The basis of "the Meiji Group's Approach to sustainability" is to fulfill sustainability by putting the Group Philosophy into practice on a day-to-day basis in mainstay businesses and by remaining a corporate group society needs. Each Meiji Group employee will advance activities based on the Corporate Behavior Charter to meet stakeholders' expectations and continue fulfilling social responsibilities.
Meiji Group Sustainability 2026 Vision
The Meiji Group, as a team of food and healthcare professionals, will help solve societal problems through its business projects. We also aim to help build a sustainable society that will allow people to live their lives healthily, and with peace of mind.
The Meiji Group Sustainability 2026 Vision upholds three main themes: 'Healthier Lives', 'Caring for the Earth', and 'Thriving Communities', as well as the shared theme of 'Sustainable Sourcing'.
We are continuing our work identifying Materiality and setting out KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for each theme.
Taking these themes, as well as several tangible areas within each (see the image below for more detail) as a framework, we are driving sustainability forward, and helping to solve societal problems.
Group Sustainability System
Group Sustainability System
We have established the Group Sustainability Committee with the CEO, President and Representative Director of Meiji Holdings at its helm.
Accordingly, we are promoting sustainability activities following the directions of this Committee. The Committee meets twice annually. It monitors the progress of activities to achieve KPIs in the Meiji Group Sustainability 2026 Vision and establishes sustainability policies. The Committee shares outcomes of activities conducted by each operating company and reports twice annually to the Board of Directors. We have established a Sustainability Secretariat that meets monthly and its members are sustainability staff from Meiji Holdings and the operating companies. In FY2019, we established the Group Human Rights Meeting and the Group TCFD Committee alongside the Group Environmental Meeting, which is linked to the Sustainability Secretariat. We strengthened our systems for considering concrete measures and launched a number of initiatives including scenario analysis based on TCFD recommendations and conducting human rights due diligence.
Additionally, in October 2019 we established the Sustainability Management Department at Meiji Holdings in order to further accelerate our sustainability activities across the Group. As well as this, in June 2020 we appointed a Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) as the top person responsible for sustainability in Meiji Group. Under the leadership and supervision of the CSO, we will promote integration of our business and sustainability activities.
Establishment of the ESG Advisory Board
In fiscal 2021, we evolved the dialogue with outside experts, which had been held once a year, and established the ESG Advisory Board, which meets twice a year.
Recognizing the ever-accelerating pace of corporate sustainability activities, the Meiji Group has set a new target of Meiji ROESG🄬* and is working to further strengthen its activities. At the same time, in the final year of the 2023 Medium-Term Business Plan, we aim to be recognized as one of Japan's leading sustainability companies.
The main purpose of establishing the ESG Advisory Board is to grasp the demands and expectations of diverse stakeholders and appropriately respond to them as we strive to contribute to the sustainable development of society and become a trusted corporate group through our business activities.
We aim to further invigorate the sustainability activities and improve performance of the Meiji Group as a whole while exchanging opinions with outside experts.
Advisory Board Member
- Mr. Takeshi Kamigouchi
- Ms. Mari Kogiso
- Mr. Peter David Pedersen
Creating our Vision
When laying out our sustainability vision, we took a long-term view and set out the activities we believed that Meiji Group should engage in. Our Group Sustainability Committee will evaluate our progress with the KPIs we have established, and publicly disclose this information.
STEP 1Identify issues and select activities
Select activities tailored for the Meiji Group considering business initiatives, community requests and sustainable development goals (SDGs).
STEP 2Identify materiality and set the KPIs
Set the KPIs. Confer with experts outside of the company regarding the selected activities, identify materiality (material issues).
STEP 3Obtain approval from management
Sustainability secretariat and the Group Sustainability Committee discusses, and the Board of Directors makes a decision.
Progress of Sustainability 2026 Vision
- Began discussions to establish vision
Mr. Peter David Pedersen, Mr. Hidemi Tomita
- Established vision
- Identify materiality
- Revised how the vision's activities in each area are related to the SDGs
- Joined UN Global Compact
- Discussions with outside experts
Mr. Peter David Pedersen
- Established Sustainable Management Department at Meiji Holdings
- Revised human right policy and procurement policy, and established a new marketing policy
- Established Water Resources Policy, Plastic Policy, and Social Contribution Activities Policy
- Established Long-Term Environmental Vision "Meiji Green Engagement for 2050"
- Discussions with outside experts
Prof. Takeshi Mizuguchi at Takasaki City University of Economics
We exchanged opinions on medium-term management targets for sustainability activities and information on the wide-ranging sustainability activities unique to the Meiji Group that span food to pharmaceuticals.
Approach to Sustainability Activities under the 2023 Medium-term Business Plan
The 2023 Medium-term Business Plan sets out the concept of realizing both profit growth and sustainability activities. The significance of sustainability has thus increased in business management. We will strengthen our activities so that by FY2023, the Meiji Group will become a company that is highly evaluated internally and externally as an advanced sustainability company in Japan.
Outline of Activity Plan
Structure of the Meiji Group’s Sustainability Activities
There is a wide range of sustainability activities. We have organized them into initiatives that exhibit the Meiji Group’s uniqueness and initiatives that form the foundation of corporate activities. In particular, we consider that the domain unique to the Meiji Group is centered on "Healthier Lives." Japan faces the issues of a declining population and aging society with a decreasing birthrate, and extending healthy life expectancy is a critical social issue. The Meiji Group aims to contribute to solving these social issues with our Food and Pharmaceutical businesses and to realize both economic value and social value.
Approach toward SDGs
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of the 17 goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015 for the year 2030. In our endeavors, we have identified 13 primary goals that will contribute to society in the Meiji Group’s business activities. Recognizing that FY2021 marks the beginning of "the Decade of Action"* to address the SDGs, we are working to achieve the SDGs through the Meiji Group Sustainability 2026 Vision.See how our sustainability themes link to the SDGs (PDF 169KB)
Materiality and KPIs
We have identified specific materiality and set KPIs as part of Meiji Group's Sustainability 2026 Vision. With a view to meeting our KPI targets, we are promoting sustainability activities and reporting on our progress on a yearly basis.
We believe it is extremely important for our employees to understand our sustainability policies and activities. Sustainability is one of the regular topics in domestic and overseas group newsletters, including introductions of key terminology and examples of timely, relevant sustainability activities are.
Additionally, in April 2020 we began a sustainability-focused E-learning program for employees in Japan, at a pace of one session every two months.
Also in April 2021, we installed the Meiji Brand Promotion Leaders system, selecting leaders from each workplace to embody our new group slogan "Now ideas for wellness" and spread further understanding of our sustainability activities.
Through these projects, we are aiming to make sustainability an important, natural part of the working experience for each and every employee.
Meiji Group Long-Term Environmental Vision
A Healthy Future. For People. For the Earth
The Meiji Group relies on the bounty of nature, including raw milk, cocoa, lactobacillus and microorganisms. We believe it is our duty to live in harmony with the environment and coexist with nature. However, issues such as climate change threaten the sustainability of global environment. The biodiversity provides us the bounty of nature we enjoy, now it is in a crisis. To respond to such crisis we formulated a long-term environmental vision. We are committed to achieving coexistence with nature by engaging in global environmental issues.
The Meiji Group places the importance on delivering health through food and pharmaceutical, creating even more smiles for all. We continue creating value that goes one step further to realize a healthy future for people and the Earth.
Society has become more concerned about the impact of global warming on the intensity of natural disasters and damage to biodiversity. Businesses are being asked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help build a decarbonized society. The Paris Agreement, an international framework for addressing climate change, requires efforts to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial revolution levels.
The Meiji Group aims to further mitigate its impact on the global environment, considering the aspirational target of the Paris Agreement to keep the temperature increase below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Accordingly, we have set a goal to become carbon neutral by 2050, eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions throughout our entire supply chain.
The world's population is estimated to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.1 Consequently, the demand for water is likely to increase by some 55%2 to keep up with the demand due to increase in food production and economic activities as a result of population growth. A total of more than 40%2 of the global population may lose adequate access to enough water due to climate change and the resulting chronic water shortages.
Water is a finite resource. To ensure the sustainability of this limited resource, the Meiji Group aims to become water-neutral. To accomplish this goal, we will engage in initiatives that include reducing water use intensity per sales unit by half and cultivating water resources.
Although the natural capital of the earth is finite, we have wasted and discarded them for a long period. These negative activities have led to climate change, deforestation, marine plastic pollution, and numerous other environmental issues. The world must improve the sustainability of natural capital. Because the Meiji Group enjoys the bounty of nature and uses natural capital in products and packaging, we must transition to a circular economy.
To achieve this goal, we should minimize the usage of natural capital by recycling and reusing resources, not to mention achieving zero waste. We will take on the challenge of reducing our environmental impact as close to zero as possible all the way through product design to disposal.
As a result of prioritizing economic growth over the global environment, modern society suffers from air, water, and chemical pollution. As we are breathing polluted air and consuming contaminated food in our daily lives, the health risks are increasing.
The Meiji Group delivers health to the people in the world, and we believe we can build a world that doesn't suffer from pollution. Thus, we are committed to achieve zero pollution throughout the Meiji Group supply chain.
Environmental Management System
There is The Group Environmental Meeting, which is made up of representatives from our Food segment and Pharmaceutical segment as well as the sustainability representatives from Meiji Holdings. Under this system, the Meeting sets a long-term vision, plans specific measures as well as carries out risk management, and essentially oversees the environmental management for the whole Group.
Environmental Data Management System
In October 2019, Meiji Group introduced a cloud-based environmental data management system to identify the integrated environmental impact in overall operating sites of the domestic Meiji Group and accurately and quickly track our performance against targets. Using this system we can reduce input errors and thus collect and calculate data efficiently. Accordingly, we have introduced the system in our overseas operating bases from October 2020.
Certification Status of ISO14001
Meiji Group is promoting attainment of the ISO14001 environmental management certificate for its production sites. We are aiming for multi-site certification across all production sites in Japan by the end of FYE 2021.
Japan: 25 Plants and 12 Group Companies
Overseas: 2 Group Companies
Japan: 2 Plants, 1 Research Laboratory and 1 Group Company
Overseas: 1 Group Company
List of Certification Status of ISO14001 and ISO45001
Response to environmental laws and accidents
At the Meiji Group, there were no violations, fines related to environmental laws and regulations during FY2020. In addition, there were no lawsuits related to the environment. There were two major accidents involving fluorocarbon leaks, having an impact on the environment. We reported these immediately to authorities and took measures after identifying the causes.
|FYE 3/2017||FYE 3/2018||FYE 3/2019||FYE 3/2020||FYE 3/2021|
|Number of environmental regulation violations||-||-||0||0||0|
|Number of major environmental accidents||3||4||4||2||2|
Approach to climate change and TCFD initiatives
The business of Meiji Group is based on the abundant gifts of nature, so natural capital is an important management resource for us. We also recognize that climate change has a significant long-term impact (risks and opportunities) on our business activities and that it is an important management issue for the Group. At the same time, international frameworks such as the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are calling for increased efforts to address climate change. We are therefore implementing climate change initiatives to contribute to these international efforts by helping to realize a decarbonized society in line with our Meiji Group Sustainability 2026 Vision.
Meiji Group agreed to join the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which was established by the Financial Stability Board* in 2019. We also joined the TCFD Consortium, which was established by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of the Environment, and the Financial Services Agency as a place for collaboration among supporting companies, financial institutions and others. We also established the Group TCFD Committee, which comprises relevant divisions from Meiji Holdings and its Group companies Meiji, Meiji Seika Pharma and KM Biologics, and started implementing TCFD initiatives from 2019. The purpose of this committee is to reflect climate change-related long-term risks and opportunities in our business activities, as a member of the TCFD scinario analysis project organized by the Ministry of the Environment.
The Group TCFD Committee analyzes climate change related risks and opportunities, develop countermeasures, and manage progress of each initiative
The Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and the Group Sustainability Committee discuss the results of these analyses and we strengthened our systems for reflecting the results in our business activities.
In FY2021 the newly established Risk Management Department took part in the Group TCFD Committee. Their efforts strengthened Meiji Group's governance, as well as our institutional ability to respond to important climate change related risks and opportunities.
With regard to scenario analysis, in FY 2020 they performed analysis of the following key areas: dairy ingredients, cacao, antibiotic drugs (5 Domestic Key Drugs), and vaccines. At the same time, they expanded the scope of analysis to include the entire Meiji Group, further improving our resilience to climate change.
TCFD related initiatives at Meiji Group in FYE 3/2021
Climate Change-related Group Sustainability Promotion System
- FY2020 The Meiji Group TCFD Initiative (PDF 1.9MB)
- Aug–Oct 2019: Practical guide for Scenario Analysis in line with the TCFD recommendations, a Ministry of the Environment support program for companies to analyze their own climate risks and opportunities in line with the TCFD recommendations (PDF 27MB)
Material Balance (FYE 3/2021)
|Unit||FYE 3/2017||FYE 3/2018||FYE 3/2019||FYE 3/2020||FYE 3/2021|
|Quantity of raw materials used||10,000 tons||224||221||203||172|
ESG Investment Promotion
|Priorities||Details of Investment|
|Reduction of CO2 emissions||1. Installation of or updating to highly-efficient energy-saving equipment
2. Installation of solar panels, etc.
|CFC Reduction Measures||1. Installation of or updating to CFC-free refrigerators and freezers, etc.|
|Reduction of Plastic Usage||1. Reduction in weight of packaging, introduction of equipment enabling reuse
2. Introduction of environmentally conscious packaging equipment
|Securing Water Resources||1. Introduction of equipment to reuse the water used for washing in production process
2. Improvement of water quality, introduction of equipment for making use of rain water, etc.
Regarding our sustainability activities, we will regularly update and improve our specific initiatives in order to stay true to Meiji Group's Sustainability 2026 Vision and ensure its success.
Scope and Boundary of Reporting
This report covers the activities of the Meiji Group, comprising, unless otherwise noted, Meiji Holdings, Meiji, Meiji Seika Pharma, and KM Biologics, and these Group companies.
Fiscal Year End March 2021 (April 1, 2020-March 31, 2021)
Some qualitative information includes performance of FYE March 2022.
- GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards in 2016
- Environment Reporting Guidelines (2018) by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan
Issued on: November 2021
Next issue schedule: October 2022
Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd.
Sustainability Management Department
2-4-16, Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0031, Japan