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Sustainability Story
Stakeholder Dialog People-friendly and sustainable YKK AP products

YKK AP provides people-friendly and sustainable products, starting with our vinyl windows with high thermal insulation performance. Megumu Murakami, author of SDGs Nyumon ("Introduction to SDGs", published by Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.) and other books, and an expert in ESG investment and climate change risks at The Japan Research Institute, Limited, visited our YKK AP Experience Showroom in Shinagawa, Tokyo, for a hands-on look at our products.



People-friendly and sustainable YKK AP products

Megumu Murakami

(The Japan Research Institute, Limited Senior Manager, Center for the Strategy of Emergence)

Chieko Kawai

(Vice President, Corporate Communications, YKK AP)

Megumu Murakami

The Japan Research Institute, Limited Senior Manager, Center for the Strategy of Emergence

Hired into the Industrial Bank of Japan (current Mizuho Bank) after graduating from the Faculty of Law, Kyoto University, before joining the Japan Research Institute in 2003. Specializes in ESG (Environment, Society, and Governance) investment support, climate change risks and finances, etc. Her recent work, SDGs Nyumon ("Introduction to SDGs"), has been published by Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.

Murakami:Today, I have come to the YKK AP Experience Showroom*1 in Shinagawa, Tokyo, for a hands-on experience with YKK AP products. I would like to learn about the companyʼs work with products and services that contribute to SDGs. First, tell me about your vinyl windows with high thermal insulation performance.

Kawai:I would like to show you some of our products that help reduce CO² emissions, an issue related to climate change. Letʼs go to the window performance experience zone.

Murakami:You can really feel how different types of window insulate you from the outside temperature. Vinyl windows have very good thermal insulation performance. Of course, the middle of the room is warm, but even when you get close to the window you still donʼt feel the cold much.

Kawai:YKK AP developed everything, from the materials to the manufacturing equipments and the product itself. This integrated production system enables us to maintain our focus on quality. We work to develop products that match the behavior and thinking of people living with them, while also making them friendly to the natural environment.

Murakami:I have experience remodeling my own home. There were big temperature differences between the north-facing and south-facing rooms, so I wanted to change the windows to fix it. I was surprised that there were wider choises of material than I expected.

Products and services that combine both technology and art also draw peopleʼs attention.

Kawai:We try to let end users know about the role of windows and at the same time inform contractors and other professionals who undertake reforms about our products. This way, people are able to choose products that contribute to healthier and more comfortable lifestyles. The company has been encouraging me to work from home, and Iʼve set up a work desk in my house next to an internal window. The temperature and light levels are just right to make it a comfortable environment.

Our wooden quake-resistance frames FRAME Ⅱ can be combined with our high-performance vinyl window APW 330 line. The frame allows windows to stay the same size while at the same time improving the thermal insulation and quake-resistance of the window opening, usually a structural weak point in a house.

Remote control slit shutters not only provide disaster and crime protection, but make day-to-day life easier as well. Adjusting the slits provides privacy from outside but still allows a measured amount of light and air to enter the room

Kantan Mado Remo (easy window remodeling) is a product that encourages remodeling with a simple installation method that covers over the existing window frame. Windows can be replaced or made into double layers quickly and without needing to break the wall.

Murakami:I have heard that windows can help with quake-resistance of houses.

Kawai:Compared to columns and walls, windows used to be considered a weak point in terms of quake-resistance. But our "FRAME Ⅱ" improve quakeresistance. By adding an quake-resistant wooden frame around the window, we are able to enhance quakeresistance without reducing the size of the window.

Murakami:In SDGs, one of the major tasks is improving resilience in the face of natural disasters. These days, responding to natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons is more important than ever.

Kawai:During Typhoon Faxai in September 2019, we saw windows being smashed by tiles that were blown off roofs. Adding shutters reduces the chances of such damage, and we saw an increase in sales.

Murakami:Many houses have storm doors that are pulled out of a stowage cabinet, but the types of manual and powered shutters are increasing.

Kawai:Until recently, shutters have overwhelmingly been installed only on the first floor of single-family home as an anti-burglary measure, but more and more homes are having shutters equipped on the second floor to protect the windows. Powered shutters are very useful for the elderly in particular

Murakami:Products and services that combine both technology and art draw peopleʼs attention. The UPDATE GATE*2 , a door with built-in AI and face recognition, seems like something out of the future.

Kawai:This is an unreleased concept product, but it has face recognition that does away with the need for a key. Of course it is useful for crime prevention, but it is also convenient, for example, for persons who are physically impaired. They can pre-register caregivers who visit them at their home so they donʼt have to open the door themselves. By adding touch panel functionality to windows and doors, residents can check the weather, train schedules, and other information.

Murakami:People can increase the value of their homes by adding various functions through remodeling and upgrades. With the aging of the population the problem of abandoned homes is receiving more attention, but such remodeling could offer a solution.

Kawai:Renovations aimed at improving the performance of existing homes can actually generate more value than a new build. You can improve quakeresistance structures and make windows larger, for a sense of openness. An old house can be transformed into a comfortable and charming home. As a manufacturer, our company promotes projects in which we provide materials and technology and encourage local contractors to work with us.

Murakami:Todayʼs experience has helped me understand how the functioning of a house can be improved. Most people think about the largeness, room layout, and storage of a home, but when we actually move in, we realize that comfort issues, for example in terms of windows, make a big difference. In terms of natural environment initiatives, disaster responses, and other aspects, too, I think that going forward, more and more people will be looking at YKK AP products.

This conversation took place on March 23, 2020.

The front right is Megumu Murakami. The left back is Chieko Kawai.

*1 YKK AP Experience Showroom is a showroom for professional users (by reservation only).https://www.ykkap.co.jp/pro/taikan/ (Informaition in Japanese)
We have 13 showrooms across the country for the general public. The content of display differs among these showrooms.https://www.ykkap.co.jp/sr/ (Informaition in Japanese)

*2 See the dedicated website for the “UPDATE GATE”.https://update-gate.jp/ (Informaition in Japanese)


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