Contribution to the SDGs
What the SDGs mean to Yakult
Our passion for and approach to health can be traced back to our founder’s wish to protect the health of people around the world. Yakult engages in business activities based on our corporate philosophy, expressed as: “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.” We see these activities as contributing to Goal 3, “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Yakult’s founder, Minoru Shirota, a doctor of medicine, began his medical studies in 1921. At the time, unsanitary conditions caused large numbers of children to die of infectious diseases in Japan. Under the circumstances, Dr. Shirota set his sights on the field of preventive medicine, which aims to help people avoid sickness rather than treating diseases after they occur. After years of microorganism research, Dr. Shirota strengthened and cultured Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota. Together with likeminded individuals, he then developed an inexpensive, delicious drink so that many people could benefit from Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota. This is how Yakult was born.
Yakult products are not just sold in stores but, since our founding, are also delivered door-to-door to homes and other locations. This approach of reaching out directly to customers is rooted in Dr. Shirota’s principles of emphasizing the dissemination of information about preventive medicine and the idea that a healthy intestinal tract leads to a long life, as well as the value he placed on sincerity, gratitude and harmonious human relations.
The SDGs were established as goals to be achieved by 2030 so that humanity can continue living on Earth. “Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere” is identified as the most important goal, and “leave no one behind” is the central promise of the SDGs.
The foundational philosophy of Yakult and our corporate slogan, “In order for people to be healthy, everything around them must also be healthy,” are perfectly matched with the aims of the SDGs, so it is a matter of course for us to strive to achieve those goals. Yakult will thus continue working to create a society where humans can live in harmony with the planet, based on our goal of uniting “People and Planet as One.”
We contribute to the
health and happiness of
people around the world
through pursuit of
in life science in general and our research and
Thoughts of founder
The Yakult Group’s philosophy and corporate activities are associated with the SDGs concept and Goal 3.
The Yakult Group’s contribution to the SDGs
The Yakult Group’s corporate activities are widely related to all 17 SDGs, but based on our materiality we have identified the below eight goals as being most closely connected to our business. Moving forward, the entire Yakult Group will continue working towards helping achieve the SDGs.
Materiality of the Yakult Group
In keeping with its mission to contribute to the health of people around the world, the Yakult Group will continue to use its research findings and long experience with lactic acid bacteria and other beneficial microorganisms and pursue new possibilities through collaboration with outside resources to provide products and services that lead to solutions for health and social issues.
We will maintain respect for the cultures and customs in each region where we operate and contribute to the creation of safe, secure and healthy communities, engaging in dialogue with local communities about their own unique issues and proactively working toward solutions.
A sustainable supply chain is essential in creating high-quality products that are safe and reliable. We will visualize our corporate social responsibilities, taking specific actions in the supply chain in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption.
To address the many issues caused by climate change, such as resource depletion and natural disasters, we will promote energy conservation and proactively utilize renewable energy, as well as reduce our greenhouse gas emissions throughout the supply chain.
On issues related to plastic waste and resource recycling, we will reduce the amount of plastic used in containers and packaging, transition to easily recyclable materials, and promote the reuse and recycling of plastic packing materials used in production processes.
To tackle issues such as water inequality and water-related disasters, we will manage water risks at our production bases, strive to reduce water usage, and promote both conservation and sustainable use of water resources.
The SDGs to which Yakult is contributing to through its business activities
|Business activity||Related SDGs||Specific initiatives|
We undertake research to realize the concepts of preventive medicine and the idea that a healthy intestinal tract leads to a long life, and are applying research results in the development of food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
We procure raw materials such as skimmed milk, sugar, and packaging materials through fair trade.
Selection of sound business partners
Promotion of fair trade
Stable procurement of raw materials
Promotion of sustainable procurement
We use finite resources efficiently and employ environmentally conscious methods to manufacture high-quality products that are safe and offer peace of mind to customers.
Reduction in occupational accidents
Promotion of energy saving, waste reduction and recycling
Establishment of a risk management system
Understanding of environmental impacts and risks
By ensuring eco-driving (fuel-efficient driving) and choosing delivery methods that have reduced environmental impacts, we are reducing the amount of CO2 emissions deriving from product shipments.
Promotion of collaboration with other companies in the same industry
Promotion of day-to-day efficiency
We provide customers with not only products but also accurate product information and health tips.
Raising awareness of the SDGs
Initiatives inside the Group
We conduct ongoing awareness programs for workers so that they can see the essence of the SDGs and take personal responsibilities themselves.
In 2018, we created posters showing the connection between the activities at each stage of the Yakult Group’s business operations and the SDGs in nine languages (Japanese, English, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian, Spanish and Portuguese).
In addition, the Yakult Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct were revised in April 2020 to include the SDGs related to each item of the Code of Conduct, in order to show workers that their thoughts and actions when properly carrying out corporate activities directly lead to the Group’s CSR as well as contribute to achieving the SDGs.
Initiatives outside the Group
In February 2019, out of the 17 SDGs we presented our initiatives related to Goal 3 on health and exchanged views with about 30 students from 11 countries who were delegates of the Japan-ASEAN Students Conference (JENESYS 2018), an exchange program aiming to promote understanding of Japan run by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Yakult Group Honored with the special SDGs Partnership Award at the second Japan SDGs Awards
Organized by the government's SDGs Promotion Headquarters, the second Japan SDGs Awards were held on December 21, 2018. The Yakult Group was presented the special “SDGs Partnership Award” for our contribution to achieving Goal 3 “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” through our everyday activities.