Material Issue 3 Non‒Wasteful Usage of Products, Ingredients and Energy
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 and biodegradable materials.
Environmental-Friendly Seven Premium
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 environmental-friendly. So far, the Group has used environmentally considerate packaging such as recycled PET or forest thinning materials in 950 Seven Premium products. The Group is expanding its measures with the aim of using environmental-friendly containers and packaging for all Seven Premium products by 2030.
Change to Recyclable Packaging
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 cartons. 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 approximately 250 tons per year, the equivalent of the CO2 absorbed by approximately 18,000 cedar trees.
The identification mark also changed from the Paper Mark to the Paper Carton Mark
Use of Plant Based Materials
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 petroleum-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.
Product packaging made with plant-derived materials
Use of Forest Thinning Materials
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 also 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.
Products that use forest thinning materials
A SEVEN CAFÉ cup and the Forest Thinning Material Mark (printed on the reverse side)
Introduction of Recycled Materials
IY and York Mart are introducing recycled trays manufactured by suppliers that have received Eco Mark certification. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2018, approximately 800 types of recycled tray were introduced (a decrease of 19% year on year by weight). The introduction of recycled trays reduced annual CO2 emissions by approximately 2,500 tons.
Moreover, in packaging for lifestyle household goods such as Seven Premium Refillable Body Soap, the Group has adopted recycled materials such as those from PET bottles, some of which are recovered at Group stores.
Packaging made from recycled PET bottle material
Introduction of Biomass Materials
In the fiscal year ended February 29, 2016, SEJ replaced the original Salad Cup Container sold in the chilled cases of its stores with containers that use environmental-friendly 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 will also use bioplastics that make partial use of plant-based oil materials for the containers in its cut fruit and boxed lunches.
Example of Salad Cup Container using environmental-friendly PET
Environmental-Friendly SEVEN CAFÉ
Many customers support SEVEN CAFÉ, which is promoting environmental considerations in various ways. For example, forest thinning material is used for the outer sleeves for hot beverages. Cups for iced beverages use a compound material that includes recycled PET. We are also working to cut down our use of limited resources, for example by making cups lighter and thinner.
In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2018, we have developed an antibacterial deodorizer that uses recycled coffee grounds collected from some of our stores. The new product is being used for cleaning at 7-Eleven stores.