Seven & i Holdings is introducing eco-friendly packaging made using materials that have a low environmental impact, such as recycled materials or biodegradable materials.
With its private brand Seven Premium, the Group seeks to promote the values of “taste,” “quality,” and “safety and reliability,” while at the same time developing products that are environmentally-friendly. So far, the Group has used environmentally considerate packaging such as recycled PET or forest thinning materials in 150 Seven Premium products. In the fiscal year ending February 28, 2018, the Group aims to introduce eco-friendly packaging for 740 products, mainly through the use of plant-based ink, expanding the initiative to all products by the end of the fiscal year ending February 29, 2020.
In July 2015, we changed the paper cartons used for Seven Premium alcohol products from the previous aluminum carton material to a non-aluminum carton material. This change enables the cartons to be recycled as paper. Moreover, the volume of CO2 emissions per carton from the raw material procurement and manufacturing process is around 12% lower compared with the aluminum cartons. Furthermore, the CO2 reduction effect from this initiative is projected to be 170 tons per year, the equivalent of the CO2 absorbed by approximately 12,000 cedar trees.
In April 2016, SEJ introduced rice ink for printing the packaging of rice balls sold at its stores. Rice ink is made from rice bran oil, a non-edible part of the plant extracted from rice bran. This ink reduces the company's annual CO2 emissions by around 60 tons compared with conventional oil-based inks and is therefore expected to help reduce environmental impact. Moreover, the packaging is also contributing to our efforts to promote local production for local consumption by using domestically produced rice bran oil, which is one of the raw materials.
In December 2016, SEJ changed to plant-based packaging film and ink for its original bakery products. Compared with the previous oil-based packaging, this is expected to reduce the company’s annual CO2 emissions by approximately 108 tons.
The Group also started using plant-based ink for all of its Seven Premium brand bakery products in May 2017 and plans to use the ink more extensively going forward.
About Rice Ink
Certain Seven Premium cup soups and yoghurt drinks have containers made with Seven Forest thinning materials. Japan has a large number of unmaintained man-made forests that have been left unattended. With many such forests currently not fulfilling their potential as carbon sinks, use of forest thinning materials can contribute to the creation of healthy forests and prevention of global warming.
Forest thinning materials are being phased in for use in the outer sleeve section of the hot cups used for SEVEN CAFÉ, which is sold mainly at 7-Eleven stores throughout Japan.
IY is introducing recycled trays. In the fiscal year ended February 29, 2016, approximately 600 types of recycled tray were introduced (an increase of 10% year on year by weight). The introduction of recycled trays reduced annual CO2 emissions by approximately 2,928 tons.
Moreover, in packaging for lifestyle household goods such as Seven Premium Refillable Body Soap, the Group has adopted recycled materials such as PET bottles, some of which are recovered at Group stores.
In the fiscal year ended February 29, 2016, SEJ is replaceding the original Salad Cup Container sold in the chilled cases of its stores with containers that use environmental PET made from recycled or biomass PET rather than oil-based PET. The CO2 emission reduction resulting from the change for that fiscal year was 1,790 tons. IY also uses bioplastics that make partial use of plant-based oil materials for the containers in its cut fruit and boxed lunches.
The Seven & i Group private brand Seven Premium Select Fresh Eggs package label includes CO2-adsorbing material. By using this CO2 adsorbent, consisting of nanovesicle capsules which capture the carbon emitted during combustion as ash, CO2 emissions can be reduced by around 20% compared with ordinary labels.