Kikkoman applies for DNR's Green Tier program

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Staff | October 9, 2013

WALWORTH – Kikkoman Foods Inc., in Walworth is already the world's leading producer of naturally brewed soy sauce. Now the company wants to show it is committed to the environment as well.

The public has an opportunity to comment on Kikkoman's application for Tier 1 of Wisconsin's Green Tier Program, which is “designed to encourage, recognize and reward companies that are committed to superior environmental performance,” according to a newsletter from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 

Green Tier encourages businesses to voluntarily collaborate with the DNR, and applicants must also have a good environmental record as well as implement an environmental management system.

Kikkoman became one of the first Japanese firms to establish a production plant in the United States. The plant is still located in Walworth.

“Kikkoman's commitment to continually improving the environmental performance of its facilities is deeply engrained in the company's history, culture and business practices,” said Kazuo Shimizu, president of Kikkoman Foods. “We have had a good relationship with the DNR since our founding here 40 years ago and we look forward to continuing to work with the state to meet our common environmental goals.”

Dan Miller, vice president of Kikkoman Foods, explained that the Walworth plant is the highest-producing naturally brewed soy sauce plant in the world and a significant portion of Kikkoman's global production of soy sauce. “This is Kikkoman's only plant in North America where retail soy sauce is produced,” said Miller. “That means every bottle of Kikkoman Soy Sauce sold in supermarkets across the United States and North America comes from our production lines in Walworth.”

In 2007, Kikkoman began replacing its original plant lighting systems with new environmentally superior lighting. As a result, the facility saved nearly 8,248 pounds of sulfur dioxide and nearly 2.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the environment.This reduction in pollution is equivalent to removing 131 cars from the road every year.
During the last three years, Kikkoman also changed the process for packaging its glass-bottled products. The new process eliminates the need for a bottle divider in each box and resulted in an annual reduction in 1.5 million pounds of cardboard.

“Minimizing our environmental impact is very important to us as a company,” said Miller. “Every waste stream that results from our natural brewing process is recycled or has a beneficial re-use.”

As an example, Miller noted that the solid soy cake material that remains after the pressing process is sold as animal feed, and the residual soy oil is refined into biodiesel.

The DNR will accept public comments on Kikkoman's Green Tier application through Nov. 8. Comments may be directed to Gregg Breese, Wisconsin DNR, CO/7, PO Box 7921, Madison WI 53703, by email to, or by calling (608) 267-0802.

Specific information on the application and the company can be found HERE

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