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YKK commits to achieving climate neutrality by 2050
2020/10/13
Author: YKK
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Sustainable trims leader announces Sustainability Vision 2050 addressing climate change, material resources, water resources, chemical management and human rights

 

 

At today’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit, global sustainable trims leader YKK announced the YKK Sustainability Vision 2050, which will serve as a roadmap to the company achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, among other targets. The Sustainability Vision 2050 consists of five themes with corresponding sustainability goals, as well as ten SDGs.

 

Theme 1:  Climate Change  Tackle greenhouse gas emissions and increase use of renewable energy

 

With the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, YKK commits to a 50% reduction of Scope 1 (direct emissions) and Scope 2 (indirect emissions) emissions from a 2018 baseline year by 2030. It also commits to a 30% reduction in Scope 3 emissions (all indirect emissions not included in Scope 2 that occur in its value chain). In order to achieve these targets, YKK will:

Reduce energy consumption through improved manufacturing and auxiliary equipment efficiency, streamlined operations and processes.

Stop the construction of new facilities using coal by 2019 and abolish all coal use in YKK facilities by 2030.

Install renewable power sources at YKK owned facilities for power generation where feasible.

Reduce Scope 2 emissions by purchasing renewable energy wherever possible.

Reduce Scope 3 emissions by switching to 100% sustainable textile materials by 2030.

 

Theme 2:  Material Resources  Increase use of sustainable materials

 

YKK commits to reducing waste and the use of petroleum derived materials throughout the lifecycle of its Fastening products. It further commits to contributing to the transition to a circular society by eliminating production and plastic waste and by developing products designed for circularity. In order to achieve these targets, YKK will:

Switch to 100% sustainable textile materials (recycled materials, naturally-derived materials, etc.) by 2030.

Replace all vinyl/plastic packaging materials with sustainable packaging, including recyclable / reusable forms by 2030.

Reduce the amount of waste to be landfilled or incinerated at all productions sites and increase waste recycling rate to 90% by 2030.

 

Theme 3:  Water Resources  Reduce water use and manage wastewater

 

To combat serious water resource depletion and degradation, YKK commits to the following actions:

Reduce water intake through efficient usage, the development of new water saving production methods, and the increased recycling of wastewater.

Strictly manage wastewater at all manufacturing sites in accordance with government regulations and YKK in-house standards established based on industry standards such as Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC).

 

Theme 4:  Chemical Management  Manage and reduce chemical usage

 

To ensure a healthy environment for future generations, YKK will reduce the environmental impact caused by chemicals used in the manufacture of its products using the following measures:

Manage and further reduce the use of chemical substances in product manufacturing from input to output in accordance with YKK’s own standards (YKK Restricted Substance List), which was established based on industry standards such as the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (ZDHC MRSL).

Confirm that finished products meet industry standards such as Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®, ensuring they are free of harmful substances.

Develop new production methods that reduce and eliminate the use of toxic chemicals.

 

Theme 5:  Respect people   Uphold human rights and ensure fair, safe work environments

 

YKK pledges to uphold the universal philosophy of respecting the dignity and rights of all human beings. The company commits to being inclusive and improving work environments throughout its supply chains by:

Implementing the YKK Global Criteria of Compliance (YGCC) audit, a comprehensive standard based upon YKK’s “Cycle of Goodness” philosophy and the ISO26000 guidelines, at YKK Group facilities.

Conducting periodic evaluations by third party auditors to assure transparency and improvement of sustainable practices.

YKK to focus on ten United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

 

UN SDGs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To ensure that its sustainability roadmap is aligned with needs of society, YKK mapped each of its five themes with the UN SDGs. While the company intends to tackle all 17 SDGs, the following ten were identified as the ones on which YKK could make the most impact:

Goal 5 – Gender Equality

Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation

Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy

Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth

Goal 10 – Reduced Inequalities

Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production

Goal 13 – Climate Action

Goal 14 – Life Below Water

Goal 15 – Life on Land

Goal 16 – Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

 

“YKK is constantly pursuing the creation of a sustainable society through our business,” said Hiroaki Otani, President, YKK Corporation. “At the core of all our corporate activities is the philosophy of YKK founder Tadao Yoshida, the ‘Cycle of Goodness.’ The idea that ‘no one prospers without rendering benefit to others’ clearly expresses the YKK Group’s corporate spirit of continuing to prosper together with society and related industries, and we consider it to be a concept that leads to sustainability. Under the ‘Cycle of Goodness,’ YKK will address the essence of sustainability through our businesses and products and will continue to take on challenges in order to remain a socially good company.”

While YKK’s Sustainability Vision 2050 and goals are new, protecting the environment is part of YKK’s DNA. In 1994, YKK announced its first “Environmental Pledge” that proclaimed “harmony with the environment” as the “highest priority of YKK’s business activities.” In that same year, YKK launched the NATULON® zipper, which recycles approximately 3,600 plastic bottles per 10,000 zippers. NATULON® Ocean Sourced™, a premium collection of zippers made from plastic waste that has been collected within 50 km of the coastline of Sri Lanka, launched in January 2020. YKK’s GreenRise™ zipper, the first in the industry to use plant-based polyester, thereby achieving a 30% reduction in petroleum usage, was launched in 2019. YKK’s sustainable trim collection also features organic cotton zippers and zippers made using YKK’s ECO-DYE® dyeing technology, which has completely eliminated the usage of water in the dyeing process.

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YKK Announces its Collaboration with Oceanworks®, the Leading Marketplace for Materials Made From Recycled Ocean Plastic
2020/10/13
Author: YKK
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NATULON® Ocean Sourced™YKK is pleased to announce its collaboration with Oceanworks®, the leading marketplace for materials made from recycled ocean plastic. In support of Oceanworks’ mission to help brands develop products from recycled ocean plastic, YKK will have NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zippers available on the Oceanworks® marketplace for brands and designers to order.

Helping to address the problem of marine plastic, YKK’s new NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ collection of zippers is made from ocean bound plastic collected within 50 km of the coastline of Sri Lanka. Indistinguishable from zippers made of virgin polyester, NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ offers the same strength, durability, and functionality as conventional zippers.

“We are extremely happy to be able to offer YKK’s NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zippers to our clients,” said Rob Ianelli Founder and President of Oceanworks. “It gives them fastening solutions from the most trusted name in zippers, allowing them to create innovative products made entirely from ocean bound plastic.”

With 80% of all plastic entering the ocean originating from land based sources,[1] preventing it from making its way to the ocean is the most effective way to eliminate marine plastic. The diversion of ocean bound plastic from waterways and waste streams helps to address the environmental crisis occurring in the world’s oceans. Each year, it’s estimated that 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean.[2] Millions of birds, turtles, and fish are negatively impacted by plastic marine debris. Between 57,000 and 135,000 whales are entangled in discarded fishing nets and other plastic waste every year.[3] Plastic has even been found in the internal organs of fish and in our drinking water.

YKK’s collaboration with Oceanworks extends beyond the availability of NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zipper on its marketplace. Oceanworks worked with YKK to help locate and establish the supply chain for the yarn made from ocean bound plastic, which is used in NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zippers.

“Oceanworks was instrumental in helping us source the yarn that goes into NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zippers,” said Mike Maekawa, Category Manager for YKK. “Without their help, our development would have taken far longer, delaying the introduction of NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zippers to the market.”

“YKK has a long history of environmental stewardship, which is an integral part of our “Cycle of Goodness” philosophy. Our Environmental Pledge was signed by our CEO in 1994, and we created NATULON®, the first zipper made from recycled PET bottles and polyester remnants, over 26 years ago. Today we offer a wide range of sustainable products and technologies. NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ is just the latest addition to our portfolio of eco-innovation,” says Maekawa.

YKK’s collection of sustainable trims is aimed at reducing carbon emissions, toxic chemicals, and water use. In addition to NATULON® Ocean Sourced™, the collection features the GreenRise™ zipper, the first in the industry to use plant-based plastic, YKK’s organic cotton zippers, made from GOTS certified yarn, and YKK’s original NATULON® zipper, made from recycle PET bottles. Also included in the collection are zippers made using YKK’s ECO-DYE® waterfree dyeing technology, and environmentally friendly snaps and buttons made using the new non-toxic Acro-Plating™ technology.

[1] Stemming the Tide: Land-based strategies for a plastic- free ocean. McKinsey & Company and Ocean Conservancy. 2015. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/stemming-the-tide-land-based-strategies-for-a-plastic-free-ocean.

[2] Plastics in the Ocean. Jordana Merran – https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/plastics-in-the-ocean/

[3] Ocean Plastic – https://www.parley.tv/oceanplastic#parley-air-strategy-1

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YKK Partners with Customers to Manufacture Products for COVID-19 Relief
2020/10/13
Author: YKK
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AQUAGUARD® VISLON®

AQUAGUARD® VISLON®

As COVID-19 strains the healthcare and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) industries in the United States, YKK is proactively partnering with existing customers in these industries as well as reaching out to new partners to seek creative ways to address the COVID-19 challenge together.

YKK’s four main U.S. manufacturing facilities in Georgia, California, Alabama and Kentucky have taken innovative approaches to the new challenges being presented to them. One example is YKK subsidiary Tape Craft Corporation in Oxford, Alabama. Last Friday, Tape Craft was approached by Ford Motor Company with a request to provide thousands of elastic straps for the face shields Ford is now manufacturing in Michigan for the medical industry. Tape Craft provided 85,000 pieces of elastic straps to Ford this week. And when supply chain disruptions with YKK’s elastic supplier prevented Tape Craft from being able to provide more elastic straps to Ford, Tape Craft, together with YKK USA, immediately proposed two creative alternatives using YKK’s hook and loop fasteners, plastic buckles, and cord-stoppers. Both solutions are currently under consideration. YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. Snap and Button Products in Kentucky is also supporting its customers who are converting to face shield production by providing snaps, machinery, and expertise in a timely manner.

Additionally, YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. is working with several key government contractors on mission critical orders for the U.S. Government. YKK USA in Macon, Georgia is manufacturing airtight/watertight and moisture repellant zippers for isolation chambers and Level B Hazmat suits for the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and FEMA to support the fight against COVID-19. YKK USA in Anaheim, California is providing airtight/watertight zippers to aid and support in the design of manufacturing negative pressure tent prototypes for those requiring isolation due to coronavirus exposure for the California State government. Moreover, YKK USA in Macon continues to supply key fastening products for the police, fire, and medical support communities.

YKK is also serving the medical and hygiene industries by providing fastening products for medical masks, hospital gowns, and medical beds and bedding. In addition to servicing existing healthcare customers, some requests are coming from YKK’s apparel industry customers, who are switching to medical industry production. This sudden switch is requiring creative thinking from all involved, and YKK hopes to work with more partners to find inventive uses for its zippers, hook & loop, injection molded plastic parts, webbing, and snap & buttons.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting us with challenges we could not imagine just a few months ago,” said Jim Reed, President, YKK Corporation of America. “As we navigate these unchartered waters, the YKK team is turning to our corporate philosophy for guidance –the ‘Cycle of Goodness’, which teaches us that ‘no one prospers without rendering benefit to others,’ the YKK Management Principle, ‘seek corporate value of higher significance,’ and our Core Values, which emphasize trust, transparency, and innovation. We look forward to partnering with other organizations to provide much needed assistance to the industries fighting COVID-19.”

YKK is considered part of the “Essential Critical Infrastructure Industry” by the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. This federal government designation takes precedence over state and local directives that call for lockdowns or similar temporary closures. YKK has received letters of gratitude from customers for keeping the supply chain open and allowing them to serve the critical needs in the medical and PPE industries.

At same time, YKK is taking many steps to ensure the safety of employees as they remain at work to fulfill these critical orders. The YKK COVID-19 Task Force has been in place since February and meets daily to determine how to best protect its community of employees. YKK has put strict restrictions on travel, has prohibited non-essential visitors to its plants, is encouraging teleconferencing, and continues to reinforce safe behavior in its plants, such as handwashing, social distancing and disinfecting. Employees who feel ill have been told to not report to work, and YKK has specific quarantine and communication procedures in place should an employee be diagnosed with COVID-19 or is asked to self-isolate by a public health authority. The company is also emphasizing frequent and transparent communication with employees, customers, and local communities.

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YKK Signs Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action
2020/10/13
Author: YKK
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YKK Corporation proudly announces that it has become a signatory to the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action. The Fashion for Global Climate Action initiative calls on the fashion industry to acknowledge the contribution of the sector to climate change and its responsibility to strive towards climate neutrality for a safer planet.

YKK joins more than 100 signatories to the Charter, which supports the goals of the Paris Agreement in limiting global temperature rise to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and sets specific goals for the entire fashion industry to implement. These goals focus on a 30% aggregate reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action was launched under the auspices of United Nations Climate Change at COP24 (24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in December 2018.

In addition, YKK will continue its efforts to identify and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its business activities, including raw material procurement, production processes, logistics, and the supply chain. Within the next two years it will set science-based targets consistent with what the latest climate science says is necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. YKK aims to obtain Science Based Targets initiative certification.

“YKK has a long history of environmental stewardship, which is an integral part of our ‘Cycle of Goodness’ philosophy. Our Environmental Pledge was signed by our CEO in 1994, and we created NATULON®, the first zipper made from recycled PET bottles and polyester remnants, 26 years ago,” says Hiroaki Otani, president, YKK Corporation. “Signing the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action signals to the world not only our continued commitment to sustainability in our product development and manufacturing processes, but also our desire to work together with other organizations in the industry to accelerate the reduction of GHG emissions.”

Solar panels on roof of YKK Anaheim plant

Solar panels on roof of YKK Anaheim plant

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YKK Develops New VISLON® Magnet Type Zipper
2020/10/13
Author: YKK
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YKK has developed a new VISLON® magnet type zipper that closes using magnetic force. We aim to begin mass production in 2021.

Magnet type zippers are open-end zippers[1] designed to be closed easily using magnetic force between the left and right sides. Conventional zippers require engaging the insert pin and retaining box to close, but magnet type zippers can be engaged and closed through magnetic force simply by bringing the left and right sides of the zipper together. This makes it easy to perform operations such as closing the zipper without looking at one’s hand and closing the zipper with one hand.

The new zipper is expected to be used in a wide variety of industries, such as in sportswear to facilitate quick clothing changes and childrenswear. Moreover, the new zipper will make it easier for people such as the elderly or disabled, who may struggle with opening and closing zippers, to be able to enjoy various fashions.

YKK Magnet Zipper

[1] Open-end zipper: The left and right tapes (chains) can be released by lowering the slider to the bottom. Open-end zippers are mainly used for jumpers and other outerwear.

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YKK Addresses the Ocean Plastic Problem with NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ Zipper Collection
2020/01/15
Author: YKK
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NATULON® Ocean Sourced™Working to address the problem of marine plastic, we are proud to announce our new NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ collection of zippers made from ocean bound plastic. This premium collection of zippers is made from plastic waste that has been collected within 50 km of the coastline of Sri Lanka.

The NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ collection will debut at ISPO Munich from January 26-29, 2020 in Munich, Germany‎ and The Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show from January 29-31, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. The zippers will be available for purchase in Spring 2020.

“NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zippers offer the high quality that people expect from YKK while addressing the environmental crisis in our oceans,” said Takashi Tsukumo, Vice President, YKK Corporation Global Marketing Group.  “Furthermore, the upcycling of ocean bound plastic into NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ zippers emits less CO2 and requires less energy to produce than zippers made out of virgin polyester.”

Indistinguishable from zippers made of virgin polyester, NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ offers the same strength, durability, and functionality as conventional zippers. At the same time, NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ is helping YKK achieve our goal of further reducing carbon emissions in its manufacturing processes. Globally, we have achieved a 6% reduction in carbon emissions since 2013 at our production sites.

With 80% of all plastic entering the ocean originating from land based sources,[1] preventing it from making its way to the ocean is the most effective way to eliminate marine plastic. The diversion of ocean bound plastic from waterways and waste streams helps to address the environmental crisis occurring in the world’s oceans.

Each year, it’s estimated that 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean.[2] Millions of birds, turtles, and fish are negatively impacted by plastic marine debris. Between 57,000 and 135,000 whales are entangled in discarded fishing nets and other plastic waste every year.[3] Plastic has even been found in the internal organs of fish and in our drinking water.

“YKK has a long history of environmental stewardship, which is an integral part of our “Cycle of Goodness” philosophy. Our Environmental Pledge was signed by our CEO in 1994, and we created NATULON®, the first zipper made from recycled PET bottles and polyester remnants, over 25 years ago. Today we offer a wide range of sustainable products and technologies. NATULON® Ocean Sourced™ is just the latest addition to our portfolio of eco-innovation,” says Tsukumo.

YKK’s collection of sustainable trims is aimed at reducing carbon emissions, toxic chemicals, and water use. In addition to NATULON® Ocean Sourced™, the collection features the GreenRise™ zipper, the first in the industry to use plant-based polyester, thereby achieving a 30% reduction in petroleum usage, YKK’s organic cotton zippers, and YKK’s original NATULON® zipper, which recycles approximately 3,600 plastic bottles (29 g/bottle) per 10,000 zippers (60 cm length). Also included in the collection are zippers made using YKK’s ECO-DYE® dyeing technology, which has completely eliminated the usage of water in the dyeing process, and environmentally friendly snaps and buttons made using Acro-Plating™, a new plating technology that uses fewer resources to manufacture and does not use harmful plating chemicals.

[1] Stemming the Tide: Land-based strategies for a plastic- free ocean. McKinsey & Company and Ocean Conservancy. 2015. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/stemming-the-tide-land-based-strategies-for-a-plastic-free-ocean

[2] Plastics in the Ocean. Jordana Merran – https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/plastics-in-the-ocean/

[3] Ocean Plastic – https://www.parley.tv/oceanplastic#parley-air-strategy-1

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