The Seven & i Group 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 Group as they will additionally 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.
Environmental issues are a global concern. .Manifestations of climate change, such as rising sea levels, erratic weather, and damage to primary industries, 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 2°C or more 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.
In response to this material issue, the CSR Management Committee, led by the president, and its subordinate Environmental Subcommittee, work together with the Group companies and related departments to promote initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions and make effective use of limited resources through business activities. These activities are supervised by the Seven and i Holdings executive officer in charge of Corporate Communication.
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.
In addition to establishing a system of environmental management, Seven & i Holdings is striving to attain a proper grasp of its environmental impact through third-party audits of CO2 emissions.
Seven & i Holdings has set CO2 emissions reduction targets and is promoting energy conservation initiatives, aiming at the realization of a low-carbon society with significantly reduced CO2 emissions, which are a major cause of global warming.
Seven & i Holdings is focusing on initiatives to reduce its own environmental impact as well as working together with its business partners to reduce environmental impact across the entire supply chain.
Seven & i Holdings is promoting the initiatives with the important theme of reduction and recycling of food waste.
Seven & i Holdings is not only working to reduce waste emissions associated with store operations, but is also working with cooperation from customers and business partners to reduce container and packaging materials used for supplying products, and to reduce and recycle container and packaging materials after customers have used them.
Seven & i Holdings is introducing eco-friendly product containers and packaging that use recycled materials or materials that have a low environmental impact, such as biodegradable materials.
Seven & i Holdings is working to raise the awareness of Group employees by providing them with environmental education and other initiatives. At the same time, it is emphasizing communication with customers, external environmental organizations and so forth.