Manufacturing Sustainability


Chemical Safety Management

In recent years, the impact on human health and environment of chemicals used in the supply chain of the Apparel / Bag / Footwear industries are getting greater attention. ZDHC is a group of major apparel and footwear brands and retailers who made a shared commitment to help lead the industry towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals by 2020. The initial focus is on 11 hazardous chemical classes. YKK has always managed its use of chemicals. Although YKK intentionally does not use most of the 11 priority chemicals, a very limited number of its products still contain some of the priority chemicals. YKK is currently working to fully eliminate the priority hazardous chemicals from the manufacturing process. Please refer to the chart for the status of use / progress of actions for each of the 11 priority chemicals.





Higg Index Self-assessment

The Higg Index is a self assessment tool, developed by Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), for measuring the environmental and social impact of companies in the apparel/footwear supply chain. Please see the SAC website for further details of the Higg Index. YKK is using Higg Index 2.0 to evaluate the environmental and social impact of its factories.

Higg Index 2.0 Factories to be assessed (20 companies / 15 regions as Phase 1)





VOC Treatment

VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) such as toluene and xylene are contained in paint and adhesive agents used in our production. Therefore, YKK installed VOC treatment machinery in 1997 to help reduce VOC emission levels.



VOC equipment



Wastewater Treatment

YKK conforms to each country's applicable environmental laws pertaining to wastewater treatment standards.






Water Recycling

Industrial Wastewater Recycling

In addition to petroleum shortages, today there is a serious concern globally with the shortage of water. Countries, especially in South East Asia, are strengthening their controls over their fresh water supply and are treating it as a precious resource. YKK is supporting these efforts by reusing cooling water, utilizing rainwater effectively and recycling factory wastewater in production.

◆YKK Korea
Has recovered 98% of the effluent water from its surface treatment machine and re-used it as process water.
(Operational as of the year 2013)
Has recovered 50% of the effluent water from its dyeing machine and has re-used it as process water.
(Operational as of the year 2013)

◆YKK Shenzhen
Has recovered 80% of the effluent water from its dyeing machine and re-used it as process water. (Operational as of the year 2013)

◆YKK Shanghai
Has recovered 70% of the effluent water from its plating machine and re-used it as process water. (Operational as of the year 2013)



Quick Dyeing Technology

The manufacturing process of fastening products includes a dyeing process, which adds color to tapes, chains and other components. Dyeing machine water is heated and pressurized with steam to ensure that dyes are absorbed into the material. YKK has made improvements to its dyeing technology, which have enabled it to reduce the amount of steam used for dyeing by 25% and wastewater by 50%. In addition, YKK could significantly shorten the time required to complete the dyeing process. YKK is in the process of adopting a quick dyeing method at its plants around the world. This method is currently used at 19 plants in 16 countries.




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