Effective Use of Resources

Policy for Effective Use of Resources

The effective and waste-free utilization of limited food resources is a key responsibility of a food manufacturer. Therefore, it is essential to improve supply chains in order to balance sustainable food production with well-being of many.
The Kewpie Group works toward the “Effective Use of Resources” to achieve waste reduction and the effective utilization of food waste.
With an initiative for the “Efficient Use of Resources and Sustainable Procurement”, we strive to implement the effective utilization of unused part of vegetables and the reduction in product waste. In addition, our Risk Management Committee has been planning initiatives for plastic waste reduction since FY2019.

Response to food loss reduction

The utilization of limited food resources is a key responsibility for a food manufacturer. At the Kewpie Group, we have reduced food loss, and we have worked on the effective utilization of resources.
In recent years, food loss reduction has gained further importance, and climate change directly elicits negative impacts on the yield and quality of agricultural products that we use for raw materials, for instance. Moreover, we are committed to meet expectations from our stakeholders, particularly customers, who are increasingly concerned with food loss reduction.
Therefore, at Kewpie Group, we challenge ourselves to understand food loss at each stage of the supply chain (refer to the diagram). Through partnerships within the Kewpie Group, and by working together with stakeholders, we are committed to develop initiatives for the effective utilization of resources at each stage of the supply chain and continue to achieve food loss reduction.

The food loss that occurs at each stage of the supply chain

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 FY2019, the amount of waste totaled 508,000 tons (16% decline from the previous year) and the amount of waste emitted per ton of product produced (output rate) was 62.8kg (11% decrease from the previous year).
The significant decline in food loss can be attributed to the partial disposal of the salad and delicatessen sector by sale.

Volume of waste generated*

Figures are for Kewpie Group production plants

*Excludes bi-products that are recycled within the Group, e.g. eggshell powders.

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.

The recycling rate for FY2019 was 97%. Also, 27 out of 74 production locations achieved a 100% factory recycling rate.

100% effective use 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 (FY2019) 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.

  • Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ Prize in the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (3Rs) Promotion Merit Awards 2019
  • Award from the Director of Food Industry Affairs Bureau at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Seventh Food Industry Mottainai (Reducing Wastefulness) Awards

Effective use of eggs

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.
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).

  • Prime Minister’s Prize in the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (3Rs) Promotion Merit Awards 2018
  • Award from the Director of Food Industry Affairs Bureau at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Sixth Food Industry Mottainai (Reducing Wastefulness) Awards

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

Reduction in product waste

Based on our sustainability target, “Reduction in Product Waste,” we will devote ourselves to achieving the SDGs.
Indeed, product waste is mainly caused by the gap between production and actual sales or even from returned products at the distribution level.
At the Kewpie Corporation Group, we strive to find sustainability solutions across sectors or divisions, while we also actively donate to foodbanks.
We have achieved 29.9% reduction of product waste in FY2019 and already exceeded the FY2021 target of 25% (compared to 2015).
We will continue to enhance existing initiatives towards our next goal of over 50% reduction by 2030.

Topics: A working group with the objective of reduction in food loss that integrates production, sales, and distribution

Since 2015, related departments hold a working group every month.
At this working group, we focus on “product inventory” and discuss various issues and solutions surrounding production to distribution.
Thanks to such monthly engagement, we have seen a consistent rise in the awareness of food loss within the company. Furthermore, outside our Group, drug stores and restaurant companies have agreed to join our initiatives for food loss as the concept of the SDGs has also become commonplace across industries.

Reduction in plastic

At the Kewpie Group, we use plastic for food containers and packaging. Indeed, plastic is useful for its advantage in lightweight and durability, though negative environmental impacts, such as marine plastic litter, are also severe.
At the Kewpie Group, we recognize the enormous impact that plastic has on ecosystems and the environment as a significant issue. Therefore, we will further commit ourselves to reducing the use of petroleum-derived plastic.

Weight reduction of containers

In 2000 we reduced the weight of the containers of our flagship product, mayonnaise, and subsequently, we have reduced the weight of containers of dressings.

Adoption of recycled plastic

In February 2020, we began to use recycled plastics for part (approx. 15%) of the outer packaging of stick type dressings.

Main initiatives to be pursued going forward
  • Further reduction in the plastic used in product containers and packaging, and factories
  • Easy to separate product design
  • Proactive introduction of recycled plastics and biomass plastics
  • Proactive participation in material collection and recycle to achieve circular economy

Weight reduction of mayonnaise containers

Weight reduction of dressing containers

Use recycled plastic in outer packaging

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