- Comprehensive efforts throughout the plant’s watershed receives top-class rating among the 258 certified sites in the world -
Tokyo, JAPAN (February 21, 2023) – Suntory Group is proud to announce that Suntory Kyushu Kumamoto Plant has received “Platinum”, the highest rating within the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) certification.
This AWS “Platinum” certification was the result of the company’s high recognition for its efforts in conserving water and managing water quality at the plant, understanding water balance around the plant, replenishing water sources and conserving Fuyumizutambo*1 based on scientific data, all of which is a result of collaboration with various stakeholders from a watershed perspective for all water use generated by the plant's production activities.
As part of the company’s Natural Water Sanctuary Initiative, a water source replenishment activity, Suntory manages and conserves about 420ha of forest land in the “Suntory Natural Water Sanctuary Aso” around the Kyushu Kumamoto Plant to replenish the plant’s water sources in collaboration with Kumamoto prefecture and local governments, in accordance with its “Sustainable Water Philosophy”.
*1 Fuyumizutanbo is a traditional agricultural method which entails the spreading out of the water over rice paddies during the winter when they fallow, with the goal being the formation of fertile soil and the reduction of weeds. Efficient groundwater recharge is expected as the result of water penetration into the ground. At the Suntory Group, we have been conducting fuyumizutanbo activities in cooperation with the Kumamoto Ground Water Foundation, Mashiki Town and local farmers in the town of Mashiki in Kamimashiki District, Kumamoto since 2010, in an effort to bring about more broad-ranging functionality of groundwater recharge.
Masaaki Fujiwara, Chief Sustainability Officer of Suntory Holdings Ltd. comments, “The Suntory Group launched its Natural Water Sanctuary Initiative in 2003 to protect water, the source of our business. Marking its 20th anniversary this year, the initiative has expanded to approximately 12,000 hectares across Japan, and has already replenished double the amount of water we use in our own plants in Japan. We will continue our efforts to become water positive in at least 50% of our own plants globally by 2030. It is a great honor that our factory-based basin-wide efforts and cooperation with various stakeholders has been highly evaluated and was awarded the AWS Platinum certification. We will continue to take a leadership role to promoting “water sustainability”.
Together with the Kyushu Kumamoto Plant, which is Suntory’s second AWS certified plant, the Suntory Okudaisen Bunanomori Water Plant was the first Japanese facility to receive certification under the AWS Standard in 2018, and the Suntory Minami Alps Hakushu Water Plant was the third to be certified in 2022. Being the only company with its plants certified by the AWS in Japan and as a sole member of AWS in Japan, Suntory Group has signed into a partnership with the same organization*2 in February 2021 to contribute its expertise and take a leadership role to promote water stewardship in Japan.
*2 Listed under the current name of the organisation. The name at the time of conclusion was AWS Asia Pacific.
AWS is an international organization established jointly by NGOs, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Nature Conservancy (TNC), the United Nations and other actors, in order to promote water sustainability around the world. Certification against the AWS Standard demonstrates that a company has met the AWS definition of good water management practices within a business site and effective collaboration with non-business stakeholders that the site shares a catchment with.
Water being the core of its business, Suntory Group will continue to promote water sustainability not only by using water preciously and replenishing clean water back to nature, but also by contributing to the healthy natural cycle of water by managing and conserving the forests that cultivate water.
Notes to editors:
●Comment from The Kumamoto Ground Water Foundation: “Suntory Kyushu Kumamoto Plant is a top runner in groundwater conservation activities in the Kumamoto region and has been recognized by the Kumamoto Ground Water Foundation as the Grand Prix winner in its groundwater conservation award program, which honors companies that are actively involved in groundwater conservation. Suntory's groundwater conservation activities in the Kumamoto region, such as "Natural Water Sanctuary Aso" and "Fuyumizutambo*1", where forests, rivers and rice fields work together as one, "Mizuiku" (Education Program for Nature and Water) classes and "Outdoor School of Forest and Water", where the importance of water is taught to the next generation as environmental education, are all contributing to groundwater sustainability in the region. We look forward to Suntory’s continued efforts in groundwater conservation activities in the Kumamoto region.”
About Suntory Group
As a global leader in the beverage industry, Suntory Group offers a uniquely diverse portfolio of products from premium spirits, beer and wine to brewed teas, bottled water, carbonated soft drinks, ready-to-drink coffee and energy drinks, along with health and wellness products. Suntory is home to award-winning Japanese whiskies Yamazaki, Hibiki and Hakushu as well as iconic American spirits Jim Beam and Maker's Mark. Suntory also fascinates the taste buds with The Premium Malt's beer and also owns the exceptional Japanese wine Tomi and the world famous Château Lagrange. Its brand collection also includes Sauza Tequila, non-alcoholic favorites Orangina, Lucozade, Ribena, BOSS coffee, Iyemon green tea, Suntory Tennensui water, TEA+ Oolong Tea, V and BRAND’S, as well as popular health and wellness product Sesamin EX.
Founded as a family-owned business in 1899 in Osaka, Japan, Suntory Group has grown into a global company operating throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania with an annual revenue (excluding excise taxes) of $19.8 billion in 2021. Suntory is driven by Yatte Minahare - the spirit of bold ambition - and our 40,275 employees worldwide draw upon our unique blend of Japanese artisanship and global tastes to explore new product categories and markets.
As a company that delivers blessings of water and nature to our customers, Suntory is committed to its mission to create harmony with people and nature. Always aspiring to grow for good, Suntory is devoted to giving back to society through protecting water resources, nurturing its communities and fostering the arts.