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Sanwa Kako to focus on environmental initiatives

Article - May 30, 2023

High-mix-low-volume production and flexibility are key strengths Sanwa utilizes to add value to their products.

“If companies elsewhere are interested in our technology, we see potential in providing it in a joint venture.”

Norio Yoshida, President, SANWA KAKO CO., LTD.

One of the first companies to start manufacturing polyethylene foam, Sanwa Kako was established in 1965 and can call on more than a half century of industry experience.

Among its few thousand different products, perhaps the most famous is SUNPELCA, a chemically cross-linked extra thick cell foam that has many applications in the civil engineering, construction and IT industries.

However, the chemical sector is changing, and with the Japanese government aiming for total carbon neutrality by 2050, company President Norio Yoshida is looking at ways to reduce the burden his company places on the environment.

“Our goal,” he states, “is a reduction of oil used in production by 80%.” Meanwhile, the company is taking several additional steps. “The first is the thermal recycling of foam that goes to waste, creating a more sustainable energy cycle,” Mr. Yoshida continues. “At the same time we are trying to introduce the 3Rs (Reand we have created recycled resin pellets, with these pellets making up 50% of 3R products. ”

Looking to the future, Sanwa Kako sees high growth potential in both the automotive industry and disaster prevention, and is hoping to build on its existing presence in Vietnam by moving into neighboring countries such as Thailand and Malaysia.     

As for Mr. Yoshida, his goals are a little closer to home. “Yearly profit is important, of course, but equally important is raising the next generation so that we can create valuable human resources and a base for sustainable company operations.”