Pollution Prevention & Chemical Management

To minimize the effects we have on the ecosystem and human life, Epson is working to control substances of concern in products, manage chemicals used in production processes, and manage environmental risks. Epson also emphasizes communication with stakeholders.



Management of Chemical Substances in Products

Epson gives preference to lower-impact alternatives when selecting the components and raw materials that make up its products.

Management of Chemical Substances in Products

The European RoHS Directive, REACH Regulation, U.S. TSCA, and other international chemical substance regulations have become stricter, making it more important than ever to properly manage the chemical substances that are used in products. Epson systematically controls product substance content at the purchasing, production, and shipping stages to ensure compliance with these restrictions.

  • Instruct suppliers to comply with the requirements stated in the
    Epson Group Green Purchasing Standard for Production Materials 1
  • Exclude substances that are subject to legal, regulatory, or other restrictions, and obtain information about substances contained in parts and materials. 2
  • Confirm that no restricted substances are present in parts and materials before producing products.
    (Analyze parts and materials using x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer.)
  • Confirm that restricted substances have not been used in products before they are shipped.

1 A written standard that sets forth requirements for the building and maintenance of a substance control system by suppliers who provide parts and materials used in Epson products. The standard also defines requirements relating to the elimination or exclusion of legally restricted substances and requirements for providing information on substances present in parts and materials.
2 Use of the industry standard information sharing scheme chemSHERPA

Examples of Management of Chemical Substances in Products

Legal and Regulatory Compliance

More and more nations are regulating chemicals. We investigate regulations and chemical hazards as early as possible by using such as an industry standard survey tools, analyze the information we obtain, and then supply products accordingly.

  • Measures for Meeting the RoHS Directive 1

Epson has made compatibility with the European RoHS directive a standard feature of its entire lineup of products throughout the world, regardless of whether a particular product is bound for the European market or not.

1 The European RoHS Directive restricts the use of the following 10 hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), phthalates DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP.

  • Actions for REACH Compliance

European REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals) Regulation requires that we register the import and production of chemical substances and that we communicate and report when products contain harmful substances (e.g., substances of high concern: SVHC).
Epson is meeting these requirements by submitting information in SCIP, the database for information on Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products) established under the European Waste Framework Directive, which became mandatory from January 2021. We also make information on the chemicals used in ink available to customers in the form of safety data sheets (SDS) published in 24 European languages on the websites of our European sales companies.
We are also responding to countries and areas besides Europe, to similarly meet our legal and societal obligations, as well as the needs of our customers.

  • Response to GHS 2

The United Nations declared in 2003 that a globally harmonized set of rules was needed to inform consumers and dealers about the hazards and appropriate handling of chemicals.
Different nations and regions have enshrined these rules as law and made them obligatory at different times. Epson has continued to respond to the rules as they primarily apply to ink cartridges and toner cartridges.

2 GHS (the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals) provides a unified, worldwide set of rules on harmful chemical substances. It harmonizes classification standards and labels for the hazards associated with individual chemicals and the way safety data sheets are written.

  • IEC 62474 compliance

Epson tracks the chemicals contained in Epson products by obtaining composition data on products from its suppliers based on the IEC 62474 Declarable Substances List (DSL).
With the exception of some substances, such as those that are exempt from the European RoHS Directive and SVHC of the European REACH Regulation, Epson products do not contain substances on the IEC 62474 DSL.

Providing Ink for All Types of Printed Matter

We provide inks with safe chemical properties as required for products made with inkjet technology (labels, stickers, fabric, etc.).

  • The Highest Level of Textile Product Safety

Eco Passport 3 certification
Epson's textile printer inks 4 have acquired Eco Passport certification, indicating that they meet international safety standards for chemical substances used in textile production. Even printed textiles that directly contact the skin of infants and toddlers are safe.

3 Eco Passport by Oeko-Tex® is a system by which textile chemical suppliers demonstrate that their products can be used in sustainable textile production.
4 UltraChrome DS inks for textile printers, UltraChrome DG inks and dedicated fabric processing agents for garment printers, digital textile printer inks.

  • Safe Printing Ink for Food Labels

Compliant with Food Contact Material regulation
Epson's SurePress digital inkjet label presses and ColorWorks on-demand color label printers inks are compliant with Food Contact Materials (FCM) - EU Regulation framework (EC) No. 1935/2004, Good Manufacturing Practices Regulation (GMP) (EC) No. 2023/2006, Plastics Implementation Measure Regulation.

Sample of food packages

Switching to Safer Materials (e.g. Eliminating Harmful Substances)

Epson standards specify substances that are prohibited from inclusion in products, and substances whose inclusion must be controlled. Information on these substances is collected and managed in a database. This database is used to ensure safety in all processes, from design and procurement to volume production. Epson is proactive in eliminating from its products substances that could adversely affect the environment or human health.

Chemical Management (Performance)

Epson has a system in place to control chemical substances in its production processes. We specify what substances are prohibited or restricted within the Epson Group and carefully assess the safety of chemicals before they are used at any Epson site. We use a "E-Chem" chemical substances management system to register information about chemical substances used in production as well as in other areas. The system is also used to track the quantities of substances used, volatile organic compound (VOC) released into the environment, and emissions of substances subject to reporting under the Pollution Release and Transfer Registers (PRTR) system. We report and publish data on these chemical substances and communicate with local communities to build trust.

Please see ESG data for data on PRTR substance emissions and VOC emissions.

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Environmental Risk Management

Any environmental pollution resulting from Epson's business activities could have a serious impact on residents of the surrounding area, as well as for the rest of the region or country. We follow Group-wide standards for pollution control and ensure that all members are well acquainted with the ideas and laws of environmental risk management. Each promotion unit uses ISO 14001 to identify and assess the risk of failing to meet standards or of experiencing environmental complaints or incidents in an ongoing effort to continuously mitigate those risks.

In FY2021, there was an incident in which the terms of an agreement were violated. However, the environmental impact was not serious, and the problem was promptly reported and dealt with. No legal limits were exceeded, nor were there administrative penalties or complaints.

Type Description
Agreement violation A cafeteria drainage pipe burst, and wastewater entered a rainwater channel on the premises. (This was a violation of an agreement with an industrial park.)

Environmental due diligence

We investigate the environmental aspects prior to acquiring new businesses and land through M&As as part of due diligence. We investigate all sites, and not only manufacturing sites, to confirm whether there are any problems involving things such as soil and groundwater pollution and hazardous wastes prior to entering into new contractual agreements.

Soil and Groundwater Remediation

Epson is pumping and treating groundwater contaminated by chlorinated organic solvents at several sites in Japan, including at its Head Office. In addition, we have barriers in place to prevent further contamination. The concentration of trichlorethylene in groundwater is under long-term management and is moving toward compliance with environmental standards.

Site Groundwater Data and Remediation Methods

Groundwater trichloroethylene concentration trend (annual average in wells with highest concentration at each site)

Site Unit FY2019 FY2020 FY2021 Remediation
Head Office mg/L 18 11 11 Barrier, pump and treat, monitoring
Shiojiri mg/L 0.12 0.10 0.19 Barrier, pump and treat, monitoring
Fujimi mg/L 0.008 0.013 0.010 Barrier, pump and treat, monitoring
Suwa-Minami mg/L 0.049 0.038 0.022 Barrier, pump and treat, monitoring

Reference: Trichloroethylene standards
- Environmental quality standard for groundwater under Japan's Basic Environmental Law: 0.01 mg/L max.
- Groundwater remediation standard under Japan's Water Quality Pollution Control Act: 0.01 mg/L max.
- Groundwater standard under Japan's Soil Contamination Countermeasures Law: 0.01 mg/L max.

Drainage Management

Epson's Chitose Plant is located upstream from Lake Utonai, which has been designated as a national wildlife protection area and a Ramsar Site.

Wastewater generated in manufacturing processes is detoxified and then discharged into sewers. To prevent leaked chemicals and other substances from leaking offsite, rainwater is collected in a retention basin to monitor the pH and oil levels before flowing into Lake Chitose and Lake Utonai via the Bibigawa River. All chemicals, waste materials, and wastewater treatment systems are located indoors to prevent them from leaking off the site.

Waste Management

Epson's internal policy specifies that wastes must be processed in the country in which they originate. We do not directly import or export any wastes, including hazardous wastes specified under the Basel Convention.

However, we employ subcontractors who satisfy the requirements of the Basel Convention to process fluorescent lamps, etc., that originate in countries and regions where it is difficult to process them domestically.

PCB Waste Storage

PCB waste storage in the domestic Epson Group is summarized below. PCB waste that was discovered by FY2021 and kept in storage has been disposed of. We plan to finish disposing of newly discovered PCB waste by the legal deadline.

Type Situation (as of June 2022)
Private-use electric facilities One (low concentration) unit is awaiting disposal. All others have been disposed of.
Non-private-use electric facilities Lifts as well as machinery and equipment were investigated for the presence of PCBs.
(No PCBs were found to be present.)
Fluorescent light ballast Four units are awaiting disposal. All others have been disposed of.

Asbestos

All buildings owned by the Epson Group in Japan were investigated for asbestos by the end of the 2019 fiscal year. Level 1 asbestos (extremely high friability) and level 2 asbestos (high friability) are enclosed, sealed or, when necessary, removed to prevent human exposure. We also regularly test for airborne asbestos dust indoors in areas where asbestos-containing building materials are used, including where asbestos has been enclosed and sealed, to verify safety.

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