Biological ResourcesMajior Initiatives
We will create together
A society that values sustainable biological resources
Biological resources, particularly agricultural products, are the most important and basic raw materials for the Kirin Group. However, our scenario analyses based on the TCFD recommendations have confirmed the possibility that climate change will have a significant impact on agricultural yields and the quality of agricultural products. It is also essential to have consideration for the environment and human rights at the farms and regions where we procure products. Therefore, we are working to solve the problems of ecosystems and local communities where raw materials are produced in an aim to build a society that uses sustainable biological resources.
Overview of Approaches
The Kirin Group established its Declaration of Support for Biodiversity Conservation in 2010 and conducted an assessment to confirm the risks of agriculture to the environment, human rights, and other factors. Based on the results of that assessment, we selected paper and palm oil, which are believed to have a major impact on their production regions, and black tea leaves from specific regions that we are highly dependent on for supply, and developed action plans for those ingredients. Under these plans, we are using sustainability-certified ingredients and assisting farmers to obtain sustainability certification.
In addition, based on our Long-Term Environmental Vision announced in 2013, we have been conducting ecological surveys and carrying out revegetation activities for rare and native species toward environmentally-friendly agriculture in growing hops in Japan and grapes for Japan Wine.
Moreover, we were able to confirm by conducting the scenario analysis required by the TCFD recommendations starting in 2018 the possibility of significant declines in yields of major agricultural products caused by climate change. In light of this, we clearly declared to strive to cultivate, expand, and procure sustainable agricultural raw materials and contribute to making raw material production areas sustainable under our new long-term strategy, Environmental Vision 2050, announced this year. As the first step, we are also extending assistance for obtaining sustainable farm certification, which we have been providing for Sri Lankan tea farms, to coffee plantations in Vietnam.
Highlights of Outcomes
Cultivate, expand and procure sustainable agricultural raw materials.
We have almost completed switching to FSC®-certified paper or recycled paper for office paper (copy paper, envelopes, business cards and other printed materials).
For palm oil, we have continued our 100% use of certified palm oil (primary and secondary materials) according to RSPO’s Book & Claim method.
With regard to our mass plant propagation technologies, the usefulness of our bag-type culture vessel system technology, which makes effective use of water, was reconfirmed in the “research on a pest free farm system and emergency backup system using bag-type culture vessel technology” in the lunar surface base project led by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
As for food waste, we established reduction targets for Japan (75% reduction from the 2015 level in 2025). As well as promoting resource recycling, we continue to promote the use of “year-month labeling” for best-before periods of non-alcoholic beverages in Japan.
Making raw material production areas sustainable.
As for tea leaves, we have been supporting large tea farms in Sri Lanka in obtaining the Rainforest Alliance certification since 2013 and, as of the end of 2019, 87 large farms acquired the certification. This is equivalent to approximately 30% of the certified farms in Sri Lanka. Since 2018, we have also been supporting small farms in obtaining sustainability certification.
In addition, we have started supporting small coffee plantations in Vietnam in obtaining the Rainforest Alliance certification since 2020. We have conducted ecological surveys that reveal that converting idle farming land into vineyards for Japan Wine would lead to the restoration and creation of quality grasslands, and have launched revegetation activities with the participation of employees and local residents.
Policies on biological resources
From an early stage, the Kirin Group has been pursuing initiatives concerning biological resources, which have a high possibility of being connected to environmental and human rights issues.
After making a Declaration of Support for Biodiversity Conservation in 2010, in 2013, we formulated the Kirin Group’s Guidelines on Sustainable Sourcing of Biological Resources and the Action Plan on Sustainable Use of Biological Resources. Black tea leaves, paper and printed materials, and palm oil are specified in the Guidelines and Action Plan as particularly important supplies. After the formulation and announcement of the Kirin Group CSV Commitment in February 2017, we revised the Kirin Group Action Plan on Sustainable Use of Biological Resources and accelerated our initiatives.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- Guidelines on Sustainable Sourcing of Biological Resources
Kirin Group procures applicable biological resources based on the following principles.
- 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.
- Resources deriving from plantations, forests, etc. that have been certified by credible third parties.
- Resources that have not been produced by entities which are considered to be involved in environmental destructions.*
- 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 Company, Limited conducts the following three-step survey and, through annual reviews, is
raising the level of sustainability.
Step.1 : Specify the tea growers from which to procure black tea leaves.
Step.2 : Evaluate the sustainability*1 of the specified growers.
Step.3 : Aim to use black tea leaves from those growers with a high level of sustainability.
- Paper and Printed Materials
Kirin Company, Limited, Kirin Brewery Company, Limited, Kirin Beverage Company, Limited and Mercian Corporation will:
aim to use only FSC®-certified paper or recycled paper by the end of 2020.
Containers and packaging*3 *4
1）6-can packs: aim to use only FSC-certified paper by the end of 2017.
2）Gift boxes: aim to use only FSC-certified paper by the end of 2020.
3）Drink boxes: aim to use only FSC-certified paper by the end of 2020.
4）Cardboard cartons for products: aim to use only FSC-certified paper by the end of 2020.
Priority will be given to the use of paper that is FSC-certified, paper made with wood from FSCmanaged forests, paper made from recycled paper, and paper that has been confirmed through
supplier surveys as not resulting in the destruction of high conservation value forests.*5
- Palm Oil*6
Operating companies in Japan will use the Book and Claim model in their handling of palm oil used
as a primary or secondary ingredient. Book and Claim is a model for the trading of certificates
approved by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
When the identification of palm oil producers and the direct purchase of sufficient quantities of
RSPO-certified palm oil becomes possible, a new, upgraded action plan will be formulated.
- Sustainability of tea in Step 2 will be evaluated according to the status of Rainforest Alliance certification.
- “Office paper”refers to copy paper, envelopes (excluding non-standard sizes and some industrial-use envelopes), business cards, and printed materials such as company pamphlets.
- Includes Kirin-Tropicana Inc.
- Excludes limited-edition products, small-lot product varieties, special shapes, imported products, etc.
- HCVF (High Conservation Value Forest), as defined by FSC®.
- Palm oil refers to the oil derived from the fruit of the oil palms, and includes palm kernel oil obtained from their seeds.
Established on February 2013
Revised on February 2017
Kirin Group’s Guidelines on Access to Genetic Resources
In order to enjoy the blessings of biodiversity worldwide, it is important to ensure proper management of genetic resources in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations agreed upon by the international community. Given the Nagoya Protocol adopted at COP 10, the Kirin Group established its Group Guidelines on the access to genetic resources and has been operating accordingly.
Kirin Group’s Principles of Managing Access to Genetic Resources
The Group shall respect international agreements concerning biodiversity.
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.
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.
© 2007 Kirin Holdings Company, Limited.