Environment – Environmental Risk Management
Preventing Environmental Incidents through Information-Sharing and Equipment Inspections
Both within Japan and overseas, the Mitsubishi Electric Group strives to prevent environmental incidents, such as the leakage of substances that may result in water or soil pollution or have a negative impact upon the environment.
To achieve this, Mitsubishi Electric ensures that its employees are fully familiar with the relevant laws and regulations, revises company rules to reflect any updates to such laws and regulations, and ensures these updates are made known throughout the Group. In the case of a problem (e.g., minor oversight, etc.) occurring, Mitsubishi Electric shares the cause and countermeasures throughout the entire Group to prevent it from reoccurring.
Aiming to increase the awareness of environmental risk management, the company's offices and factories and the bases of affiliated companies in Japan take measures such as watching internal training DVDs that introduce examples of problems and the establishment and renewal of important laws, thereby firmly instilling environmental management issues across a wider range of occupational levels. In addition, periodic facilities inspections are carried out at all Group bases, the results of which are compiled into measures from time to time and utilized.
Environmental surveys are also conducted at major affiliated companies overseas in an effort to uncover and prevent environmental risks.
Responding to Soil and Groundwater Pollution
As stated in our internal rules, Mitsubishi Electric and its Japanese and overseas affiliated bases (factories, affiliated companies, business sites, etc.) conduct assessments based on a survey method, complying with the relevant laws and regulations whenever required (e.g., land modifications, etc.), and implementing the necessary countermeasures or solutions depending on the state of pollution.
In FY2017, we assessed survey results and countermeasures regarding the condition of soil and groundwater due to land utilization for a total of 18 cases (Mitsubishi Electric: 13 cases, affiliate companies: 5 cases) and have confirmed that all cases were handled appropriately.
Regarding areas that were recognized as having groundwater or soil pollution problems in the past, we implemented purification countermeasures using methods compliant with laws and regulations, and continue to regularly report the results of our monitoring to relevant government organizations.
Appropriate Storage and Processing of PCB Waste and Devices Containing PCBs
Mitsubishi Electric conducts inspections at all bases that store PCB waste and/or use devices containing PCBs at least once a year to confirm the storage and usage status. Regarding the processing of PCB waste, in fiscal 2007 we entered into a contract with the Japan Environmental Storage & Safety Corporation (JESCO)— which was known as Japan Environmental Safety Corporation until December 2014—and have been carrying out systematic processing based on this ever since.
In FY2017, the processing of 360 units was completed, and we plan to continue processing in line with the agreed plan. Japanese affiliates are carrying out systematic processing as well.
Customers can confirm whether or not an electrical device manufactured by a company in the Mitsubishi Electric Group contains PCB by referring to a list available on the corporate website.
Handling Transformers and Other Devices with Trace Amounts of PCB
Regarding the possibility of trace amounts of PCBs contaminating transformers and other devices, Mitsubishi Electric has investigated scenarios including the possibilities of contamination during the manufacturing process, post-delivery contamination, and contamination via insulating oil. However, as it has not been possible to identify the cause, device, or date of manufacture, we have concluded that we cannot rule out the possibility of trace PCB contamination in electrical devices that were manufactured prior to 1989 and that use electrical insulating oil.
However, considering the increased quality control of insulating oil, we have determined that there has been no contamination by trace PCBs at the time of product shipment for devices manufactured from 1990 onward. Moving forward, we will continue to uphold stringent quality control for insulating oil, and provide technical information via the Mitsubishi Electric website, as well as respond to individual inquiries via an existing customer service desk.
Moreover, Mitsubishi Electric is a member of a PCB processing committee, The Japan Electrical Manufacturers' Association, and contributes by providing information as an industry group and investigating processing measures.
Mitsubishi Electric stores waste with trace amounts of PCB in facilities, etc. certified by Japan’s Minister of the Environment.