YKK Targets Consistent with Reductions Required to Keep Global Warming to 1.5°C

Updated: Apr 6

By YKK

YKK Corporation’s emissions reduction targets have been approved by the independent Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.


With the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050, YKK Corporation’s target submission for scope 1 and 2 emissions is a reduction of absolute emissions 50% by 2030 from a 2018 base year. This exceeds the minimum ambition for 1.5° C pathway defined by the Absolute Contraction approach and is therefore considered ambitious by SBTi. Furthermore, YKK’s target submission for scope 3 emissions is a reduction of absolute emissions 30% by 2030 from a 2018 base year, which also exceeds the minimum ambition defined by the Absolute Contraction approach and thus is ambitious.


The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets. YKK is currently the only zipper manufacturer to have its emissions reduction targets approved by SBTi.


The certification by SBTi is just one more way that YKK is demonstrating its long-term commitment to protecting the environment. YKK released its Environmental Charter in 1994 which proclaimed “harmony with the environment” as being the highest priority of its business activities. That same year, YKK launched the NATULON® zipper, its first zipper to be made with recycled material.


Since that time YKK has continued to lead both through its commitments to sustainable action and developing more environmentally-friendly products. In March 2020 YKK signed the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, which sets the goal for the fashion industry of 30% aggregate reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. YKK confirmed that commitment in October 2020, with the release of its Sustainability Vision 2050, the company’s roadmap for addressing climate change, material resources, water resources, chemical management and human rights, and aligned its efforts with ten UN SDGs. The story of the Sustainability Vision is told through the company’s Sustainability Journal, which was published in February 2021.


On the product front, YKK has innovated with its GreenRise zipper, which uses plant-based polyester, achieving a 30% reduction in petroleum usage, and its NATULON® Ocean Sourced zipper, which is made from ocean bound plastic waste.


“YKK aims to be a company that grows sustainably with society,” said Hiroaki Otani, President, YKK Corporation. “That is why we have set ‘Better products at a lower cost and greater speed, more sustainably’ as our motto for the next four years. At the core of all our business activities is the ‘Cycle of Goodness’ corporate philosophy, which expresses YKK’s spirit of prospering together with all stakeholders. I believe this concept includes sustainability. YKK’s most precious stakeholders are nature and the environment.”


This article was published March 15, 2021. YKK USA Inc. is a member of SPESA.


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