Overcoming climate changeAchieving our science-based 1.5℃ target: Aiming for the world’s most advanced energy system

Development of roadmap to achieve our science-based 1.5℃ target and certification of our science-based net zero target

As a mid-term target for the reduction of GHG emissions, the Kirin Group obtained approval from the international SBT initiative (SBTi) for our science-based 2℃ target in 2017, and subsequently obtained approval for a target under the new standards for an science-based 1.5℃ target in November 2020.
In 2021, we formulated a roadmap to 2030 aimed at achieving our science-based 1.5℃ target, and began implementing related initiatives. In July 2022, we obtained science-based net zero target certification, making us the first company in the global food and beverage industry to do so. We intend to take three approaches to reducing Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions: “promotion of energy conservation,” “expansion of renewable energy,” and “conversion of energy.” We will work to reduce GHG emissions focusing mainly on the promotion of energy conservation and the expansion of renewable energy until 2030. We believe that, from 2030 onward, in order to achieve our net zero emissions target in 2050, we must also promote energy conversion for combustion fuels used in steam production processes from fossil fuels to hydrogen and other fuels that do not emit GHG.
Although large-scale investment will be required to achieve this goal, through 2030, the fiscal year of our SBT, the Kirin Group aims to implement measures to combat climate change that will be profit and loss neutral by introducing renewable energy, using the energy cost reduction benefits of energy conservation investments throughout the Group as funds. We have formulated this roadmap to enable us to achieve profit and loss neutrality even without taking ICP (Internal Carbon Pricing) into consideration, but we plan to accelerate the reduction of GHG emissions by taking ICP into consideration.
In terms of the reduction of Scope 3 emissions, of the 15 categories defined in the “GHG Protocol,” Category 1 emissions, i.e., those from the manufacture of ingredients and materials, make up the largest proportion of the total, at approximately 60%. As a key category for the reduction, we will pursue two parallel approaches as we work to achieve our target: “reducing emissions through our own initiatives” and “encouragement of reduction at business partners.”

  • Figure: Method of reducing GHG emissions

Use of heat pumps in production processes

The Kirin Group is aiming to shift our energy sources from fossil fuels to electric power. We currently use both electric power and fossil fuels as energy sources at our breweries and plants. Of these, fossil fuels, which we use to generate heat, are the largest source of GHG emissions. Therefore, in order to reduce GHG emissions, we need to improve energy efficiency and reduce the amount of energy consumption. At the same time, we believe that shifting the energy mix from fossil fuels to electric power, and, furthermore, using electricity generated by renewable energy sources are the most effective ways of reducing GHG emissions.
Kirin Brewery has successfully reduced its GHG emissions by approximately 70% over the 25 years from 1990 to 2015. We are now taking on the challenge of applying even more technological innovations to achieve our target of reducing Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 50% by 2030 (compared with 2019). Heat pump systems are a key technology in this regard. In 2019, we introduced heat pump systems at the wastewater treatment facilities of five Kirin Brewery plants, thereby reducing GHG emissions by 2% (approximately 3,400 tonnes) from the previous year across Kirin Brewery as a whole. Advanced engineering techniques are essential to both save energy and shift to electric power, including analyzing the entire heat flow of the production process and optimizing it through advanced designs before installation. We will deploy the knowledge that we have accumulated across Kirin Group companies as soon as possible to maximize the benefits. In 2020, we expanded the use of heat pumps to the production lines of Shinshu Beverage, followed by production processes at the Kirin Brewery Okayama Plant in March 2022. At Shinshu Beverage, we reuse waste heat, which is difficult to use directly in rinsing processes for bottles and caps, through a heat pump unit, enabling us to reduce GHG emissions by approximately 970 tonnes per year. The Kirin Brewery Okayama Plant has reduced annual GHG emissions by approximately 180 tonnes by reusing waste heat in hot water sterilization equipment for cans and heat in the air. The Kirin Group will continue leveraging its technological strengths to take on the challenge of creating the world’s best energy system.

  • Figure: Heat pump system

  • Figure: Shinshu Beverage production line

  • Heat pump at Shinshu Beverage

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