Primary contents from here.
Precautionary Approach to Environmental Risks
In addition to evaluating environmental risks of the products we handle, we are committed to taking a precautionary approach to environmental risks. This commitment also extends to ITOCHU Group companies, reflecting the need to identify the impact on the global environment of the business activities of the Group as a whole.
Evaluating Environmental Risks Posed by Products Handled
We handle a wide and diverse range of products on a global scale. We thus carry out our own original environmental impact evaluations based on our belief that it is vital to evaluate the relationship of these products to the global environment. We use a so-called LCA(*)-based analysis method at all stage of product life cycle from procurement of raw materials, production, and use, through disposal of products. If the evaluation shows that the impact on the global environment by particular products exceeds predetermined benchmarks, then we create manuals and the concrete procedures to manage transactions of these product.
- * LCA (life-cycle assessment) is a method that evaluates the environmental impact of products at all stages of their life cycle, from manufacturing, transport and use through to disposal and recycling or reuse.
Fact-finding Investigations of Group Companies
We began fact-finding investigations of our Group companies after several of them received complaints about environmental pollution from their surrounding neighborhoods in 2001. We analyze about 200 of our 393 Group companies (as of March 31, 2012) with relatively higher levels of impact on the global environment, and conduct investigations of about 20 of them per year. Over the 11 years to the end of March 2012, we did on-site investigation at 164 companies (230 worksites). The evaluation is made using Q&As between auditors and management, inspections of plants, warehouses, and other facilities, surveys of wastewater released into rivers, and assessments of compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
Evaluating the Environmental Impact of New Investment Projects
ITOCHU Corporation and its subsidiaries in Japan employ a CSR and environmental checklist for investments to evaluate in advance the market, social and environmental impact of business investment projects entered via M&A in Japan and overseas. When specialist insight is needed, ITOCHU calls on specialized external bodies to render an advance inspection of the project. Action on the project then moves forward once inspection results and the presence of no major problems are confirmed.
Environmental-Related Consultations (Year Ended March 31, 2012)
In the year ended March 31, 2011, we received a total of 21inquiries from outside the Company, which were broken down as follows: environmental groups (3), industry (10), government (3), ratings and evaluation agencies (3), and media (2). The inquiries are mainly about the Company's measures to address environmental problems. There were no environment-related incidents, problems, lawsuits or complaints against the Company. Meanwhile, the number of consultations from within the Company and ITOCHU Group companies has increased. Various environmental education programs have led to greater environmental awareness among employees. We fielded 144 inquiries regarding Japan's Waste Management and Public Cleaning Law, and 9 inquiries regarding business investments.