type that does not circulate in the air are also now being removed or replaced.
Appropriate handling and disposal of asbestos, including keeping logs and labeling is in progress at all locations.
|Group companies are working towards tighter control and reduction of hazardous materials.|
|Examples of Activities|
|Hazardous Substance Control: Annual Transfers and Releases of PRTR-Controlled Substances (FY2007)|