This story is a reprint from Kyowa Kirin Annual Report 2020. Click herePDF file to read more on Annual Report 2020.

Kyowa Kirin makes dedicated efforts to protect the global environment, which is key to business continuity, while promoting activities that are geared toward realizing a sustainable society.

Environmental Management

Based on the Kyowa Kirin Group Environmental Policy, the Kyowa Kirin Group has made a clear commitment to the environment in the conduct of its business activities. We are working actively to contribute to the sustainability of society by passing on a rich global environment to future generations with the goal of achieving the Kirin Group Environmental Vision 2050.

In addition to practicing CSV management by tackling social issues, the Kyowa Kirin Group has identified material issues (materiality) while also incorporating materiality into its Medium Term Business Plan. Moreover, among these materiality issues, we have especially positioned the SDGs related to “climate change (prevention of global warming)” and “preservation of water resources” as core issues of our environmental activities.

Key matters related to the Group’s environmental management activities are discussed and decided by the Group CSR Committee, which is chaired by the Representative Director Executive Vice President, who also serves as chief executive officer for all environmental matters. Details are reported to the Board of Directors.

Daily environmental management activities are conducted in accordance with the ISO 14001 environmental management system. Effective from January 1, 2019, all domestic production and research sites have switched from third-party accreditation of compliance with ISO 14001 to self-declaration.

Response to Climate Change and Other Issues

Aspiring in Kirin Group Environmental Vision 2050 to work together to create a society that has overcome climate change, the Kirin Group is striving to realize net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from the entire value chain while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions in conjunction with its stakeholders in a bid to take the lead in building a carbon-free society.

In addition to upholding the global goal of reducing CO2 emissions for FY2030 (to 20% less than the FY2015 level*1) in collaboration with its parent company, Kirin Holdings Company, Limited, in accordance with the Science Based Targets (SBT) approach, the Kyowa Kirin Group has set individual per-unit energy consumption targets for each of its production and research sites while implementing measures to raise productivity. In FY2020, per-unit energy consumption declined 2.9% compared with the previous year (global target: 1% reduction year on year).

Meanwhile, Kyowa Kirin was the first pharmaceutical maker in Japan to introduce Aqua Premium*2, a 100% hydropower electricity supply service that generates zero CO2 emissions at its Takasaki Plant from January 1, 2020, replacing 75% of the electricity used at the Takasaki Plant with hydroelectric power generation.

Through the introduction of “Aqua Premium,” about 23.4 million kWh of the Kyowa Kirin Group’s annual electricity consumption of about 72.4 million kWh*3 has been replaced with renewable energy derived from hydropower. As a result, the Kyowa Kirin Group*3 reduced its annual CO2 emissions by about 20%, equivalent to about 10,300 t-CO2.

  • *1:
    Target for the Kyowa Kirin Group and the Kyowa Hakko Bio Group.
  • *2:
    TEPCO Energy Partner, Incorporated
  • *3:
    Kyowa Kirin Group domestic and overseas production and research sites.
Total CO2 emissions: 52,487t-CO2 (2019) (Electricity 66%, City gas 26%, Kerosene 6%, Steam 1%, Natural gas 1%, Other 1%) to Total CO2 emissions: 41,105t-CO2 (2020) (Reduction of approximately 20%, or around 10,300t-CO2) Total CO2 emissions: 52,487t-CO2 (2019) (Electricity 66%, City gas 26%, Kerosene 6%, Steam 1%, Natural gas 1%, Other 1%) to Total CO2 emissions: 41,105t-CO2 (2020) (Reduction of approximately 20%, or around 10,300t-CO2)
Reducing CO2 Emissions through Renewable Energy (the Kyowa Kirin Group’s CO2 Emissions Ratio)

Furthermore, in Japan, the Kyowa Kirin Group has been replacing its commercial fleet with hybrid vehicles in phases since 2009. As of the end of FY2019, the hybrid car introduction rate of company-owned vehicles reached 100%, with the entire fleet switching to hybrid vehicles. This initiative is helping to further reduce CO2 emissions generated by our sales activities.

2016: CO2 emissions 2,881 tons, Hybrid car introduction rate 87.1% / 2017: CO2 emissions 2,588 tons, Hybrid car introduction rate 87.3% / 2018: CO2 emissions 2,615 tons, Hybrid car introduction rate 92.0% / 2019: CO2 emissions 2,355 tons, Hybrid car introduction rate 100% / 2020: CO2 emissions 1,535 tons, Hybrid car introduction rate 100% 2016: CO2 emissions 2,881 tons, Hybrid car introduction rate 87.1% / 2017: CO2 emissions 2,588 tons, Hybrid car introduction rate 87.3% / 2018: CO2 emissions 2,615 tons, Hybrid car introduction rate 92.0% / 2019: CO2 emissions 2,355 tons, Hybrid car introduction rate 100% / 2020: CO2 emissions 1,535 tons, Hybrid car introduction rate 100%
CO2 Emissions from Commercial Vehicles and Hybrid Car Introduction Rate

Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

Kirin Holdings Company, Limited announced its support for the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) before any other company in the food and beverage industry in Japan on behalf of the Kirin Group.

Kirin Holdings has also conducted analyses of different scenarios, evaluated the resilience of business strategies with respect to climate change and published the results. Moreover, the Kyowa Kirin Group is working to disclose information in accordance with the TCFD recommendations. The impact of the transition to a carbon-free society or the progress of climate change on our business varies.

Recognizing that many factors are intricately linked, we are sorting out these relationships, evaluating climate-related risks and opportunities and identifying key drivers (factors with high uncertainty that can have a decisive impact on business performance). In the meantime, we have developed several scenarios for future changes in society due to climate change.

In the future, we will conduct scenario analyses for these key drivers to quantify the business impact of each scenario, examine the response policy for business impact and the resilience of strategies, and disclose these results in sequence.

Biodiversity Preservation

As part of its activities to preserve ecosystems and ensure biodiversity, Kyowa Kirin has been working to protect water resources through its engagement in the Kirin Group’s water-source preservation project since FY2007. The Takasaki and Ube plants carry out weeding, planting and tree thinning to create forest areas that provide water resources. The Takasaki Plant has entered into a three-party agreement with Gunma Prefecture and Kurabuchi Furusato Public Corporation, under which it engages in Takasaki Water Source Forest Conservation Activities to protect forest areas in Kurabuchi-machi, Takasaki City.

Forest activities to preserve water resources
Gunma Prefecture Environmental Award

In addition, for the fourth year running, Kirin Holdings Company, Limited has been recognized as the highest Water Security A List company by CDP, an international non-profit organization that provides an environmental data disclosure system. CDP praised the Kirin Group, of which Kyowa Kirin is a member, for its efforts to protect water resources.

Kyowa Kirin business sites also work with various local communities to preserve ecosystems, including cleaning local streams and rivers and releasing young amago trout into rivers. The Fuji site continues to clean up a nearby river through Shizuoka Prefecture’s River Friendship Program in collaboration with local government agencies.

Campaign to reduce the amount of rubbish around Mount Fuji

The Kyowa Kirin Group is also taking steps to reduce its impact on ecosystems in procurement activities. Specifically, we are introducing internal envelopes, company pamphlets, cardboard product packaging and other items made from FSC® certified paper*4 to help protect the world’s forests.

Kyowa Kirin complies with the Kirin Group’s Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources when seeking access to raw materials and specimens. Under the guidelines, any profits generated from their use are shared with the local communities that provide them.

  • *4:
    Kyowa Kirin has acquired FSC® promotion license (FSCR N003037).
Use of FSCR-certified paper

Furthermore, to comply with the Act on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity through Regulations on the Use of Living Modified Organisms (Cartagena Act), we have put in place an internal committee to conduct proper management.

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