As a company whose operations are centered on naturally derived products, ITO EN is committed to tackling the environmental challenges facing humanity.
Themes and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Response to climate change
CO2 emission reduction rate (compared with FY2018)
|FY2030||50% reduction||20% reduction|
Company-wide renewable energy ratio
Ratio of electric vehicles introduced
(percentage of all vehicles)
Reduction rate of basic water usage intensity
(compared with FY2018)
- 16% reduction
* water usage per 1 kL of product produced
Ascertaining the impact of water risks (storms and other flood / water damage) and water stress (droughts, etc.) on business
Sustainable containers and packaging
Percentage ratio of recycled materials used for all Oi Ocha PET bottle
Percentage ratio of recycled materials used for all PET bottle
Maintenance and operation of GAP certification
* The Tea-Producing Region Development Project
- certification: 100%
Total number of participants in water source conservation activities, environmental conservation and maintenance activities
- 500 (per year)
Promoting waste reduction / resource recycling
Foodstuff recycling rate
- 90% or more
Number of recycled used tea leaf products launched
- 2 (per year)
Contributable SDGs and Targets
ITO EN Group Medium- to Long-Term Environmental Goals
Based on its management principle of “Always Putting the Customer First”, the ITO EN Group believes that it is its corporate social responsibility to protect the global environment shared by all of humanity, and pass it on to the next generation. Global environmental problems such as the increase in intensely hot weather, floods and landslides as a result of climate change due to global warming, and the problem of marine plastic garbage are now pressing issues for global society.
These kinds of issues are also key issues in the ITO EN Group's business activities. In September 2020, we formulated the ITO EN Group Medium- to Long-Term Environmental Goals with regard to our containers and packaging, and our response to climate change, based on the ITO EN Group Environmental Policy. Through these goals, we are further driving our initiatives to tackle environmental problems, with the aim of contributing to the creation of a sustainable society.
Medium- to Long-Term Environmental Goals
- Containers and packaging
3Rs (Recycle, Reduce, Replace & Reuse) + Clean (environmental conservation)
Aim to increase the ratio of recycled materials, including bio-derived materials, used as materials for producing PET bottles to 100% by 2030
- CO2 emissions reduction targets
FY 2030 FY 2050 Scope 1&2 50% reduction in total emissions
(compared to FY2018)
Carbon neutral Scope 3 20% reduction in total emissions
(compared to FY2018)
- Water Resources
Reduce water used for manufacturing
Lower water use intensity by 16% by FY2030 compared with FY2018 water use.
Activities for protecting water source
We work with our contract beverage production partners and communities for the protection of water source. These activities are mainly in areas where ITO EN Group and partner company beverage factories are located. To protect water source, we also conduct activities in conjunction with the public sector, industry associations, suppliers, individuals and others.
Programs that give the public knowledge about the importance of water resources.
Monitoring and reducing water risks
companies associated with our entire supply chain, including suppliers of raw materials, to determine if they are high water stress watersheds or in regions susceptible to flooding. Appropriate measures are used to reduce vulnerability to these risk factors.
Response to climate change
The ITO EN Group recognizes that the urgent global issue of climate change driven by global warming may also have serious repercussions for its business, including poor crop growth, disruptions to procurement, and suspension of operations due to weather-related disasters. We will focus on tackling climate change and strive to prevent global warming.
Response to the TCFD Recommendations
The ITO EN Group began conducting scenario analysis for green tea, which is its main raw material, in FY2020, to analyze the impact of climate change risks and opportunities on its business activities. In FY2021, we extended the scope of our analysis to include the entire value chain of ITO EN's business, analyzed risks and opportunities using 1.5°C/2°C and 4°C scenarios, assessed impacts on ITO EN's business, and considered countermeasures.
We also declared our support for the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)* recommendations in April 2022, to help solve issues related to climate change. We will actively promote the disclosure of information on the identification of climate change risks and opportunities and action taken to address them and will work to realize a sustainable society.
Greenhouse gas emissions and reduction of the Group's CO2 emissions
We are working to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions across the ITO EN Group by implementing the PDCA cycle approach incorporated in ISO14001.
The Japan Soft Drink Association (JSDA) of which ITO EN is a member has participated in the Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan (VAP) on the Environment since its introduction in 1997. Aiming to realize a low carbon society, the soft drink industry is working to meet a target of a 10% reduction in carbon intensity over FY1990 levels by FY2020.
In addition, ITO EN puts forward opinions on environmental regulations and regulatory standards and policy recommendations through the JSDA. We also verify in advance that our initiatives are in alignment with the JSDA's recommendations and views.
Participation in the Japan Climate Initiative*
In February 2019, ITO EN joined Japan Climate Initiative (JCI)* in support of its declaration: Joining the front line of the global push for decarbonization from Japan. Going forward, we will continue working with JCI and its member companies and organizations to actively tackle climate change, for the realization of a decarbonized society.
Overview of Japan Climate Initiative
|Name||Japan Climate Initiative|
|Founded||July 6, 2018|
|Members||Companies, financial institutions, local governments, research institutes, NGOs and their coalitions which agree with the Founding Declaration|
|Leading advocate||Takejiro Sueyoshi, Special Advisor to United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative|
|Secretariat organizations||CDP Japan, WWF Japan, Renewable Energy Institute|
Promotion of energy efficiency
To promote the sustainable use of energy, ITO EN manages energy usage using the PDCA cycle approach incorporated in ISO14001 and all business units work to limit their usage.
Factories and offices
We are striving for efficient energy use at our factories (in production operations), introducing natural gas boilers and an LNG satellite station at our Nago Factory. We are also focusing on using renewable energy through measures such as installing solar panels at our Kobe Factory and some affiliated companies. Meanwhile, at our offices (in our sales, administrative and research operations), we have installed LED lighting at the head office building, replaced the AC units at our various bases with more energy efficient units, and are also focusing on energy efficiency measures.
Energy-efficient vending machines
We are seeking to reduce energy consumption by actively introducing more energy-efficient vending machines.
Eco-driving and introduction of eco-friendly vehicles
ITO EN is actively introducing eco-friendly vehicles, reducing fuel usage by planning more efficient sales routes, and promoting eco-driving at all its bases. As a result of these initiatives, fuel usage per vehicle has been falling continuously. We are also working to prevent air pollution by actively phasing in low-emission vehicles which meet the emission standards set by the government.
The ITO EN Group is committed to reducing its own water intake and that of production lines used exclusively for ITO EN products at partner factories through measures such as promoting the use of recycled water in the beverage manufacturing process. We are also focusing on water source conservation activities in collaboration with partner factories.
Water usage initiatives
Besides reducing water usage in production activities, ITO EN also monitors water usage and wastewater of contract manufacturers and seeks to minimize the impact of production activities on the environment.
NS System developed in collaboration with Toyo Seikan Co., Ltd.
Manufacturing method which does not involve the use of sterilizing agents to sterilize bottles and therefore helps reduce water usage and lessen the impact of wastewater on the environment (as there is no need for water to remove sterilants).* NS System: Non-Sterilant (i.e., not using any sterilizer)
Initiatives to reduce water usage at Nago Factory
At our Nago Factory, we are actively working to save water by reusing the water used for cooling and washing in other appropriate applications.
Measures to address natural disaster and water risks
In its beverage business, ITO EN adopts a "fabless" business model (except in Okinawa), owning no factories of its own and outsourcing production to contract manufacturers across Japan. This allows us to adapt flexibly even when natural disaster, drought or interruption of the water supply makes production difficult in a certain region.
We also regularly check whether our bases as well as our suppliers and other partners in our supply chain are located in water stressed regions or flood-prone areas, and we take measures to address such risks.
Water risk assessments
In addition to monitoring and managing water usage at each base, ITO EN also strives to reduce water usage in its production activities by setting reduction targets.
Every year since FY2019, we have assessed and identified water risk by carrying out a comprehensive risk assessment of water stress for our production bases, suppliers of important raw materials and contract factories using the WRI's Aqueduct tools*. The results confirm that there is no water intake from regions facing extremely high water stress according to Aqueduct.
Going forward, we will continue to assess and identify water risk according to changes in the business environment and other circumstances, and take measures to reduce water usage where necessary.
We are also involved in water source conservation activities in collaboration with suppliers which mainly use groundwater in their business activities.
Water source conservation activities
We are also focusing on water source conservation activities in collaboration with partner factories. Forest development activities can be expected to be beneficial for the environment in various ways, including recovering some of the essential forest functions, for example, mitigation of flood damage, restoration of water sources and protection from natural disasters.
In March and November 2022, ITO EN employees participated in the Forest Development with Corporate Participation project promoted by Gunma Prefecture together with Nihon Canpack Co., Ltd., a beverage product manufacturing contractor.
Our employees took part in forest conservation activities which will help protect water resource areas surrounding the Akagi factory of Nihon Canpack Co., Ltd., including forest thinning to maintain and develop a healthy forest and improve the environment, improving the river environment and vegetation, weeding to restore and maintain ecosystems, and removing sludge.
Sustainable containers and packaging
The ITO EN Group is actively working on a range of initiatives including developing technologies which will help reduce the weight of PET bottles and plastic usage, and introducing environmentally friendly paper packaging. We will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society by increasing our focus on the 3Rs (Recycle, Reduce, Replace & Reuse) + Clean (environmental conservation) based on the ITO EN Group Policy on Plastics and the ITO EN Group Policy on Containers and Packaging, aiming to realize a recycling-oriented society.
Initiatives for 3R
Recycling (circulation of resources)
100% recyclable PET bottles
To ensure that collected PET bottles are utilized more effectively as resources, we are involved in the Bottle-to-Bottle initiative, aiming to increase the ratio of recycled materials (including bio-derived materials) used as materials for producing PET bottles to 100% by 2030. We switched our Oi Ocha 600 mL bottles to fully recyclable PET bottles and, in an industry first, we launched Oi Ocha microwaveable 345 mL PET plastic bottles using 100% recycled plastic in 2019. We have also worked to reduce the use of newly produced petroleum-derived resources in production, including launching unlabeled Oi Ocha Green Tea in 2021.
To realize a more recycling-oriented society, we are promoting the Bottle-to-Bottle initiative in collaboration with local governments and business partners.
Initiatives using empty container collection boxes installed next to vending machines
In FY2021, we launched the Bottle-to-Bottle initiative at the ITO EN head office building in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. Through our route sales activities, we have also started a Bottle-to-Bottle initiative for recycling some of the used PET bottles collected from empty container collection boxes installed next to vending machines.
Aluminum-free eco-containers are paper containers which can extend product shelf life at room temperature and which use a barrier type eco-friendly film instead of aluminum. Since aluminum packaging requires a special process to separate the paper from the aluminum, it is generally not recycled and disposed of together with combustible waste; however, aluminum-free eco-containers do not use aluminum foil and can therefore be recycled like milk cartons.
Reduction of weight of containers and packaging
We are working to further reduce the weight of containers and packaging and reduce the amounts of materials used, with the aim of realizing a sustainable society and environment. We are reducing the weight of materials such as PET bottles, caps, and labels, and expanding our range of unlabeled products to reduce the amount of plastic we use.
We developed the NS System*, an eco-friendly bottling system, in collaboration with Toyo Seikan Co., Ltd. and use the system for our core Oi Ocha brand and other products. The NS System not only eliminates the need for large amounts of water to remove sterilants because sterilizing agents are not used to sterilize bottles, it also minimizes the time bottles are exposed to high temperatures, allowing us to produce lighter weight bottles because a lower level of heat resistance is required.
Replace & Reuse(replacing with environmentally friendly materials and reusable containers)
Switching to plant-derived biodegradable materials
We have introduced biodegradable eco-straws made from KANEKA Biodegradable Polymer Green Planet™ for the paper cartons of products such as Oi Ocha Green Tea. These are the industry's first biodegradable telescopic eco-straws, jointly developed by ITO EN, Kaneka Corporation, and Nippon Straw Co., Ltd.
Developed by Kaneka Corporation, Green Planet™ is an environmentally friendly, 100% plant-derived, biodegradable polymer which biodegrades into water and carbon dioxide in seawater and soil. With excellent biodegradability in a wide range of environments, Green Planet™ has acquired OK Biodegradable MARINE(*) certification for biodegradability in seawater and is helping to reduce marine pollution.
We also sell tea bag products with plant-based biodegradable filters.
The ITO EN Group conducts its business activities by taking advantage of the rich blessings of nature, from raw material procurement to disposal. We recognize that the preservation of biodiversity is the foundation of the rich blessings of nature and the foundation of our business activities.
To ensure that we can continue to enjoy the bounty of nature in the future, we will promote initiatives for the conservation and restoration of biodiversity through our business activities based on ITO EN Group Policy on Biodiversity Conservation.
In the Tea-Producing Region Development Project, we are promoting recycling-oriented agriculture by developing technologies for reduced pesticide use and organic cultivation, as well as composting tea husks in anticipation of further demand growth in overseas markets.
Promoting waste reduction / resource recycling
For the realization of a sustainable society, ITO EN reduces waste and promotes the effective use of resources and the upcycling of used tea leaves into various products.
Used Tea Leaves Recycling System
ITO EN recycles tea leaves generated from the production of Oi Ocha and other tea beverages as fertilizer and animal feed. Further, ITO EN has developed a unique Used Tea Leaves Recycling System, since 2000, under which we use a portion of the used tea leaves as a component in various products, including paper products, building materials and resins, which are manufactured into a variety of products and distributed by our partner companies. Through these efforts, we are saving resources by reducing the amount of raw materials used and developing new products that take advantage of the tea's characteristics such as its aroma, deodorizing and antibacterial effects.In addition, used tea leaves are blended with materials such as paper without dehydrating them. This means that they do not go through a drying process, which would involve the consumption of oil resources and CO2 emissions. This initiative has three environmental benefits: resource conservation, reduction of CO2 emissions, and recycling.
Initiatives to reduce food waste
Aiming to reduce food waste, we have incorporated the reduction of beverage waste and waste tea leaves generated across the Group into our environmental management system (ISO14001) to promote reductions. We will continue making efficient improvements and implementing initiatives to maintain and improve our food waste recycling rate.
Tully's Coffee Japan Co., Ltd., an ITO EN Group company, is also implementing initiatives, aiming for a food waste recycling rate of 50% or higher by FY2026.
Aiming to solve environmental issues (prevention of global warming, reduction of waste, etc.) at every stage of the supply chain, from production to distribution and sales, we are working on transitioning to labels stating “best before month” instead of a specific date.
We launched this initiative in April 2013 and, as a result of wider implementation in January 2018, now around 80% of all product items (beverages and tea leaf products) have labels stating "best before month." The shift to labels stating "best before month" can be expected to reduce food loss and increase distribution efficiency, thereby reducing our CO2 emissions and reducing the environmental impact of our business activities.
Compliance with environmental laws and regulations
Every year, all our business sites verify compliance with laws and regulations based on a register of environmental laws and regulations and our Legal Department, Internal Auditing Department and the ISO Secretariat also carry out audits and onsite inspections. We have incurred no environmental related penalties or punitive costs in the past three years.
Moreover, for waste-related operations, we have introduced an electronic manifest management system to sales bases to promote strict compliance with laws and regulations and improvement in work efficiency.
Going forward, the ITO EN Group will continue contributing to the realization of a sustainable society and environment by ensuring compliance with laws and regulations and by supporting government policies to solve environmental issues such as climate change.