Contributing to sustainable dairy farming

Contributing to sustainable dairy farming

The Megmilk Snow Brand Group contributes to sustainable growth for the Japanese dairy farming industry by supporting technology upgrades and management stability for dairy farmers, and through initiatives aimed at cultivating consumer understanding of dairy farmers.

Megmilk Snow Brand Group dairy farmer contribution initiatives

Snow Brand Seed Co., Ltd. - Since 1950

Conducts business activities aimed at promoting environmentally-conscious agriculture through a dairy livestock business. Snow Brand Seed sells mixed feed, operates a dry field farming/horticultural agriculture business, develops and produces seeds and saplings for feed crops and vegetables, and operates an environmental greening business that specializes in rooftop greenification. In 2017, we completed development of an agricultural new research facility in Hokkaido.

Nichiraku Machinery Co., Ltd. - Since 1954

A manufacturer of production equipment for milk and dairy product plants. Contributes to improvements in dairy product manufacturing technology (multi-layer operations) by providing small-scale manufacturing equipment and technical instruction for dairy farmers who produce and sell cheese and other consumer products.

Organization that contributes to dairy farm management research and development
  • Japan Young Dairy Farmers Research Association (Rakuseiken) - Since 1948
    Megmilk Snow Brand, Snow Brand Seed, Yatsugatake Milk Industry serve as liaisons to support activities.
  • Research and Development Center for Dairy Farming - Since 1976
    Established as the only private R&D facility for dairy farming. Currently serving as the internal research facility for Megmilk Snow Brand, the R&D Center conducts research, provides dairy farming support, and holds annual symposiums.
  • Dairy Farming Advisory Committee - Since 2009
    Receives opinions and recommendations from dairy farmers and expert committees with advanced knowledge and vast experience.
PR facility for promoting understanding of dairy farming
  • Snow Brand Kodomo-no-Kuni Ranch (Children’s Land) (Yokohama) - Since 1965
    We use various experiential activities to convey the connection between food and life, and to further understanding about dairy farming.
  • Megmilk Snow Brand Museum (Sapporo) - Since 1977
    We present history to promote further understanding of and interest in dairy farming. Registered as a Hokkaido Heritage Site and a Heritage of Industrial Modernization Site.
  • Japan Young Dairy Farmers Research Association (Rakuseiken) - Since 1948
    Megmilk Snow Brand, Snow Brand Seed, Yatsugatake Milk Industry serve as liaisons to support activities.
  • Research and Development Center for Dairy Farming - Since 1976
    Established as the only private R&D facility for dairy farming. Currently serving as the internal research facility for Megmilk Snow Brand, the R&D Center conducts research, provides dairy farming support, and holds annual symposiums.
  • Dairy Farming Advisory Committee - Since 2009
    Receives opinions and recommendations from dairy farmers and expert committees with advanced knowledge and vast experience.

Environmental management structure map

ISO14001 certification

Megmilk Snow Brand proactively engages in environmental conservation to reduce the environmental impact resulting from our business activities. To objectively present the results of these initiatives both internally and externally, we have acquired ISO14001 certification. ISO14001 standards were revised in 2015 and in 2016 our entire Group (70 locations, including two Group companies) acquired certification based on the revised standards. In February 2018, we newly acquired certification at Yatsugatake Milk Industry Co., Ltd.

Environmental audit structure

Environmental audits include external inspections conducted by an inspection agency and an internal audit conducted internally. These inspections are used to comprehensively confirm the status of EMS operations and legal compliance.
Internal environmental audits at Megmilk Snow Brand are a combination of a primary audit conducted by the Production Department and a secondary audit conducted by the CSR Department. Through the primary audit, auditors closely familiar with the relevant tasks enable workflow improvements while the secondary audit involves a legal check from an objective perspective and helps to identify problems.

Environmental education

Megmilk Snow Brand works to improve environmental awareness through various environmental education systems, including e-learning as well as internal environmental auditor development training conducted by the corporate EMS office and individual education conducted by each department.
Providing education for all applicable employees is very important. For position-specific e-learning, we require all executive and employees to complete the general education course and each year we receive a 100% participation rate.

Initiatives by each section

The Megmilk Snow Brand Group uses significant amounts of natural resources and energy during every phase of our product life cycle, and in response each section implements various initiatives to reduce the resource losses and environmental load generated through these processes as much as possible.
Energy conservation activities and waste product reduction are typical activities conducted on a company-wide level. Additionally, the R&D section conducts environmentally conscious product design, the Procurement section shifted to thin plastic containers and environmentally-conscious containers, and our plants are implementing measures such as optimizing energy use and treating wastewater. Our Logistics section is implementing a modal shift* in raw materials and product shipment and working to improve load rates. At our branch offices and sales offices, we are promoting eco-driving for all sales vehicles. In the Administration section, we work to limit the energy required for heating and cooling by practicing “cool biz” and “warm biz”, and are shifting to paperless business.

*Shifting cargo transport from vehicles to rail and marine transport to reduce CO2 emissions and reduce environmental load.

Improving wastewater treatment performance

At our Sapporo Plant, we increased the number of wastewater equalizing tank and installed a fluidized bed*1 for our wastewater treatment facilities.
By increasing the number of wastewater equalizing tanks, we are able to improve water quality consistency by increasing the volume of reserves of waste water and raw water.
This also enables the parallel operation of existing aeration tanks*2 and the fluidized bed, enabling a 63% year-on-year reduction in wastewater generated from aeration tank treatment.

*1. Apparatus that sprays fluid upward to create a status of solid particles floating in a fluid.
*2. Refers to a tank that blows air into wastewater to stimulate microorganisms in activated sludge to treat wastewater.

CO2 emissions reduction

Plants which use heavy oil as fuel produce significant amounts of CO2 but converting it from heavy oil to liquid natural gas (LNG) will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 20%. We also are gradually converting to liquid natural gas at our Hokkaido Plant, which previously used heavy fuel oil.
We also switched to LED lights for the lighting used in our plants and refrigerators to promote energy conservation.
At our Isobunnai Plant, we shifted to a more efficient skim milk concentrator to promote energy conservation and reduce CO2 emissions.

Shift to lightweight containers

We worked towards reducing the weight of plastic bottle containers, resulting in a 10% weight reduction.
In FY2018, we are expecting weight reduction efforts to result in an approximately 200 ton annual reduction* in plastic use.

* Estimated value calculated based on results of FY2017 sales figures environmental load.

Proactively participating in environmental events and campaigns

At Megmilk Snow Brand, we proactively participate in environmental events and campaigns.
We participated in the CO2 Reduction/Light- Down Campaign organized by the Ministry of the Environment. On June 21 (summer solstice) and July 7 (Cool Earth Day), we simultaneously cut off the lights of outdoor advertisements at 23 locations.
As a member of the Committee for Milk Container Environmental Issues, we collaborated with the Japan Milk Carton Recycling Association at the Eco Life Fair (Yoyogi Park) in June and at EcoPro (Tokyo Big Sight) in December to promote the importance of milk carton recycling and the importance of using recycled paper. We accomplished this by holding various workshops such as how to tear milk cartons open by hand and how to use milk cartons to create handmade post cards.

Carbon offsetting initiatives

Carbon offsetting is the practice of purchasing CO2 emissions credits earned through forest preservation efforts such as tree-planting and clean energy business to indirectly offset a part of the CO2 emissions generated through corporate activities.
Megmilk Snow Brand has long purchased Hokkaido Carbon Credits. Additionally, in November we purchased Nakashibetsu Town J-Credits.

Procurement activities to support the realization of a sustainable society

In accordance with the Megmilk Snow Brand Group Procurement Policy, we practice procurement activities that promote social responsibilities such as fair trade, human rights, and the environment, as well as work to procure sustainable raw materials. We also conduct regular inspections regarding the details of initiatives conducted by our business partners.

Megmilk Snow Brand Group Procurement Policy

Megmilk Snow Brand applies our Group corporate philosophy and the Megmilk Snow Brand Group CSR Policy to take a leading role in working with business partners to promote socially responsible procurement activities and contribute to the realization of an enriched and sustainable society.

  1. Legal compliance and respect for social norms
    • Conduct procurement activities that adhere to the relevant laws and respect the social norms of relevant countries.
    • Conduct socially responsible procurement activities, including respecting basic human rights and working to improve the labor environment.
  2. Ensure quality and safety
    • Conduct procurement activities that ensure high-quality and safety of our products.
    • Conduct procurement activities that enable us to supply products at stable and appropriate pricing.
  3. Conduct fair trade
    • Conduct fair trades with business partners.
    • Appropriately manage personal information and confidential information related to procurement transactions.
  4. Environmental consciousness
    • Dairy farming, the foundation of our business, is only possible with a vast natural environment. To contribute to the realization of a sustainable society, respect biodiversity and conduct environmentally conscious procurement activities.

Fundamental concept to the use of paper

With respect to the use of paper, whenever possible Megmilk Snow Brand prioritizes the use of sustainable products or the use of recycled paper, and we are gradually promoting the shift to these products. We are applying this philosophy to not only the paper containers and cardboard packing boxes we use for our products, but also printing paper, printed matter, and storefront promotional papers.
In accordance with our fundamental concept to the use of paper, for a portion of our packaging Megmilk Snow Brand uses paper from forests that are appropriately managed by an inspection agency and paper certified by the FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council), which supports sustainable forestry by inspecting and validating forestry, distribution, and processing businesses and issues a proprietary certification mark to certified businesses.

Membership in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

Palm oil is an oil extracted from the fruit of the oil palm tree and has seen a rapid increase in demand in recent years. As a result, plantation development has taken place on a large scale in Malaysia and Indonesia. This development has resulted to the illegal deforestation and burning of tropical rain forests, and also gave way to plantation labor issues, including the problem of child labor.
The dramatic increase in palm oil production is causing serious social and environmental problems. To address these problems, the RSPO was established as a certification organization in 2004. Supporting the mission to strive for healthy palm oil industry development, Megmilk Snow Brand joined the RSPO in July 2018.