CSR activities of the Yakult Central Institute
The Yakult Group established its Basic Policy on CSR under its corporate philosophy:
“We contribute to the health and happiness of people around the world through pursuit of excellence in life science in general
and our research and experience in microorganisms in particular.” and corporate slogan:
“in order for people to be healthy, everything around them must also be healthy.”
Additionally, in order to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society,
we are advancing initiatives based on the six material themes identified in March 2021.
The Yakult Central Institute strives to implement CSR activities in accordance with these guidelines.
Research and development activities that contribute to the health, safety, and peace of mind of people worldwide
The Yakult Central Institute mainly conducts intestinal microbiota and probiotic research activities with on proprietary microbiome research from the perspective of preventive medicine laying the foundation. It strives to develop food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical products that contribute to the maintenance and improvement of people's health. We also actively conduct research collaborations with external organizations such as universities, hospitals, and research institutions to promote research and development activities that aim to create new value to solve health and social issues.
Given our aim to guarantee the quality of our products and assure safety and peace of mind for our customers, we also conduct safety evaluations and quality assessments for ingredients and products in product development. Additionally, we have a specialized unit in place to ensure the reliability of various test data on safety in our product development from a third-person point of view.
Aiming to be an office that is close to customers and local communities
The Yakult Central Institute promotes social activities through communication with customers and local communities.
Laboratory tours and online program for junior and senior high school students
In order to get as many people as possible to learn about the history of our research activities and our initiatives, we welcome the public to visit the Shirota Memorial Museum, which is located on the institute's premises, and conduct researcher-guided tours of the facility. We also have introduced an online corporate visit program to promote career education for junior and senior high school students. In this way, we contribute to the development of future generations by inspiring them to learn more about research jobs and become interested in contributing to society through their work.
*The Museum tours are currently suspended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Japan.
Children's #110 emergency houses
As part of crime prevention activities conducted in the area for children, we cooperate with Pipo-kun homes (homes marked with Pipo-kun [the mascot of the Japanese Police Agency] and #110 [the number of the police helpline] where children can take shelter in an emergency).
Drinking water supply system for in the event of a disaster
In the event of a disaster, we have a system to daily life water to the water supply tank of Kunitachi city.
Participation in Green Wave
Green Wave is a global warming campaign where companies, schools, and citizens in countries around the world plant trees and other plants, the date of International Biodiversity Day established by the United Nations. The Yakult Central Institute, along with our CSR Promotion Office, has participated in tree planting events since 2012 with the cooperation of Kunitachi City, Tokyo.
Provision of rainwater tanks
We supply Kunitachi City with used containers for products such as flavors from the factory of Yakult Materials Co., Ltd. and contribute to the use of rainwater in accordance with the Kunitachi Municipal Water Cycle Basic Plan being promoted by the city.
Coexisting with the natural environment
In 2021, the Yakult Group established the Yakult Group Environmental Vision, and defined the Environmental Vision 2050 as our ideal vision for the future. In the Yakult Central Institute, we take various energy conservation measures such as the installation of solar panels in research buildings and the introduction of the Central Monitoring System*1. We also use carbon-neutral city gas*2 as part of our environmental initiatives to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.
Furthermore, to achieve the Environmental Vision 2050, we worked on improving the thermal insulation of steam pipes, revising the operating method and temperature settings of air conditioners (energy conservation tuning), and installing new high-efficiency equipment, thus reducing energy consumption by approximately 20% compared to 2016.
In recognition of these energy conservation activities, we were awarded the Prize of Director General of Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (CGOs* and Companies category) in the Energy Conservation Best Practices at Workplaces category of the 2022 Energy Conservation Grand Prize.
*CGO：Chief Green Officer
With its basic concept being a "research institute surrounded by forest and water," the Yakult Central Institute aims to be in harmony with the surrounding green environment. We will strive to realize a low carbon society by continuously promoting energy conservation activities that consider the health of the environment.
- *1 Central Monitoring System
- This system provides remote condition monitoring, alarm monitoring, automatic operation control, and measurement of electrical, air conditioning and heat source equipment in buildings. With various functions including condition recording and fault monitoring, it enables efficient operation and management of facility equipment, thereby wasting less energy.
- *2 Carbon-neutral city gas
- With liquefied natural gas (LNG), we can practically realize zero CO2 emissions since the greenhouse gases emitted during the process of extraction to combustion of natural gas is offset by the decrease in CO2 emissions that can be brought about by environmental preservation initiatives such as forest restoration. We reached a basic agreement on the supply of carbon-neutral city gas with Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., and will switch the total volume of city gas supplied to the Yakult Central Institute to carbon neutral gas over the five-year period from April 2021 to the end of March 2026, which will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 11,500 t.
Serving as a trusted company - our approach to animal welfare -
As a company with the slogan "In order for people to be healthy, everything around them must also be healthy," Yakult Honsha conducts research and development so that not only people, but all our surroundings, can be healthy. From the perspective of animal welfare, when an animal experiment is conducted in our research the life of the animal is respected, as much as possible is done to avoid causing the animal suffering, and the research objective must be achieved using only the minimum number of animals necessary.
Therefore, in accordance with the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals and country and affiliated organization policies, we have established the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and ensure that the 3R Principles*3, including the consideration of alternative study methods that do not involve animals, are followed and appropriately managed. In addition, we conduct education and training as well as self-inspections to ensure that respect and ethical consideration is shown for the life of the animal.Through these efforts, we have been evaluated as conducting animal experiment appropriately, and in October 2017, we received full accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC International)*4. Except in the case of legal obligations or when there are directions from government authorities, we have ended animal experiments in our food and cosmetics research.
- *3 3R
- Replacement (adopting an alternative method), Reduction (reducing the number of animals involved in experiments), and Refinement (reducing suffering)
- *4 AAALAC International
- The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International: a private, non-profit, international, independent evaluation organization, which promotes the humane treatment of animals in scientific fields, and reviews and certifies whether experiments using animals are conducted appropriately from scientific and ethical perspectives.