Food loss is defined as otherwise consumable food that is thrown out by food processors, retailers, food service industry entities, households, etc. Annual food loss is estimated to be 6.46 million tons in Japan alone in FYE March/2016. The Meiji Group acknowledges our own large volume of food loss as part of a larger social issue. We are working with our national government and trade organizations to introduce new policies (below).
We are encouraging sales and production division to communicate better. At the same time, we are developing supply forecasts by product, reflecting past sales data and sales promotion plans. As we improve supply forecasts day by day, we limit bad inventory and reduce food loss.
By changing food expiration labels from year-month-date to year-month formats, we expect to reduce food loss and encourage logistics efficiencies across our entire supply chain as our manufacturing, logistics, and sales teams work more closely together. The best-before date of all products (except gummy and snacks in our confectionery business) will be changed to a month-year label.
We plan to extend the expiration dates of certain food items whose quality will not be affected (confectioneries, drinks, nutrition foods, prepared foods, etc.). In so doing, we will reduce wasted stock of expired items.
We are working with trade organizations to revise the traditional 1/3 rule for delivery deadlines.
The Meiji Group is working with food banks to reduce food loss.
We focus on environmental friendliness throughout the product life cycle, from planning through disposal.
Food segment conduct a Paper Drink Carton Recycling Campaign twice per year. The purpose of the campaign is to remind employees of the importance of sorting and recycling paper cartons. Recycling collection boxes are set up, and employees are encouraged to dispose of their paper milk cartons appropriately. Each year the percentage of employees participating increases. At present, approximately 85% of employees participate in the campaigns.
Food segment delivers milk to approximately 2.6 million homes in Japan. The returnable milk bottles used for home delivery must be light and strong so they can be used multiple times. We have recently improved our bottles to make them even stronger and lighter. The weight for a 200 ml bottle has been reduced to 180g, while durability has been increased to allow for three times as many uses. If bottles become scratched they can be crushed for use as raw materials for new bottles.
We pursue a Zero Waste (Zero Emissions) policy based on the 3Rs.
The Meiji Group strives to protect the Earth's finite natural resources by reducing waste and using resources efficiently.
Food segment is working to reduce waste in every production plant.
Food segment has reduced production waste by an annual 24 tons by changing to intermittent nozzle operation in biscuit dough mold release oil equipment (Galbo chocolate snacks).
We are minimizing containers and packaging to eliminate waste of precious resources.
Meiji Probio Yogurt, Drink Type
We are reducing the weight of PET bottles for this product. We reduced PET plastic volume by approximately 26% per bottle compared to bottles used prior to the integration of new facilities.
Chocolate Snacks: Kinoko no Yama, Takenoko no Sato
Reduced the thickness of internal packaging by 5 μm, reducing resource usage volume by approximately 9% and annual use by 7.5 tons.
Chocolate Snacks. Galbo Pocket Pack
We reduced packaging volume by approximately 25%
Kyushu Plant in Food segment concluded a contract with a local municipal authority in 2013. Under this contract, raw garbage is collected from the plant and fermented at the municipal authority's biomass plant to produce methane The methane is then used for gas-fired power generation. And dregs from fermentation are used as fertilizer. We donates some of the money saved through this project to promete the local area's agriculture.
We strive to reduce chemical emissions. Measures include equipment to absorb vaporized chemicals, switching to safer substances, and improved manufacturing methods that reduce or eliminate chemical substances.
We report chemical emissions and transfers in accordance with Japan's Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) Act.
At Pharmaceutical segment each pharmaceuticals plant and research center has a chemicals management committee that sets standards for handling chemical substances. The company manages procurement and inventory volumes, checks emission and transfer volumes, and strives to reduce emissions.
Each of our operating bases engages in the appropriate management of transformers and capacitors that contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).