Circular Economy

SDGs
Social Issues

Target

Resource recovery ratio per year (domestic Meiji Group companies)
Achieve 97% or greater*1

2020 Performance

Target

Reduce domestic food product waste by at least 50% compared with FYE 3/2017 baseline by FYE 3/2026*2

2020 Performance

  • *1 Meiji Group in Japan
  • *2 Domestic group companies of Meiji Co,. Ltd.

New Target

Reduce domestic plastic usage, including container packaging, by at least 25% compared with FYE 3/2018 baseline by FYE 3/2031 and increase use of biomass plastics and recycled plastics

  • New KPI and target from FYE 3/2021

Reduce Environmental Impact

Reduce Final Disposal Volume

The Meiji Group strives to protect the Earth's finite natural resources by reducing waste and using resources efficiently.

Approach

Reducing Production Plant Waste

Food segment is working to reduce waste in every production plant.

Results

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).

Environmentally-Friendly Products

We are minimizing containers and packaging to eliminate waste of precious resources. Marine pollution caused by plastic garbage contamination is a social issue. To address this issue, we are recycling plastic resources. We established the Meiji Group Plastic Policy in July 2020 to reduce plastic usage by 25% (compared to FY2017) by FY2030. In line with the policy, we are reducing the weight of the PET bottles for our products. We are reusing and recycling the plastic containers for storage and transport. Also, we are increasing use of biomass plastics derived from organic resources, and recycled plastics, for the packaging and plastic straws attached to our products.

Food Segment Plastic Resource Recycling Policy

Plastic waste in the world's oceans has been identified as a significant issue in the global environment. Working with our business partners, Meiji continues to support plastic resource recycling efforts in the following ways.

  1. We are changing the design of plastic containers and packaging to minimize the amount of material used while maintaining the beneficial aspects of plastics such as the preservation of product quality. For example, we have reduced the weight and wall thickness of PET bottles and other plastic containers. We are also moving to switch from plastic to paper containers.
  2. Meiji works to replace materials used in plastic containers and packaging with environmentally friendly plant-derived materials, materials easier to recycle, and the use of recycled materials themselves. We are also studying the use of biodegradable plastics.
  3. Through recycling contractors, we encourage the reuse in recycled products of plastic waste generated in our manufacturing processes.
  4. Meiji is also working on recycling and methods to reduce the use of plastics in logistics. For example, we are switching from plastic crates (plastic return boxes used in product delivery) to cardboard boxes.
  5. To protect the marine environment, Meiji helps beautify communities and conducts coastline cleanup activities to reduce the amount of plastic trash that flows into oceans through rivers and coastlines.

Addressing Food Loss and Waste

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 6.12 million tons in Japan alone in FYE March/2018. 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).

Approach

Reduce Bad Inventory through Improved Supply Forecasts

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.

Best-Before Date Changed to Month-Year Label

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.

Extending Expiration Dates for Certain Items

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.

Results
【Confectionery Business】
  • Chelsea Scorchassort ⇒ Extended from 12 months to 14 months (beginning April 2015)
  • Cough drops warm ginger ⇒ Extended from 12 months to 14 months (beginning September 2016)
【Nutritionals Business】
  • Meiji Mei Balance Mini cup ⇒ Extended from 6 months to 12 months (beginning May 2015)
  • Meiji Mei Balance Mini ⇒ Extended from 6 months to 9 months (beginning October 2016)
【Infant Nutrition】
  • Meiji Hohoemi can ⇒ Extendend from 12 months to 14 months
Revising the 1/3 Rule Across the Logistics Industry

We are working with trade organizations to revise the traditional 1/3 rule for delivery deadlines.

Collaborating With Society

The Meiji Group is working with food banks to reduce food loss. In April 2020, most schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, to help families who needed food assistance, we donated approximately 100,000 confectioneries to 30 food banks belonging to the All-Japan Food Bank Promotion Council.

3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)

We focus on environmental friendliness throughout the product life cycle, from planning through disposal.

Approach

Reducing the Environmental Impact of Packaging

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.

A paper carton collection box
3Rs for Home-Delivery Milk Bottles

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 200ml 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.

Zero Waste (Zero Emissions)

We pursue a Zero Waste (Zero Emissions) policy based on the 3Rs.

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.

Approach

PRTR 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.

PCB Management

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