Environmental management and CSV

Environmental management and CSV

The Kirin Group engages in environmental management as part of its CSV management system. The Kirin Group has organized material issues, including the environment, as “Kirin Group’s management issues for sustainable growth (Group Materiality Matrix: GMM)”, as part of its commitment to sustainable development in partnership with society. We have set forth the following four issues as material issues related to the environment: “sustainable use of biological resources,” “sustainable use of water resources,” “sustainable recycling of containers and packaging,” and “overcoming climate change.” These issues are also consistent with the four priority themes of the Kirin Group’s Environmental Vision 2050. To create shared value with society and promote sustainable growth, in our CSV Purpose developed as the guideline for the Long-Term Management Vision, KV2027, we set our purpose for the environment in line with the Kirin Group’s Environmental Vision 2050: Enrich the sustainable Earth for future generations through positive impact. In response, Group companies have established CSV Commitments as mid-term targets to achieve our environmental vision and are using them as performance indicators. As we look to achieve our Environmental Vision, Purpose, and Commitment, the Kirin Group will gather the opinions of stakeholders in an appropriate manner, identify and assess the risks and opportunities related to the environmental activities of our businesses, and take necessary action from medium to long-term perspectives.

Environmental management structure

The Kirin Group has defined its environmental management structure in the Principle for Kirin Group’s Global Environmental Management (KGEMP).
Under the KGEMP, a Group general environmental manager has been appointed as the chief executive officer for all Group environmental matters.As of April 2023, this role is held by the Senior Executive Officer of Kirin Holdings Company, Limited with responsibility for CSV strategy. The KGEMP requires the appointment of a general environmental manager, who has responsibility and authority for environmental matters in each operating company. In addition to monitoring to ensure that the company and its constituent companies are conducting their environmental activities appropriately, the general environmental manager conducts management reviews, identifies issues for improvement, and gives necessary directions to the relevant departments. In the event of an environmental crisis, the general environmental manager will have full authority to resolve the crisis.
The KGEMP stipulates that all business sites comply with laws and regulations and other rules relevant to the business’s environmental activities, reduce environmental load, such as GHG emissions and water intake, and prevent pollution under their own environmental management systems. All business sites must also conduct internal environmental audits to ascertain the appropriateness and legal compliance of their systems and confirm how well targets are being met. The results of these audits will then lead into management reviews.
We integrate the management of environment-related processes with company management processes in a manner suited to the companies’ respective regions.
We incorporate CSV goals, including those for the environment, into the goal-setting for each organization and individual, and reflect the degree to which those goals are reached in assessments of the performances of those organizations and individuals.

Environmental audits

Each of the operating companies in the Kirin Group complies with ISO 14001 and other environmental management system standards. Internal auditing is conducted in each business location and constituent company, and the environmental management divisions in the head offices of each Group company conduct auditing of business locations and constituent companies. These audits lead to improvements in the individual companies’ environmental management systems. On an entire Group basis, Kirin Holdings’ CSV Strategy Department conducts environmental audits of each Group company in accordance with criteria established by the Group. We then utilize these audits for management reviews.
In Japan, to guarantee further transparency and independence, we have been contracting an outside consultant to perform a strict environmental legal audit since 2009.By 2014, all global brewing and manufacturing sites had been audited in one round, and this has continued for all manufacturing sites since 2015. 2021 factory audits are being held remotely due to the Corona disaster.

Status of compliance with environmental laws and regulations

Each business location is thorough in its management of legal requirements through a ledger, and works exhaustively to prevent environmental pollution by establishing voluntary management targets that are more stringent than those required by the legislation. When an incident that constitutes an environmental accident occurs, an "Environmental Accident Report" is prepared in accordance with standards stipulated by each operating company and reported to Kirin Holdings.
We have established a system for the reporting of environmental accidents within the Group, in which we share hiyari-hatto (near-miss) examples and accidents that occurred within the Group and extend countermeasures to other sites. We use internal environmental audits to check the status of initiatives taken toward achieving environmental targets, see how measures to prevent environmental accidents and hiyari-hatto (near-miss) cases are being shared with operating companies and business sites, and confirm the status of legal compliance. In 2022, the Kirin Group has no significant accidents and violations affecting environmental pollution.

Appropriate management of waste

The Kirin Group is working toward its declared goal of the implementation and firm establishment of thorough appropriate management of waste. To this end, we established the Kirin Holdings Waste Management Rules and are promoting the appropriate treatment of waste within the common Group systems.
These rules standardize contract templates and the frequency and contents of contractor audit programs, and by keeping an updated list of staff in charge of waste management, we provide education to all staff who require it, based on standardized textbooks.
We collectively manage information on all waste disposal contractors for the Group, so if in the unlikely event that a problem arises, we can immediately search for and confirm details about the contractor, its permits, the waste it is being contracted to handle, and other details. We have standardized operations in this way so that anyone who is newly assigned to waste-related work will be able to perform it with certainty.

Recycling rate 100%

Kirin Brewery, Kirin Beverage, Kirin Distillery have set a recycling rate target of 100% for their plants and have continued to achieve that target.
Four plants, including the Kirin Brewery’s Yokohama Plant, first achieved a recycling rate of 100% in 1994, and in 1998, all plants achieved 100%, the first time in the beer industry.

Preventing air pollution

The Kirin Group strives to comply with all laws and regulations relating to air pollution in the various countries in which we operate. We have established voluntary standards that exceed those required by environmental legislation and are working to reduce our emission of atmospheric pollutants.
In Japan, in addition to complying with the Automobile NOx and PM Law, we are also working to improve transportation efficiency and loading efficiency, and to utilize modal shifts.

Preventing water pollution

The Kirin Group thoroughly complies with laws and regulations for preventing water pollution in each of the countries where we operate and minimizes wastewater loads by setting our own strict control values, which go beyond those required by environmental laws.

Preventing soil contamination

When selling assets, the Kirin Group conducts thorough investigations of soil contamination, responding as necessary.

Managing chemical substances

The Kirin Group manages its chemical substances appropriately based on the Act on Confirmation, etc. of Amounts of Release of Specific Chemical Substances in the Environment and Promotion of Improvements to the Management Thereof (PRTR Act) and other relevant legislation. Due to the nature of its business, the Kyowa Hakko Bio Group is committed to reducing volatile organic compounds (VOC), which account for the majority of chemical substance emissions.

Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB):Managing appropriately and disposing progressively according to the law.
Asbestos:Managing and isolating appropriately and treating progressively according to the law.

Environmental Education

Environmental Training

To mitigate environmental risk, the Kirin Group conducts an ongoing program for environmental training for its employees.
This systematized training consists of training for environmental staff and training by job grade, including new employees. The training conducted at the Technical Talent Development Center has been opened to Kirin Group companies in Japan.
As part of new employee training, basic training sessions on wastewater treatment, waste management, etc. are provided. Training for those in charge of industrial waste is systematized and implemented by the Kirin Holdings CSV Strategy Department. In response to the growing demand for TCFD disclosure, the Kyowa Kirin Group provides e-learning education related to TCFD for domestic Group companies, including directors, and measures understanding through a questionnaire after the course.

Raising environmental awareness within the Company

The Kirin Group uses in-house communications to expand the depth and breadth of interest in and understanding of the environment among employees. We utilize employee newsletters and the intranet, and at Group headquarters, use screen videos presenting Kirin’s environmental initiatives on digital signage, in order to deepen understanding among employees.
On June 1, 2021, we launched the “KIRIN Now” website for Group employees. As more employees work from home owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are using this website to provide up-to-date information from the Kirin Group in a format accessible to all Group employees, in accordance with changes in work styles. As part of this initiative, we are communicating with employees about the Kirin Group’s CSV activities, centered on the areas set forth in our CSV Purpose, i.e., “Health and well-being,” “Community,” “Environment,” and “Responsible alcohol producer,” in an easy-to-understand manner, and strengthening two-way communication through the use of comments and users’ ability to indicate that they are “excited” about posts.

Voluntary participation leading to policy recommendations

"Voluntary participation leading to policy recommendations" are disclosed below.

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder Engagement

To grow sustainably together with society, the Kirin Group has positioned Creating Shared Value (CSV) as the core of its company management in its Long-Term Management Vision, Kirin Group Vision 2027.
CSV management means the creation of economic value and social value at the same time, with the aim of sustainable growth together with society by realizing both solutions to social issues and the provision of value to customers. . To achieve this, it is important that we establish and implement mechanisms for identifying and understanding the challenges, expectations, and demands of our diverse stakeholders.
To this end, the Kirin Group has a range of opportunities for dialogue with the stakeholders involved in its business. In addition to dialogue, we work together with many of our stakeholders and cooperate in voluntary activities that lead to policy recommendations.

Engagement with tea farms

In our support for Sri Lankan tea farms to get Rainforest Alliance Certified, which began in 2013, Kirin staff travel to Sri Lanka once a year* to exchange views with the plantation managers and local residents, to identify and address local issues.
We decided to expand support for small farms to obtain certification for sustainable agriculture in 2018 in response to the consultations received from managers of large tea farms that depend on small farms to cover the need to supply a large amount of tea leaves.
The activities for the conservation of water sources on the farms materialized as a result of our dialogue with managers of large farms and local residents who had significant concerns over the impact of climate change on water sources.

  • Excluding the period of spread of the new coronavirus.

Engagement with grape producers for Japan Wine

Mariko Vineyard’s has received support from an international NGO, Earthwatch Japan, and its volunteers for ecological surveys. In 2018, Earthwatch Japan and its volunteers provided assistance in mapping the distribution of the shrubby sophora (Sophora flavescens), the sole grass eaten by the larvae of Shijimiaeoides divinus, a critically endangered species, on the sides of rice fields on the Jinba Plateau where Mariko Vineyard is located. Using the survey results, we have been conducting activities to increase the amount of shrubby sophora since 2019. We have been conducting activities to increase the plants of shrubby sophora in which, using the distribution map we created as a reference, we identify shrubby sophora and, with the permission of rice field owners, harvest cuttings of shrubby sophora. Volunteers then grow the cuttings at home and plant them in Mariko Vineyard once they have grown into healthy seedlings. In 2021, teachers from Shiogawa Elementary School, located at the foot of Mariko Vineyard, participated in taking shrubby sophora cuttings, which they then grew in a flower bed in the schoolyard, before students from the elementary school planted the seedlings in Mariko Vineyard at the end of May 2022. We will continue these activities beyond 2022.

Future generations

The Kirin Group, based on its Environmental Vision 2050, promotes engagement with future generations in various ways to get the next generation involved in resolving environmental issues and have a positive impact to society.

The Kirin School Challenge

Since 2014, the Kirin Group has been holding workshops called the Kirin School Challenge, in which junior and senior high school students, who will lead the next generation, learn, think about, and discuss matters for solving various social issues in the world and convey those ideas to their peers. As of the end of 2022, a total of approximately 1,178 students had participated in the workshop.
We held these workshops as group learning sessions on the themes of sustainable agriculture, forestry, and containers and packaging, and the output consisted of posting photos of messages that participants wanted to convey to their generation on Twitter.

Japan Environmental Youth Network

The Kirin Group has supported the Japan Environmental Youth Network, sponsored by the Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency’s Japan Fund for the Global Environment, since 2013 (from the time of its predecessor, the National High School Students Eco-Action Project).
The Japan Environmental Youth Network invites examples of day-today environmental activities from high school students, and selected students participate in the National Convention after passing through regional stages. The Kirin Group serves as a judge at both the regional and national conventions. The environmental activities of high school students often reflect local issues, and they serve as a valuable forum for understanding the issues faced by the younger generation, who will lead the next generation.
As part of our support activities, we welcome high school students to visit our companies once a year. To date, the Head Office in Nakano,the Institute for Packaging Innovation and the Central Research Institute in Yokohama, and Mariko Vineyard, as well as BEER EXPERIENCE, an agricultural corporation in Tono that is funded by Kirin have all accepted visits, providing opportunities for the students to exchange views while observing actual research and production facilities.

  • Kirin School Challenge Award Ceremony

  • National Convention of the Japan Environmental Youth Network

Environmental mark program

In 2019, together with the Japan Network for Climate Change Actions (JNCCA), we began trialing the “Environmental mark program,” in which children work together to find environmental marks.
Since 2020, we have been developing and deploying programs that use the “Environmental Mark Discovery Notebook,” enabling us to conduct programs on a more continuous basis. When children find an environmental mark, the leader of the organization checks it and sticks a Kirin “Eco Panda” sticker in their “Environmental Mark Discovery Notebook,” which increases their motivation.In 2020-2021, more than 200 organizations and approximately 5,000 elementary school students participated.

Free distribution of supplementary teaching material on SDGs

The Kirin Group is participating in the production of the section on “SDG 2: Zero Hunger” in the “SDGs Start Book,” supplementary teaching material on the SDGs for elementary students. Since 2021, we have distributed 300,000 books free of charge.

  • Environmental Mark Discovery Notebook

  • SDGs Start Book

Engagement with experts

The Kirin Group has always emphasized engagement with experts and NGOs to identify social issues and confirm the direction to take. With the adoption of the Paris Agreement at COP21 in 2015, the adoption of the SDGs by the UN, and the publication of the TCFD final recommendations in 2017, the Kirin Group believes that engagement with experts, NGOs, and ESG investors is becoming increasingly important.


In formulating the Kirin Group's Environmental Vision 2050, which was announced on February 10, 2020, we organized roundtable dialogue sessions with stakeholders, with cooperation from experts who had given us valuable advice in the past and we reflected many valuable comments received in our vision.

National Agricultural and Food Research Organization

In ecological surveys on the process of converting derelict farm land into vineyards, we ask the experts at the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), our partner in joint research, to hold a joint research presentation once a year. In addition to sharing the insights obtained through this research, we discuss how to proceed into the future.

Contribution to development of various guidelines

The Kirin Group actively participates in the development of various public guidelines. In 2018 and 2019, at the request of the Ministry of the Environment, we sent a member to the Working Group on the Environmental Reporting Guidelines and Environmental Accounting Guidelines and the Working Group on guidance and technical notes supplementing Environmental Reporting Guidelines 2018, where he deliberated with experts about disclosure of environmental information.
Since 2021, in response to a request from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the officer responsible for CSV strategy at Kirin Holdings has participated in the Study Group on Disclosure Policies for Nonfinancial Information. In addition, in 2021 and 2022, we participated in various working groups organized by ministries and agencies.

SBTN Corporate Engagement Program

In February 2021, the Kirin Group became the first Japanese company in the pharmaceutical and food industry to participate in the Corporate Engagement Program held by the Science Based Targets Network. In this program, we cooperate on the development of a scientific approach to setting targets related to the corporate use of natural capital (fresh water, land, oceans, use of resources, climate change, pollution, and invasive species).

The TNFD Forum

In December 2021, we became the first Japanese food and beverage and pharmaceutical company to participate in the TNFD Forum, a network of supporters to share the mission and vision of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), a framework for disclosing information related to risk management, for companies to report and act on risks related to natural capital.

Engagement with investors

In December 2021, we held the “KIRIN CSV DAY 2021” event in a hybrid online and face-to-face format, to report on the progress of our CSV management. With regard to our environmental efforts, we provided detailed explanations centered on the issues in our four important themes and Kirin’s strengths in solving them. In the individual meetings with investors, we exchange opinions on our new Environmental Vision announced in February 2020 and responses to climate-related issues, including TCFD recommendations. We hope these meetings provide an opportunity for attendees to better understand the Kirin Group’s initiatives.

Dialogue with CDP and TNFD

Since 2017, we have been taking the opportunity when the CDP’s chairman or CEO visits Japan to set meetings with Kirin Holdings’ officer responsible for CSV strategy and exchange opinions on responses to climate change.
In 2022, we welcomed the Executive Director of TNFD to Kirin to share information on the Kirin Group's initiatives related to natural capital and exchange views on the beta version of the TNFD Disclosure Framework.

  • Chairman, CDP
    Mr. Paul Dickinson

  • Chief Executive Officer, CDP
    Mr. Paul Simpson

  • Executive Director of TNFD
    Tony Goldner

Voluntary participation leading to policy recommendations

Participation in consortium, government, and ministry activities.