A Long Tradition of Sustainability
As our business grows, so too do our responsibilities to global society.
Kikkoman Corporation has sustained soy sauce brewing operations since the early 17th century. Over the course of this long history, we have developed a corporate culture that puts strong emphasis on building positive relationships with society and our stakeholders.
It’s this tradition that can be traced back to our guiding principles drawn up in 1925, shortly after Noda Shoyu Co., Ltd. - the forerunner of today’s Kikkoman - was formed in 1917 through the merger of eight soy sauce brewing family businesses. The management members at that time pledged that the company would pay even greater attention to its social responsibility after the merge. The Kikkoman Group Corporate Principles share the same philosophy today.
The Kikkoman Group Corporate Principles today stay true to the founding philosophy. Building on a long tradition of sustainability, we are working to contribute to help solve social issues through our business activities.
In recent years, many places around the world have faced social issues such as health problems, water shortages, and flooding due to high temperatures and heatwaves. These issues are strongly related to climate change, and are social issues that threaten life, finance, and economic activity on a global scale. In light of this, the Kikkoman Group has set a goal to achieve net-zero CO₂ by 2050 that it aims to achieve by promoting initiatives to cut at least 30% of CO₂ emissions by 2030 compared with 2018. We will also update our medium- to long-term CO₂ emission reduction plans as appropriate in accordance with future technological innovations.
CO₂ emissions and reduction targets
Energy efficient facilities
In order to reduce CO₂ emissions, the Kikkoman soy sauce plants have installed energy efficient facilities. Previous heavy oil boilers, which produced a significant amount of CO₂ , have been switched to gas boilers, which emit less CO₂ and produce steam more efficiently. When replacing facilities and equipment, we strive to find environmentally friendly solutions.
Renewable energy, also known as clean energy, is one of the most important factors behind reducing CO₂ emissions, generating energy from natural sources, such as wind, water, and the sun. The Kikkoman soy sauce plants and offices are switching to renewable energy sources.
Throughout our long history, Kikkoman has developed a corporate culture that places great value on our relationship with local communities. We have conducted various programs with local communities for environmental preservation.
Kikkoman Foods, Inc., has established a charitable foundation and donated to organizations such as local educational institutions and disaster relief activities. In 2013, the foundation made a USD 1 million contribution to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to advance a study regarding safe and sustainable drinking water.
Since 1997, Kikkoman Foods Europe B.V. has been participating as a main sponsor of the Water Resource Preservation Project in Zuidlaardermeer Lake in the Netherlands to create a water purification mechanism that utilizes natural resources such as aquatic organisms and microbes, pumping water to clean waterways, improve water quality, and increase inhabiting species.
Kikkoman (S) Pte. Ltd. supported the development of Kingfisher Wetlands, located along the waterfront promenade of the Gardens by the Bay National Park in Singapore. This nature sanctuary features more than 200 native true mangrove trees, which are expected to support biodiversity. The site also has a wildlife look-out for bird-watchers and nature photographers.
We are working to reduce food waste and develop environmentally friendly products to make smart use of precious resources. The Kikkoman soy sauce plants are supporting these efforts through a prioritized recycling process.
Recycling soy sauce byproduct
The remaining byproduct after pressing our raw soy sauce from moromi is known as “soy sauce cake”.
This byproduct had previously been used for many years as fuel for Kikkoman’s factory boilers, but in 2004 we began research on its usefulness as animal feed. In 2006 we installed a drying machine for soy sauce cake, followed by the introduction of packaging equipment in 2007, thereby developing a new sales channel for animal feed.
Soy sauce cake contains fat from soybeans, Vitamin E, Vitamin K1, isoflavones (genistein,daidzein, glycitein) and other functional ingredients that are good for feeding cattle, pigs and poultry. Almost all of the soy sauce cake produced from the soy sauce manufacturing process at Kikkoman’s plants is offered to livestock farmers through feed manufacturing companies.
(wheat and soy beans)
Procurement of safe ingredients
Livestock feed made from soy sauce byproducts
ISO 14001 is an international standard for effective environmental management systems (EMS), developed by the International Organization for Standardization. We believe this is an effective tool by which to promote environmental management with the following Kikkoman soy sauce plants all having obtained ISO 14001 certification.
- Noda Plant, Japan
- Takasago Plant, Japan
- Wisconsin Plant, Kikkoman Foods, Inc., U.S.A.
- Kikkoman Foods Europe B.V., Netherlands
- Kikkoman (S) Pte., Ltd. (KSP), Singapore
- California Plant, Kikkoman Foods, Inc., U.S.A.
A team of qualified EMS members conduct internal environmental audits at the ISO 14001 certified production sites, while certification review and renewal are also conducted by accredited external certification bodies. Audit results and evaluations are shared with all concerned companies in order to uphold and improve their environmental management.
Initiatives through Partnerships
The United Nations Global Compact
In 2001, Kikkoman Corporation became the first Japanese company to sign the United Nations Global Compact. Since then, our related activities include becoming a member of the board of the Global Compact Network Japan, a local network of the United Nations Global Compact in Japan.
The Consumer Goods Forum
Kikkoman Corporation is a member of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global network of consumer goods manufacturers and retailers. CGF has been calling for cooperation among companies around the world to solve problems in non-competitive fields. Kikkoman Corporation has participated in several activities with CGF, including the Japan Sustainability Local Group.
CDP is an international nonprofit organization that runs a global disclosure system for managing environmental impacts. CDP selected Kikkoman Corporation for its Climate Change Questionnaire to understand and evaluate efforts on reducing CO₂ emissions. Kikkoman Corporation has taken part in this initiative since FY2015.
In 2021, Kikkoman Corporation acquired a Leadership-level A- score for Climate Change and A for Water Security.
Standing for Environmental, Social and Governance, ESG investing is a method of investment that takes into account non-financial factors, such as the natural environment, social issues, and corporate governance, besides financial considerations. Kikkoman is now included in ESG indices such as the FTSE4Good stock index series and MSCI ESG Leaders Indexes.
FTSE Russell (the trading name of FTSE International Limited and Frank Russell Company) confirms that Kikkoman Corporation has been independently assessed according to the FTSE4Good criteria, and has satisfied the requirements to become a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index Series. Created by the global index provider FTSE Russell, the FTSE4Good Index Series is designed to measure the performance of companies demonstrating strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices. The FTSE4Good indices are used by a wide variety of market participants to create and assess responsible investment funds and other products.
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Kikkoman Around the World
Sales centers in the Kikkoman Group have their own regional websites.
Click on an area to see local products, recipes and activities.