Vision / Policies / Structure

Kirin Group's Environmental Policy

Basic policy

The Kirin Group places sustainable business growth based on solving social issues at the core of its management, and enriches society and the Earth for future generations through positive impact on people and the environment.

Activity policy

In all aspects of our business activities, we have set ambitious targets related to solving social issues connected to the environment as one of the most material management issues, and we will focus on achieving these targets under the leadership of top management and through the participation of all employees.

  1. Compliance
    • We will comply with all environmental laws, regulations, and agreements as well as voluntary control standards related to our business activities with high moral values.
  2. Technological development
    • In addition to creating and adopting innovative technologies and methods, we will work with our customers and broad stakeholders to resolve issues on a sustainable basis.
  3. Environmental management
    • We will develop an environmental management system and make continuous improvements in accordance with our business strategy.
  4. Human resources development
    • We will continuously develop human resources who can create and implement a positive impact on the environment and society as a whole, beyond our own company and its framework.
  5. Communication
    • We will disseminate highly transparent and reliable information and broadly promote communication with stakeholders.

Revised on October 2021

The Kirin Group Plastic Policy

  1. Promoting recycling of PET bottles. The plastic containers, packaging, and other materials provided by the Kirin Group are mostly PET used for beverage bottles and the Kirin Group has used recycled resin for a part of them. The Kirin Group will promote the recycling of PET bottles by aiming to increase this recycled plastic ratio to 50% by 2027.
    The recycling of PET bottles cannot be promoted without an efficient method for collecting high-quality used PET bottles. At the Kirin Group, we will proactively work with national and local governments, and industry organizations to create an efficient collection and reuse system for high-quality used PET bottles.
  2. Efforts to reduce single-use plastic* and replace it with other materials. Most plastic waste is comprised of what is referred to as single-use plastic. The Kirin Group will make efforts to reduce the single-use plastic provided by its group companies and replace it with other materials.
    • Disposable plastic that is used only and not intended for reuse.
  3. Improving sustainability of raw materials for PET bottle. At the Kirin Group, we have made continuous efforts to reduce the weight of our PET bottles from the standpoint of reducing our environmental impact. We will keep striving toward even lighter bottles in the future. In addition, to improve the sustainability of raw materials for PET bottle, we will study the introduction of PET bottle materials derived from inedible plants to reduce our dependence on petroleum resources.

In addition to the above measures, we will proactively participate in educational programs to promote plastic recycling, coastal cleanup activities, and other programs. Kirin Beverage Company, Limited also supports the Soft Drink Business Plastic Resource Reclamation Declaration 2018 announced last year by the Japan Soft Drink Association, and will take proactive measures to realize the “100% Effective Utilization of PET Bottles by 2030” plan put forth by the industry.

Established on February 2019

Policies on biological resources

Kirin Group’s Declaration of Support for Biodiversity Conservation

Kirin Group relies on the bounty of nature to make products. We utilize the power and wisdom nature has to offer in conducting its business activities. Because of that, we recognize the importance of conserving biodiversity as business challenges. Kirin Group actively pursues a broad range of activities to protect biodiversity in order to continue offering new joys of “food and well-being” into the future.

  1. Kirin Group promotes sustainable use of resources while ensuring conservation of biodiversity
    The Kirin Group is committed to sustainable use of resources while taking biodiversity into consideration in all of its business activities so that all people around the world may continue to enjoy the bounty of nature.
  2. Kirin Group makes effective use of its technologies
    As a company that offers new joys of “food and well-being,” the Kirin Group makes effective use of its technologies when conducting business activities to contribute to the sustainable use of resources and protection of biodiversity.
  3. Kirin Group works in cooperation with stakeholders
    Kirin Group adds a biodiversity perspective to the environmental protection activities which have continuously been engaged in and works in cooperation with customers and local partners to continue conserving biodiversity.
  4. Kirin Group properly complies with treaties and laws
    Kirin Group complies with treaties, laws and regulations concerning biodiversity and strives to help people enjoy the blessings of biodiversity worldwide.

Kirin Group’s Guidelines on Sustainable Sourcing of Biological Resources

The purpose of the Guidelines is to present the fundamental principles of the Group so that it can continue to ensure the “sustainable sourcing of biological resources”based on the Kirin Group’s Declaration of Support for Biodiversity Conservation.

Applicable scope
The Guidelines apply to biological resources procured by the Kirin Group’s operating companies in Japan for which the Group has specified that there is risk of illegal deforestation, environmental destruction and such like based on risk assessment performed.

Guidelines on Sustainable Sourcing of Biological Resources
Kirin Group procures applicable biological resources based on the following principles.

  1. Resources that the Group has confirmed;
    not to derive from a plantation developed illegally, to have been produced through appropriate procedures in compliance with the laws and regulations of the areas where the raw material is produced.
  2. Resources deriving from plantations, forests, etc. that have been certified by credible third parties.
  3. Resources that have not been produced by entities which are considered to be involved in environmental destructions.*1

Implementation and operation
The Kirin Group regularly revises these Guidelines based on biodiversity risk assessments for products sourced, taking into account the issues associated with biological resources and the fact that sourcing conditions differ for each region. In addition, the Kirin Group also separately formulates action plans and implements them in phases, taking into consideration the unique characteristics of each country or region. When implementing initiatives, the Kirin Group cooperates with suppliers, specialists, NGOs, and other stakeholders, and adopts a long-term perspective that considers support to enable people working in areas producing raw materials to transition to means of production that take into account the sustainability of biological resources.

Information disclosure and external communication
The Kirin Group is committed to maintaining transparency and disclosing the progress of its initiatives through sustainability reports, online, and other methods. At the same time, the Kirin Group also utilizes appropriate external communication to promote understanding among customers, partners, and society, and thereby increase the use of sustainable biological resources.

  1. Reference is currently made to the FSC’s Policy for the Association of Organization with FSC.

Kirin Group Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Biological Resources

  • Black Tea
    Kirin Holdings aims to enhance sustainability of tea farms in Sri Lanka, the main raw material production area from which Kirin Beverage Company, Limited sources tea leaves.
    • Kirin Holdings will support for farms to get Rainforest Alliance Certification by Sri Lankan tea farms that supply tea leaves, and thus increase the number of farms with certification*1
    • Kirin Holdings will enhance awareness through year-round products featuring the Rainforest Alliance Certified label.
    • Kirin Holdings will conserve water sources at Sri Lankan tea farms.
  • Paper and Printed Materials
    Kirin Holdings will maintain 100% usage of FSC-certified paper or recycled paper, which it achieved at Kirin Holdings Company, Limited, Kirin Brewery Company, Limited, Kirin Beverage Company, Limited, and Mercian Corporation in 2020, and Kirin Holdings will also expand this initiative to cover all Group companies, including those outside of Japan.
    • For paper containers and packaging*2, by 2030, Kirin Holdings will 100% use paper that has been confirmed to be from sustainable sources*3*4.
    • For other paper, Kirin Holdings will use paper that has been confirmed to take sustainability into consideration or recycled paper*5
  • Palm Oil
    In Kirin Holdings’ domestic businesses, Kirin Holdings will ensure that 100% of transactions for palm oil used as a primary or secondary raw materials have RSPO*6 certification. 
    • For palm oil used as a primary raw material, Kirin Holdings will use RSPO Credits*7. By 2030, Kirin Holdings will begin sourcing RSPO-certified palm oil*8, and gradually transition palm oil procurement.
    • For palm oil used as a secondary raw material, Kirin Holdings will use RSPO Credits. Kirin Holdings will work together with the RSPO, suppliers, NGOs, and various stakeholders to ensure that Kirin Holdings’ suppliers are able to use RSPO-certified palm oil as a raw material.
  • Coffee
    Kirin Holdings aims to enhance sustainability of coffee farms in Vietnam, the main production area from which Kirin Beverage Company, Limited sources coffee beans.
    • Kirin Holdings will support to get Rainforest Alliance Certification by Vietnamese coffee farms, and thus increase the number of farms with certification.
    • Kirin Holdings will enhance the ability of Vietnamese coffee farms to conserve water.
  • Soybeans
    Kirin Holdings will use soybeans and processed goods*9 from highly sustainable farms at Kirin Brewery Company, Limited.
    • Kirin Holdings will determine farms from which it will source soybeans.
    • Kirin Holdings will confirm the sustainability of the soybean farms that it has determined.

FSC® C137754

  1. Kirin Holdings will set specific targets in Kirin Holdings’ CSV commitment.
  2. Excludes limited-edition products, small-lot product varieties, special shapes, imported products, products regulated by law, etc.
  3. Kirin Holdings will prioritize FSC-certified paper. When the use of FSC-certified paper is cannot be used, Kirin Holdings will use paper complying with the following standards, in order: paper made with wood from FSC-managed forests (Controlled Wood), PEFC certification (for regions where sustainability has been confirmed only), and the Kirin Group Guidelines for the Procurement of Sustainable Biological Resources. When using paper that has not been third-party certified, etc., Kirin Holdings will confirm that sustainability has been taken into consideration through supplier surveys, etc.
  4. This will apply to the following operating companies: Kirin Holdings Company, Limited, Kirin Brewery Company, Limited, Kirin Beverage Company, Limited, Mercian Corporation, Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd., KYOWA HAKKO BIO CO., LTD., Lion Pty Limited, and Koiwai Dairy Products CO., LTD. Kirin Holdings will determine the applicable container types, target year for achievement, etc., in Kirin Holdings’ CSV commitment.
  5. This will apply to the operating companies listed in *4, as well as the following operating companies: KIRIN GROUP LOGISTICS CO.,LTD. Kirin City Co., Ltd., INTERFOOD SHAREHOLDING COMPANY, and Four Roses Distillery, LLC. Each company will set specific targets.
  6. Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
  7. Book and Claim model
  8. Complying with one of the following: IP (Identity Preserved), SG (Segregation), or MB (Mass Balance)
  9. Soybean protein 

Established on February 2013
Revised on July 2021

Kirin Group’s Principles of Managing Access to Genetic Resources

  1. The Group shall respect international agreements concerning biodiversity.
  2. Access to genetic resources shall be based on prior informed consent of the country providing such resources, and no genetic resources whose backgrounds are unknown shall be carried in or used.
  3. Use of genetic resources, including fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of their utilization, shall be properly managed in accordance with international treaties.

Consideration of the Environment in Product Development

Guidelines on Environmentally Conscious Design for Containers and Packaging

  1. Purpose
    In order to sustainably pass on the earth's bounty and environment to future generations and continue to provide value to our customers and society as a whole, we will contribute to the establishment of a resource recycling system by developing and promoting sustainable containers and packaging, reducing waste in our business activities, and promoting recycling through compliance with laws and regulations and the Environmentally Sound Design Guidelines for Containers and Packaging". and contribute to the establishment of a resource recycling system."
  2. Basic Concept for Development, Design and Adoption of Containers and Packaging
    1. In development and design, maintain quality, safety and hygiene of product contents, safety of containers and packaging, and appropriate presentation of product information as prerequisites, and take into account environmental applicability, user-friendliness, transport efficiency and economic performance.
    2. In adoption, select containers and packaging that meet customers' purchasing and drinking styles, form of selling, and characteristics of product contents.
  3. Concept of Caring for the Environment in Development, Design and Adoption of Containers and Packaging
    1. Strive to reduce the environmental impact associated with containers and packaging throughout the lifecycle, i.e., from procurement to recycling, and keep the impact on the natural environment to a minimum.
    2. In order to make effective use of resources and contribute to the realization of the circular economy, use materials that are easy to recycle or dispose of, that have minimal environmental impact, and materials that use recyclable resources.
    3. In order to contribute to realizing a decarbonized society, select materials that require low energy use and that generate minimal greenhouse gas emissions during processes of manufacturing containers and packaging and of transporting products.
    4. Select materials in consideration of preventing environmental pollution at the stage of disposal.
    5. Promote the 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) + Renewable (sustainable resources) activities in accordance with the following.
  4. Guidelines for promoting the 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) + Renewable (sustainable resources)
    1. Reduce
      1. Make efforts to reduce weight of containers and packaging, sales promotion tools, etc. and to reduce the amount of materials used.
      2. Make efforts to design containers and packaging so that the volume can be reduced as much as possible by folding or crushing them when they are recycled or disposed of.
      3. Shift to simple packaging, try to eliminate individual pieces of wrapping and outer packaging, and make efforts to keep packaging reasonable.
    2. Reuse
      1. Make efforts to design containers and packaging so that the number of reuses and refills can be repeated as much as possible.
      2. Make efforts to keep the environmental impact associated with reuse and refilling as small as possible.
    3. Recycle
      1. Use single material as much as possible, and when using two or more types of materials, make efforts so as to enable their easy separation.
      2. Make efforts to use recycled materials and those with high recycling rates.
      3. Make efforts to adopt specifications and designs that facilitate separated discharge, sorted collection, and material sorting.

Revised December 24, 2021

  • The Kirin Group performs LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) on major containers for alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beverages whenever necessary. We also take into account the product characteristics, unit of purchase by customer at each purchase, major sales store format, projection on collection of empty containers and other relevant factors on a comprehensive basis to select containers