The Seven & i Group operates around 22,500 primarily retail stores throughout Japan and has grown to be used by approximately 25 million customers each day. In order to prevent the development of these businesses from increasing the negative impact on the environment, we are working with various stakeholders in the value chain to reduce CO2 emissions caused by energy consumption, reduce waste, and promote recycling, among other efforts.
In May 2019, we announced the "GREEN CHALLENGE 2050" Environmental Declaration, in which we establish Seven & i Group's ideal society as one that is decarbonized, has a circular economy, and is in harmony with nature. We established goals for 2030 and 2050 related to CO2 emission reduction, plastic countermeasures, food loss and waste / organic waste recycling countermeasures, and sustainable procurement. We believe that reducing waste of energy, resources, and raw materials to achieve our goals will lead to cost reductions.
Climate change is a serious threat that will affect future generations through rising sea levels, erratic weather, impacts on the agriculture and fishing industries, and more. According to the "Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5℃" released by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in 2018, the average temperature has risen by about 1.0℃ compared to before the Industrial Revolution, and it is said that CO2 emissions must be reduced to net zero by 2050 to keep the temperature rise at 1.5℃.
Throughout the world, one in nine people suffers from malnutrition, while in Japan, 25.5 million tons of food is wasted every year. Of this, the amount of food loss and waste - edible food that is discarded - is 6.12 million tons, which is equivalent to every person throwing away a bowl of rice every day.
Plastics, which are highly convenient, are used in various situations in our lives, and over 8.3 billion tons* of plastic have been produced since 1950. Meanwhile, 9% of plastic is recycled and 79% is sent to landfills or disposed of in nature. At this rate, it is estimated that 12 billion tons of plastic will be sent to landfills or disposed of in nature by 2050, and there are reports that the amount of plastic in the ocean exceeds the amount of fish*. The issue facing us is to build a recycling-oriented economic society that makes effective use of existing resources without waste.
In response to this material issue, the Environment Subcommittee (Subcommittee chair: Seven & i Holdings Executive Officer, Senior Officer of the Sustainability Development Department) is established under the CSR Management Committee, which is under the supervision of the Seven & i Holdings Director and Managing Executive Officer Head of the Corporate Development Division works together with the Group companies and related departments to promote initiatives.
The Environment Subcommittee comprises the supervisors of the Environment Departments in operating companies. Additionally, we have formed cross-Group Innovation Teams led by the leaders (executive officers and higher) from responsible departments at our main operating companies in order to achieve our "GREEN CHALLENGE 2050" Environmental Declaration and generate innovation throughout the Group.
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.
Through the Seven & i Holdings Environment Subcommittee and other meeting committees, Group companies share information among one another, and initiatives are being promoted to achieve the "GREEN CHALLENGE 2050" Environmental Declaration. Group operating companies are also creating management systems appropriate for their lines of business.
As we are aware that the issue of climate change is a threat to the sustainable development of society and companies, we are promoting initiatives with the aim of creating a decarbonized society. We are thoroughly managing risks and promoting energy saving and expanding the use of renewable energy to achieve the targets of the "GREEN CHALLENGE 2050" Environmental Declaration.
Seven & i Holdings is focusing on initiatives to reduce its own environmental impact as well as working together with its business partners in striving to reduce environmental impact across the entire supply chain.
As a company in which food accounts for 60% of its sales, we are working on food loss and waste reduction and promotion of organic waste recycling, which we have established as one of our key themes through "GREEN CHALLENGE 2050."
Toward an ideal society with a circular economy that makes effective use of resources, we will cooperate with our customers and business partners to reduce waste, promote collection of recycling resources at stores, and utilize recycled materials.
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.