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Water Resource Management

Last Updated: 2019.09.20
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To protect the environment at every stage of the product life cycle--from raw materials sourcing to manufacturing, sale, and consumer use--Fast Retailing strives to prevent and reduce water pollution and reduce water usage.

Policies for Water Resource Management

Water is an essential component when making Fast Retailing apparel. Growing cotton used as raw material for apparel requires significant amounts of water. Fabric dyeing and other parts of the production process also require large volumes of water. We aim to protect the environment at every stage of the product life cycle--from raw materials sourcing to manufacturing, sale, and consumer use--Fast Retailing strives to prevent and reduce water pollution and reduce water usage. A single company can only contribute so much to solving environmental problems. This is why Fast Retailing partners with companies, organizations, and NPOs to protect water resources.

Targets

Fast Retailing

・Reduce water usage related to raw materials
When planning products we encourage the use of materials that can be produced with less water, reducing water consumption. Specifically, our goal is to achieve 100 percent procurement of sustainable cotton among all Fast Retailing Group brands by the end of 2025. The definition of sustainable cotton includes cotton procured from areas where improvements have been made regarding water usage.

Supply Chain

・Reduce water use throughout the supply chain
We evaluate water use at partner fabric mills, working with them to reduce water consumption. For example, Fast Retailing sets targets for each partner mill, including water use, through the UNIQLO Responsible Mill Program. Here, our goal is to reduce water consumption by 15 percent of the 2016 levels by the end 2020 - the effort spanning three years from 2018 to 2020.

・Introduce water-saving technologies
We intend to introduce water-saving technologies in collaboration with our partner factories. As one example, we have developed a new washing process for jeans that reduces water usage in the jeans manufacturing process. This technology reduces water consumption by a significant amount, incorporating advanced washing equipment that uses nanobubbles and ozone. Fast Retailing intends to introduce new technology for all brands by 2020 to reduce our impact on the environment.

・Implement water treatment
We require all partner factories to install or utilize wastewater treatment systems for the reuse and purification of wastewater effluent. We check whether wastewater treatment systems are installed or utilized by partner sewing factories, and core fabric mills where we perform environmental audits.

Customers

・Reduce water consumption by consumers using products
We are researching ways to reduce the amount of water used for washing clothes. We intend to inform our customers about low-water cleaning methods that use less water and energy, which reduces the impact on the environment.

Fast Retailing Initiatives

Product Planning

・Reduce water consumption by using sustainable cotton
We have set a goal to procure all cotton from sustainable sources by the end of 2025. We define sustainability with respect to cotton under several guidelines:

  • Procurement is from regions that have made improvements related to water, agricultural chemicals, land use, labor environment, and compensation for farm workers.
  • The above-related improvements are traceable and can be confirmed.
  • Product quality and price meet levels that satisfy our customer.

Cotton sourced from the United States or Australia is sustainable by definition. These countries control traceability, environment, and labor conditions at high levels. Better Cotton (see Better Cotton Initiative, below) is also sustainable by definition.

・Better Cotton Initiative
Fast Retailing became an affiliate member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in January 2018. BCI is a non-governmental organization dedicated to the sustainable production of cotton. BCI promotes better cotton cultivation, educating farmers on the proper use of water, pesticides and other agricultural chemicals, and more. Farmers meeting standards set by BCI are certified as Better Cotton producers.

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Supply Chain Initiatives

Fabric Mills

・Reduce water consumption through the UNIQLO Responsible Mill Program
Fabric mills use a significant amount of water and energy in the manufacturing process. To alleviate the environment impacts, UNIQLO launched the UNIQLO Responsible Mill Program, which calls for a reduction in water usage by 15 percent of the 2016 levels by the end 2020 - the effort spanning three years from 2018 to 2020.

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Sewing factories

・Reduce water consumption in the jeans washing process by up to 99%
We have developed the technology that reduces water consumption in the jeans washing process by up to 99%, with an average of more than 90%*, incorporating advanced washing equipment that uses nanobubbles and ozone. Fast Retailing intends to introduce new technology for all brands by 2020 to reduce our impact on the environment.
*For the 2018 model UNIQLO Men's Regular Fit Jeans, compared to the same products from 2017.

Related Links

Water Consumption

Fast Retailing

ItemsUnits 2016
(September 2015 to August 2016)
2017
(September 2016 to August 2017)
2018
(September 2017 to August 2018)
Headquarters Water Consumption m3 14,947 44,208 54,752
Scope of data collection Yamaguchi Head Office and Roppongi Office Yamaguchi Head Office, Roppongi Office, and Ariake Office Yamaguchi Head Office, Roppongi Office, and Ariake Office

Supply Chain

・Total water usage and wastewater discharge at UNIQLO's core fabric mills
As part of UNIQLO Responsible Mill Program, Fast Retailing has calculated the environmental impacts of UNIQLO's core fabric mills through the Higg Index environmental module developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. As the program is aiming to calculate each factory's entire environmental impact, the data covers total water usage and wastewater discharge without taking into account UNIQLO's share of their production.

UNIQLO's strategic fabric millsItemsUnits 2015
(January-December 2015)
2016
(January-December 2016)
2017
(January-December 2017)
Total water consumption m3 72,911,204 70,116,985 65,350,217
Groundwater 71,728 531,830 134,633
Municipal Water 36,534,524 44,802,707 44,131,340
Surface Water 27,975,311 22,908,372 21,084,244
Rainwater 118 - -
Other 8,329,523 1,874,076 -
Wastewater 52,634,721 55,670,588 57,708,948

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