Since its founding, KIMICA has been utilizing cast seaweed that would otherwise decay, to produce natural dietary fiber “Alginate". This alginate business has significantly improved the living standards of Chilean fishermen, and the seaweed residues left after extracting alginate are further utilized as fertilizers. For 80 years, KIMICA’s business model has successfully balanced economic, environmental, and social values, earning recognition from the Japanese government as an "international role model" and receiving high praise internationally.
Nominated for the Earthshot Prize
The most prestigious environmental award in history
Sponsored by The Royal Foundation
of the United Kingdom and Prince William
The Earthshot Prize was designed to find and grow the solutions that will repair our planet this decade. It sets five goals to be achieved by 2030 and recognizes and rewards the best solutions for each goal.
“Kimica has pioneered a sustainable model for alginate extraction ever since the 1980s. In a world of greenwashing and exploitation, it gives us hope that a corporation of this scale has been working hard for decades to make all ends eco-friendly, from utilization of washed up seaweed, energy efficient extraction technique, chemical free product/residue, and use of residue as fertilizer in local area. Not just the environment but the fairtrade employment model they have created and the contribution to the local areas in Chile have been tremendous and is a true example of a sustainable business model. “ ーPDIE Group, official nominator of Earthshot Prize
SDGs Partnership Award of JAPAN SDGs Award
Sponsored by the Government of Japan
The award system was established by the SDGs Promotion Headquarters (headed by the Prime Minister, with the Deputy Head being the Chief Cabinet Secretary and the Minister for Foreign Affairs) to recognize companies and organizations that demonstrate outstanding efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The recipients are selected based on recommendations from the SDGs Promotion Roundtable Conference, which brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including NGOs, NPOs, experts, the private sector, and international organizations.
"This is the result of diverse individuals pooling their wisdom and taking action, and it has left a deep impression. Further efforts are necessary to create a new society post-COVID-19, supported by a positive cycle between the economy and the environment." -Comment from former Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga
"They have not only practiced solving social issues through their primary business activities but also grown into a world-leading company in their industry, demonstrating the harmonization of environmental, social, and economic values. Their achievements in contributing to SDGs through their primary business activities while maintaining competitiveness as a private enterprise make them an international role model." - Comment from SDGs Promotion Roundtable Conference
Minister of the Environment Award
Grand Prize of Good Life Award
Sponsored by Ministry of the Environment
The recognition system was established by the Ministry of the Environment in order to commend and raise awareness of initiatives that embody the concept of a regional symbiotic recycling society advocated by the ministry. Through this system, the Ministry of the Environment aims to create opportunities for individuals to reflect on their current lifestyles by recognizing efforts that contribute to "living well for the environment and society" and embodying the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) that improve society. The ultimate goal is to generate lifestyle innovations.
“KIMICA is truly practicing initiatives that transform the blessings of nature into blessings for humanity in a manner consistent with the laws of nature on a global scale. This is an extremely insightful case that serves as a valuable reference for the Ministry of the Environment in accelerating global efforts.“ - Comment from Tokutaro Nakai, Vice Minister of the Ministry of the Environment (2021)
Grand Prize and Minister of the Environment Award
of the 22nd Green Purchasing Award
Sponsored by Green Purchasing Network, Endorsed by the Ministry of the Environment/the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry/the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries/the Consumer Affairs Agency
The system recognizes and commends organizations that promote the dissemination and expansion of "green purchasing," which prioritizes the procurement of environmentally and socially responsible products and services from businesses committed to reducing environmental impact and fulfilling social responsibilities. The Green Purchasing Network selects and honors initiatives that achieve decarbonization, SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), and a circular economy through sustainable procurement practices.
"The unique aspect of this approach is based on a clear vision, which includes the production method of alginate that takes into account ecosystem and climatic conditions, as well as efforts aimed at alleviating poverty and improving the lives of fishermen in Chile. These efforts have had a positive impact on the global supply chain and deserve great appreciation for the consistent results achieved over the years. By utilizing cast seaweed that does not interfere with the seaweed ecosystem and further converting its residues into fertilizers, this can be described as a business model that operates within the natural cycle." - Comment from Green Purchasing Network Evaluation Committee
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation x Resilience Award
Sponsored by the Non-Profit Organization Disaster Risk Reduction Sustainable Technology Association
The award system established by the Non-Profit Organization Disaster Risk Reduction Sustainable Technology Association to recognize and honor efforts in disaster risk reduction and resilience towards achieving a safer, more secure, and truly sustainable society.
In order to fulfill its responsibility of stable supply as the sole manufacturer of alginates, KIMICA expanded its operations to Chile in the 1980s. KIMICA has been actively engaged in seaweed resource conservation and supply chain strengthening in collaboration with local fishermen. These efforts have been comprehensively and objectively recognized for their resilience, sustainability, and contribution to the SDGs, leading to the award.
The 30th Food Safety, Security
and Environmental Contribution Award
Sponsored by Japan Food Journal Co., Ltd., endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of the Environment.
An award system that recognizes companies that grasp their own significance in response to societal demands, clarify their social responsibilities, and pursue business operations with a focus on sustainable development goals (SDGs). The system established by the Japan Food Journal selects and honors companies that have built a compliance framework, established information sharing systems with stakeholders, and demonstrated outstanding activities in safety, security, environmental preservation, and social contribution.
The sustainable business models, efforts for food safety and security, and initiatives for work style reform during the COVID-19 pandemic were highly praised by the selection committee, chaired by Professor Akikuni Ushikubo, Professor Emeritus at Tokyo University of Agriculture, and designated as the distinguished award-winning company.
Sustainable Selection 3 Stars
by Sustainable Business Magazine “Alterna”
The sustainable business magazine "Alterna" recommends and introduces sustainable products, services, and brands as part of its "Sustainable Selection." The recommended levels are divided into three stages: one star, two stars, and the highest level of three stars. The three-star rating undergoes a rigorous evaluation and certification process by an external panel of experts, chaired by Professor Shinichi Takemura from Kyoto University of Art and Design.
KIMICA's commitment to actively improving the living standards of Chilean fishermen, in addition to the inherent sustainability of the material itself, called "alginate," which is made from cast seaweed with minimal use of electricity, heat sources, water resources, and chemical substances, has been highly valued. This recognition has led us to achieve the highest level of three-star certification.
Grand Prize of the Courageous Management Award
Sponsored by the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Courageous Business Award recognizes small and medium-sized enterprises or groups that demonstrate "courageous challenges" by pursuing their ideals without being bound by past limitations and by overcoming significant barriers. The Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the organizer of this award, aims to inspire courage in future enterprises and contribute to the revitalization of the economy through this recognition.
Since its establishment in 1941, the company has focused solely on the production of alginates. Despite facing challenges such as difficulties in sourcing raw materials and intensifying competition, the company demonstrated courageous and bold initiatives. During a time when Japanese companies were just beginning to expand overseas, they established a factory in Chile, a major source of raw materials in the form of seaweed, and built a production system. This courageous endeavor to establish a solid business foundation was highly praised and earned KIMICA the highest honor, the Grand Prize.
TOKYO Telework Award Promotion Prize
Sponsored by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Tokyo Metropolitan Government, as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, has established a recognition system to commend companies that engage in advanced and exemplary telework activities, known as the "Telework Tokyo Rules." The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, as the organizer, aims to increase the number of companies that adopt and implement telework as a strategic business practice by referring to the innovative initiatives of the awarded companies.
KIMICA was recognized for being one of the first companies in Japan to swiftly implement telework in March 2020, at the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. They successfully achieved a balance between preventing the spread of infection and maintaining economic activities by improving operational efficiency, exploring new customer opportunities, and enhancing employee satisfaction. Their achievements led to their well-deserved recognition and award.
Best Exhibitor of ifia/HFE JAPAN 2022
Sponsored by Food Chemical Newspaper
This award is presented to the company with the most outstanding product capabilities and technical expertise among the exhibitors at the International Food Ingredients/Additives Exhibition (ifia JAPAN). The recipient is determined through a combination of visitor voting and the evaluation of the selection committee.
KIMICA was selected as the most outstanding in terms of product capabilities and technical expertise among the exhibitors based on three themes: proposals for addressing new needs such as plant-based foods, application methods for bread and noodles, and fundamental properties of sodium alginate. They effectively showcased these themes in an easily understandable manner. Additionally, they set up an introduction corner highlighting their efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Their presentation of applications for emerging needs, which have seen increasing demand in recent years, garnered attention and recognition. As a result, they were chosen as the company with the greatest product capabilities and technical expertise among the exhibiting companies.