Home > Environment > Greening of Products > Management of Chemicals in Products 


Committed to People, Committed to the Future.

Management of Chemicals in Products

In addition to ensuring proper management of chemicals contained in products, Toshiba Group also promotes communication of information on such chemicals in order to minimize risks to human health and the global environment.

Initiatives for the management of chemicals contained in Toshiba Group products

Toshiba Group manufactures and sells a wide range of products, from electronic parts (e.g., semiconductors and hard disks) to home appliances (e.g., refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners) to audio-visual products (e.g., PCs and TVs) and social infrastructure products (e.g., medical equipment, transformers and weather radars). Various chemicals are used to manufacture these products. In recent years, regulations on the management of chemicals have become increasingly strict in countries around the world. For example, the EU revised the RoHS Directive*1 in January 2013 and expanded the restriction of certain hazardous substances to all electric and electronic products. In July 2014, medical equipment became subject to RoHS restrictions. In addition to the EU, three Russian-allied countries, Jordan, and other countries are preparing to implement similar directives. (For details, see the figure below.) Similar movements are taking place in countries around the world. Against this background, we are collaborating with the Local Environment Division to collect, aggregate and analyze the latest information on relevant regulations in order to implement appropriate measures for ensuring legal compliance. Furthermore, Toshiba Group has its own standards for the management of chemicals; these standards are applied worldwide to all its products so that customers can use Toshiba products with a sense of security. With a view to achieving the goal of minimizing risks involved in the use of chemicals in accordance with the precautionary principles, which was proposed and adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD*2) and other conferences, Toshiba Group has been promoting initiatives to eliminate the use of specified chemicals, to reduce the amount of chemicals contained in products and to use substitute materials. As part of these initiatives, we have selected chemicals whose use is restricted by typical laws in Japan and elsewhere and chemicals that Toshiba Group is managing on voluntary basis and created the Toshiba Group Environment-related Substance List in order to manage the chemicals contained in products by grouping substances into two categories: rank A (prohibited substances) and rank B (managed substances). (For details, see the table below.)

Toshiba Group Environment-related Substance List
Category Definition
Rank A
(Prohibited Substances)
Substances whose presence is prohibited in procurement items (including packaging) in the Toshiba Group. Substances whose use in products (including packaging) is prohibited or restricted by domestic and foreign laws and regulations.
Rank B
(Managed Substances)
Substances whose environmental impact should be reduced, based on their actual usage, via reduction of use and substitution, or recovery and detoxification in a closed system.

Due to industry trends and other circumstances, details of the management of chemicals (substances managed, management levels, threshold values, etc.) may differ among Toshiba Group companies.

Examples of regulations on chemicals contained in products in different countries
Examples of regulations on chemicals contained in products in different countries

RoHS (Restriction of certain Hazardous Substances) directive: A directive which limits the use of specified hazardous substances in electrical and electronic devices
WSSD: World Summit on Sustainable Development

To Top

Promoting the use of alternatives to PVC/BFRs

Results of FY2013 and future initiatives

In the Fifth Environmental Action Plan, which started in FY2012, we set a goal of using substitute materials to replace polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs)*3 contained in products across a total of 80 product groups in FY2015.

In FY2013, we reduced the use of PVC and BFRs mainly in social infrastructure products and achieved our goal for 32 product groups, exceeding the goal of 30 product groups (see the examples below). We will continue to use alternatives to PVC mainly for wiring and electronic components and alternatives to BFRs chiefly for casings, covers, and mounted parts.

Changes in product groups covered by the PVC/BFR substitution initiative
[Image] Changes in product groups covered by the PVC/BFR substitution initiative

Major restrictions regarding polyvinyl chloride (PVC)/brominated flame retardants (BFRs): PVC is an additive used to soften resin (generally known as a plasticizer) and is subject to restrictions in many countries.
Example 1:
Phthalate esters (DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP) contained in PVC: European REACH Regulations (Substances subject to approval and restrictions [under review] and) high-priority substances under the revised RoHS Directive
Example 2:
Organic tin compounds (DOP and DBP) contained in PVC: European REACH Regulations (substances subject to restrictions)
Example 3:
Hazard assessments are currently performed in many countries for a variety of BFRs other than the specified flame retardants (e.g., PBDE and PBB) prohibited by the RoHS Directive.

To Top

Case Study 1: POS terminal

[Image] POS terminal

Toshiba TEC Corp.

The M-8500 POS terminal is a product designed to reduce application standby power consumption to achieve the industry's highest energy-saving performance*. It also contains reduced amounts of chemicals (it is made of halogen-free materials and mercury- and cadmium-free parts).

Toshiba data as of February 2014
Use of halogen-free materials
Halogen-free printed circuit boards are used for approximately 50% of the circuit board area to reduce the amount of BFRs.
LED backlights are used for the main display to completely eliminate the use of mercury.
Nickel-hydrogen batteries are used instead of nickel-cadmium batteries for power outage backup to completely eliminate the use of cadmium.

To Top

Initiatives for communication of information on chemicals throughout the supply chain

REACH*4, the European regulations on chemicals that came into force in June 2007, mandates development of a system for effectively disclosing and communicating information on chemicals contained in parts, materials, and products throughout the supply chain. Toshiba Group has actively adopted the JAMP*5/AIS*6 format, the industry's standard survey format, to promote effective communication of information on chemicals contained in products throughout the supply chain.

To promote business activities aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of hazardous chemicals and the risks involved in using them, it is essential to obtain the cooperation of suppliers, our business partners, for those activities for which the supply chain as a whole must be targeted. We request the understanding and cooperation of our suppliers in our green procurement initiatives aimed at creating a sustainable society. We also request that they make environmental assessments and conduct research on and evaluations of the chemicals contained in the materials and parts they supply and report the results of independent assessments on their level of green procurement (according to Toshiba's standards) in accordance with ISO 14001.

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals): Regulations on registration, evaluation, authorization and restrictions related to chemicals
JAMP: Joint Article Management Promotion-consortium
AIS (Article Information Sheet): JAMP-recommended information sheet used to communicate information on chemicals contained in products

Suppliers' levels of green procurement for FY2013

Rank S Rank A Rank B Lower than Rank B
80.4 17.9 1.2 0.5

Note: Rank S (Priority), Rank A (Excellent), Rank B and Lower than Rank B (Improvement requested)

Green Procurement Guidelines

Please download a PDF file from the following link to read our Guidelines.

Due to circumstances such as industry trends, details of our requests to suppliers may differ among Toshiba Group companies and are described in the Green Procurement Guidelines issued by the office in charge of procurement of Toshiba Group companies, Toshiba in-house companies, divisions, establishments, factories, etc. For the Guidelines of Toshiba group companies, please check the following link to read.

To Top

Case Study 2: Digital X-ray TV system with FPD*1

[Image] Digital X-ray TV system with FPD

Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation

The X-ray TV system Zexira DREX-ZX80 has the industry's highest level of energy-saving performance*2 and requires the least amount of space for installation (lowest test room ceiling height). PVC-free materials are used mainly for the parts that are likely to come into contact with medical technologists and patients, including the bed cover, operating table cover, and high-pressure cable duct cover (some parts excluded). The system contains reduced amounts of chemicals, including GFRP, which is difficult to recycle.

FPD: Flat Panel Detector
Toshiba data on the domestic market
Use of lead also reduced
The amount of lead for shielding was also reduced through use of the FPD system (compared to Toshiba's previous models in the same class).

To Top

Case Study: OCR Scanner S3500

[Image] OCR Scanner S3500

Toshiba Solutions Corporation

Desktop OCR scanner with the highest speed*1 in Japan (200 B&W, A4-size horizontal sheets per minute). This product complies with the International Energy Star Program standards and has the industry's lowest level of standby power consumption. It also contains reduced amounts of chemicals (e.g., mercury, PVC and BFRs) compared to previous models.

Internal data as of July 2013
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are used as light sources to eliminate use of mercury and to extend product lives.
The design reduces the discharge of hazardous substances during incineration by eliminating use of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) for the AC cable and use of BFRs (brominated flame retardants) for the printed circuit board.

To Top

Case Study 1: Initiative for reducing the amount of hazardous chemicals contained in parts and materials

Toshiba Materials Co., Ltd.

Non-destructive inspection of baggage at airports via X-rays is one essential measure to protect against terrorism. Scintillators play a crucial role in devices that transform the X-rays that penetrate into or reflect off baggage into light to create images. Toshiba has developed a GOS (Gd2O2S) scintillator by using rareearth oxysulfide to replace conventional CWO (CdWO4) scintillators that contain cadmium, which is a hazardous substance. Toshiba’s GOS scintillator contains no hazardous substances and has a higher sensitivity than conventional products. In addition to baggage inspection at airports, it can also be used for checking for the presence of foreign matter in food or for internal inspections of whole cargo trucks. Its high sensitivity allows the intensity of X-ray radiation to be reduced.

[Image] X-ray inspection device (for baggage)
X-ray inspection device (for baggage)

[Image] Scintillator

To Top

Case Study 2: Initiative for reducing the amount of chemicals used in elevators

Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corporation

Toshiba’s standard elevator, SPACEL-GR, is not only designed to achieve the industry’s highest level*1 of energy-saving performance by reducing standby electricity consumption, but also uses advanced technologies to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals, such as the inclusion of mercury-free materials, the use of a new type of coolant and reductions in the use of lead.

Internal data as of November 2011
Use of LED lights for all ceiling lighting
Use of a new type of coolant
A new coolant (R-410A) that does negatively affect the ozone layer is used for the elevator cooler.
Reductions in the use of lead
To support the elevator, a wedge-and-rope suspension system is used instead of the conventional rope suspension system. We have eliminated the use of lead for the processing of rope ends.

[Image] Elevator car
Elevator car

[Image] Elevator structure and effect items
Elevator structure and effect items

To Top

Case Study: Reducing chemicals in notebook PCs

[Image] PVC/BFR-free: No PVC used for the main body of the PC, No BFR used for the main body of the PC (Plastic parts weighing 10g or more)

Toshiba Digital Products & Services Company

R series are excellent in low energy consumption exceeding ENERGY STAR criteria by 40% to 50%. They are also leading PCs in minimizing chemical substances and are mercury-free and PVC-free.

Mercury-free LCD
We eliminated the use of mercury by using an LED backlight crystal display, thereby producing a mercury-free PC body.
PVC-free PCs
PVC is not used in the PC main body including internal cables, chassis and printed circuit boards.
Mercury-/cadmium-/lead-free batteries
Neither mercury, cadmium nor lead is used in the batteries. They fulfill and exceed the criteria of EU Battery Directive and thus labeling of hazardous chemical substance names is exempted.

To Top