Five Questions with Kirin’s President and CEO

Five Questions with Kirin’s President and CEO

From using Fukushima pears to developing a completely alcohol-free beer, here's how Kirin Company is living shared value.

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Yoshinori Isozaki, President and CEO Kirin Company, Ltd.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 9:30am

In the new series, Leading Shared Value: Personal Reflections from Global Practitioners, the Shared Value Initiative will speak with global leaders who are driving shared value strategy within their organization. Today we interview Yoshinori Isozaki, President and CEO Kirin Company, Ltd. Isozaki-san will speak at the Shared Value Leadership Summit: Investing in Prosperity, May 13-14 in New York.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview. Read the full interview at

What does the success of shared value look like at your company? Tell us your favorite shared value story or example.

Drunk driving is strictly prohibited by law in Japan. As a company providing alcoholic beverages, we at Kirin believe it is our responsibility to eradicate drunk driving. So we developed the world’s first non-alcoholic beverage that tastes like beer, KIRIN FREE, in 2009. Unlike other non-alcoholic beers in the world, KIRIN FREE is completely free of alcohol (0.00% ABV). Yet, due to our original brewing technology, we have succeeded in retaining the great taste of regular beer. Over the past 20 years, the number of annual accidental deaths in Japan caused by drunk driving decreased dramatically, around 63%. We feel that KIRIN FREE has certainly contributed to this remarkable result. The beverage can also be enjoyed on a daily basis for sports, outdoor activities, lunch meetings, etc. – times when a person might want to taste beer but not feel intoxicated. KIRIN FREE has created more drinking opportunities for people who choose not to drink in a new non-alcoholic market in Japan.

Read the full interview at  

Learn more about the Shared Value Leadership Summit and request an invite to attend. Early bird pricing ends March 3rd:


Meghan Ennes
Shared Value Initiative