While poverty and hunger exist in the world, a lot of food is wasted and thrown away. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12, “Responsible Consumption and Production” calls for halving food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030.
Food loss not only burdens the environment, but also increases the costs associated with sorting and disposing of it. In addition, it has a significant impact on FamilyMart’s business operations as the transportation of waste leads to an increase in CO2 emissions.
As food products account for the mainstay of our sales and all our stores generate approximately 60,000 tons of food waste, we have positioned efforts to reduce food loss as one of our most important issues. By curbing the generation of food waste through improved accuracy of product ordering and promoting long-life products through improvements in containers and packaging, as well as recycling food waste generated at stores, we will contribute to the transition to sustainable consumption and production patterns.
In addition to reducing food waste, we are actively recycling waste of food products from our stores (such as boxed lunches, rice balls and ready-made dishes) into resources, including feed, fertilizer, methane.
We have also been progressively expanding our business with waste disposal contractors that can handle our food waste recovery and recycling system.
In 2008, we started food recycling loop: the leftover food from stores in Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefectures is collected and efficiently transported to a feed factory in a pig farm. The pigs raised on thus produced feed are used to produce boxed lunches and stuffed bread to be sold to customers.
This recycling loop was expanded nationwide. As of February 2022, the recycling loops in six areas has been certified as Recycling Business Plan*.
*Certification of Recycling Business Plan is a system under which food waste generators (food-related businesses), makers of specified fertilizer and feed (recycling businesses) and their users (farmers, foresters, fishers, etc.) jointly prepare for their recycling plans and receive certification, in accordance with the Food Recycling Law. FamilyMart has been certified together with two home-meal replacement makers and two feed producers and users.
Waste cooking oil used at FamilyMart stores for deep fryer products such as FAMICHIKI are collected by specialty contractors certified by their municipality and turned into 100% recycled products that include ink, soap, and additives for poultry feed.
Some is used by stores as medicated hand soap, achieving closed-loop recycling.
In January 2021, FamilyMart and Saga City Government, Saga Prefecture, signed an Agreement on Cooperation in Environmentally Friendly Local Resource Recycling and Other Initiatives. The purpose of this agreement is to maximize the use of local resources in Saga City and to promote building a sustainable circular society.
Under this agreement, Saga City collects waste cooking oil generated at FamilyMart stores in the city, recycling it into high-quality biodiesel fuel (HiBD) for use it as fuel for municipal buses.
The FamilyMart stores participating in waste cooking oil recovery (as of November 2022)
Gas flush packaging, which preserves freshness longer than conventional packaging, is being used for some of the products of the Mother’s Kitchen prepared dish series.
Gas flush packaging fills the container with carbon dioxide and nitrogen to prevent oxidation.
This new technology extends the expiration date without sacrificing taste or increasing the amount of additives.
FamilyMart’s original products use ingredients that were previously thrown away as irregular in terms of size, shape, etc.
Such product development emphasizes deliciousness to encourage many customers to give these products a try and will also contribute to a reduction in food waste.
Since 2022, we have been selling products made from “mottainai bananas,” including ice cream bars and drinks that we launched in August 2023.
To curb occurrences of food wastage, stores are working to improve the accuracy of their routine product orders and reduce disposal of food past its sell-by date in order.
We are working to reduce food loss and waste by encouraging our stores to proactively sell ready-made meals such as rice balls and boxed lunches that are close to their use-by dates at discounted prices through Famima no Eco Wari, or FamilyMart’s eco-friendly discount.
Since October 2022, the Consumer Affairs Agency, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of the Environment, and the Japan Franchise Association have been working together to implement a Temaedori campaign to call for environmentally conscious purchasing behavior among customers. The campaign aims to reduce food loss and waste by encouraging customers to choose products at the front of the shelves, or foods that are close to their use-by dates, if they eat them immediately after purchase.
To release its waste emissions data, FamilyMart undergoes third-party verification by Japan Audit and Certification Organization for Environment and Quality. It was confirmed that in fiscal 2022, the amount of waste generated by stores on a daily basis was 260,587 tons, of which 56,367 tons were food waste. Based on the result of the third-party verification, we will continue our efforts to improve the accuracy of numerical data we publish and increase trust within and outside the company.