Chugai Pharmaceutical, a Japanese drug manufacturer, is aiming to eliminate 100% of its freon use and convert to natural refrigerants in all of its operations by 2030, said Shigehiro Yamada, General Manager in the Sustainability Promotion Department of Chugai Pharmaceutical, during the ATMOsphere Japan 2021 conference.
“The goal of 100% freon elimination by 2030 is a very challenging goal that we cannot yet see a path to achieve,” said Yamada. “However, it will be one of the most important environmental measures we will take going forward, and we will work together with manufacturers, engineering companies and other external stakeholders to achieve this goal.”
The ATMOsphere Japan 2021 conference, held online on February 15, was organized by shecco, publisher of this website.
Yamada said at the conference that Chugai has not chosen a specific natural refrigerant for its operations, and prefers to keep the selection open at this early stage.
Today, Chugai has five manufacturing, research and development facilities in Japan. In addition to converting to natural refrigerants and eliminating freon, the company has other sustainability goals on its 2030 agenda:
- Reduce CO2 emissions by 60-75%
- Reduce energy use by 15% (per total floor area)
- Reduce total fuel consumption of sales vehicles by 75%
The company also aims to use 100% renewable energy by 2025.
Progress through open collaboration
Since the company’s target applications for eliminating freon and converting to natural refrigerants is very broad — ranging from office buildings to research and production lines — there is difficulty in meeting these requirements with a single piece of equipment or solution, said Yamada.
“Among the many challenges, we recognize that the transition to eliminating freon and converting to natural refrigerants in air conditioning is an extremely difficult one,” said Yamada. “We will evaluate the best solution from multiple perspectives. This includes the development status of refrigerants and air-conditioning equipment, as well as the use and structure of buildings.”
Chugai Pharmaceutical participated in the ATMOsphere Japan 2021 conference as a presenter for the first time this year. Yamada said that by participating, Chugai gained an opportunity to not only learn about domestic market trends but also gather specific information from the industry.
“After our presentation, we exchanged information with manufacturers who were interested in our policy and learned about the status of natural refrigerants in Europe and the United States,” said Yamada. “It was particularly helpful to learn from one manufacturer, which has a deep relationship with Europe, that the conversion to natural refrigerants is very advanced in that region.”
The company is looking forward to exploring different ways to cooperate with manufacturers, Yamada said.
Chugai Pharmaceutical was founded in Japan in 1925 and became a subsidiary of the Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company Roche Group in 2002.
See Chugai Pharmaceutical’s website in English here.
See the presentation here (Japanese).
See the company’s officially published “Mid-Term Environmental Goals 2030” page here.
“We will work together with manufacturers, engineering companies and other external stakeholders to achieve this goal.”Shigehiro Yamada, Chugai Pharmaceutical