Seven & i Group is utilizing the characteristics of the retail business, which is used by approximately 22.2 million customers every day in Japan alone, to promote environmental activities along with its customers. Moreover, we emphasize collaboration with various stakeholders through participation in the activities of external organizations and communication with NPOs. Further, to promote environmental activities, it is necessary for each and every one of our more than 90,000 employees in Japan to take action, so we are also focusing our efforts on awareness-raising activities for employees.
Seven & i Group is committed to environmental activities that take advantage of the distinct ability of the retail business to interact directly with many customers. In March and July of 2021, we conducted “light-down” campaigns in which some of the Group stores turned off their signboard lights as a means of thinking about the global environment along with our customers. About 7,500 Group stores took part in this.
For Environment Month in June 2021, as a donation effort to reduce food loss and waste, a “food drive” was conducted to generate donations by collecting food no longer needed at homes in the area at some Ito-Yokado and Sogo & Seibu stores. Many customers participated, and the collected food was donated to various organizations. At some Ito-Yokado stores, permanent food drive spaces have been set up where these activities are continued throughout the year.
Moreover, in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also engaged in awareness-raising activities via the Internet and social media as complementary to efforts at stores. As an example, we started releasing “Kenja no Recipe (Recipe of the Wise)” in March 2021 with the aim of reducing food waste. On this special website, we deliver food waste-cutting recipes with the theme that through eating ingredients used “carefully, appentizingly, wisely, and without waste,” happiness extends to all of the growers of the food, cooks of the food, and diners of the food.
Seven & i Holdings continues to make donations to various environmental organizations such as the Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund, which promotes wider awareness of biodiversity and supports the nature protection projects of NGOs in and outside of Japan, as well as WWF Japan, environmental and wildlife preservation group. In addition, with regard to climate change, we joined the Japan Climate Initiative (JCI), the Japan Climate Leaders’ Partnership (JCLP), and the TCFD Consortium, and for plastic issues, we joined the Japan Clean Ocean Material Alliance (CLOMA). We are making efforts to promote environmental activities in cooperation with various companies and organizations.
In addition, Seven-Eleven Japan has been conducting environment-themed social contribution activities together with franchised stores through the Seven-Eleven Foundation since 1993. Based on contributions*1 from customers collected through collection boxes placed at the counters of 7-Eleven stores, along with donations from Seven-Eleven Japan and other funds, the Seven-Eleven Foundation engages in environmental citizenship activity support projects, natural resource protection and conservation projects, publicity projects, and disaster recovery assistance projects. One of the major pillars of the environmental citizenship activities*2 is the funding of NPOs and civic groups conducting regional environmental activities. The foundation has been calling for applications each year since 2001, with the goal of seeing regional donations used to support regional environmental activities. Over the past 21 years in total, the foundation has provided \2,561,540,830 in funding for 4,350 activities.
The Seven-Eleven Foundation operates the Kokonoe Furusato Nature School located in Kokonoe Town, Kusu District, Oita Prefecture and the Takao Forest Nature School in Hachioji City, Tokyo, based on the principle of “Learning from nature: how to promote coexistence and mutually beneficial relationships between people and nature and the natural environment and local communities.” The Kokonoe Furusato Nature School is engaged in projects to protect and preserve the abundant nature cultivated by the region as well as its ecosystems, history, and culture. The school’s efforts to promote creation of rice fields that coexist with nature and where living things can thrive has been designated as a project in coordination with the Japan Committee for the United Nations Decade of Biodiversity (UNDB-J). Moreover, The Takao Forest Nature School is a collaborative project with the Tokyo metropolitan government, operating in a forest of approximately 26.5 ha owned by Tokyo metropolitan government. The school’s programs include bird watching, volunteer experiences in the forest, flora observation, and craft work.
Takao Forest and Nature School
Collection box placed on counters in stores
Kokonoe Furusato Nature School
We receive and respond to opinions and requests relating to the environment from customers and civic groups at the customer feedback departments at each Group company and at the Sustainability Promotion Department of Seven & i Holdings. In 2014, when we considered the material issues that Seven & i Holdings should address, we identified our material issues upon engaging in dialogue with stakeholders including customers, business partners, shareholders and other investors, as well as those of CSR experts.
In order to raise the environmental awareness of employees, Seven & i Group regularly holds training, events, and more with the aim of instilling basic knowledge and facilitating understanding of environmental matters in line with the characteristics of each of their businesses.
In response to the “GREEN CHALLENGE 2050” environmental declaration announced in May 2019, Seven & i Group has conducted Group-wide e-learning every year since 2020. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2022, this e-learning was implemented for all Seven & i Group employees in Japan, with content that focused on introducing the status of the Group’s initiatives for the achievement of the targets in the “GREEN CHALLENGE 2050” environmental declaration, and activities that can contribute to the achievement of the targets through work and daily life.
Since the fiscal year ended February 28, 2015, Seven & i Group has been encouraging employees to pass the Certification Test for Environmental Specialists (Eco Test) as a training tool for systematically acquiring a broad knowledge about increasingly diverse environmental problems. Each group company supports test takers by subsidizing test fees, holding study sessions, and so forth. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2022, about 900 employees passed the test (cumulative total of about 10,900 people passing the test).
Seven & i Group holds internal environmental events to provide opportunities to raise the environmental awareness of employees. For example, the Group employees participate alongside 7-Eleven franchisees in volunteer activities organized by the Seven-Eleven Foundation. Major activities include such conservation efforts as forest care operations ranging from tree planting to tree thinning and undergrowth cutting at “Seven Forests” in 16 locations throughout Japan; and marine afforestation initiatives to cultivate eelgrass habitats, which purify water and reduce CO2, thereby enriching the marine environments in Tokyo Bay and Osaka Bay. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2022, a total of 494 people took part in such events, including personnel from Seven-Eleven Japan franchised stores and Head Office employees as well as the Group employees. Starting in 2006, the number of participants so far totals 13,712.
Additionally, we are engaged in various activities to raise employee awareness, particularly in June, which has been designated as Environment Month, and October, which has been designated as Food Waste Reduction Month. In the fiscal year ended February 28, 2022, we provided employees with opportunities to think about the environment as a personal issue by conducting such efforts as a food drive where customers could bring food they did not use at home and donate it to a food bank, the collection of empty disposable contact lens packages as a measure against plastic waste, and a recipe contest to reduce food waste at the Group stores.