Together with the Global Environment

Legal Compliance and Pollution Prevention

We are striving to prevent environmental pollution by complying with statutes and regulations relating to the environment as well as industry guidelines to which we have subscribed and our own standards.

Summary for 2019

Twenty-eight environmental laws and regulations are currently applicable to the KOKUYO Group within Japan. In June every year, we evaluate the status of our compliance with these laws and regulations. During the ISO 14001 certification renewal inspection conducted in November 2018, an area for improvement (minor nonconformity) was highlighted. There was a distribution center which had consigned an operator for used fluorescent lamp disposal without signing an agreement regarding the collection, transportation, and disposal. In some divisions, we discovered insufficient responsibility transfer due to changes in responsible personnel, or insufficient ability on the part of responsible personnel to satisfy the criteria established by compliance evaluation. Therefore, we worked on improving the ability of responsible personnel, for example, by increasing the frequency of briefings on laws and regulations.
In addition, it was determined that there was a possibility that timber used in some furniture products had not been adequately confirmed for legality. They have been removed as products conforming to the Act on Promotion of Procurement of Eco-Friendly Goods and Services by the State and Other Entities (commonly known as the Act on Promoting Green Procurement), and we take this as a result of even stricter requirements for confirming the legality of timber. Otherwise, there were no major legal infringements.

Conducted Briefing to Subcontractors to Strengthen Compliance with the Act on Promoting Green Procurement and the Clean Wood Act

Briefing subcontractors about the Act on Promoting Green Procurement and the Clean Wood Act

Briefing subcontractors about the Act on Promoting Green Procurement and the Clean Wood Act

It is said that even now, there is a significant amount of illegally-harvested timber being distributed around the world. Illegal harvesting of timber not only destroys the environment of timber production regions, but may also cause a number of other problems.
In these circumstances, the Act on Promotion of Use and Distribution of Legally-harvested Wood and Wood Products (commonly known as the Clean Wood Act) was announced on May 20, 2016, and implemented on May 20, 2017. The act aims to promote the distribution and use of timber—legally harvested based on the laws and regulations in Japan and countries of origin—as well as products made from such timber. Together with this, the Act on Promotion of Procurement of Eco-Friendly Goods and Services by the State and Other Entities (commonly known as the Act on Promoting Green Procurement) was also revised.
Information exchange in the supply chain, especially with subcontractors, is essential for confirming the legality of timber. Therefore, a briefing was given on May 10, 2018 to subcontractors related to wood products to start the initiative in earnest. During the implementation of this initiative, various knowledge and cases were accumulated, including the method for confirming the legality of timber and the necessary certificates. Therefore, another briefing was conducted for subcontractors on April 19, 2019. In addition, the Timber Legality Certification Due Diligence System Manual (Furniture Edition Ver 1.0) was formulated to minimize the risk of procuring illegally harvested timber and products using such timber during the procurement of timber and timber products for furniture. This manual is released on our website.

R* Related information: Biodiversity/Promoting Environmental Communications

Promoting the Management of Chemical Substances Included in Products

Checking for the presence of heavy metals using an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer

Checking for the presence of heavy metals using an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer

The KOKUYO Group recognizes that the non-use of substances regulated by law and the management and provision of information on the status of the use of substances for which there is a potentially negative impact on the environment and people are social obligations shared by all companies that provide products. At the same time, there has been a clear shift from a conventional hazard-based management approach that used to focus only on the hazardous nature inherent in chemical substances to a risk-based management approach based on the scientific method. In responding to these global changes, we first set about specifying a hazards-based list of substances in 2014 and in 2015. We then carried out research based on the substance list in sequence, starting from the highest-priority products.
In 2017, based on information obtained from our research, we evaluated the toxicity of and human exposure to the contained substances, and created the Stationery Edition of the Guidelines for Managing Chemical Substances Included in Products. In 2018, training courses on chemical substance management was conducted within the company to more appropriately implement chemical substance management standards. In 2019, in view of the revision to Japan’s chemical substance regulations expected to take place in the following year, we conducted surveys on the state of regulated substance use by subcontractors and provided them with information about the details of revision.
We will work on our ability to respond to our customers’ requirements in areas including compliance with laws and regulations related to chemical substances and disclosure of safety information.