Effective Use of Resources

Approaches to Effective Use of Resources in Production and Product Design

In terms of “effective use of resources,” which is one of the three axes of our environmental activities, the Kewpie Group is engaging in initiatives related to production and product design. In the area of production, we are working on the reduction of waste products and the effective use of food residue. In the area of product design, we are working on reducing the weight of containers and packaging and simplifying them, and reducing food wastage at the distribution and consumption stages through the extension of shelf life.

Reduction of Generated Waste

Waste generation reduction targets
  • Total volume generated and output per unit of production volume Year-on-year reduction

The Kewpie Group is engaged in the reduction of waste generation as a top priority, through improvements in production yields in manufacturing processes and improvements in containers and packaging.

The main types of waste generated in the production plants include food residue generated in the manufacturing processes, waste plastics from packaging material losses, and the sludge remaining after the treatment of waste water in waste water treatment facilities.

In fiscal 2017, total waste generated by Kewpie Group production plants increased by 2.2% year-on-year to 60,300 tonnes. This amounted to 70.5 kg of generated waste per 1-tonne of production volume (waste intensity), a 1.3% increase on the previous year.

Volume of waste generated*

*Excludes bi-products that are recycled within the Group, e.g. eggshell powders.
Figures are for Kewpie Group production plants

Promotion of Recycling

The Kewpie Group is working toward the 100% recycling of waste products, etc. generated in our production plants (zero landfill disposal or incineration without energy recovery). This involves recycling of food residue within the Group, such as converting eggshells into fertilizer and the unused parts of vegetables into animal feed, and outsourcing of the recycling of waste products, etc.

In fiscal 2017, the recycling rate was 95%. 28 of the 82 production plants in the Group achieved 100% recycling rates.

Recycling of eggs

The Kewpie Group products a variety of processed egg products besides mayonnaise. 10% of the eggs produced in Japan are used by the Kewpie Group.

Kewpie Mayonnaise is made with the egg yolks, and the whites are used as food ingredients in processed seafood paste products such as kamaboko, and confectionery products such as cakes.

The approximately 28,000 tonnes (FY2017) of eggshells generated annually are also put to effective use in soil improvement agents, an additive for calcium-enriched foods, and other products, with 100% of eggshells being recycled. We are also working on advanced uses for eggshell membranes, such as in cosmetic products and umami seasonings.

Effective use of eggs

Improving the taste of rice by applying eggshell fertilizer

The Kewpie Group (Japan) makes effective use of the approximately 28,000 tonnes of eggshells that it generates every year. In particular, we are actively engaged in research into ways to increase their value as fertilizer, one of the main uses of eggshells.

In fiscal 2016, we demonstrated that fertilizing paddy-field rice with eggshells can improve the physical properties and taste of the rice. These findings were presented at the 63rd Annual Meeting of The Japanese Society for Food Science and Technology and later developed into a joint research project with a university. We will now seek to elucidate the mechanisms of that taste improvement through that joint research. We are also conducting demonstration trials in the field with the cooperation of a large-scale rice farm.

Recycling of vegetables

The Kewpie Group is engaged in finding ways to make effective use of the unused parts of vegetables used in the processing of salads and delicatessen foods. These unused portions include the core, calyx, outer leaves, and peel.
The delicatessen food production plant, Hanshin Delica, has been providing these unused parts of vegetables generated in its production processes to a piggery for conversion into stock feed since 2002. The meat from pigs raised on this feed is a premium meat sold under the brand, Setouchi Pork. In FY2017, the cut vegetables production plant, Green Message, had success in converting leafy vegetables, such as cabbage and lettuce, into stock feed, something that had previously been considered difficult to do on a commercial scale. In a joint research project* between Kewpie Corporation and Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, it was reported that dairy cattle that were fed this feed produced greater yields of milk.

We will continue to explore new ways of using the unused parts of vegetables more effectively.

*Presented at the 124th Meeting of the Japanese Society of Animal Science (March 2018).

Effective use of unused parts of vegetables (e.g. cabbage)

Efficient use of water resources

The Kewpie Group is thoroughly committed to water conservation and the purification of waste water at each stage of manufacture. Also, in preparation for future shortages of water resources, we are introducing advanced water treatment technology and other innovations, as well as using recycled water, in the pursuit of reductions in water consumption and waste water.

In fiscal 2017, the water used by Kewpie Group production plants totaled 10,021,000 m3, up 4.4% from the previous year, which amounted to 11.7 m3 per tonne of production (water-use intensity), a year-on-year increase of 3.5%.

Water usage

Use of highly treated water

In newly built plants, as part of our efforts to build human-friendly and environmentally-friendly factories, we are engaging in water conservation with the introduction of advanced waste water treatment equipment.

Shunsai Deli Akishima Plant

Shunsai Deli’s Akishima Plant, which began production in November 2012, has introduced equipment that uses membrane process (reverse osmosis) technology for recycling waste water from the production line. This equipment produces an average of 160 tonnes of pure water a day, which is used in various ways around the plant, including in the toilets, to water the trees in the factory grounds, wash the factory floors, spray onto the factory roof, and to cool the outdoor units of the air-conditioning system.

Hollow fiber membrane module unit

Hollow fiber membrane module unit (air diffusion)

Kewpie Egg Corporation Tokyo Plant

At Kewpie Egg Corporation’s Tokyo Plant, which began production in March 2015, treated water from hollow-fiber membrane treatment equipment is purified with activated charcoal and reverse osmosis membranes, before being re-used for toilet flushing and cooling the outdoor units of the plant’s freezers. The plant plans to expand the range of the reclaimed water’s re-use as an energy-saving measure for its freezer outdoor units.

Activated charcoal tower

Reverse osmosis membrane unit

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