Material Issue 3 Realize decarbonization, circular economy, and society in harmony with nature, through environmental efforts

Sustainable Procurement of Raw Materials

Seven & i Group has established the Sustainable Procurement Policy that includes traceability, conservation of biodiversity, response to climate change issues, and consideration of human rights, and we have promoted initiatives with the aim of co-existing with nature as set forth in the GREEN CHALLENGE 2050 Environmental Declaration. In addition, in the GREEN CHALLENGE 2050, it is stipulated that we make 50% of food ingredients used in our original products (including Seven Premium) sustainable by 2030, and 100% by 2050.

  • SDGs2 ZERO HUNGER
  • SDGs14 LIFE BELOW WATER

 Approach to Marine Product Procurement

Seven & i Group is working to sell products for which sustainability is guaranteed, such as those certified by the MSC*, to pass on the rich blessings of the sea to future generations. Further, to fulfill our responsibility as a retail business that connects producers and customers, we are also focusing on conveying the value of these products and the producers’ desires to customers through our stores and websites.

  • MSC:Marine Stewardship Council

    An organization that operates and manages a system for certifying sustainable and environmentally friendly fishing practices.

    https://www.msc.org/en-us/

Sales of Products Certified by the MSC

Since October 2018, in the marine products under Seven & i Group’s Seven Premium private brand, 8 cod roe products and 11 karashimentaiko (salted cod roe with red pepper) products (as of the end of February 2021) certified by MSC have been sold at the stores of Seven & i Group. These are natural marine products obtained through fishing practices that are friendly to marine resources and the marine environment and have passed management system inspection even for processing and distribution. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2021, MSC certified products accounted for 10% of Seven Premium marine products.

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MSC-certified marine products

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MSC label

Sales of Products Certified by the ASC

At Ito-Yokado, York-Benimaru, and York, 5 products with ASC certification are being sold as marine products of the Group's private Seven Premium brand (as of the end of February 2021). ASC certification is conferred upon aquaculture companies that have shown consideration of their responsibilities to the environment and society. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2021, ASC certified products accounted for 1.4% of Seven Premium marine products.

  • ASC: Aquaculture Stewardship Council

    An organization that administers and maintains an international certification system related to aquaculture.

    https://www.asc-aqua.org/

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Marine products with ASC certification

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ASC label

Sales of Products Certified by MEL

Ito-Yokado is the first major Japanese retailer to obtain MEL certification, a certification system for eco-friendly catching and cultivation of marine products. From April 2020, four original “Fresh Fish with Traceability” products—yellowtail, amberjack, red sea bream, and flatfish—were given the MEL mark. With the further certification given to wakame seaweed and ginzake salmon, certified products of a total of six varieties of fish are now being sold at 123 Ito-Yokado stores nationwide as of the end of February 2021. Further, to convey the value of these certified products to customers, some stores have installed point-of-purchase ads in fish sections that explain the certifications.

Further, to convey the value of these certified products to customers, some stores have installed point-of-purchase ads in fish sections that explain the certifications.

  • MEL: Marine Eco-Label Japan

    This marine product eco-label certifies fisheries and aquaculture producers that are actively managing fishery resources with consideration for their sustainable use and conservation of the environment and ecosystems, as well as businesses that process and distribute marine products from such producers.

    https://www.melj.jp/

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Marine products with MEL certification

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Marine products with MEL certification

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Point-of-purchase ad that explains marine product certifications

Sales of Alaska Seafood Products

Seven & i Group stores actively sell and convey to customers the quality of Alaska Seafood products, which are sourced through environmentally friendly fishing practices. Alaska Seafood is all-natural marine products, and strictly manages resources and fisheries in the region of product origin of Alaska, to ensure that no damage results to the ecosystems which conserve the natural marine resource.

In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2021, Sogo & Seibu conducted in-store Alaska Seafood promotions at 8 stores to inform customers about the appeal of Alaska Seafood. Alaska Seafood products were also promoted as ochugen (summer gifts) and oseibo (winter gifts). At Ito-Yokado, sablefish, red salmon, and benisujiko (salted salmon roe) are sold at food sections.

Approach to Agricultural Product Procurement

Seven & i Group is promoting the acquisition of GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) certification for safe farm and aptitude management to promote the procurement of sustainable agricultural products. We also procure certified ingredients, such as those produced with reduced use of pesticide and those made from organic and fair trade ingredients.

Promotion of GAP Certification Acquisition/Sales of Reduced-pesticide Products

At Ito-Yokado’s Seven Farms, which are engaged in recycling-oriented agricultural operations, and under Ito-Yokado’s original Fresh Vegetables with Traceability and Fresh Fruits with Traceability products, Ito-Yokado aims to ensure safe agricultural produce, correct farm management, and so forth. Therefore, Ito-Yokado has recommended the acquisition of Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) certification.

GAP is an agricultural production management method recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. It provides a set of standards to be followed in daily farm management to increase food safety and ensure environmental conservation. The minimum necessary levels of agricultural chemicals are used as GAP includes initiatives relating to food safety and environmental conservation.

Moreover, Ito-Yokado and York-Benimaru sell original products that use fewer agrichemicals than the values regulated by law. Examples include the original Fresh Vegetables with Traceability and Fresh Fruits with Traceability products sold at Ito-Yokado. They are grown with fewer agrichemicals and assure traceability of the growing region and growing history. Sales of these products in the fiscal year ended February 28, 2021 were approximately \24.6 billion.

The methods and frequency of use of agricultural chemicals vary by region and crop. The Fresh Vegetables with Traceability category and certain other products comprise foods grown with the goal of applying agrichemicals with half or lower of the usual frequency of each growing area (the average number of applications for each crop stipulated by local government organizations and other public bodies).

Number of GAP-certified※1 personnel and sales of Fresh Vegetables with Traceability and Fresh Fruits with Traceability

Ito-Yokado & York-Benimaru

Number of GAP-certified※1 personnel

FY2019

FY2020

Ito-Yokado 200※2 200※2
York-Benimaru 87

※1 Including JGAP and other GAP certifications

※2 Approximate number

Ito-Yokado

Sales of Fresh Vegetables with Traceability and Fresh Fruits with Traceability (100 million yen)

FY2018

FY2019

FY2020

226 228 246

※Approximate number

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Fresh Vegetables with Traceability (traceable fresh vegetables with a face of the producer)

Five Promises of Fresh Vegetables with Traceability and Fresh Fruits with Traceability

  1. These lines deal with only domestically grown agricultural products.
  2. Producers who properly grow vegetables on suitable land are carefully selected from all over Japan.
  3. Products are delivered to customers under the name of each individual producer.
  4. Discerning techniques and personalities are introduced on the website and on sales floors.
  5. Agrichemical reduction targets are set and continuous checks are performed on agrichemicals and radioactive materials..

GAP Initiatives (Excerpt)

Food safety (create and implement rules to maintain food safety)

  • Measures for preventing and reducing pollution caused by heavy metals and mycotoxins derived from the environment
  • Proper storage and use of pesticides, personal health and hygiene management of workers
  • Safe storage and handling of agricultural machinery, etc.
  • Prevention of foreign matter intrusion, storage methods for harvested crops, etc.

Environmental conservation (create and implement rules to protect the safety of farms and surrounding environment)

  • Prevention of environmental contamination due to pesticides
  • Appropriate soil management
  • Proper waste/wastewater treatment methods
  • Cutting down on unnecessary and inefficient energy consumption
  • Creation of measures to mitigate damage due to harmful birds and wildlife, etc.

Sale of Organic JAS-certified Foods

Under Seven & i Group's Seven Premium private brand, we sell organic JAS-certified products such as bamboo shoots and other agricultural products, as well as coffee and other processed foods. Ito-Yokado also sells organic JAS-certified products as original Fresh Vegetables with Traceability products.

Sale of Certified International Fair Trade Products

Under Seven & i Group's Seven Premium private brand, we sell coffee beans, cacao and other products that have acquired International Fair Trade Certification, a system that supports the sustainability and diets of producers in developing countries.

Palm Oil Procurement

Palm oil is widely used in various processed foods as well as in household goods such as detergents, but problems have been indicated, such as destruction of the environment in countries where it is produced and the use of child labor and forced labor on farms. Seven & i Group joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in January 2020 and is considering initiatives toward the use of sustainable palm oil.

Procurement of Organic Cotton

In response to growing interest in products that are safe, secure, and environmentally friendly, Seven & i Group has promoted the procurement of organic cotton for underwear and bedding as part of its sustainable procurement efforts. Starting February 2020, to convey the value of organic cotton to customers in an easy-to-understand manner, we started selling products with a common symbol displayed that satisfy certain conditions, such as being internationally certified through the American Organic Content Standard (OCS) or Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

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Organic cotton symbol 1

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Organic cotton symbol 2

Sale of Organic Cotton Products

In December 2015, Seven & i Group started selling women’s 100% Organic Cotton Innerwear products that have cleared strict organic production standards for the first time under the Seven Premium private brand. These products are sold at 118 Ito-Yokado stores throughout Japan (as of the end of February 2021) and the Group's integrated portal website, omni7. Only organic cotton that meets U.S. Organic Content Standards (OCS) is used as a raw material in these products.

We also sell bedding, such as quilt covers and pillowcases, and towels made of organic cotton. 

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Seven Premium Lifestyle 100% Organic Cotton Innerwear

Sale of Products Using Recycled Fibers

Seven & i Group is making efforts to develop and sell products using recycled materials to facilitate procurement which is sustainable and conscious of the global environment.

Sale of Products Using Recycled Polyester

Ito-Yokado began to sell casual wear made with the recycled polyester “RENU®,” created by recovering and recycling previously discarded garments and clothing fabrics. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2021, we carried items, including women’s and men’s t-shirts, shirts, and lower body garments for purchase at 110 stores. Moving forward, we are aiming for sales for FY2021 of approximately \800 million and 370,000 units under a plan to further expand our range.

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Sale of Eco-Friendly Umbrellas

“Eco-friendly Revolving Umbrellas (Men’s),” a part of the Seven Premium range, the private brand of Seven & i Group, are sold at 106 Ito-Yokado store nationwide (as of the end of June 2021) as well as the Group's integrated portal website, omni7. This product is an eco-friendly umbrella with a water-repellent finish which does not use fluorine, made using recycled polyester in the umbrella fabric. It is designed to be wind-resistant to revolve and adjust to winds, giving it excellent durability.

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Men’s “Seven Premium Lifestyle”

Eco-friendly revolving umbrella

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Women’s “Seven Premium Lifestyle”

Eco-friendly all-weather umbrella

Animal Products Procurement

Ito-Yokado's original product "Fresh Meat with Traceability" is designed to deliver safe and reliable products to customers. In cooperation with the producers, Ito-Yokado is committed to providing quality rearing environments, environmentally-friendly feeding, minimizing the use of antibiotics, hormones, and other pharmaceuticals; keeping all the administration record is mandatory.

For the product, our procurement officers/merchandisers check with producers at the production sites to ensure that they are applying appropriate feeding and rearing management. Before the products are sold, various tests are conducted, including agricultural chemical residue tests, as well as soil, feed, and water quality tests, and third-party certification is obtained.

Ito-Yokado also promotes the acquisition of JGAP (livestock) certification in the production area of "Fresh Meat with Traceability." JGAP (Livestock) audit standard consists of 113 items that are important for sustainable farm management, including food safety, considerations for the health of animals (animal hygiene) and a comfortable environment for raising the animals (animal welfare), measures for ensuring the safety of workers, and environmental protection.

Five Promises of Fresh Meat with Traceability

  • These lines deal with only domestically grown animal products.
  • Producers who focus on quality feed and rearing environments are carefully selected from all over Japan. 
  • Products are delivered to customers under the name of each individual producer.
  • Discerning techniques and personalities are introduced on the website and on sales floors.
  • Antibiotics are used as little as possible, and substances and radioactive materials are checked continuously.

Seven initiatives for the Sustainability of Agriculture (GAP)

  • Trustworthy Farm Management
  • Securing Food Safety
  • Ensuring Environmental Protection
  • Securing Worker Safety
  • Workers’ Human Rights and Welfare
  • Ensuring Animal Hygiene
  • Animal Welfare considerations

*Animal welfare: Rearing of an animal in consideration of its comfort

(Source: Control Points and Compliance Criteria (for Farms) Livestock and Livestock Products 2017)

One of the criteria for JGAP certification is to take measures based on the "Guidelines for Animal Feeding Management Based on the Concept of Animal Welfare."

The "Guidelines for Animal Feeding Management Based on the Concept of Animal Welfare" states that it is important to conduct livestock feeding management with consideration for comfort, comprehensively taking into account the "five freedoms" (i.e. (1) freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition, (2) freedom from fear and distress, (3) freedom from physical and thermal discomfort, (4) freedom from pain, injury and disease, and (5) freedom to express normal behavioral patterns) mentioned in the introduction of the OIE (The World Organisation for Animal Health).

Approach to Usage of Forest Resources

Seven & i Group is making efforts to use wood and paper products produced from properly managed forests.

Use of FSC®-Certified Paper

Seven & i Holdings is promoting use of paper with FSC® certification and PEFC certification, which leads to forest preservation. In March 2017, we started using FSC®-certified paper for paper board boxes in our Seven Premium private brand. As of February 28, 2021, FSC®-certified paper is used for 220 items including ice cream containers, and PEFC-certified paper is used 34 items. At Seven-Eleven Japan, since the fiscal year ended February 28, 2017, we have been adopting FSC®-certified paper for the display stands for selling SEVEN CAFÉ bakery items. Meanwhile, at Seven Bank, cash envelopes at ATMs and the Bonolon, Warrior of the Forest magazine are made using FSC®- certified paper.

  • FSC®N002571
  • FSC® certification  is an international certification system for certifying the proper processing and distribution of wood harvested from forests which are certified to be properly managed.

Initiatives for Material Issue 3