Recognizing the importance of water in our business activities by protecting forests cultivating water, using water with care, and returning it to nature in a pristine state.
Commitment to Water Sustainability
The bounty of nature, water and agricultural products, underpins the main businesses of the Suntory Group. As a company that is “Bringing Water to Life,” above all else we prioritize carrying out business activities in a way that does not stress the water cycle. The most important challenge we at the Suntory Group face in our business activities is achieving water sustainability; in other words, protecting the forests that nurture water, carefully using it, and returning it to nature in its pristine state.
Expanding Water Resource Cultivation
The Suntory Group uses large amounts of groundwater in every step of the manufacturing process of our products. To maintain the sustainability of that groundwater, we signed long-term contracts that last decades with forest owners and in 2003 began developing forests that create water. Centered on the water-resource cultivation areas around our plants, our Natural Water Sanctuary Project is conducted in collaboration with national and local governments, local communities, and experts. Under this Project, we are carrying out water-resource cultivation activities at 15 locations in 12 prefectures nationwide. The Project entails carrying out thorough surveys before beginning work, giving full consideration to the natural environment and ecosystem peculiar to the area, and developing forests with a great capacity for cultivating water resources.
Objectives of Suntory's Natural Water Sanctuary Project
We aim to develop:
1. forests with a great capacity for cultivating water resources
2. forests rich in biodiversity
3. forests well able to withstand flooding and landslides
4. forests with great CO2 absorption capabilities
5. beautiful forests where visitors can encounter nature in all its abundance
Employees Getting First-hand Experience with Forestry
As part of their environmental education, we offer employees the chance to get first-hand experience in forestry at our Natural Water Sanctuaries. In 2011, experiences were offered at the Natural Water Sanctuary Akagi and two other sanctuaries, with 199 Group employees and their families taking part.
- Getting first-hand forestry experience at a Natural Water Sanctuary
TOPICS:Water Sciences Forum Convened
The surveys and husbandry work related to our Natural Water Sanctuaries covers a broad spectrum of activities. In April 2011, we held a Water Sciences Forum that brought together a group of specialists from whom we routinely ask advice and assistance, with the goals of sharing the knowledge they have acquired in their work and drafting better forest management plans. The Forum resulted in a comprehensive portrait as specialists from diverse fields gave presentations on their research at our Natural Water Sanctuaries and future courses of action.
Further Reducing Water Usage
The Suntory Group's plants use a great deal of water in, for example, cleaning production equipment and cooling, in addition to that used as an ingredient in our products. Each plant sets medium-term goals for the reduction of water usage in order to get the most out of this finite resource. We also promote effective water use through the introduction of technologies for reusing and recycling water. Although our water usage increased in 2011 as production increased, we actually reduced per unit production usage through water conservation efforts at our plants.
Using Cascades of Water
- Storage tanks for recovered water
A variety of activities related to the Three Rs are being implemented at the Minami Alps Hakushu Water Plant of Suntory Products Ltd. In particular, thanks to our use of a sophisticated “water cascade” recycling process, we have been using our limited water resources in the most efficient way possible, making us an industry leader when it comes to per unit production in relation to the volume of water used.
Comprehensive Waste Water Management
We set voluntary standards for waste water that are stricter than the legal regulations and manage its quality so that we may release waste water in a state as close to nature as possible. Waste water from our plants is first purified using anaerobic waste water treatment facilities and other equipment before it is released into sewers and rivers. Inspectors use measuring equipment to take daily readings of water quality and temperature under a 24-hour monitoring regime.
- Increased total area of our Natural Water Sanctuaries to 7,300 hectares or more
- Gradually built up a framework for cooperative research with experts and conducted a wide range of research investigations and scientific forestry management activities
- Reduced water used per unit production in domestic production activities by 1.9% relative to the previous year
- Generate a mid- to long-term husbandry plan based on investigation results obtained at our Natural Water Sanctuaries
- Establish frameworks for cooperation with academics, government administrators, and forestry professionals, and continue our pursuit of multifaceted water resource cultivation projects
- Strive further to reduce the amount of water used in domestic production activities