CSR activities of the Yakult Central Institute: Coexistence with local communities and the natural environment

In accordance with its Basic Policy on the Environment, which was enacted in 1997, the Yakult Group promotes environmental conservation in all areas of its business activities because one of the most important issues in operating in harmony with society is preservation of the global environment.
In addition, we established the Basic Policy on CSR in 2012 and have worked to fulfil our social responsibilities through the conducting of business activities based on our corporate philosophy.
In fiscal 2015, Yakult began systemizing its CSR activities based on ISO 26000, a global CSR standard.

Establishing a public walkway with the aim of ensuring harmony with the surrounding environment

 The Yakult Central Institute has promoted the development of its facilities with the aim of being a research institute surrounded by forest and water, and as part of our activities, we established a public walkway around the periphery of the institute in 2015.
  We are working to realize an environment in harmony with nature to not only local residents, but also people who enjoy taking a stroll through the nature-rich Musashino district.

Support sign for the Joyama Historical Environmental Protection Area
Support sign for the Joyama Historical Environmental Protection Area

We have donated and installed support signs (information boards) for a conservation area

 Support signs are information boards that, through the efforts of the Conservation Area Support Sign Initiative run by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Bureau of the Environment, have been installed in conservation areas to mark 44 designated places in Tokyo where valuable natural environments remain.These information boards are intended to give local residents a sense of affinity with these conservation areas and support the recovery of nature by means such as tree growing and maintenance.
 In response to a request from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Bureau of the Environment, the Yakult Central Institute donated two information boards for use as the first support signs to the neighboring Joyama Historical Environmental Protection Area at Yaho (designated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Bureau of the Environment, December 1980).

Signs for the public walkway installed in 4 places
Signs for the public walkway installed in 4 places

Establishment of environmentally friendly research buildings

 Based on the basic concept of a research institute surrounded by forest and water, the Yakult Central Institute began construction in March 2006 of a new institute with the aim of ensuring harmony with the surrounding green environment, and the construction work was completed in September 2015.
 We are aiming to reduce our energy consumption and CO2 emissions with an Energy Supply Building equipped with an energy-saving heat pump and thermal storage system* and solar panels installed at the site and on all of the research buildings.

*Heat pumps are a highly efficient and cost-effective technology that utilize heat from the air and are used mainly in hot water heaters and air conditioning systems. They are also used in home air conditioners. Moreover, this technology has also been referred to as a trump card for global warming countermeasures because its use does not involve combustion or result in the emission of CO2.

Solar panel installed on-site
Solar panel installed on-site

Promoting the beautification of the surrounding environment through clean-up activities

 We believe that it is our responsibility to cooperate with local communities and protect the environment.
 We are proactively engaging in clean-up activities to beautify the area surrounding the Yakult Cental Institute.

Staff participating in clean-up activities.jpg
Staff participating in clean-up activities

Aiming to be a business establishment that is close to the local community

 The Yakult Central Institute promotes corporate activities aimed at having cooperation with the local community through communication with local residents.

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 provide drinking 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 at 10 am local time on May 22nd, 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.

Tree planted at the event
Tree planted at the event

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*, 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. In September 2013, we received accreditation from the Japan Health Sciences Foundation's Center for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care and Use**, and in October 2017, we received full accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC International)***. 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.

*3R Principles:
Replacement (adopting an alternative method), Reduction (reducing the number of animals involved in experiments), and Refinement (reducing suffering)
** The Japan Health Sciences Foundation's Center for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care and Use:
an external certification organization established within the Japan Health Sciences Foundation, which assesses and verifies whether the research institutions under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare are conducting appropriate animal testing and related activities, based on animal welfare and from a scientific point of view; also promotes voluntary management of animal care and use at the respective institutions.
*** The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC 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.