Circular Economy

SDGs

Circular Society Targets

Targets of the 2020 Medium-Term Business Plan (effective until March 31, 2021)

KPI Result
FYE 3/2019 FYE 3/2020 FYE 3/2021
Consolidated domestic recycle rate 97% or above
(Scope of aggregation: Consolidated domestic subsidiaries of Meiji Group)
95.6% 94.6% 77.7%*1
Reduce product waste in our domestic food business by 50% by FYE 3/2026
(Scope of aggregation: Consolidated domestic subsidiaries of Meiji Group)
△21.9% △25.1% △29.3%
Reduce domestic plastic usage (packaging, etc.) by at least 25% by FYE 3/2031 (compared to FYE 3/2018), and expand usage of bioplastics and recycled plastics
(Scope of aggregation: Consolidated domestic subsidiaries of Meiji Group)
△8.2% △9.8% Pending Data
  • *1 In FYE 3/2021, the calculation method for the recycling rate has been changed: thermal recovery is not included in the amount of recycling.

Targets of the 2023 Medium-Term Business Plan (effective until March 31, 2024)

KPI Base Year Target
FYE 3/2024 FYE 3/2031 FYE 3/2051
Consolidated domestic recycle rate 97% or above
(Scope of aggregation: Consolidated domestic subsidiaries of Meiji Group)
- 85% 97% or above (zero emission)
Reduce product waste in our domestic food business by 50% by FYE 3/2026
(Scope of aggregation: Consolidated domestic subsidiaries of Meiji Group)
FYE 3/2017 42% 50%
(by FYE 3/2026)
Reduce domestic plastic usage (packaging, etc.) by at least 25% by FYE 3/2031
(Scope of aggregation: Consolidated domestic subsidiaries of Meiji Group)
FYE 3/2018 15% 25% Minimize the use of new natural capital
Ensure 100% effective use of materials used by our logistics division (pallets, crates, and stretch film, etc.) by FYE 3/2031, through reuse and recycling.
(Scope of aggregation: Consolidated domestic subsidiaries of Meiji Group)
- 100%
Expand usage of bioplastics and recycled plastics
(Scope of aggregation: Consolidated domestic subsidiaries of Meiji Group)
-

Reduce Environmental Impact

Waste Amount*1

Unit FYE 3/2017 FYE 3/2018 FYE 3/2019 FYE 3/2020 FYE 3/2021
Total Waste*2 Japan 10,000 tons 5.4 6.3 2.8 2.8 2.5
Japan (Per unit of sales) Ton/100 million yen 4.6 5.4 2.4 2.4 2.3
Global 10,000 tons - - - 3.1 3.0
Global (Per unit of sales) Ton/100 million yen - - - 2.5 2.5
Food product waste reduction rate % Base Year △15.3 △21.9 △25.1 △29.3
Recycled material*3 10,000 tons 5.1 5.9 2.4*2 2.3*2 2.0*2
Plastic usage reduction rate % - Base Year △8.2 △9.8 Pending Data
  • *1 Environmental data includes data from consolidated domestic subsidiaries of Meiji Group.
  • *2 Covers only industrial waste in production plants from FYE 3/2019
  • *3 includes KM Biologics from FYE 3/2019

Reduce Final Disposal Volume

We aim to protect the environment, and help realize a sustainable, circular society. In order to do this we are working to make effective use of limited natural resources, and further reduce final disposal volume. For example, by controlling production of waste materials, collecting and separating materials for recycling, and reducing the volume and thickness of containers and packaging.

Reduction of Waste Generated at Factories

The entirety of Meiji Group is focused on taking action to reduce the amount of waste generated.
Meiji Co., Ltd has reduced production waste by 24 tons annually by modifying the pan release oil-spraying nozzle* used in Galbo chocolate production to change continuous operation to intermittent operation.

  • * pan release oil: an (edible) oil used to prevent dough from sticking to molds during production

Volume Reduction of Containers and Packaging

We are continuing to reduce the size and thickness of our packaging (while always ensuring quality is maintained), in order to avoid waste of precious resources. Focusing on tackling the problem of marine plastic pollution, we are also taking measures to reuse resources.

In July 2020 we established the Meiji Group Plastic Policy with the goal of reducing use of plastic by at least 25% by FY2030 (compared to FY2017). Here is one example of this initiative in action: we are reducing the weight of our products’ plastic bottles, as well as reusing and recycling plastic appliances used in storage and transportation. We are also increasing the use of organic bioplastics and recycled plastics for straws and product packaging.

In January 2021 production of our protein brand Savas’ plastic cap began progressively switching to a more environmentally-friendly mix of 10% bioplastics. The packaging now carries Japan Organics Recycling Association’s “Biomass Mark”

Switching to a bioplastic mix for plastic straws attached to our products

Every year make use of around 650 million plastic straws for attachment to drink products. From February 2021 we began progressively switching to a mix of 5% bioplastics.

Examples of products with attached straws

Reduction of Food Loss

"Food Loss" refers to food that is still edible, but that is thrown away by manufacturers, retail, the food service industry, or by households. According to estimates in FY2018 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of the Environment, 6 million tons of food is wasted domestically each year. Meiji Group is aware that food loss is part of a serious societal problem and is taking the following steps, in line with government guidelines and industry association policies.

Reducing dead stock via improved demand planning

Our manufacturing and sales divisions are cooperating to put together demand plans, taking into account various data, such as past sales and upcoming sales promotions. We are continuously working to improve the accuracy of our demand planning, in order to reduce dead stock, and therefore curtail food loss.

Changes to best before date labelling

We are progressively changing our food labelling from “Year/Month/Day” to “Year/Month”. We expect this switch to “Year/Month” labelling to enable greater coordination between production, delivery, and sales divisions. Thus, we are anticipating an improvement in logistical efficiency throughout our entire supply chain, leading to a reduction in food loss.

From February 2020, we have changed the best before date of around 120 shelf-stable products, including frozen products, with long-term (at least 1 year) expiration dates over to “Year/Month” labelling.

Extending Best Before Dates Without Sacrificing Quality

We are extending the best before dates of certain confectionaries, drinks, nutritional products, and prepared foods where scientific and sensory analysis has shown it will not affect quality. This will help us reduce waste from expired, but otherwise safe and edible products.

Products Food Labelling (Best Before Dates)
Yoguretto and Hi Lemon
9 months → 12 months
Meiji Hohoemi Rakuraku Milk Liquid infant formula
14 months → 18 months

Thanks to impeccable hygiene on the production line, and our new freshness-ensuring cartons (made from light-blocking materials, and filled to the brim), Meiji Oishii Gyunyu’s best before date has changed as follows:

Products Food Labelling (Best Before Dates)
Meiji Oishii Gyunyu
15 days from date of production → 19 days from date of production

Working with the distribution industry to review the “one-third rule”

Progressively changing our food labelling from “Year/Month/Day” to “Year/Month”. We expect this switch to “Year/Month” labelling to enable greater coordination between production, delivery, and sales divisions. Thus, we are anticipating an improvement in logistical efficiency throughout our entire supply chain, leading to a reduction in food loss.

The “one-third rule” is a commercial practice that splits the time before a product’s expiration date into three periods of equal length, split between manufacturer, retail, and finally consumer. This rule can lead to otherwise perfectly edible food being thrown away.

Meiji Group is working within industry associations to review time frames for product delivery. At this time we are working with retailers to relax the “one-third rule” to a “one-half rule”.

In the future, we will continue with this three-pronged approach: working to relax the “one-third rule”, extending best before dates, and moving to “Year/Month” labelling.

Cooperation with Related Organizations

Cooperation with the All-Japan Food Bank Promotion Council

Working together with related organizations, we are continuing our efforts to reduce food waste. Specifically, in collaboration with food bank organizations through the All-Japan Food Bank Promotion Council, we have begun donating products such as confectionery, pouch curry, and jelly drinks to food banks from January 2019. From June 2019 we also began donating our emergency food supplies that are approaching their best before dates, for regular use at food banks.

Cooperation with the WFP

We have been a supporter of the United Nations World Food Programme’s “Zero Hunger Challenge” campaign since October 2020.

This initiative connects efforts to reduce food loss within Japan with food aid for developing nations.

Putting The Three Rs Into Practice

We are pushing forward with recycling initiatives, as well as other environmentally friendly activities, throughout the entire lifecycle of our products. Through this we aim to reduce the burden placed on the earth’s environment.

Packaging and The 3Rs - From Paper Packaging, to Home Delivery of Bottles

Meiji Group employees in Japan take part in our “Paper Packaging Recycling Campaign” twice per year. Through this we are aiming to increase our employees’ awareness of environmental issues.

In addition to this, our approach to the Three Rs is perfectly illustrated by Meiji Co., Ltd.’s delivery service: not only have we reduced the weight of our bottles, we also reuse intact bottles, and recycle damaged bottles - ensuring full and responsible use of limited resources.

Appropriate Chemical Substance Management

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.

PRTR Substances

We report chemical emissions and transfers in accordance with Japan's Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) Act.

PRTR Substances*

(Unit: tons)

FYE 3/2017 FYE 3/2018 FYE 3/2019 FYE 3/2020 FYE 3/2021
PRTR Substance Emission Quantities 15.1 16.1 1.2 9.4 9.8
(13) acetonitrile 0.4 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.2
(127) chloroform 4.5 4.2 0.0 1.3 1.6
(150) 1,4-dioxane 0.1 1.9 - - -
(186) methylene chloride 9.2 8.5 - 7.3 7.2
(232) N,N-dimethylformamide 0.2 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0
(342) pyridine 0.0 - 0.0 - -
(411) formaldehyde - - 0.5 - -
(438) methylnaphthalene 0.7 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.8
PRTR Transfer Quantities 625.8 386.0 291.8 56.4 394.6
(13) acetonitrile 25.5 32.8 7.4 2.5 3.6
(127) chloroform 1.5 2.8 53.0 0.0 29.8
(150) 1,4-dioxane 1.9 2.7 - - -
(186) methylene chloride 110.0 107.9 - 32.9 25.0
(232) N,N-dimethylformamide 478.0 239.4 231.3 20.9 336.2
(342) pyridine 8.9 - - - -
(411) formaldehyde - - 0.1 - -
(438) methylnaphthalene 0.0 0.0 0.0 - 0.0
  • * Scope of aggregation: environmental data includes data from consolidated domestic subsidiaries of Meiji Group. Includes KM Biologics from FYE 3/2019

PCB Management

Each of our operating bases engages in the appropriate management of transformers and capacitors that contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).