CSR activity report│Environment
Ensure Product and Chemical Safety (Priority Issue 4)
Anticipatory Risk Management of Chemical Substances
Replacing or reducing usage of “priority risk management chemical substances”
As reviewing chemical safety progresses across the world, the number of chemicals that newly become subject to legal control is increasing. We have been applying even stricter controls on chemical substances than legal requirements. We also enhanced such anticipatory management by designating priority substances through our own initiatives— even if the chemicals were not legally designated, and have started replacing or reducing usage of these priority risk management chemical substances.
Adopting animal testing alternatives in all safety evaluations
From the animal welfare viewpoint, the Fujifilm Group is increasingly using alternative methods to animal testing for chemical safety evaluations. ADRA, an alternative test method for skin sensitization tests that Fujifilm developed was adopted in the test guidelines of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). We are promoting wider usage of ADRA, along with a designated reagent provided by FUJIFILM Wako Pure Chemical Corporation. As a leading company employing animal testing alternatives, we have set a target for the actual usage ratio of animal testing alternatives in our internal safety evaluation.
New Material and Process Development Based on Our Core Technology
Our core technologies include molecular design capabilities for functional molecules and functional polymers, and their engineering technologies. Based on such core technologies, we are developing new materials and offering them as new value to society. We are also directing our efforts into manufacturing process innovation to improve resource usage efficiency and performance. We have set new targets to contribute to resolving social issues through these activities.
Contribution to Sound Chemical Management Across the Supply Chain
Sharing information on chemicals in products and safe handling methods for such chemicals across the supply chain is a basic requirement for sound chemical management. Because the Fujifilm Group operates businesses in all areas of upstream, midstream, and downstream of the supply chain, we have set new targets to ensure chemical and product safety by disseminating our chemical management expertise.
Education on Safe Management of Reagents
Since FY2000, FUJIFILM Wako Pure Chemical Corporation has held more than 400 training sessions on Safe Management of Reagents for our customers in corporations, universities, hospitals, and public research institutes. Our sessions are highly appreciated for their easy-to-understand contents directly connected to actual work with abundant examples. Some of the customers request us to provide such sessions annually. To respond to demands from a greater number of customers, we plan to increase the number of lecturers. We continue to contribute to minimizing chemical risks by providing the same training to Fujifilm Group employees.
Measures to Reduce VOCs—Development of Water Soluble Monomers
Monomers are used in inks, glues, and coatings etc. to provide a curing effect. Many monomers are not water soluble, therefore Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are used to dissolve them. However, regulations on VOCs are becoming increasingly strict in many countries and regions. In China, VOCs are now not only restricted for emissions into the air but also their content amount in products, under the mandatory national VOC standards*1 newly published in March 2020.
The Fujifilm Group has developed new water-soluble monomers*2 that can reduce usage of VOCs in products. These monomers are exclusively designed to be highly water-soluble, and at the same time to be safe, curable, and stable. One of these monomers, FOM-03006, is a compound with a high solubility of over 50 wt% in ethanol, and is safer than typical monomers (see table). Wider usage of our water-soluble monomers with low environmental impact are expected to contribute to continuing VOC reduction.
FOM-03006 Water-Soluble Monomer Structural Formula
and Molecular Design
Safety Evaluation of FOM-03006 Water-Soluble Monomer
|Skin irritation/corrosion||PII = 0|
Development of Production Methods to Reduce Environmental Impact—Flow Synthesis Process
In 2012, the Fujifilm Group started manufacturing chemical products using the flow synthesis method. We have been accumulating production experience and knowhow since then, as well as developing various technologies that can be applied from small lot production to mass production. We also started a contracted manufacture chemicals service in 2018 using the flow synthesis method within the Group’s manufacturing facilities.
Flow synthesis is a method to mix or react material chemicals continuously flowed into a fine column with a diameter of between several hundred microns to a few millimeters. Compared to batch synthesis, in which large amounts of raw materials are mixed and reacted at once in a large reaction vessel, flow synthesis is suitable for various manufacturing scales. Further, because reaction conditions can be precisely controlled using this method, it can reduce risks when synthesizing toxic or explosive substances, or working with high pressures or high temperatures.
Also, the batch synthesis method may require a large facility to keep the entire reactor vessel cool to prevent rapid reactions occurred in some part of the vessel, while the flow synthesis method can utilize a standard cooling system thanks to its precise reaction control. The following flow synthesis example shows a higher yield than the batch synthesis method and under moderate conditions.
The Fujifilm Group continues to develop and provide high quality and highly pure specialty chemicals utilizing flow synthesis, which can also contribute to reducing environmental impact.
Flow Synthesis Example
|T1 (°C)||Yield (%)|
Chemical Substance Management Working Together with Suppliers
Full-scale operation of chemical information communication system chemSHERPA starts in China
Fujifilm has established the Fujifilm Green Procurement Standards that specify permitted chemical substances used in the raw materials, parts, and components of our products. The standards are used for sound management of chemical substances contained in products in cooperation with suppliers. In addition, we have introduced chemSHERPA, a new system to communicate information on chemical substances in products among companies in the supply chain. We provide explanatory meetings on chemSHERPA every year and we held 20 meetings in FY2018. In June 2018, we held a explanatory meeting in FUJIFILM Imaging Systems (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. to local part manufacturers. The meeting explained how chemSHERPA works and related IT tools to share chemical information efficiently, as well as mandating the suppliers to provide such information.