Seven & i Holdings operates around 20,000 primarily retail stores throughout Japan, and deals with numerous products. We believe that reducing the energy consumption and waste material generated by the Group's business activities will make a significant contribution toward realizing a sustainable society.
At the same time, such efforts are also of great value to the Seven & i Holdings Group as they will also help to reduce waste, product and raw material costs, together with energy costs. We have therefore positioned elimination of waste in products, raw materials, and energy throughout the entire value chain one of our most material issues, and we are taking measures to address it.
Climate change is a global problem. Rising sea levels, erratic weather, and damage to primary industries, etc., pose serious threats to future generations. An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states that global warming is "beyond doubt", and if current trends continue, the worst case is that temperatures will rise by almost 2°C by 2050, with CO2 emissions considered to be the major cause.
In 2014, the global amount of food aid reached approximately 3.2 million tons. The increase in the global population and abnormal weather have given rise to food shortages with one in nine people now estimated to suffer from chronic hunger. By comparison, over 17 million tons of food is wasted every year in Japan. Of this, 6.32 million tons is food loss—food that is likely to be still edible, such as half-eaten food or food that has passed its expiry date.
The CSR Management Committee, led by the Seven and i Holdings Director and Executive Officer and senior officer in charge of the CSR Department, and its subordinate Environment Subcommittee, in collaboration with the Group companies and the respective divisions promote initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions and make effective use of limited resources through business activities.
In addressing these material issues, Seven & i Holdings contributes to achieving goals 7, 12, and 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by reducing CO2 emissions and waste of food products and so forth.
We have set CO2 emissions reduction targets, along with taking appropriate actions to monitor CO2 emissions, such as undergoing third-party CO2 emissions audits, in order to correctly assess and verify the initiatives taken to reduce environmental impact.
We are working to reduce various environmental impacts pertaining to store operations, including installing energy-saving equipment.
We are promoting a range of measures together with suppliers, including energy conservation at factories and the introduction of eco-friendly vehicles.
We have established "improving food recycling rates" as an important theme and are promoting related initiatives.
We are reducing waste from packaging materials used for supplying products by taking steps such as promoting recycling and simplifying packaging.
We are developing and selling eco-conscious products made using recycled materials and materials with a low environmental impact.
We are working to co-exist in harmony with the global environment and local communities by encouraging every employee to be aware of our social responsibilities as a corporate citizen.