Japan’s Megmilk Snow’s sustainability-focused business plan gets government approval

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Japan’s Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act was enacted in 2003 with the aim of revitalizing the Japanese economy by reducing over-regulation, improving under-investment and accelerating consolidations.

In the first quarter of 2021, the government announced new changes to this law as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an overall decline in GDP of 3.9%, in the hope of stemming this decline and exiting of economic stagnation. These amendments mainly focused on sustainability and digitization, calling on local businesses to include them more in their business strategies.

Megmilk Snow has designed a new Business Adaptation Plan based on the principles of the updated law last year and submitted it to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) for approval, which was recently granted in August 2022.

“MAFF has approved the Business Adjustment Plan submitted by Megmilk Snow Brand Co. Limited after thorough review based on the provisions of the Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act,”MAFF said via an official statement.

“The review found that the plan met all the certification requirements stipulated by this law, and as such, with this approval, Megmilk Snow is now eligible to receive all support and apply for the relevant tax relief measures. in accordance with the law.

“This adaptation plan is expected to be implemented from October 2022 to March 2025, with a focus on improving the energy efficiency of its operations to reduce energy consumption and CO2broadcasts”.

According to a statement released by Megmilk Snow, the company’s main strategy for this adaptation plan will be to improve the sustainability of its Taiki factory by 48.4% by March 2025.

“Megmilk Snow Brand is committed to meeting [sustainability] issues such as global warming and climate change, and we have set various environment-related target KPIs to achieve this,”says the firm.

“We have increased our CO 20302​target to reduce emissions by 30% to 50% from a 2013 baseline as part of promoting decarbonization, and we are also considering a number of forward-looking initiatives to further improve this target.

“Within the Taiki plant, one of the plans is to replace the boilers used with liquefied natural gas (LNG) boilers which are more energy efficient and have less impact on the environment; and are also looking to introduce facilities to ferment our leftover whey (a by-product of cheese production) to use as an energy source.

The Taiki factory is one of Megmilk Snow Brand’s main cheese manufacturing facilities, particularly for popular local products such as its Snow Brand Hokkaido 100 line, including cottage cheeses, camemberts, string cheeses , cream cheeses and more.

The energy of cheese

In particular, Megmilk Snow plans to introduce methane fermentation equipment into the Taiki plant to turn waste whey into energy, citing the use of methane as the most energy-efficient way to perform this treatment.

“Construction of the methane fermentation processing facility will begin this year in fiscal 2022, and we expect it to be completed by April 2023,”the firm said.

“As such, the estimate is that this facility will begin operations in fiscal year 2023, and that should be full-load operations. [and not just] pilot tests.

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