Approach to water

Water is a source of life that circulates the globe and benefits humans and diverse ecosystems through interactions with the atmosphere, soil and other elements. Further worsening water shortage and pollution and flood risk are threatening the sustainability of decent living standards in the future due to the continuing increase in the world population, economic expansion, and climate change.
At Shionogi, we carefully assess, and take appropriate measure to minimize, water risks with a focus on important challenges that can seriously impact the production of pharmaceutical products and all aspects of our corporate life. This is because we are acutely aware that water is an essential factor for the continuation of our pharmaceutical business and for the sustainability of global ecosystems.

Water risk assessment

Quality water is essential for the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products. Water depletion or flooding in the catchment areas where we operate can seriously impact our business continuity. Therefore, we have assessed water risks facing each operating site engaged in manufacturing and research, using the internationally recognized WRI Aqueduct*1 and WWF Risk Filter*2 so as to understand water supply necessary for present operations and future business continuity, clarify water risks such as the increase in the probability of floods, and draw up preventive measures.
In-house deliberations based on risk assessment results and past experience and knowledge have led us to conclude that the Shionogi Group is exposed to relatively low water risks for the moment. On the other hand, the level of our future water stress*3 has been on the rise. Accordingly, we are reinforcing our efforts for water conservation and are considering consultation with experts for future water risk assessment.

We have incorporated risk assessment based on the WRI Aqueduct into the selection of our suppliers to clarify and minimize their latent risks.

*1 Water risk assessment tool developed and published by the World Resources Institute (WRI)

*2 Water risk assessment tool developed and published by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

*3 Condition of strained water supply and demand

WRI Aqueduct Assessment Results (Baseline Water Stress)
(operating site location)
No. of operating sites Risk level/Number of operating sites Future water stress change
High High to medium Medium Medium to low Low
(Iwate, Shiga, Osaka, Hyogo, and Tokushima)
6 5 1 Change to medium/high level by 2040
China (Jiangsu) 1 1 No major change until 2040
WWF-Water Risk Filter Assessment (Baseline Water Stress)
Country (operating site location) No. of operating sites Risk level/Number of operating sites
High High to medium Medium Medium to low Low
(Iwate, Shiga, Osaka, Hyogo, and Tokushima)
6 4 1 1
China (Jiangsu) 1 1
In-house assessment table  (Shionogiʼs self-assessment based on hazard maps and other documents and data published by the Ministry  of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and other entities)

Water consumption

To protect water, the Shionogi Group promotes water conservation in each operating site by working to raise employee awareness of water conservation, thoroughly managing the consumption of tap water and industrial water, and reviewing manufacturing equipment operation and cleaning plans in order to control water consumption. 

We obtain the water we use entirely from the public water supply system, with no direct water intake from underground, rivers or the sea. We do not obtain water from areas where the level of water stress is found to be high in risk assessment.

We release wastewater into sewers or rivers, not into the sea.

Regarding the quality of wastewater, we strengthen the management of chemical substances in wastewater and constantly monitor wastewater for any abnormality at in-house treatment facilities in line with our management criteria, which are voluntarily set more stringently than those mandated by laws and regulations.

The quantity of actual water consumption by the operating sites corresponds to about 10% of the quantity of water taken in, with a large part of the water used for our activities eventually returned to the aquatic environment.

We will continue to strive to reduce water consumption at each operating site, and our medium-term target for water consumption is keeping it at or less 1,340 thousand m3 in FY2024 (keeping at the level of FY2018 consumption).

Graph of  water consumption and productivity

Water consumption by source and drainage by destination

Water consumption by source, Drainage by destination

Pharmaceuticals in the Environment

Pharmaceuticals released into the natural environment are drawing an increasing amount of attention worldwide, as attested to by the report published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) titled “Pharmaceuticals in the Environment (PiE).”*1

At the Shionogi Group, we confirm at the outset of manufacturing each new product that drug concentration in wastewater generated from the manufacturing process does not have any impact on the natural environment, thereby responsibly handling pharmaceuticals during release from the plant as well as during the manufacturing process.

For AMR control, we confirm that the level of antimicrobial content in wastewater has no environmental impact if released into the natural environment by deactivating antimicrobials contained in wastewater in each manufacturing building before discharging the wastewater outside via in-house treatment facilities.

*1:OECD「 Pharmaceutical Residues in Freshwater」  (External website)

Photo to test the activity of an antibacterial agent