On top of our world-wide production operations, the YKK Group is progressing conservation activities to protect our precious freshwater resources. Of course, we are reducing and recycling water in our manufacturing processes. However, we are also using rain water and carrying out groundwater conservation activities tailored to local areas.
Responsible Use of our Most Fundamental Natural Resource
Tackling Water Risks
Water Risk Assessments
In all our domestic and overseas factories, we have implemented water risk assessments using World Resources Institute (WRI) AQUEDUCT Water Risk Atlas indicators. No imminent threat has been confirmed to date. However, we intend to lower water risk by clarifying issues by taking onsite circumstances into account.
The Special Relationship Between the Groundwater of Kurobe, Japan and YKK
Kurobe, Toyama Prefecture, where the YKK Group’s technological hub and main manufacturing and developing base is located, is blessed with groundwater. This is the story of Kurobe’s abundant water and YKK. We hope you enjoy!
ECO-DYE® (Waterless Zipper Dyeing Technology)
Dyes are indispensable elements for providing the apparel industry with colors and adequate levels of brightness. In order to attain this level of brightness, vast quantities of water have to be used in the dyeing process. Since this thereby involves disposal of wastewater containing chemical substances, it could potentially cause environmental pollution.
As a part of our environmental activities, YKK has developed ECO-DYE® technology that by utilizing supercritical fluid dyeing (“SFD”) technology, allows the amount of water used in the zipper dyeing process to be reduced to almost zero.
This technology enables us to manufacture the same high-quality products all while reducing the burden on the environment. In fact, ECO-DYE® technology earned YKK a Design Award in November of 2016.
Management of Wastewater
YKK carries out thorough management of wastewater at each location through our voluntary control standards, which are more stringent than the legal requirements of each country and region we operate in, thereby enabling appropriate wastewater management. In FY2020, there were no violations of standards related to wastewater.
Since FY2019, we have used an original checklist to obtain proper understanding of the water risks of each of our manufacturing locations every year. The checklist includes evaluations that use as reference the water risk evaluation in the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct data platform, “Setting Site Water Targets Informed by Catchment Context” international guidelines, and other metrics.
To ensure the appropriate management of wastewater, experts from YKK Japan have been carrying out diagnostic checks of our overseas business companies’ wastewater treatment facilities since FY2014 as well as providing technical guidance on operational and management methods. Due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, guidance was provided online in the place of providing in-person guidance on site in FY2020.