About 90% of the Seven & i Group's CO2 emissions are attributable to the use of energy for equipment. We are therefore promoting the introduction of energy-saving equipment. We are also taking steps to relieve various environmental impacts associated with store operations.
Seven & i Holdings aims to reduce the environmental impact in every process of its operations from raw material procurement to manufacturing, distribution, sales, and disposal, by implementing an environmental management system. To this end, we are promoting acquisition of the international standard ISO 14001 and we conduct annual internal audits. At Sogo & Seibu, we became the first in the department store sector to acquire ISO 14001 certification in 1999, and this has been maintained continuously at all business sites. Furthermore, SEJ acquired the certification at the end of February 2014 for its head office and its offices and directly managed stores within the Greater Tokyo Area. In February 2015, Seven & i Food Systems acquired the certification along with IY Foods. The Group continues its efforts to reduce environmental impact by using the management system.
About 90% of CO2 emitted by Seven & i Holdings Group companies is attributable to the use of energy for in-store lighting, store signboards, and air conditioning, which are all indispensable for the operation of its stores. Therefore, we aim not only to control our environmental impact increase proportionately to the increase in store numbers and size, and the enhancement of products and services, but to reduce electricity service charges by installing energy reducing equipment such as LED illumination and solar panels when we open new stores or refurbish existing ones.
For example, at 7-Eleven stores, we are promoting environmentally friendly store creation by converting all types of lighting to LED, including store signage, sales area lighting, and sign poles. In 2014, we introduced new specification LED lighting that can further reduce electricity usage by approximately 50%. In addition, we have made progress with installing solar panels, which are now installed at 7,571 stores (as of February 29, 2016).
At IY as well, to reduce the load on the environment from store operations, LED lighting has been installed at almost all stores, and solar panels have been installed at 14 stores (as of February 29, 2016).
Total Energy Usage
Electricity consumption in store operations
At Seven & i Holdings stores, devices using CFCs are replaced with ones using CFC alternatives during remodeling and so forth. Moreover, in compliance with the Act on the Protection of the Ozone Layer Through the Control of Specified Substances and Other Measures, which was implemented in April 2015, devices undergo regular inspections and leakage assessments required by the government. Devices using CFCs are disposed of by professional companies in compliance with the law, and stores receive collection certificates from these contractors as proof of appropriate disposal.
Substitute CFCs include HCFC (hydro chlorofluorocarbon), production of which is to be banned in advanced countries by 2020. As this will require a changeover to another type of substitute, we also plan to further promote the introduction of non-CFC devices in freezing and refrigeration devices used at our stores. At SEJ, refrigeration devices that utilize CO2 refrigerants have been introduced at 120 stores (as of April 30, 2016), and we are trialing them at 3 IY stores.
At Seven & i Holdings stores, in addition to the daily efforts made to conserve water, water-conserving faucets and energy-saving flushing toilets are also being introduced. Furthermore, through utilizing rainwater, etc., we are working to reduce the volumes of water used.
Water Usage Resulting from Store Operations
SEJ has signed a comprehensive agreement with Iwatani Corporation regarding the installation of hydrogen stations together with convenience stores. The companies opened two stores with hydrogen stations in Ikegami, Ota-ku, Tokyo Metropolis and Kariya City, Aichi Prefecture in February 2016.
Looking ahead, we will install pure hydrogen fuel cells at the stores with hydrogen stations and conduct a trial test on the environmental impact reduction to verify the potential for the use of fuel cells in retail stores. Moreover, the project also aims to promote the creation of "close-by, convenient stores" that are closely tied to local communities, while creating sites that can serve as social infrastructure able to provide products, services, and clean energy at a single point.
SEJ will continue actively striving to make total energy savings while creating environmentally friendly stores through "energy saving, energy creation, and energy storage."
Seven & i Holdings and NEC Corporation have installed 2,700 chargers for electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHV) in parking lots at 45 stores in Japan, including IY, Ario, and Sogo and Seibu department stores to provide a fee-based charging service as of August 31, 2016.
This project is the largest scale introduction of EV and PHV chargers ever attempted in Japan. The initiative aims to increase the convenience of the commercial facilities and establish a pattern for using EVs and PHVs of charging them while shopping, as well as to contribute to the realization of a low-carbon society by promoting the spread of environmentally friendly, next-generation cars.
The charging service is a commercial service and will accept payment with a charging card issued by Nippon Charge Service LLC, a joint venture established by four Japanese automakers, as well as credit cards.