The world’s first carbon-neutral sake ‘Fukuju Junmai EcoZero’ launched
Fukuju Brewery has launched the world’s first carbon-neutral sake named “Fukuju Junmai EcoZero”.
The sake, which achieves net-zero carbon emissions during its production, features both a shortened brewing process and a paperless label.
Fukuju Brewery has a history that spans over 270 years and has recently established its ‘Sustainability Journey’, which details its eco-progress until 2030 and sets out to mitigate climate change and other global issues. As part of its journey, the company has identified three key areas to prioritise: creating a carbon-free society, promoting a circular economy society, and developing a society in harmony with nature.
To contribute towards a “carbon-free society” Fukuju has switched to 100% renewable energy (hydroelectric power generation by Kansai Electric Power Co.). Its electricity is generated by non-fossil power sources and is compliant with the international standard RE100 ‘Renewable Energy 100%’. Moreover, the brewery has opted for carbon-neutral LNG gas (liquefied natural gas) from Daigas Energy Co. – a “carbon-neutral city gas” that has virtually zero CO2 emissions throughout its life cycle, from production to combustion, and CO2 emissions derived from extraction, transportation, production, and combustion are offset with carbon credits. The adoption of clean energy has allowed the company to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions in the production of its sake, with its next target for 2050 being Fukuju’s entire supply chain.
According to the company, it has developed a circular economy society and adopted the use of recyclable bottles, and, as a measure against food waste, is promoting the effective use of sake lees, the by-product of sake brewing, as a raw ingredient. To meet its sustainability goals, Fukuju Brewery has also installed the latest technologies to reduce the amount of water used in the brewing process while maintaining the standards for quality excellence of its sake.
For the newly released “Fukuju Junmai EcoZero”, the team decided on a label-less bottle, opting to print directly on the bottle itself, using only no-lead ink and has used both conscientious design and packaging to convey the Fukuju brand’s “deliciousness”, “quality”, as well as “eco-friendliness”.
By reducing the rice polishing ratio from 70% to 80%, Fukuju has reduced energy consumption during the milling process and, consequently, environmental impact. (The rice is only polished down to 80% of its original size, shortening the polishing process). Additionally, by using Kyokai dried yeast, the shubo-making step (yeast starter production) can be skipped, resulting in a brewing process shortened by seven days, with less energy consumption and reduced environmental impact.
Fukuju Brewery’s sustainable activities have led to a direct increase in sales, especially outside of Japan, showing an incredible +63% rise in export sales value from January – October 2022, compared to the same period in 2019 prior to the pandemic.
Fukuju was the winner of The Renewable Energy Award of Drinks Business Green Award 2022 and got commendation of Best Green Launch 2022 as well.