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Heisen Yoko: The global chemicals trader with sustainability in its sights

Article - March 7, 2023

An expert distributor of raw materials for rubber, polyurethane and plastics, Heisn Yoko is targeting SDGs as it expands its product portfolio.


“We want to provide what is required by each company with the best of our capabilities as a trading firm.”

Denjiro Tobari, President, Heisen Yoko Co., Ltd.

Heisen Yoko is a major Japanese trading company that specializes in distributing chemicals used to manufacture rubber, polyurethane and plastics. An importer and exporter with over a century of experience, the firm works as a sales agent for partner companies worldwide.

“We were founded in 1920 and first started importing chemicals for rubber from Bayer in Germany,” President Denjiro Tobari says. “At that time, Japanese companies were using inorganic chemicals to make rubber, and it took hours. However, with Bayer’s organic chemical, it only took five or ten minutes – so many companies started to shift to it, and we were the supplier.”

Heisen Yoko – which supplies chemicals used by industries including electronics, automobile manufacturing, and construction – also sells products such as rubber-testing equipment and molding-simulation software by SIGMA Engineering.

What’s more, the company has a 100%-owned manufacturing subsidiary, H&K, which produces polyurethane materials.

As is typical in Japan, a key factor in Heisen Yoko’s success is its devotion to the principle of kaizen, or continuous improvement. “Japanese companies are always required to go through kaizen – they’re reliable and provide the best quality every time,” Mr. Tobari explains.

Heisen Yoko is also dedicated to achieving a greener future, with the company now operating an SDG-focused business that sells environmental equipment. For example, it is the Japanese distributor of the JELLYFISHBOT, a marine-depollution drone created by IADYS, a French robotics company.

Heisen Yoko’s environmental commitment is illustrative of its socially-conscious philosophy – one that Mr. Tobari aims to pass on to the firm’s next generation of managers. “Our principles are: goodness to the company; goodness to our customers and business partners; and goodness to society,” he says.