World's largest zipper manufacturer, YKK Corporation’s emissions reduction targets have been approved by the independent Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as being consistent with levels required to meet the Paris Agreement's goals of limiting global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.
The certification is another example of YKK's long-term commitment to environmental protection, and it is part of the company's ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050. SBTi, a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), has also accepted YKK's emissions reduction targets.
Hiroaki Otani, President of YKK Corporation, said that YKK strives to be a corporation that grows sustainably with society. That is why, for the next four years, their motto will be ‘Better products at lower costs and faster speeds, more sustainably.' The ‘Cycle of Goodness' corporate philosophy, which represents YKK's spirit of prospering together with all stakeholders, lies at the heart of all their business activities. This concept, he believes, involves sustainability. Nature and the environment are YKK's most valuable stakeholders.
In 1994, YKK issued an Environmental Charter that declared “environmental harmony” to be the greatest priority of its economic activities. In the same year, YKK introduced the NATULON® zipper, the company's first zipper to be made of recycled material.
Since then, YKK has continued to set the standard for sustainability and the development of ecologically friendly goods. YKK signed the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action in March 2020, which sets a target for the fashion industry to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
In October 2020, YKK reaffirmed its commitment by releasing its Sustainability Vision 2050, a blueprint for addressing climate change, material resources, water resources, chemical management, and human rights while aligning its efforts with the UN's sustainable development goals (SDGs).
While YKK plans to address all 17 UN SDGs in order to guarantee that its sustainability roadmap corresponds with society's requirements, the firm has picked ten on which it believes it can have the greatest impact which is Goal 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16.
With its science-based aims to develop a sustainable economy, YKK is tackling Goal 13 by promising a 50% reduction in Scope 1 (direct emissions) and Scope 2 (indirect emissions) emissions from the baseline year of 2018 by 2030. It also promises to cut Scope 3 emissions by 30% (all indirect emissions not included in Scope 2 that occur in its value chain).
According to the United Nations, 2019 was the second warmest year on record, with global temperatures expected to climb up to 3.2°C by 2100, making this an immediate global problem. By 2030, YKK wants to cut Scope 2 emissions by buying renewable energy whenever possible, and Scope 3 emissions by moving to 100% sustainable textile materials, including recycled and naturally sourced materials.
This commitment is reflected in YKK's product development, with products like the GreenRise® zipper, which uses plant-based polyester to reduce petroleum usage by 30%, and the NATULON® Ocean Sourced® zipper, which is manufactured from ocean-bound plastic trash.
Environmentally friendly products also support Goal 12's goal of ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns, with YKK pledging to eliminate production and plastic waste by designing circular products. By 2030, this will entail replacing all vinyl/plastic packaging materials with sustainable packaging, including recyclable/reusable forms, as well as reducing the quantity of waste that will be landfilled or cremated at all manufacturing facilities and increasing waste recycling rates to 90%.
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