Environmental Consideration in Products

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Improvement Objectives

The UACJ Group, is contributing to the realization of a low-carbon, recycling-oriented society by working to improve the performance of aluminum materials.

To illustrate, when we develop, and a customer in the business of manufacturing transportation equipment adopts, an aluminum material that offers the same performance as previous materials but with less weight, we have contributed to improved fuel economy and, thereby, a reduction in carbon emissions.

The UACJ Group, in response to customers’ desires, is developing or improving products in ways that emphasize environmental considerations.

Product Development and Improvement Contributions that Benefit the Environment and Society
Development and application of aluminum can materials with outstanding recyclability Making lighter-weight cans that save resources and reduce costs
Development and application of high-performance heat exchanger tubes Improving performance of heat exchangers to reduce equipment sizes and save resources
Development and improvement of aluminum materials for car air conditioners compatible with the European requirement to use CO2 as a refrigerant Making lighter-weight vehicle bodies that save resources and improve fuel economy
Fighting global warming by adopting CO2 as a refrigerant
Development and improvement of aluminum materials for hybrid automobiles Making lighter-weight vehicle bodies that save resources and improve fuel economy

Two-thirds of the materials used to make aluminum cans in Japan (in fiscal 2017, 21.9 billion cans weighing approximately 340,000 tons) are made by UACJ. As the top manufacturer, we believe it is our responsibility to promote the recycling of aluminum cans, and we do so actively.

Furthermore, we are rationalizing our use of packing materials for the delivery of products, and recovering and reusing them in conjunction with our rationalization of our logistics.

Control of Chemical Substances included in Products

The UACJ Group is strict in its exercise of proper controls over designated chemical substances included in products. In response to changes in domestic and overseas environmental laws (e.g. The addition of the EU’s REACH*1 regulation), we revise our chemical substance management standards and common procurement documentation, and take other necessary steps.

We also devote significant effort to the registration of SDSs (Safety Data Sheets*2) and to the improvement of our browsing cabinet.

  • *1 REACH regulation: Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of CHemicals
  • *2 SDS: Safety Data Sheet: Products containing chemical substances designated by the Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act, Industrial Safety and Health Law, and the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Law at percentages greater than specified in these laws must be accompanied by a Safety Data Sheet with the required information when they are transferred or provided from one commercial party to another.

REACH Regulation Initiatives

The UACJ Group, though it is not required to be registered under the REACH regulation, examines all of its products to determine whether they include an SVHC (Substance of Very High Concern) specified in the REACH regulation and informs customers of any products that do.

If substances are newly designated as SVHCs, and we determine that they are included in our products, we will swiftly provide customers with the relevant information.

Environmental Quality Management System Certifications by Customers

At its business locations required to have specified supplier certifications, the UACJ Group emphasizes the practice of chemical substance management that satisfies customer standards, and undergoes environmental quality management system certifications by customers. Going forward, we will continue to practice management that enables proper responses to customer demands.

Communicating Information on Chemical Substances in Products

Raw material manufacturers provide UACJ with information on the chemical substance content of their products, and UACJ has established a management system that allows it to properly communicate this information to its own customers.

Information on chemical substances is provided, with the cooperation of the Quality Assurance and Environmental Management departments, in industry-specific formats, depending on the customer request.

[Examples of Information Provision Formats]

  • SDS (Safety Data Sheet) * Provision of GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals)-compliant content
  • JAMP (Joint Article Management Promotion consortium) AIS (Article Information Sheet)
  • JAMA (Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association) JAMA Sheet

UACJ also issues customer requested certifications that certain substances have not been used in production or are not contained in a product.

Conversion to Low-Environmental-Impact Raw Materials

The UACJ Group is striving to use low-environmental-impact raw materials. For the raw materials that, as in the case of free-cutting alloys, include lead or other metallic elements that are covered by EU directives, we are working with customers to switch to materials that do not include controlled substances. Switching to low-environmental-impact raw materials is important and we will continue with this effort going forward.

We have also taken action regarding cleaning solutions for the finishing of sheet and extruded products. In the past, we used chlorine-based organic solvents, which are designated substances under the PRTR Law. However, given multiple instances of groundwater contamination with these substances across Japan, we ceased using chlorine-based organic solvents in the final cleaning processes at all of our business locations.

The paints used on aluminum can materials and colored aluminum are another area in which we are taking action. Oil-based products had been the most commonly used paints for these products, but have now been largely replaced with water-based paints, which are said to have low environmental impact. The Group is promoting the use of water-based paints by recommending them to customers and working with customers to test their use.