YKK Adopts Environmentally Friendly Aluminum for Zippers
YKK Adopts Environmentally Friendly Aluminum for Zippers

YKK Adopts Environmentally Friendly Aluminum for Zippers

  • 17-Apr-2024 4:52 PM
  • Journalist: Jacob Kutchner

YKK Corporation, headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, under the leadership of President Hiroaki Otani, announces its initiative to procure alloy wires made from low-carbon aluminum. This marks the beginning of a phased shift from traditional aluminum alloy zippers to environmentally sustainable alternatives that incorporate low-carbon aluminum.

In collaboration with Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. and Sumitomo Electric Toyama Co., Ltd., headquartered in Chuo-ku, Osaka, and Imizu City, Toyama, respectively, under the leadership of their respective Presidents Osamu Inoue and Yasuo Yamamoto, YKK has entered into a contract concerning the adoption of low-carbon aluminum. Commencing in the fiscal year 2024, YKK will commence procurement of alloy wires incorporating low-carbon aluminum to be used as materials in aluminum alloy zippers, with plans for subsequent gradual expansion of their utilization.

YKK has embraced the YKK Sustainability Vision 2050, outlining its sustainability objectives towards achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Setting targets across five key themes encompassing climate change, material resources, water resources, chemical management, and respect for people, YKK aligns its efforts with 10 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) corresponding to each of these themes. In line with the climate change theme and adhering to the 1.5°C target established by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), YKK is dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout its operations and supply chain. By 2030, YKK aims to slash Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 50% (relative to 2018 levels) and Scope 3 emissions by 30% (relative to 2018 levels). The adoption of low-carbon aluminum for zipper production represents one of YKK's strategic initiatives towards fulfilling its Scope 3 emission reduction target.

YKK remains committed to collaborating with customers and suppliers to diminish greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by advancing the development and proliferation of environmentally friendly products and technologies. This dedication underscores YKK's commitment to expedite endeavors aimed at fostering a sustainable society.

Statement from Terry Tsukumo, Vice President of the Product Strategy Division, Global Sales Headquarters, YKK Corporation : To date, YKK has focused on mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by augmenting the utilization of recycled and plant-based materials in textile products for zippers, as well as transitioning to eco-friendly alternatives. The introduction of low-carbon aluminum marks a novel initiative by YKK to diminish the environmental footprint associated with metal materials utilized in zippers. Moving forward, we are committed to collaborating with our business partners to minimize our environmental footprint across the supply chain.

Low-carbon aluminum: The smelting process of aluminum demands substantial electricity and generates varying levels of carbon dioxide contingent on the energy source employed. The low-carbon aluminum selected by YKK emits less than four tons of carbon dioxide per ton of aluminum ingots produced, owing to its reliance on renewable energy sources. Compared to fossil fuel-based electricity sources like thermal power generation, the utilization of renewable energy substantially curtails carbon dioxide emissions.

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