Reducing environmental impact with Mizuno Green Grade

Aiming to make all of its products eco-friendly, in 2010 Mizuno established the Mizuno Green Grade, its own criteria for the certification of eco-friendly products. Mizuno strives to reduce the level of impact on the environment through its products. Mizuno Green Grade is a system for assessing products that takes into consideration the entire product lifecycle, from material procurement to disposal. Products are certified with a gold medal, silver medal, or bronze medal based on the number of the points awarded during assessment. To obtain the Mizuno Green Grade, products must achieve a specified score at each stage.

Mizuno established and introduced the Mizuno Green Grade to not only encourage the development of eco-friendly products, but also create an atmosphere in which the people involved in making Mizuno products concentrate their efforts on eco-friendly practices in their work. Mizuno manufactures many different sports-related accessories, as well as shoes and sportswear. The manufacturing of these products involves not only Mizuno employees, but material manufacturers, clients, and many other organizations and people. The products we make are sold in large quantities and have a significant impact on the environment. For these reasons, we need to give proper consideration to the environment in all of our products, and establish a system for evaluating the efforts of the people involved in manufacturing them. In doing these things, we pave the way to greater innovation in each product, and reduce the impact Mizuno as a whole has on the environment.

Mizuno Green Grade: Main assessment items and examples of certified products

Main assessment items

Material procurement Adoption of low environmental load materials
・Recycled plastic, organic cotton, plant-derived raw material, etc.
Production Reduction of material use
Production technology with a small environmental load
Transportation and sales Reduction of packaging material
Reduction of CO2 emissions during transportation
Use and disposal Wear that helps reduce energy consumption through air conditioning
Enhanced durability leading to a longer service life
To enhance comfort while exercising in a warm environment
Other Non-use of prohibited substances

Example of certified product: WAVE LIGHTNING Z5

This volleyball shoe features a sole that contains at least 50% natural rubber to reduce the use of synthetic rubber. Plant-derived materials contribute to reducing the use of petroleum, which is a limited resource, as well as the amount of CO2 emissions produced during incineration, lowering the overall environmental impact.

Material procurement

To reduce the use of synthetic rubber, selected materials consist of at least 50% plant derived natural rubber, with a low environmental impact.

Production

A pre-treatment method that reduces waste materials is used to produce components. To reduce waste materials, cutting dies for components are used in an effort to reduce the consumption of materials.

Transportation and sales

The shoebox is made of used paper that can be easily recycled.

Use and disposal

The sole is made of durable rubber material, ensuring that it lasts for a long time.

Percentage of sales of Mizuno Green Grade products

Sales of environmentally friendly products accounted for 92.0% of the total sales of the 2018 models. (Of the new products, 94.6% are recognized as Mizuno Green Grade.) 
We will continue our efforts to expand the development and sales of eco-friendly products.

Percentage of sold products with Mizuno Green Grade

Percentages of sold products and new products with Mizuno Green Grade

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Percentage of sold products 81.3%  83.2% 91.7% 91.9% 92.0%
Percentage of new products 99.4%  99.2% 98.3% 99.0% 94.6%
*All data on the percentages of new products is for spring/summer products.

Implementation of life cycle assessment

Mizuno uses a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to offer products and services with a low environmental impact by striving to understand the effect of the entire product life cycle (from procurement of raw materials to production, transportation, disposal and recycling).

In 2018, in one of our most important business fields, we used LCA to analyze WAVE RIDER 21, which is a typical running shoe, and identified the environmental impact and significant impact process in the product life cycle.

Among the environmental impacts, running shoes accounted for about 98% of the total in the five areas of “climate change,” “land use,” “resource consumption,” “air pollution” and “waste.” We found that the area with the largest environmental impact was “climate change,” and the assembly and disposal of upper materials were particularly affected. According to the analysis results, it is essential not only to change the materials but also to cooperate with the supplier, such as by implementing a change in the manufacturing process to reduce the environmental impacts.

From now on, we will consider measures to reduce the environmental impacts from a medium- and long-term perspective.

LCA for WAVE RIDER21

Environmental Impacts by process

Providing Uniforms to Enterprises

Mizuno supports a comfortable working environment in a variety of work settings such as construction, manufacturing, transportation, etc. by providing uniforms to enterprises that are derived from functions cultivated by experience in the sport arena. Recently, many companies have begun to view employee health control as a management issue, and they are strategically implementing health management from a management perspective. These companies have been increasing steadily in number, and they emphasize the safety and comfort of uniforms for employees. Furthermore, we support the efforts of companies regarding environmental friendliness by reducing their environmental footprint, such as using recycled polyester material to manufacture the companies’ uniforms and recycling the uniforms after disposal.
In FY 2018, we are supplying many companies with recycled polyester uniforms. Many of these uniforms are newly recycled into felt materials that are used for automobile interiors.

Future issues to be addressed

  • We will work to make all of our products eco-friendly and Mizuno Green Grade-certified by 2020.
  • We aim to continue the analysis survey using LCA and reducing the environmental impacts throughout the life cycle.