At the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, YKK announced its Sustainability Vision 2050, to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, among other targets. YKK’s Sustainability Vision 2050 consists of five pillars with corresponding sustainability goals, as well as ten United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
  • Theme 1: Climate Change — tackle greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy
  • Theme 2:  Material Resources — increase the use of sustainable materials
  • Theme 3:  Water Resources — reduce water use and manage wastewater
  • Theme 4:  Chemical Management — manage and reduce chemical usage
  • Theme 5:  Respect People — uphold human rights and ensure fair, safe work environments

YKK mapped each of its five themes with the United Nations SDG. While the company intends to tackle all of the UN’s 17  SDGs, the following 10 it identified as making the most impact:

  • Goal 5 — Gender Equality
  • Goal 6 — Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Goal 7 — Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Goal 8 — Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Goal 10 — Reduced Inequalities
  • Goal 12 — Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Goal 13 — Climate Action
  • Goal 14 — Life Below Water
  • Goal 15 — Life on Land
  • Goal 16 — Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

“YKK is constantly pursuing the creation of a sustainable society through our business,” said Hiroaki Otani, President, YKK Corporation. “At the core of all our corporate activities is the philosophy of YKK Founder Tadao Yoshida, the ‘Cycle of Goodness.’ The idea that ‘no one prospers without rendering benefit to others clearly expresses the YKK Group’s corporate spirit of continuing to prosper together with society and related industries, and we consider it to be a concept that leads to sustainability. Under the ‘Cycle of Goodness,’ YKK will address the essence of sustainability through our businesses and products and will continue to take on challenges in order to remain a socially good company.”

In 1994, YKK announced its first “Environmental Pledge” that stated “harmony with the environment” as the “highest priority of YKK’s business activities.” In that same year, YKK launched the Natulon zipper which recycles approximately 3,600 plastic bottles per 10,000 zippers. YKK’s GreenRise zipper, the first in the industry to use plant-based polyester, achieving a 30 percent reduction in petroleum usage, was launched in 2019. In 2020, YKK launched Natulon Ocean Sourced, a collection of zippers made from plastic waste that has been collected within 50 km of the coastline of Sri Lanka. YKK’s sustainable trim collection includes organic cotton zippers and zippers made using YKK’s Eco-Dye dyeing technology, which eliminates water in the dyeing process.