Sustainable Sake Brewing
We believe that the inheritance and development of sake breweries are an essential part of understanding Japanese history, tradition, and culture. The demand for sake has been on a long-term decline since its peak in 1973, and to tackle this problem, we thought that we needed to steer toward sustainable production and not only pursue quality. Specifically, we aim to combine environmental value with economic value to ensure the inheritance and development of our sake brewery.
Impact of climate change
Environmental pollution and global warming are becoming global issues. Global warming is particularly serious, and the supply of rice, an essential ingredient of sake, is in jeopardy. For us, being able to stably procure high-quality rice in large quantities and long term is essential for business continuity. Taking into account the impact of climate change on our business, we have also been considering countermeasures for climate change with regard to sake brewing.
Key Point: long-term climate change (physical risk)
Should the yield of Yamada Nishiki and other rice for sake brewing, decrease, the financial impact would be significant, affecting business continuity.
Severe water shortage could affect both farmers and sake breweries, making it difficult to continue operations.
We have established the Green Initiative “Sustainability Journey” toward 2030, based on the purpose (our raison d'être as a company) of “brewing delicious sake without environmental impact”. As clearly stated in the SDGs, global society is faced with many challenges. Among these, we have identified three key areas we must give priority to: “carbon-free society”, “circular economy society”, and “society in harmony with nature”, and we have started several initiatives in these areas. Regarding climate change, we have set a goal of achieving net-zero CO2 emissions throughout the value chain by 2050, and we are aiming to achieve 100% renewable energy use for electricity by 2030 We will continue our efforts to lead the way toward the creation of a carbon-free society.
We brew our sake using 100% sustainable methods, including the use of 100% renewable energy in all operations, recyclable bottles and FSC-certified packaging, and the reuse of sake lees. We also support farmers in adopting sustainable farming practices through our sustainable design “Sake brewing starts with rice production”. In particular, the revolutionary use of remote sensing by drones to monitor the growth of rice plants has made it possible to efficiently manage the growth of rice plants, which had previously relied on the check by human eyes. As a result, it has become possible to pinpoint and optimize the amount of fertilizer required in rice paddies.
We will continue our efforts to preserve the environment of Mt. Rokko by donating a part of our proceeds, and by reducing the amount of water used in the brewing process through the introduction of high water-saving equipment while maintaining the standards for quality excellence for our sake. We will keep proactively addressing various social issues in order to connect our desire “to brew delicious sake without environmental impact” with all the people involved in our value chain.
Our carbon-neutral sake
Our company is the first*1 brewery in the world to achieve virtually zero CO2 emissions*2 during the brewing process. Through our initiatives, we contribute to decarbonization (carbon neutrality) in the food supply chain.
*1 According to our company’s research
*2 Applicable to Scope 1 (direct emissions) and Scope 2 (indirect emissions) of the “Supply Chain Emissions”.
For further information visit the link below:
Winning the “Ministry of Finance Award” at Japan’s EcoPro Awards
In 2005 the company shifted from a Toji-centered sake brewing to an employee-based one and has been working to improve quality and productivity by digitalizing the production process. Moreover, the brewery has improved energy management through the installation of energy-saving equipment and has been contributing to other environmental actions including the reuse of sake lees, byproducts of sake brewing, the recycling of bottles, the preservation of biodiversity, and the management of harmful substances.
Data from 2010 and 2017 show that, while production has tripled, these efforts have led to a reduction in both energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 12%, allowing only a 35% increase in water consumption. In recognition of this achievement of both environmental and economic value, we received the “Ministry of Finance Award” at Japan’s EcoPro Awards in 2019 and the “Water Management Award” at the UK Green Awards in 2020.