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

Measures against Food Loss / Waste

and Measures for Organic Waste Recycling

Food accounts for about 60% of Seven & i Group’s sales, and the “GREEN CHALLENGE 2050” Environmental Declaration has established food loss and waste / organic waste recycling countermeasures as one of its themes and is promoting initiatives. The “GREEN CHALLENGE 2050” aims to raise the organic waste recycling rate to 70% by 2030 and 100% by 2050, and the amount of food loss and waste* will be reduced by 50% by 2030 and 75% by 2050 compared to 2013.

*Amount generated per one million yen in sales

* Covering six food-related operating companies: Seven-Eleven Japan, Ito-Yokado, York-Benimaru, York, SHELL GARDEN, and Seven & i Food Systems


Our Approach to Reducing Food Waste

Initiatives to mitigate actual food waste generation are vital to addressing the societal challenge of reducing food waste. This theme is also positioned as the foremost priority in the fundamental principles of the Basic Act on Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society, and the Seven & i Group is also taking the initiative in mitigating the generation of waste as a foremost priority. We are additionally making efforts to ensure that we can recycle any food waste that is generated.


Amount of  Food Waste Generation

FY2018 FY2019 FY2020 FY2021 FY2022

Amount generated per million yen of sales (kg)*






* Five food-related operating companies: Seven-Eleven Japan, Ito-Yokado, York-Benimaru, SHELL GARDEN, and Seven & i Food Systems

Initiatives Across the Entire Supply Chain

Seven & i Group continues to implement initiatives to reduce food loss / waste throughout the entirety of its supply chain. As one example, we are relaxing product delivery deadlines at Seven-Eleven Japan, Ito-Yokado, and York-Benimaru. Until now, our business practice was to use the “1/3 rule,” which entailed delivering products to stores before a third of the period between the date of manufacture and the expiration date had passed. Since 2012, as an initiative for reducing food loss, we have revised this to a “1/2 rule,” which relaxes delivery deadlines by allowing deliveries before half of the period between the date of manufacture and the expiration date has passed, for certain categories of products. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2023, the target categories for this rule were expanded to include all non-refrigerated processed foods. In addition, for the Group's Seven Premium private brand products, we initiated the modification of expiration date labeling from the previous “date” to a “year and month” in the fiscal year ended February 29, 2020, and had rolled this out to encompass approximately 70% of all products by the fiscal year ended February 28, 2023.


Image showing relaxed delivery deadlines

Initiatives of Each Group Company to Reduce Food Waste

Each Seven & i Group company is implementing various innovations to reduce food waste in areas including sales methods and products. For example, Seven-Eleven Japan promotes the Temaedori Project, a joint initiative of the Japan Franchise Association and four major convenience store chains. The Temaedori Project is an initiative aimed at reducing food loss by encouraging customers purchasing food items that they plan to eat immediately to choose from products placed in an immediately accessible location.

As of February 2023, this activity has also been expanded to Ito-Yokado and York-Benimaru stores. In addition, Seven & i Food Systems’ Denny's restaurants provide menus offering dishes with smaller servings that can be finished comfortably without leftovers. It also provides take-out containers, mottECO, for customers to take the leftovers home, when they wish.

Additionally, York-Benimaru is converting fish ilium bones discarded by stores into feed. Moreover, 100% of waste oil, such as that generated from the frying oil used to cook delicatessen items at the stores of each Group company, is recycled. 

Initiation of an “Ethical Project”

In May 2020, Seven-Eleven Japan started an “ethical project” at stores nationwide with the aim of reducing food loss and waste. The initiative reduces the generation of food waste by giving 5% of the tax-excluded price for target products near their sales deadline as bonus Nanaco points, and it covers a total of seven categories such as rice balls, bread, delicatessen, and sweets.

Extending Expiration Dates of Original Daily Products

Seven-Eleven Japan has made technological innovations at the manufacturing factories. Reviewing the manufacturing processes and temperature / hygiene management has made it possible to ensure safety and security as well as improve taste and quality, such as by not using preservatives, along with extending expiration dates (developing products with longer-lasting freshness). Starting with chilled boxed lunches in 2009, Seven-Eleven Japan has extended the freshness of products such as gratin and doria, pasta dishes, sandwiches, and delicatessen items. As of the end of April 2022, about 84% of our original daily products have a sales deadline that is over 24 hours away.

Donations to Food Banks

Ito-Yokado has been donating unexpired foods from some stores to food banks* since the fiscal year ending February 28, 2018, to a cumulative total of around 76.5 tons of donations (as of the end of February 2023).

With regard to reuse, Seven-Eleven Japan has been donating inventories of processed foods to food banks when stores are closed or refurbished, and since the fiscal year ending February 28, 2019, it concluded regional comprehensive collaboration agreements with municipalities and began making donations to social welfare organizations. As of the end of February 2023, it has concluded regional comprehensive collaboration agreements with 230 municipalities.

* Organizations engaged in the distribution, to those in need of support, of foods which, despite no quality concerns, could not be put to market or are surplus to households.

Deployment of Eco Distribution

Seven-Eleven Japan has been promoting “Eco Distribution*” since 1994 as a system for appropriate processing and recycling of organic waste. As part of this system, we are endeavoring to recycle products that have passed their sales deadlines into feed or compost, and in the fiscal year ending February 28, 2023, the combined recycling rate for products that had passed their sales deadline and discarded food oil was 52.4%.

* Eco Distribution: Seven-Eleven’s original waste recycling system

A recommended waste disposal provider for franchisees in each region collects all of the waste from Seven-Eleven stores for appropriate processing and recycling.

Circular Economy in Agricultural Inititatives

Establishment of Seven Farm

In August 2008, with the aim of enhancing recycling rates and revitalizing local agriculture, Ito-Yokado established “Seven Farm Tomisato” as an agricultural production corporation in Tomisato City, Chiba Prefecture, thereby becoming the first player in the retail sector to engage in “Circular economy in agriculture.” “Circular economy in agriculture” is an initiative for composting food residues (garbage) generated by Ito-Yokado stores and using it as fertilizer at Seven Farms. The produce that is grown at the farms is then harvested and sold at the stores from which the food residues were generated.

As of the end of March 2023, Seven Farm had expanded to 11 sites nationwide, Seven Farm is actively working to acquire certification under Japan Good Agricultural Practice (JGAP), an agricultural production process management technique, and all the 11 Seven Farm locations (as of the end of March 2023) have acquired JGAP certification.

Seven Farms


Seven Farms’ Circular Economy Model

On-site Processing (Garbage Processors) Initiatives

Ito-Yokado introduced a “garbage processor” system to break down organic waste using microorganisms in October of 2011 and has installed this on the sites of 25 stores as of the end of February 2023. Garbage that is ill-suited to recycling, such as that with a highly fibrous content is broken down into water and CO2 using a biodegradable processor which harnesses the power of microorganisms. In addition, a composting processor composts the temporarily fermented material produced within the garbage processor, with this material then delivered to partner farms. By using both processors to reduce the volume of garbage on site, this process has the results of simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions generated during collection and transport, and offering an effective means of reducing waste volumes.

Seven-Eleven Japan also started operations tests of biodegradable garbage processors in 2013. The on-site organic waste treatment eliminates the need for delivery to local municipal treatment centers and contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions generated during delivery and incineration. As of the end of February 2023, it had introduced and begun operating these at a total of 17 stores in Tokyo and Nagano Prefecture on a trial basis.


Biodegradable garbage processors (Ito-Yokado)

生ごみ処理機 写真.jpg

Biodegradable garbage processors (Seven-Eleven Japan)

Awareness-Raising Activities for Reducing Food Loss and Waste

In light of the fact that approximately half of food waste is generated by households, the Seven & i Group is conducting educational activities to reduce food waste at home. For example, Ito-Yokado and York-Benimaru conduct “food drives,” which involve customers bringing surplus food from their households to participating stores, with this food then donated to food banks.

From June 2020, Ito-Yokado successively expanded the number of stores with a permanent food drive collection box to 75 (as of the end of February 2023). The foods collected at each store are centralized at distribution centers with the cooperation of contracted logistics companies, and then delivered to food canteens for children and persons in need of support through food banks. In addition, we implemented a food drive to raise employee awareness at venues including the Head Office of each Seven & i Group company and selected district offices of Seven-Eleven Japan.

At Seven & i Food Systems, companies in the restaurant business have the responsibility to promote efforts that encourage customers to finish their food. For example, at the end of February 2023, 38 local municipals nationwide have registered as stores that promote food waste reduction, such as stores that encourage customers to finish their meals. Additionally, since October 2019, Denny's menu has made it clear that there is a small-serving option for rice that is easy to finish, and it has displayed the “Loss Non” symbol used by the national movement to promote food loss and waste reduction.

Furthermore, the mottECO project, an undertaking to reduce food loss implemented by Denny’s restaurants, was selected by the Ministry of the Environment as a “Model Business for Reduction of Food Waste and Promotion of Recycling by Local Governments and Businesses” over the three consecutive years from 2021.

In the fiscal year ending February 29, 2024, the scope of this initiative is expanded to become a four-company joint undertaking by also involving Royal Holdings Co., Ltd., SRS Holdings Co., Ltd, and Nippon Hotel Co., Ltd. In this way, we are engaging in new activities of this kind which are of a nature unique to the food and beverages business. These activities are intended to facilitate the spread of a “culture of taking the initiative to bring home one’s leftovers,” by making available dedicated takeaway containers made using environmentally friendly materials, and thus allowing customers who wish to do so to bring home any unfinished food.


mottECO poster


Bottle for collecting discarded food oil

Initiatives for Material Issue 3