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Supply Chain (Environment)

Our basic approach and strategy

Many of the products that Unicharm provides are consumables essential to a clean and healthy lifestyle which closely relates to the global environment through our use of resources and emission of waste. As we have expanded our operations globally centered on Asia, our role and responsibility for reducing our environmental impact has increased with each passing year.

In addition, the paper and pulp which form the absorbent material contained in our mainstay products are produced from coniferous trees and the palm oil added in small quantities to pet food is produced in plantations in the tropics. For such forest-derived resources, we believe that it is important to use certified materials that take the needs of sustainability into account.

Risk and Opportunity in the Supply Chain (Environment)

We perceive that a risk for our company is reduced supply due to destruction of forests and depletion of water resources in the upstream processes of forest-derived resources (paper, pulp, palm oil, etc.). Therefore, we formulated the Forest-derived Raw Materials Procurement Guidelines in 2015 and the Sustainable Procurement Guidelines in 2017, and we are striving to reduce the risk by ensuring the implementation of these guidelines by our suppliers.

On the other hand, we perceive that the opportunities for our company are reducing environmental impact and costs through low CO2 emission and energy-efficient resource procurement, reducing environmental impact and costs through reduction of waste and use of recycled resources and the marketing of products as environmentally-friendly to promote sales. We will not only promote in-house recycling but also improvements in the efficient use of resources and resource recycling in society as a whole.

Management structure

Four times a year at the ESG Committee meeting chaired by the Representative Director, plans and progress on environmental activities, quality issues, social issues and other important governance matters are shared. Specific plans are reported using “Eco Plan 2020” as the baseline, in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) announced in June 2017.

Medium-Term Activity Targets

We drafted Eco Plan 2020 in 2016 and, as a target for 2020, we have been implementing activities aimed at switching to certified sustainable materials for 100% of the paper and pulp we purchase in Japan and overseas and 100% of the palm oil we purchase for pet food.

Eco Plan 2020, sustainable material procurement targets and results (from “Eco Plan 2020”)

Implementing environmental monitoring

Evaluating new suppliers

We conduct a questionnaire on the environment and supplier evaluations through the Procurement Department for new suppliers. In 2019, we evaluated two new suppliers.

Evaluating existing suppliers

e carry out evaluations from five points of view (consistency of quality, stable supply, safety, environmental impact and delivery) and, once every three years, give commendations based on the scorings for each of a supplier's activities. In 2019, we evaluated 16 suppliers and did not find any deviations from the guidelines.

For the status of human rights and labor monitoring, please see Society > Supply Chain (Society) > Implementation of human rights and labor monitoring

Formulating the Unicharm group sustainable procurement guidelines

In October 2017, we formulated the Unicharm Group Sustainable Procurement Guidelines setting out standards for environmental conservation with the aim of achieving sustainable procurement.

Providing suppliers with explanations of our policies

In November 2017, we held a briefing session to disseminate our procurement policies and guidelines at the Quality Policy Briefing Session for 76 supplier companies. In addition to distributing and explaining guideline materials, we once again asked for compliance and called for cooperation with respect to the importance of responding to climate change, sustainable procurement and water risk throughout our entire supply chain.

Initiatives to promote “Forest-derived Raw Materials Procurement Guidelines”

We formulated the Forest-derived Raw Materials Procurement Guidelines in July 2015. As a result of checks through questionnaires on the status of compliance distributed to 3 relevant suppliers in 2019, there were no companies in violation of the guidelines.

Forest-derived Raw Materials Procurement Guidelines


Recognizing the seriousness of the environmental issues that have emerged in recent years, including the impact of global warming and loss of biodiversity, etc., Unicharm Corporation aims to realize procurement of sustainable raw materials. Being fully aware that our business operations are dependent on natural resources, Unicharm supports procurement models that do not involve destruction of forests. We will also take an initiative for the current environmental issues as for plantation of palm oil.


With climate change related risk having risen significantly in recent years, besides striving to reduce the burden placed on the environment, and to safeguard the environment, Unicharm is also making a serious effort to promote supply chain management that takes biodiversity into account, in line with the goal of building a sustainable society.

Therefore, we are committed to environmental conservation through the operation of the Forest-derived Raw Materials Procurement Guidelines, which make the Basic Environmental Policy*1 and the Basic Policy of Procurement *2 more concrete with regards to biodiversity.

  • Basic Environmental Policy:
    As a company that engages in the manufacture and sale of disposable products, we recognize the extent of our responsibility to the environment. Through our corporate activities we strive to create environmentally friendly products so that we may in the future pass on a beautiful earth to future generations. We are committed to providing goods and services that bring comfort, excitement, and joy to people throughout the world and we are determined to realize the sustainable development of a society that achieves a balance between environmental conservation and economic growth.
  • Unicharm Basic Policy of Procurement (excerpt from environmental themes):
  1. Value corporations which understand the importance of, and promote, environmental conservation in purchasing activities.
  2. Emphasize environmentally friendly raw materials in purchasing activities in an effort to achieve a recycling-oriented society.


By 2020, Unicharm aims to be using raw materials that take the needs of sustainability into account, and recycled materials, for the paper and pulp used in the company's absorbent products.

When using virgin pulp (as opposed to waste paper or recycled pulp), Unicharm will collaborate with suppliers to fully verify that no damage is caused to forest resources. Specifically, Unicharm will verify third-party certified raw materials, such as FSC and PEFC, and certificates of origin confirming that materials do not come from High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) and High Carbon Stock Forests (HCSF).

Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity (JBIB) activities, and is striving to promote the utilization of sustainable forest resources.

Action Guideline

  1. Giving priority to the use of waste paper, recycled pulp, and mill broke (paper trimmings and scrap generated during the paper manufacturing process).
  2. Prioritizing the use of forest resources certified by reputable third parties such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC).
  3. In the case of forest resources for which third-party certification is not available, certificates of origin, tags etc. are used to verify that the resources in question are not logged from High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) or High Carbon Stock Forests (HCSF); Unicharm strives to promote the creation of supply chains which ensure that: (In regard to environmental issues): There is a guarantee that no damage is caused to forests; (In regard to social issues): The human rights of workers and indigenous residents are protected; (In regard to compliance): Local laws and regulations are respected and complied with.


FSC®:Forest Stewardship Council®


PEFC:Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes


HCVF:High Conservation Value Forests

HCSF:High Carbon Stock Forests

JBIB:Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity


Promoting environmentally-friendly supply chain management

Amid mounting climate change risk in recent years, Unicharm has been striving to reduce its environmental impact and to conserve the environment with the aim of building a sustainable society. We have also been promoting supply chain management that gives consideration to the needs of biodiversity. By 2020, Unicharm aims to switch to recycled paper or certified sustainable forest-derived products for the paper and pulp used in the company's absorbent products. We have also instructed our suppliers not to use raw materials sourced from High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs), which have a significant impact on biodiversity, and High Carbon Stock Forests (HCSFs).

Starting in 2016, we expanded the scope of activities for the procurement of sustainable materials to include local overseas suppliers.

Percentage of Sustainable Materials Certified by Third-Parties including FSC®

Please see Eco Plan 2020 for detailed targets

Also, we became a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil in 2017 and began collecting information and establishing traceability aimed at sustainable procurement given our focus on environmental issues directly related to palm oil.

Please see Biodiversity > Usage of third-party certified sustainable palm oil for 2019 initiatives related to palm oil.

Please see Unicharm's progress from the following URL.


Confirming the origin of paper and pulp

Pulp, which is mainly used as an absorbent, is made of conifers in FM-certified forests native to North and South America. The tissue enclosing the absorbent is made of wood from FM-certified forests in North America, China and Indonesia.

Vancouver declaration to promote the FSC® and SDGs

Obtaining a B rating in CDP* forests program

Unicharm supports efforts to address the CDP forests program and cooperates with a survey of companies. In 2019, Unicharm received a B rating. This indicates that the PDCA cycle for forest-derived resources is functioning at a high level company-wide and that Unicharm was recognized for moving forward with information disclosures to stakeholders. Going forward, Unicharm will continue to carry out activities that are even more mindful of biodiversity.

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