Monozukuri and Environment

The YKK AP vision for 2050 is to become a company that produces zero environmental burdens across all product lifecycles within our business. We will strive to do so by promoting the use of products that lead to a reduction of CO2 emissions across society, thereby reducing energy use, and minimizing the amount of CO2 emissions throughout our supply chain, from procurement to disposal.

Measures against environmental risks

Enhancing our global environmental management system

The YKK Group has established the YKK Group Environmental Policy Promotion Committee to draft environmental policies for the entire YKK group, and propose them to the Management Strategy Meeting. Upon receiving the proposals, the YKK AP Environmental Policy Board Committee drafts and carries out environmental policies from a management perspective and ensures compliance with various environmental regulations and agreements while also ascertaining business risks and opportunities. Additionally, to raise environmental awareness among our employees, we conduct self-checks that utilize case studies on risk inside and outside the company. We have also set up plant wastewater management standards, established a list of items that are subject to risk monitoring and organized emergency equipment in an effort to discover wastewater risks at an early stage and reduce overall risks.

Environmental management structure

Environmental management system

Implementing an internal environmental audit every year to enhance environmental management

With the aim of enhancing environmental compliance and our environmental management system, we conduct internal environmental audits in both areas every year. For compliance, we created a checklist consisting of legal compliance points based on the laws that apply to YKK AP. We use it for internal environmental audits at each of our facilities and mutual internal environmental audits conducted by the entire company – essentially a double-check system. Finally, we have external auditors conduct inspections to raise our level of environmental management. Currently, our whole company in Japan and 10 locations abroad have acquired the ISO 14001 certification. In March 2019, an external auditor conducted a periodic inspection of the entire YKK AP Group in Japan according to ISO 14001:2015. The auditor looked at areas of our operational management that fit the standard, as well as the formulation and state of action plans regarding risks and opportunities within our business activities. These included social demands, compliance, and communication with local communities, society and our employees. The assessment concluded that our system is functioning as an effective environmental management tool.

Overseas locations with ISO 14001 certification

About our Scopes

Scope 1…Direct emission of greenhouse gases due to fuel burned by our company
Scope 2…Indirect emission of greenhouse gases due to electricity use by our company
Scope 3…Indirect emission of greenhouse gases in our supply chain (outside of Scope 1 and Scope 2)

Scopes 1 + 2

Efforts to reduce our company's CO2 emissions (Scopes 1 + 2) and energy emission factors

In an effort to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions produced by our company, we are promoting investments in energy-efficiency, operational improvements, and energy-saving activities undertaken by all our employees. In FY 2018, we made energy-efficiency related investments of approximately 300 million yen (based on our company's Environmental Accounting Guideline). With this, we improved productivity by updating and automating production equipment and realized greater efficiency by updating major equipment such as lights, pumps, air conditioning and transformers. In terms of operational improvements, we not only shared examples of energy-saving efforts that are being conducted at various manufacturing bases across Japan, we also made visual their states of progress at each location and encouraged everyone involved to see their efforts through to the end. At our offices, as part of our energy-saving activities undertaken by all employees, we conduct the Environmental Action 25 program twice a year, which encourages everyone to act in ways that save and conserve energy. In the winter of 2018, the rate of participation was 74%, which exceeded our 65% goal. We will continue to share distinguished examples of energy-saving efforts at each location and work to apply them at all other locations.

Scope 3

Efforts to reduce CO2 emissions throughout our supply chain by promoting vinyl windows

Since FY 2013, we have been publishing our supply chain's CO2 emissions accounting (purpose, utilization, accounting method, accounting results) on the Green Value Chain Platform page run by the Ministry of the Environment. A look at the categories shows that in “Category 1: Purchased goods and services,” the procurement of raw materials accounts to close to 90% of our CO2 emissions in Scope 3. In particular, the procurement of aluminum (from mining to refining to overseas transportation), which we use to make aluminum window frames, is significantly affecting the numbers. Going forward, we will work to increase the use of secondary aluminum and promote the use of vinyl windows to continuously reduce CO2 emissions throughout our supply chain. In addition, we are also actively promoting the diversification of product transportation methods. Under the Eco Rail Mark system organized by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and the Railway Freight Association Eco Rail Mark Office, we have been recognized as an Eco Rail certified company. For transportation over land, we have introduced double-trailer trucks, which enhances loading efficiency by increasing the amount of cargo to 1.8 times the original load. With an efficient and flexible transportation system, which includes modal shifts and the implementation of large-capacity trailers, we will aim to continuously reduce CO2 emissions linked to distribution.

Reduction of CO2 by using vinyl windows

FY 2018 CO2 reduction goal and result

SBT Certification

Our greenhouse gas reduction goal was certified by SBT

The Science Based Targets (SBT) is gaining traction as an international initiative that encourages companies to set their long-term CO2 reduction goals to be in line with the 2°C goal set by the Paris Agreement. YKK AP participated in the Project to Support SBT Formulation organized by the Ministry of the Environment in FY 2017. Within two years, we announced our SBT and received certification in January 2019. We will work to achieve our goals, which are to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by our company (Scopes 1 + 2) by 30% by FY 2030, and to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in our supply chain (Scope 3) by 30% by FY 2030. We plan to fulfill these by promoting long-term measures centered on conserving over 1.3% of energy use a year, converting fuel sources, and introducing reusable energy.


Aiming to build a recycling-oriented society by promoting the 3Rs

In an effort to help create a recycling-oriented society, we are engaged in the 3Rs* to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. Today, we are seeing mass productions, mass consumptions and mass waste disposals of a global scale. This raises environmental concerns caused by a depletion of resources, limited waste disposal sites and rising levels of pollution in their vicinities. In 2000, Japan established the Basic Act on Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society and has been working to use resources effectively and reduce environmental burdens. As the material properties of plastic waste cannot be determined simply by their appearances, if they are mixed, they end up being thermally recycled. Therefore, we make sure to separate plastics by material at our manufacturing lines. They are separated at each manufacturing facility by the type, material property and color of their components and packaging materials, and then collected to be recycled or sold as valuables. Additionally, in FY 2017, we installed equipment (pelletizers) to compress sawdust into pellets. This makes them easier to handle and they can be sold as valuables (solid fuel). We will continue our efforts to greatly reduce waste in the future.
* 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Increasing and maintaining our recycling rate

14 continuous years of zero emissions Promoting waste reduction by increasing recycling rates

Our company's definition of “zero emission” is to maintain a recycling rate of over 97% for the waste produced in our business activities. We studied the state of industrial waste that we produce, and used to dispose until now, in an effort to convert to recycling. In FY 2018, we worked on figuring out how to recycle plastic waste (vinyl remains, shredded offcuts, composites), which used to be disposed, and managed to determine ways to recycle all industrial waste. Our recycling rate in FY 2018 was 99.9%, making it the 14th continuous year since FY 2005 of achieving zero emissions.

Recycling rate of industrial waste

Waste reduction

We reduced industrial waste output by 337 tons year on year Striving to suppress the amount of waste produced and improve recycling technologies

We reduced the amount of industrial waste we produced in FY 2018 by 337 tons compared to FY 2017. Compared to our base year, FY 2013, this is a 17% reduction (the FY 2018 goal was 51.1 thousand tons and a 14% reduction from FY 2013). In FY 2018, we studied the contents of our composite waste, selected what could be reused and converted them into valuables, thereby further reducing our waste output. Going forward, we will work to manage waste in an environmentally appropriate manner by improving the yield of our production process, reusing packaging materials, and enhancing our products' lifecycles. We will also aim to increasingly suppress the amount of waste we produce to minimize negative influences on the environment.

Waste output