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Environmentally-Friendly Manufacturing at YKK
The YKK Group Environmental Pledge was signed in September 1994, and our commitment to promoting harmony with the environment remains our highest business priority.
Learn from YKK Corporation of America’s President, Jim Reed, about YKK’s efforts to reduce our environmental impact.
YKK Group’s Actions Towards Sustainability
Pursuing innovation in manufacturing aimed at creating new value, YKK is working toward a sustainable society in cooperation with customers, employees and local communities.
Sustainable Sourcing in the Supply Chain
On the basis of “YKK Group Procurement Policy“, YKK has been working with suppliers on sustainable sourcing since 2013.
YKK Group Procurement Policy
Ever since YKK’s founding, we have based our business activities on the conviction, under the “Cycle of Goodness” YKK Philosophy, that an enterprise is an important member of society, that it must thereby coexist with other elements of society, and the value of its existence will be recognized by the benefits it shares with society. The belief behind this is that no one prospers without rendering benefit to others. We carry out business activities with the aim of bringing mutual prosperity, and our intent is that innovative ideas and inventions will result in business expansion for the YKK Group, which in turn would bring prosperity to customers and trading partners, and thus benefit all society. This is none other than our execution of corporate social responsibility.
Industrial Wastewater Recycling
With a serious global concern over a water shortage, YKK companies around the world are implementing sustainable manufacturing practices including the reuse of cooling water, the utilization of rainwater effectively and the recycling of factory waste water from production.
Chemical Safety Management
In recent years, the impact on health and the environment from the use of certain chemicals in manufacturing phases has been gaining attention. A group known as ZDHC (zero discharge of hazardous chemicals), a group of major apparel and footwear brands and retailers, have made a commitment to lead the industry towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020. The initial focus is on 11 hazardous chemical classes. Although YKK does not use most of the 11 priority chemicals, a very limited number of its products still contain some of the priority chemicals, and YKK is working to eliminate these priority chemicals in these products.
Responsible Manufacturing Initiatives in North and Central America
YKK’s North and Central America (NCA) companies are engaged in many responsible manufacturing activities, such as the maintenance of ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System) certification for our zipper, snap and button, webbing and architectural products plants. Our environmental engineers are constantly overseeing and testing our production processes in order to ensure that our workers and our communities remain safe.
All YKK North and Central America environmental managers take part in the NCA Environmental Compliance Committee, which was formed to share best practices, cross train, and strengthen environmental compliance across all of the NCA region. Each quarter this committee presents its activities to YKK Corporation of America’s Board of Directors.
Our companies continually look for responsible manufacturing initiatives to decrease their impact on the environment. YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.’s National Manufacturing Center in Macon, Georgia recycles cooling water from a plastic extrusion process, while making sure that their manufacturing quality is not compromised. The plant recycles 90% of brass waste on-site, in addition to special recycling programs with key customers.
YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.’s Solar Powered Factory in Anaheim, CA
In 2016, YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. installed 1,968 solar modules on the roof of its plant in Anaheim, California. The installation offsets 100 percent of the facility’s energy usage and represents the fourth largest solar panel project in the city of Anaheim as well as the first solar panel project for YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. Live updates showing the environmental impact of our system is available below:
YKK Eco-Friendly Fastening Products
YKK recognizes the importance of manufacturing earth-friendly, eco-friendly fastening products. YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. manufactures a 45YGR Organic Corespun tape zipper to help reduce the use of synthetic chemicals in agriculture. YKK’s supplier sources the organic cotton from Pakistan. The corespun yarn is made by twisting staple fibers around a central filament to give the zipper tape added strength and durability.
The NATULON® zipper is another eco-friendly fastening product manufactured by YKK. It is made from recycled products including Pet bottles, old fiber pulverized materials and recycled pellets. It is the result of a double-layered development system using both chemical and material recycling. Since these zippers are made from recycled polyester, they are perpetually recyclable. Through our NATULON® fastening products, we have decreased the need for manufacturing new materials by employing the most advanced chemical recycling technology.
The manufacturing process used for creating the NATULON® zipper was carefully developed to minimize negative influences on the environment including energy consumption, CO2 emission, the use of crude oil and the production of industrial waste. This fastener was designed for customers using a closed loop recycling program who want to increase the recycled content of their products.
The YKK (U.S.A.) Inc. Snap and Button Products company in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky also produces snap and button products with eco-friendly finishes that are safer for the environment. These finishes are created without the use of an electroplating process, which reduces the amount of energy being used, as well as the amount of water and chemicals used to create the finishes.
The Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 is a globally uniform testing and certification system for textile raw materials, intermediate and final products at all stages of production. Please refer to the link below for details of Oeko-Tex® Certification of YKK fastening products.
For more details on YKK’s environmental and social activities around the world, please visit http://www.ykk.com/english/corporate/csr/index.html or download the Social and Environmental Report at http://www.ykk.com/english/corporate/csr/eco/report/index.html.