Tokyo, JAPAN (May 24, 2023) – Suntory Group today announced that Frucor Suntory, its beverage manufacturer in the Oceania region, will partner with Keep New Zealand Beautiful to launch its unique next-generation environmental program, Mizuiku - Education Program for Nature and Water for the first time in New Zealand, to educate children on the importance and value of water.
The Mizuiku program will be delivered in conjunction with ‘Upstream Battle’, a citizen science program run by Keep New Zealand Beautiful, a not-for-profit charitable organisation that’s been leading the way in educating Kiwis on litter and waste for 56 years.
Upstream Battle enables students and individuals across New Zealand to collect and audit litter at key upstream sites such as rivers, lakes and streams to foster a better understanding of how rubbish enters waterways, contributing to the root cause of ocean pollution.
With the support of Suntory's Mizuiku program, Keep New Zealand Beautiful will be able to develop additional Upstream Battle resources and appoint a dedicated Educational Facilitator to deliver in-classroom learning about the water cycle. These developments extend the program's reach to over 200 primary schools nationwide, approximately 20 percent of all 5-10 year olds in New Zealand.
“We are proud to see our signature Mizuiku program continuously expanding globally. We believe that by educating students in Mizuiku in New Zealand, they will become ambassadors to disseminate the importance of water to their communities, and as a result will be empowered to take sustainable action to keep freshwater and oceans clean,” said Masaaki Fujiwara, Chief Sustainability Officer of Suntory Holdings.
Sophie Lodge, Director of Corporate Affairs, Frucor Suntory Oceania commented, “We are driven by our vision of Growing for Good, and our partnership with Keep New Zealand Beautiful to introduce Mizuiku to New Zealand schools is testament to our focus on creating a tomorrow better than today. By educating and empowering the next generation of Kiwi kids to understand the importance and value of water, we can help to create a more sustainable future.”
Commenting on the partnership Keep New Zealand Beautiful CEO Heather Saunderson recognises the strong synergies between Suntory’s Mizuiku program and Upstream Battle.
“With litter in our waterways posing a huge risk to both humans and wildlife, our Upstream Battle program aims to identify the root cause of this pollution which ultimately ends up in our moana (ocean).
“Our partnership with Suntory’s Mizuiku program will help us to reach more schools across New Zealand, with the appointment of a dedicated Educational Facilitator. It will also help us to strengthen the global collaboration of our Upstream Battle program and build an international perspective on the root cause of waterway pollution,”
The Suntory Group has promoted various water-related initiatives globally, including activities to preserve and restore nature, based on the group-wide Sustainable Water Philosophy. The company started Mizuiku in Japan in 2004 and has expanded the program to Vietnam in 2015, followed by Thailand, Indonesia, France, China, Spain, UK, and now New Zealand. With tailored programs for each country, Mizuiku has been well-received by children and teachers that participated in the program as well as by the local governments. As of 2022, a total of approximately 458,700 children and teachers have participated in the Mizuiku program globally.
Mizuiku also launched an on-line learning program called “homework activity” in Japan in 2021 and in Vietnam and Indonesia in March 2022. This virtual learning experience includes quizzes and research exercises intended to deepen the understanding of water and the natural water cycle through practical lessons learnt in their everyday lives.
About Suntory Group
As a global leader in the beverage industry, Suntory Group offers a uniquely diverse portfolio of products, from premium spirits, beer, wine, ready-to-drink alcohol beverages, to brewed teas, bottled water, still and 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 owns the exceptional Japanese wine, Tomi, and the world-famous Château Lagrange. Its brand collection 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 $20.2 billion in 2022. Its 40,885 employees worldwide draw upon the unique blend of Japanese artisanship and global tastes to explore new product categories and markets.
As a corporation sustained by the gifts of nature and water, Suntory Group will always protect the ecosystems that deliver water. Because its ecosystem is the wellspring, not only of its business and the rich experiences the group creates for people's lives, but also of human life itself. Suntory Group will continue to be a company where everyone is empowered with the freedom and flexibility to innovate. Through all of its corporate pursuits, Suntory seeks to inspire the brilliance of life.
About Frucor Suntory
Frucor Suntory is a leading drinks company in Oceania and the market leader in energy drinks across Australia and New Zealand. Proudly part of Japanese beverage and food company Suntory, the company manufactures, markets and distributes a range of fruit juices, fruit drinks, energy drinks, waters and soft drinks. The company produces more than 30 million cases of drinks a year at its New Zealand-based manufacturing plant. The diverse beverage portfolio includes iconic brands such as V Energy, Suntory BOSS Coffee, Maximus, h2go, Just Juice, The Real McCoy, Fresh Up and it’s also the bottling partner to PepsiCo for its range of products in New Zealand
Frucor Suntory employs a diverse team of over 1,000 people across Australia and New Zealand. Committed to Suntory’s vision of Growing for Good, at every opportunity the team aims to work in harmony with people and nature across our operations and community programs.
Please visit the Frucor Suntory website for further information.
About Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Upstream Battle Program
Launched in mid-2022 and aimed at schools, community groups and volunteers across New Zealand, Upstream Battle provides a secondary data set to Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s National Litter Audit. Based on, and in collaboration with Keep Scotland Beautiful’s resources, Upstream Battle is designed to be an accessible but scientifically robust way that Kiwis can contribute to building a data-driven solution to the country’s litter problem. Within the first year, the programme has already proven a success with over 90 schools, environmental groups and individuals nationwide registering to complete an Upstream Battle audit.
For more information: www.knzb.org.nz/programmes/citizen-science/upstream-battle