Contribution to a low carbon society
Container packaging initiatives
With the goal of achieving a lower carbon society, UNY is working to reduce CO2 by innovating in the areas of product containers and packaging. Biomass plastic made from plantderived materials can help reduce overall emissions. This is because the CO2 absorbed when plants undergo photosynthesis is roughly the same as that emitted when containers are disposed of. This is known as achieving carbon neutrality.
At UNY stores, biomass plastic has been used since 2006 for egg cartons and container packaging in produce sections. In addition, our paid plastic shopping bags also contain 25% biopolyethylene made from sugarcane waste material. Biopolyethylene achieves a 17% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to petroleum products, making this an example of an effort towards carbon neutrality.
At FamilyMart stores, we used biomass plastic (PLA: Polylactic Acid) containers for three salad products in fiscal year 2016. As each container weighed 24.57 g, we achieved a roughly 1,846 tons CO2 reduction for the year. We first used biomass plastics in 2007, and roughly 20% of all biomass containers shipped throughout the country are now used by FamilyMart. This makes FamilyMart the top user of biomass plastics in the retail sector.
And for our boxed lunch products, in 2014 we did away with “full shrink wrap” that covered the entire container and began using “side shrink wrap,” applying wrapping only to the opening tab and where the lid fits onto the container bottom.
This reduced plastic material usage by 430 tons, achieving a 1,540 tons reduction in CO2. In addition, we reduced CO2 by an additional 100 tons a year by expanding the use of plant-derived ink, previously used only for printing on sandwich and other product wrapping, to printing on rice balls and hand-rolled sushi wrapping. We will continue to make improvements like these in order to further reduce our CO2 footprint.
Bottle cap campaign efforts
We collect PET bottle caps using recycling boxes installed in UNY stores. As part of the “PET Bottle Cap Campaign,” we sell collected PET bottle caps to companies specializing in recycled plastics and donate the proceeds to the NPO “Japan Committee, Vaccines for the World's Children.” Our goal is to achieve “upcycling,” whereby we recycle used containers and packaging so that they can be made into high-quality products. Our recycled plastics are now being used to make automotive parts.
Reducing CO2 in conjunction with customers
If our customers declined plastic shopping bags, 30.8 g of CO2 would be reduced for each bag. UNY began eff orts to reduce plastic shopping bag usage in 1989. It then began distributing reusable shopping bags in 2001 and conducting No Plastic Shopping Bag Campaigns in 2006. These are among the measures we have been active in taking to improve awareness among customers. We have also started to charge for plastic shopping bags. In 2014 we began charging for plastic shopping bags at all stores, and in fiscal year 2016, 86.1% of customers refused plastic shopping bags. As a result, we cut CO2 by 8,318 tons. This means that, in terms of bags used, we only used 20% the number used 10 years ago in fiscal year 2006.
Additionally, by donating to local governments the one yen per bag that customers are charged, we are supporting a range of environmental initiatives. (fiscal year 2016: ¥30,641,687)
As for containers and packaging for products that account for approximately 55%* of all household waste, we have placed recycling boxes in each of our stores that have led to reducing household waste while at the same time recycling and curbing CO2. As a result of eff orts to sort and collect used containers and packaging such as milk cartons, aluminum cans, PET bottles, and food trays, recycled waste volume for fiscal year 2016 increased 5.3% year-over-year to 3,846 tons and CO2 was reduced by 16,344 tons.
We are also taking measures to reduce the energy used and CO2 emissions resulting from transporting products to recycling facilities in Japan. As one example of reducing unnecessary fuel consumption and cutting CO2 emissions, we built a recycling center within our logistics center where we use freights that return to the center after delivering products to also transport collected products.
*54.7% of household waste consists of containers and packaging (based on volume; source: Ministry of the Environment, Fact Finding Survey on Usage and Emissions of Container and Packaging Waste)
Efforts to reduce plastic shopping bag usage
The changes of customers declining plastic shopping bag rate
Plastic shopping bag usage and amount paid to contractors under the Containers and Packaging Recycling Law
Along with efforts to reduce plastic shopping bag usage by putting up posters and informing customers at the register, FamilyMart is reducing petroleum usage by using appropriately sized bags and making them thinner. These efforts saw FamilyMart achieve its target that customers declining plastic shopping bag of 30.0% in fiscal year 2016. Regarding efforts to curb CO2 emissions arising from the operation of its stores, in addition to providing training to staff at each of its stores, the company is gradually installing trash cans inside stores to properly sort waste and promote recycling.
Efforts in Logistics to Reduce CO2 Emissions
In 2004, we at Familymart became the first in the convenience store industry to begin utilizing hybrid vehicles for their lower CO2 emissions. These were efforts to reduce the overall CO2 emissions from our vehicles, which are used to transport products to the approximately 18,000 FamilyMart stores located nationwide.
We have also set up a temperature-controlled joint delivery system for greater efficiency, and have implemented an Eco-drive Management System (EMS) to encourage fuel-efficient driving of our vehicles.
In addition to the safe driving education programs at our distribution centers, we also make efforts to teach our drivers the importance of fuel-efficient driving, as well as the relevant knowledge and skills.
Establishment of EV/PHEV Fast Charging Stations Towards the Popularization of Electric Vehicles
To help create an environment conducive to the use of eco-friendly electric vehicles, which do not emit CO2, we have worked to set up electric vehicle charging stations in the parking lots of UNY's big-box store "Apita", mall-style shopping centers, and FamilyMart stores.
Efforts in Response to the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons
The Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons was established on April 1, 2015 in order to reduce the emission of fluorocarbons, which can contribute to global warming and the destruction of the ozone layer. This law makes it so that owners of industrial air conditioners, freezers, and refrigerators must manage fluorocarbon emissions in certain responsible ways.
At UNY, we have established a cross-departmental task force in order to conform to this new law, as well as an "Manual for Adherence to the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons," which is being used to inform the management of fluorocarbons in stores.
At FamilyMart, we have also begun conducting equipment inspections that adhere to this law. In some stores, we are even implementing freezers/refrigerators equipped with CO2 refrigerant equipment that reduces both CO2 emissions from energy use and the emission of fluorocarbons.
Contributing to the COOL CHOICE Campaign--Wise Choices for the Future
COOL CHOICE is a new national campaign created to fulfill the government's goal of a 26% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Japan by fiscal year 2030, as compared to fiscal year 2013. To accomplish this goal, the campaign urges the public to make "wise choices" to combat global warming, with regards to energy-efficient, eco-friendly products, services, and activities.
We at FamilyMart UNY Holdings have put our support behind this campaign. As a member of the COOL CHOICE Promotion Team, we are currently involved in efforts for COOL CHOICE Shopping. We sell eco-friendly "eco!on" products, have set up recycling bins for containers and packaging, as well as electric vehicle charging stations, and are working towards the implementation of eco-friendly store equipment, such as LED lights and energy-efficient air conditioners. The goal is for our customers to be able to enjoy a more eco-friendly lifestyle as a result of shopping at our UNY and FamilyMart stores.