Sustainable use of water resourcesConservation of Kirin water sources

Water source forest conservation activities

Our Water Source Forestation Activities, which are an activity to protect the water sources of our breweries and plants, began in the forest of the Tanzawa district of Kanagawa Prefecture, which is the water source for Kirin Brewery’s Yokohama Plant in 1999. We have since adopted this initiative, which was a pioneering initiative in the industry, in 11 locations across Japan. Under medium and long-term agreements with the local governments and other relevant parties that manage the water source forests, the program includes tree planting, undergrowth cutting, pruning, and thinning. Today, many of the forests are bright, luxuriant forests. In some locations, some of our customers have volunteered to take part in the activities.
In 2019, 1,192 people participated in a total of 15 activities, but starting in 2020, we ceased our activities in most locations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of 2020, scoria terrain particular to Mt. Fuji crumbled and fallen trees, etc., were found in the Kirin Mt. Fuji water source forest, a water source for Kirin Distillery. Accordingly, in 2021, Tsuchi ni Kaeru Ki Forestation Society (NPO), Shizuoka Prefecture, Gotemba City, and Kirin Distillery concluded the "Shizuoka Future Forest Supporter Agreement," and began forestation activities covering a total of approximately 2.7 ha, including not only the water source forest but also the Takane Regeneration Forest nearby. In 2021, 70 employees planted trees, and 11 junior high school students from the Gotemba Special Needs School Junior High School planted trees and learned about the forest environment.
At the Kyowa Hakko Bio Yamaguchi Production Center, we engaged in activities that were possible even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the participation by eight employees in forest conservation activities organized by the Water Utilization Council at water intake sites.

  • Water source forest activities at Kirin Mt. Fuji water source forest

  • figure: Kirin's forest across the country

Voice of Stakeholder
“Forestation” helps store water, prevent soil runoff, absorb carbon dioxide, and contribute to mitigating climate change through the promotion of forest maintenance activities such as planting seedlings, clearing undergrowth, cutting, thinning, and regeneration cutting. At the Kirin Mt. Fuji water source forest, in 2021, Kirin Distillery, Tsuchi ni Kaeru Ki Forestation Society (NPO), Gotemba City, and Shizuoka Prefecture concluded the "Shizuoka Future Forest Supporter Agreement.” With the support of the local government, we are working to create forests for passing on people's wishes and the rich natural environment to future generations.
Tsuchi ni Kaeru Ki Forestation Society (NPO)

Grassland conservation activities to recharge groundwater

In the “Aso Area Grassland Regeneration Project Aimed at 'World Cultural Heritage' Status," we are providing “support for the resumption of open burning” to preserve the grassland landscape of Aso. These activities are part of the support that we provide based on the comprehensive tri-party support agreement related to the Kirin KIZUNA Relief-Support Project concluded between Kumamoto Prefecture, the Nippon Foundation, and the Kirin Group in 2018, with the aim of achieving a creative recovery from the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake. Preserving the vast grasslands of Aso, which recharge large amounts of groundwater, will help protect the water that we use as a raw material at the Mercian Yatsushiro Plant. In 2021, six people from the Yatsushiro Plant participated in this activity. In 2021, we cut paths in the grass around areas for controlled burning, then burned the cut grass a few days later to create firebreaks to control fires. The maintenance of grasslands is also important for the survival of rare plants adapted to grasslands.

  • Cutting paths around areas for controlled burning

  • Controlled burning

*The above information is reprinted from the Kirin Group Environmental Report 2022 and is current as of June 30, 2022.