Principle and Outline
The Daigas Group believes that companies have a responsibility to ascertain the environmental impact of their business activities, to take appropriate steps in compliance with laws and ordinances, and to implement voluntary risk countermeasures.
Osaka Gas is pursuing voluntary environmental risk countermeasures in keeping not only with the PRTR Law Act and other domestic laws but also with directives from the European Union (EU) and elsewhere overseas, and is taking action to reduce soil and underground water pollution by toxic substances and control asbestos, chemical substances and PCB waste. We are working with gas equipment manufacturers to develop and manufacture gas equipment with a limited content of chemical substances.
Risks and Opportunities Related to Climate Change
Chemical Substance Management
Legal compliance and proper management
On April 1, 2015, revisions to Japan's Chlorofluorocarbon Emissions Control Act came into force, strengthening management over the lifecycle of chlorofluorocarbons, which are ozone-depleting substances that also cause global warming. Osaka Gas identified commercial refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment covered by the Act and put together a structure for ensuring compliance with it.
There are very few hazardous chemicals handled by Osaka Gas during the processing and supply of natural gas. The Daigas Group will continue to manage and reduce the amount of chemicals it uses under the policies shown below.
Daigas Group Chemical Substance Management Principles
- 1. We comply with laws and environmental regulations concerning the use of chemical substances.
- 2. We use ISO 14001-compliant and other environmental management activities to step up management and decrease emissions of chemical substances.
- 3. We disclose information on chemical substance management in the CSR Report and on our Web site.
Response to Water Risks
Appropriate use and discharge of water resources
Water is not a primary material among the products handled by the Daigas Group. We recognize that water does not pose a major business risk for our Group because we are operating in areas, both in Japan and abroad, where water risks are not high.
However, the Group controls water discharge after using drinking water, industrial-use water, groundwater and seawater. At power plants, core facilities for its electricity business, the Group uses industrial water as a coolant in a steam turbine condenser, and vaporizes it inside the cooling tower. Drinking water, industrial-use water and groundwater are also used at LNG terminals, power plants and offices, and discharged into the sea. Seawater, for example, is discharged into the sea after being used mainly at LNG terminals for the vaporization of LNG, not for consumption. At some power plants, seawater is also used as a coolant in a steam turbine condenser. In discharging water after it is used in our industrial activities, we have controlled its quality in line with relevant laws, ordinances and agreements with local municipalities to ensure that chemical substances such as COD, pH, phosphorus and nitrogen are not contained in the water being discharged in excess of the relevant standards. Thanks to such efforts, there were no violations regarding the quality of water being discharged. Osaka Gas sees water as a limited natural resource. We will continue to use water adequately, control its discharge strictly, and promote water saving.
As for reducing our water intake (drinking water and industrial-use water), we are managing it in step with our efforts to reduce other activities that weigh on the environment, using Environmental Management Indicators.
<FY2020 water intake: drinking water and industrial water 12.753 million m³, groundwater 3.721 million m³, seawater 575.359 million m³>
<FY2020 water discharge: drainage 1.558 million m³, rivers 3.417 million m³, seas 577.862 million m³>
Soil and Groundwater Conservation
Inspecting soil and groundwater on former coal gas production sites
In compliance with relevant laws and regulations, Osaka Gas has checked the possibility of soil pollution at former coal gas production sites by measuring the amount of specified chemical substances contained in the soil and groundwater taken from the sites and assessing their impact on the sites and surrounding areas. The results of the surveys have been disclosed and response measures have been implemented where necessary. For example, when chemical substances (mainly cyanide compounds and benzene) in excess of the maximum amount allowed under the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Law were found, the incidents were reported to administrative authorities and adequate measures, including removing and cleaning the problematic soil, were taken promptly. Before taking soil-improvement measures, we conducted surveys based on relevant laws and regulations, followed by implementing appropriate response measures, including disposing of the contaminated soil and on-site containment of the soil. Below is a list of press releases showing the results of the recent surveys and response measures, all of which have already been implemented. We will continue to take necessary measures based on the Soil Countermeasures Law.
■Information Disclosure on the Research Results of the Former Plant Sites
Management of asbestos
The status of asbestos use at major facilities and buildings of Osaka Gas, and in its gas equipment, is given below.
and supply facilities
|Osaka Gas buildings|
|Asbestos is not used in new facilities. The asbestos used in existing facilities as installed does not disperse into the air. When these facilities are serviced or reclaimed, non-asbestos material will be used in place of asbestos.||Asbestos is not used in new gas equipment or combustion equipment. Some of the gas equipment sold in the past used asbestos in gaskets or the like, which does not disperse into the air under ordinary conditions of use.||Measures to systematically eliminate spray-on asbestos insulation in buildings have been completed. Showrooms and other open spaces visited by customers do not use spray-on asbestos.|
Violations of Laws and Fines
Abiding by environmental laws
During FY2020, Osaka Gas did not take any administrative sanction due to the violation of environmental-related laws.
Management of Waste Containing PCBs
Proper management and disposal of PCBs in line with government policy
Every company in the Daigas Group manages and disposes of waste containing PCBs in accordance with Japan’s Act on Special Measures for Promotion of Proper Treatment of Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) (PCB Special Measures Act).
All capacitors and transformers with a high density of PCBs—over 10 kg—were disposed of by FY2013. In order to dispose of ballasts that contain PCBs as soon as possible, they are being registered successively with the Japan Environmental Storage & Safety Corporation (JESCO). Low-density PCBs have been consigned to approved decontamination facilities since FY2014 in a systematic process of disposal.
Going forward, we will continue to store and dispose of PCBs properly, in accordance with the government’s disposal schedule and policies.
Gas Appliance Eco-Design
Conform with all laws and take the environment into consideration such as by restricting the use of chemical substances
July 2006 was the start of the RoHS Directive, which restricts the use of specified substances, such as lead and cadmium, in appliances. Also in July 2006, in Japan the revised Law for the Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources went into effect, obligating companies to label products as containing the six substances of the RoHS Directive according to J-MOSS, the JIS standard for the labeling of electrical and electronic products containing chemical substances.
In line with the measures propelled in the automobiles and home appliances sectors, we are working together with gas appliance manufacturers on the development of environmentally-friendly gas appliances and its labeling. Osaka Gas currently does not manufacture or sell gas appliances containing any of the specified substances that require labeling under J-MOSS. Osaka Gas abides by Japanese regulations on chemical substances (the Law Concerning the Examination and Regulation of Manufacture, etc. of Chemical Substances, and the Law for the PRTR and Promotion of Chemical Management). We also engage in independent evaluations of chemical management according to the RoHS Directive and are working to reduce chemical substances outlined therein.
Osaka Gas also works with other industry organizations. We conducts surveys on trends in the European Union including "EuP Directive (Directive requiring environmentally conscious design for products using energy)" and "WEEE Directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recycling Directive)" and provides information not only to other companies in the industry, but also to members of the Japan Gas Equipment Manufacturers Association. To keep up with the EuP Directive amendment, in FY2014 we accumulated the findings of the European Commission through our overseas affiliate, Osaka Gas UK, Ltd.
Environmental Impact Assessments
Environmentally friendly activities in accordance with laws and regulations, including voluntary limitation of the content of chemical substances
Before the Daigas Group makes a new investment or launches a new development project, either in Japan or overseas, we always perform an environmental impact assessment if required to do so by law.
Between 2002 and 2006, for example, at the time of the construction of the Senboku Natural Gas Power Plant, the core facility for the Group's electric power business, we conducted an environmental impact assessment covering the construction (the impact of air pollution, noise, vibration, etc. due to bringing construction materials in and out) and the presence and shared use of land and workpieces (the impact of flora and fauna of geological modifications and the presence of facilities, the impact on air and water quality of exhaust gases and wastewater during the operation of facilities, etc.). We also worked to further reduce environmental impact by taking measures to preserve the environment. These measures included action to prevent air pollution, reduce noise and vibration, and purify wastewater.
The "Project for Construction of Himeji Natural Gas Power Plant" promoted by Himeji Natural Gas Power Generation Co., Ltd., a 100% subsidiary of Osaka Gas, has now completed its assessment based on the Environmental Impact Assessment Law. This project adopts a highly energy-efficient gas turbine combined-cycle system.
See below regarding details of the Himeji Natural Gas Power Plant project.
When conducting its business, the Daigas Group will observe environment-related laws and regulations. The Group will do all it can to bring the business into harmony with the social and natural environments.