Material Issue 3 Non-Wasteful Usage of Products, Ingredients, and Energy
Approach to Material Issues
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.
Background to Material Issues
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.
Promotional Framework for Material Issues
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.
Contribution to SDGs
In addressing these material issues, Seven & i Holdings contributes to achieving goals 4, 7, 12, 13, and 15 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by reducing CO2 emissions and waste of food products, and so forth.
Seven & i Holdings’ Initiatives
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.
Initiatives to Realize a Low-Carbon Society
Seven & i Holdings has set a target of reducing CO2 emissions generated from store operations by 80% compared to FY2013 by FY2050, and is expanding energy conservation and the use of renewable energy, aiming at the realization of a low-carbon society with significantly reduced CO2 emissions, a major cause of global warming.
Reducing Environmental Impact in the Supply Chain
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.
Promoting Food Recycling
In light of the business characteristic where foods account for a large portion of sales, Seven & i Holdings is undertaking initiatives with the important themes of reduction and recycling of food waste, and has set a food recycling target of 100% by 2050.
Effective Use of Resources
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.
Introduction of Environmental-Friendly Packaging
Product containers and packaging play important roles including preserving products and displaying information about ingredients, but after product use, these items become waste. Seven & i Holdings is working to reduce the environmental impact of containers and packaging by introducing containers and packaging made from recycled materials or biodegradable materials.
Internal and External Communication
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.