Promotion of EMS (Environment Management System)
The Kikkoman group believes that ISO14001 set out by the International Organization for Standardization is an effective tool for promoting our environment management system, and we became the first ISO14001-certified company in the Japanese food industry when the Kikkoman Noda Plant (currently the Noda Factory, Kikkoman Food Products Company) acquired the certification in May 1997. With the goal of obtaining the certification at major facilities by FY2005, we continued our efforts and achieved the goal when our Kinki Region completed the certification process in February 2006.
In June 2011, the Kikkoman group obtained the multi-site ISO14001 certification for its major facilities in Japan and further strengthened its environment management system.
Following the drastic amendments to the ISO14001 in September 2015, the Kikkoman group renewed its existing environment management system (EMS) to comply with the new international standards (ISO14001:2015) and included a plan to train auditors who are qualified to conduct internal audits accordingly. In June 2017, the group re-acquired the certification in compliant with the new standards.
Practice of ISO14001
The Kikkoman group regularly organizes meetings inviting managers from its group companies, establishments, and environment-related facilities (including wastewater treatment and industrial waste storage facilities) to exchange information with the ISO14001 Secretariat members and facilitate their interaction, as well as to share various environment-related matters, such as implementation and amendments of laws and regulations, ISO14001-compliant practice at other establishments, the operating status or problems at environment-related facilities, know-how and new technologies to prevent pollution and conserve environment.
The environmental close-call incident report requires reporting of incidents that could potentially result in environmental pollution or other problems during corporate activities. The term “close-call” refers to events that elicit fear or anxiety in the workplace. When an environmental close-call occurs, the workplace must investigate the cause of the incident, consider measures to prevent recurrence, and summarize a report. The members of each workplace can learn from these reports distributed and enhance its ability to prevent environmental pollution and other problems.
The Environment Department of Kikkoman chooses one of the three overseas regions (Americas, Europe, and Asia) every year and sends their members to visit the Kikkoman group's production sites within the region, inspect the environment-related facilities, and provide lectures on environmental matters to employees.
|USA Region (FY2019)||
|North America and South America (FY2022)||
The Kikkoman group ensures the continuous improvement of its environment management system (EMS) through internal audits periodically carried out by teams of certified employees, as well as ISO14001 certification renewal and surveillance conducted by external accredited organizations. The results of these audits and evaluations are shared among facilities to raise the quality of EMS.
Environmental Orientation for Employees
1) Training for New Employees
The Environmental Department of Kikkoman provides training for newly hired employees to promote awareness of environment-related issues and to familiarize themselves with the basics of them. In April 2023, the training session was held for new employees, where they highlighted environment-related issues on a global scale, clarified the Kikkoman group’s vision and its implemented measures toward resolving such issues, along with the results.
2) Lectures on Environmental Matters
Every year since 2015, the Kikkoman group invited outside experts as lecturers on environmental matters. (C.W. Nicol in 2015; Takeshi Yoro in 2016; Yuji Kishi in 2017; Toshiyuki Minami in 2018).
In October 2019, the Tokyo Head Office and the Noda Head Office of Kikkoman invited Ms. Mariko Kawaguchi as a lecturer on environmental matters at the event titled “Considering delicious memories for the future.”
Ms. Mariko Kawaguchi is Chief Researcher at Daiwa Institute of Research Ltd. She received master's degree in environmental economics from Hitotsubashi University Graduate School. Her specialty includes all aspects of sustainability, including environmental management, CSR, ESG investment, and ethical consumption. She is a member of the Securities Analysts Association of Japan, a part-time lecturer at Waseda University, a board member of the UN Global Compact Network Japan, co-chair of the NPO Japan Sustainable Investment Forum, a board member of the Ethical Promotion Council, a council member of Plan International Japan, a council member of the Sustainability Japan Forum, a board member of WWF Japan, an ad-hoc member of the Central Environmental Council of the Ministry of the Environment (Japan), a member of the Council on Home Appliance Recycling organized under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Japan), and a member of the Tokyo Cap-and-Trade Program Committee. (As of the date of the lecture)
In the one-and-half-hour speech titled “Considering delicious memories for the future” aligned with the Kikkoman group's corporate slogan “seasoning your life,” Ms. Kawaguchi spoke about the sustainability issues that need to be reconsidered, because human activities exceed the earth's environmental capacity, in terms of biological aspects (climate change, desertification, depletion of water and other resources, loss of biodiversity, degradation of ocean ecosystems), as well as social aspects (disparity between rich and poor, refugee and immigrant issues, slavery and child labor, terrorisms including cyber terrorism). She told us to have a sense of urgency in handling problems and emphasized the need for drastic transformation based on a 'backcasting' approach (which starts with a desirable future and consider what we should do at this moment). This is also a tremendous opportunity for us. The Paris Agreement and SDGs are the global initiatives aiming for a paradigm shift from an economy-centered approach to one that considers the sustainability of the planet and society. She emphasized the important roles of finance in changing the economic-centered standards we have pursued so far.
Later on, the company distributed a booklet featuring the lecture content and a special interview with Ms. Kawaguchi and the Kikkoman group CEO during her visit so that the employees who missed the lecture can learn about what was discussed and become aware of the environment-related agenda.
3) Specialized Education
The Kikkoman group regularly organizes “ISO 14001 Certification Training for Internal Auditors,” “ISO 14001 Internal Auditor Capability Enhancement Training,” “Capability Enhancement Training for Environmental Managers,” “Training for Wastewater Treatment Facility Managers,” and “Training for Industrial Waste Managers,” to improve the capabilities of the managers and persons in charge.
In August 2022, we brought in an outside expert and offered a certification training program for internal environmental auditors. Instead of a traditional in-person seminar, this program was provided remotely, one session in the morning and another one in the afternoon, with different participants but the same content.
Sixty employees of the Kikkoman group (30 participants each for the morning/afternoon session) participated in the training and became certified as the internal environmental auditors after learning about the environment management system, ISO14001 requirements, and internal audits on environment.
The Internal Auditor Capability Enhancement Training, intended for those who have completed certification training, provides an in-depth look into specific audit points and techniques for enhancing individual auditing skills. The Kikkoman group have sent its employees from the Environment Department to visit areas (factories and offices) of the ISO14001-certified companies and offers training sessions to educate them about the international standards (as it was revised) for area managers (of factories and offices), environmental managers, EMS Secretariat members, and environment-related facility managers.
In 2022, we conducted an 11.5-hour long intensive course (split into five sessions over two months) where internal auditors (including the candidates) in the group companies can learn about the detailed operations in line with the ISO14001:2015, such as goal settings, compliance, performance measurement, and risk management, in order to further enhance the EMS practices on site. Kikkoman Foodtech Company, a manufacturer of seasonings, held an intensive course between May and July with 14 participants from its four plants. They confirmed problems unique to each plant even for the same production process and acknowledged the importance of preparing plant-specific manuals and establishing a sustainable system.
The Industrial Waste Manager Training is a training program designed for waste management professionals at the major facilities in Japan. This training invites an outside expert as an instructor, and covers a wide range of topics from basics to the latest technologies on waste handling, including waste classification, waste-related legislation, waste disposers’ responsibilities, selection of collection/transportation/disposal vendors, outsourcing contracts, industrial waste management slips (manifest), and handling of the e-manifest (including application, operation, and verification). Achievement test are given at the end of the training to assess the attendee’s proficiency and competency level.
The Training for Wastewater Treatment Facility Managers is a training program designed for wastewater treatment facility managers at the Kikkoman group’s major facilities in Japan. The attendees learned about the latest wastewater treatment technologies from the lecturer, analyzed the wastewater handling at the Kikkoman group’s factories, and exchanged their opinions concerning the problems of each factory and discussed solutions.
The Kikkoman group will continue to offer intensive courses optimized for each company in the group.
Environmental Orientation for Contractors
Kikkoman's Environment Department organizes a round-table meeting once a year with industrial waste disposal vendors to improve the compliance with laws and regulations. The meeting was canceled for the two consecutive years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in November 2021, the fourth meeting was held with our 10 major outsourcing vendors attended. The participants acknowledged the importance of industrial waste handling in supporting the Kikkoman group's operations and exchanged opinions on the legal compliance aspect of waste handling by discussing failure cases. They also talked about the company’s internal management structure necessary to maintain a sustainable outsourcing contract.
Utilization of external evaluation system
The Kikkoman group actively participates in surveys conducted by outside organizations and uses their unbiased and subjective evaluations as a goal to improve and renew its environmental conservation activities.
1) “SDGs Management Survey” by Nikkei
The survey conducted between May and July 2022 evaluated and rated a total of 886 companies including the Kikkoman group.
The overall ranking of the Kikkoman group was 3.5 stars (with the deviation score of 59.5). Deviation score on the environment value was 62.4, with particularly high ratings in the climate change, resources and biodiversity category, as well as the power consumption, water resources and greenhouse gases and decarbonization.
2) “CSR Ranking” by Toyo Keizai
The Toyo Keizai Shimbun evaluated the total of 1,702 companies (1,640 listed and 62 unlisted companies), including the Kikkoman group, based on the category of finances and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). The “CSR Ranking 2023 Edition” was published in the Weekly Toyo Keizai, issued on February 18, 2023.
The Kikkoman group received a 94.2-point rating for its environmental performance, which made it the 29th among all companies listed on the JPX. The overall ranking in the CSR category was the 178st among the JPX-listed companies, and 10th in the food manufacturing industry.