Independent Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) has approved YKK Corporation’s emission reduction targets as they are consistent with the Paris Agreement goals. These include limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, and pursuing efforts for 1.5 degree Celsius.

This certification is another way that YKK shows its commitment to the environment. It is part of its long-term goal to become carbon neutral by 2050. YKK is the only zipper manufacturer that has had its emission reduction targets approved by SBTi. This collaboration involves CDP, CDP, WRI, World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Hiroaki Okani, President of YKK Corporation, stated that YKK aims “To be a company which grows sustainably with the society. We have chosen “Better products at lower costs and faster speeds, more sustainably” as our motto for four years. The YKK “Cycle of Goodness” corporate philosophy is at the heart of all of our business activities. It expresses YKK’s spirit of sharing prosperity with all stakeholders. This concept also includes sustainability, I believe. The environment and nature are YKK’s most valuable stakeholders.”

1994 saw the release of YKK’s Environmental Charter, which stated that harmony with the environment was the highest priority for its business activities. YKK also launched the NATULON(r), its first zipper made from recycled material, in 1994.

white and blue textile on white surface

YKK has been a leader in both sustainable action and the development of more environmentally-friendly products since then. YKK signed in March 2020 the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. This set the goal for the fashion sector of a 30% aggregate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and net zero emissions by 2050.

YKK made that commitment clear in October 2020 with the publication of its Sustainability Vision 2050. This is the company’s plan for addressing climate change and water resources. It also aligns its efforts with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

YKK intends to address all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals in order to align its sustainability roadmap with society’s needs, but has chosen ten to make the greatest impact.

  • Goal 5 Gender Equality
  • Goal 6 Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Goal 7 Clean and Affordable Energy
  • Goal 8 Decent work and economic growth
  • Goal 10 Reduced Inequalities
  • Goal 12 Responsible Consumption & Production
  • Goal 13 Climate Action
  • Goal 14 Life below Water
  • Goal 15 Land Life
  • Goal 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

YKK has committed to a 50% reduction in Scope 1 (direct emission) and Scope 2 emissions by 2030. This is in line with its science-based goals to create a sustainable economy. It also pledges to reduce its Scope 3 emissions by 30 percent (all indirect emissions that are not included in Scope 2 and occur within its value chain).

According to the UN, 2019 was the second-warmest year ever recorded. Global temperatures are expected to rise by as much as 3.2 degrees Celsius by 2100. This is a serious problem. YKK plans to reduce Scope 2 and 3 emissions by using renewable energy whenever possible. YKK also intends to switch to 100% sustainable textile materials, including naturally derived and recycled materials, by 2030.

green plant on persons hand

This commitment is evident in YKK’s product development. YKK continues to innovate with its GreenRise(r), which uses plant-based nylon, achieving a 30% reduction in petroleum use, and with its NATULON (r) Ocean Sourced(r), which is made with ocean-bound plastic waste.

YKK has committed to creating products that are circularly sustainable and produce environmentally friendly products. This is in line with Goal 12 which aims to promote sustainable consumption and production. This means replacing all plastic packaging with sustainable packaging. It also includes recyclable/reusable packaging. YKK will reduce the amount of waste that is incinerated or landfilled at all production sites. The goal is to increase waste recycling to 90 percent by 2030.

GreenRise is a registered trademark of YKK CORPORATION Japan and other countries/regions.

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