Basic Approach

The Maruha Nichiro Group, which uses marine resources as its main source of business activities, recognizes that resource depletion is inextricably linked to its business survival, and poses a risk with great impact that could lead to the decline or end of its business. We will continue to pursue technologies and systems for the effective use of resources.

KGIs and KPIs from FY2022 to FY2030

Materiality: Contributing to a recycling-oriented society

Ideal state in 2030 (KGI): We are spreading a recycling-oriented economy through efficient use of resources and practicing within the Group

Achievement targets (KPI)Target yearTarget valueFY2022
Reduction rate of plastic usage (including switching to
bioplastic, recycled materials, etc.) (MN*)
203030% or moreThe amount of plastic usage for container and packaging was reduced by 1.5% from FY2020★★☆☆☆
Food loss (product waste) reduction rate (Domestic G)203050% or moreThe amount of food loss was reduced by 10.4% from FY2020★★★☆☆
Recycling rate of food waste (Domestic G)202499% or moreRecycling rate of food waste: 98.4%★★★☆☆
Extended shelf life of commercial products assessed as
extendable (MN)
2030100%Establishment of a draft and preparation of trial implementation of fishing gear management guidelines★★☆☆☆

*MN: Maruha Nichiro Corporation

Note: The department in charge is Plastics Use Reduction Project, Food Loss Reduction Project, Maruha Nichiro Corporation.

Message from Representative

Plastics use reduction project leader General Manager Product Development Department Kazunori Tani

Kazunori Tani

Plastics use reduction project leader
General Manager
Product Development Department

The plastics use reduction project aims to reduce the amount of plastic used in the containers and packaging materials of various products, such as commercial, institutional, and marine products, by 30% by 2030, in order to realize a recycling-oriented society, which is the materiality for the creation of environmental value.
Reducing plastic, which is a material closely associated with the design of all of our products, presents various obstacles from a quality perspective, such as preventing deterioration in quality due to thinner packaging materials and ensuring resistance to impacts during shipping. This is no easy task, but we will promote the sharing of information among staff members and the permeation of an internal awareness of this topic so that all of our business divisions can take personal responsibility for realizing a sustainable society. We are making steady progress, specifically on reducing the volume of trays and the size of packaging materials, as well as using alternative materials such as biomass.
We will continue working as an entire company to promote the realization of a sustainable society.

Message from Representative

Food Loss Reduction Project leader Logistics Department General Manager Wataru Katano

Ayumu Katano

Food loss reduction project leader
General Manager
Logistics Department

This project began by examining the reasons for disposal and countermeasures to reduce food loss, and then visiting disposal sites together with relevant Company personnel. Almost all of the products that were discarded due to defective exterior packaging had issues with the foods inside. Until then, it was not uncommon to mechanically dispose of any products that had even slight issues with their exterior packaging, but these site visits made us feel the necessity of revising mechanical disposal. However, since it takes time and effort to check for and determine exterior packaging defaults at logistics sites, we believe it is necessary to have an automatic tool for determining exterior packaging criteria since there is a need to set determination criteria for the industry as a whole. In addition, facilities-related issues had previously hampered the donation of frozen foods, but through the partnership with Food Bank Kanagawa from FY2022 we have established a scheme for regular frozen food donations, and expect to expand these donations going forward.

Main Initiatives in FY2022

"Deplastification": Reducing the Amount of Plastics Used for Containers and Packaging

Promotion framework

Since it is necessary for the entire Company to share information and cooperate on the materiality, which involves a large number of units, from FY2022 we launched a project to reduce the amount of plastics used. With the Managing Executive Officer as project owner and the General Manager of the Product Development Department as project leader, we have established targets for FY2024 and are proceeding with specific efforts to achieve the targets.

Plastics Use Reduction project promotion structure

Plastic Usage Reduction Project Promotion Structure

Establishing Targets for Reducing the Amount of Plastics Used for Containers and Packaging, and Status of Progress

In FY2020, the baseline year, the amount of plastic containers and packaging used amounted to approx. 9,235 tons. In order to achieve our KPI of reducing this amount by 30% by FY2030, we are aiming to reduce this amount by approx. 2,771 tons. Our target for FY2024, the target year of the Medium-term Management Plan, is a 10% reduction (approx. 924 tons) compared to FY2020 levels, and in FY2022, while we implemented various measures, we achieved a reduction of 137 tons (approx. 1.5%)

Reduction in Petroleum-Derived Plastics

Plastic Usage Reduction Project Promotion Structure

Improving product containers and packaging

Measures such as switching to environmentally friendly materials and reducing the size of packaging materials, which have been implemented in the past, as well as issues, are being shared within the project team, and we are considering utilizing these for other products. Also, multiple workshops held by a packaging material manufacturer helped promote this initiative internally, and in FY2022 the marine products division revised the tray size for fresh shrimp and began working to reduce the amount of plastic used. We regularly share information so that other business divisions can deploy the above-mentioned initiatives.

Example of improving containers/packaging (Center tray: before improvement; Right tray: after improvement)
Example of improving containers/packaging (Center tray: before improvement; Right tray: after improvement)

Efforts to Save Resources on Product Containers and Packaging

The Maruha Nichiro Group is working to develop containers with low environmental impact. By reducing the weight of containers, we expect to not only save resources, but also reduce CO2 emissions during distribution due to the reduced weight.

In fiscal 2022, Maruha Nichiro Co., Ltd. reviewed the composition of the film used for rice and cup gratin frozen foods for commercial use and reduced the size while maintaining sufficient strength, resulting in a 16.7-ton reduction in the amount of plastic used.

Food Loss Reduction Initiatives

Improving Product Containers and Packaging

To reduce food loss throughout the Group, we launched the Food Loss Reduction Project in FY2022 with the aim of promoting measures including spreading awareness to all employees within the Group. The Executive Officer in charge of the Logistics Unit is the project owner, and the General Manager of the Logistics Department is the project leader. This project sets targets for the food loss reduction rate by FY2024, drafts a schedule for achieving the targets, and promotes related activities.

Food loss reduction project promotion structure

Food Loss Reduction Project Promotion Structure

What is Food Loss?

What is Food Loss?

Setting Food Loss Reduction Targets and Status of Progress

In FY2020, there was 271.69 tons of food loss at Maruha Nichiro's business divisions and domestic Group companies. For the food loss reduction KPI of "Reducing the domestic Group's food loss by 50% by 2030 compared to 2020 levels," our target is to reduce food loss by 135.85 tons by 2030. Our target for FY2024, the target year of the current Medium-term Management Plan, is to reduce food loss by 20% (a reduction of 54.34 tons) compared to FY2020 levels, and as a result of measures such as establishing a scheme for the donation of frozen foods, we have achieved a reduction of 10.4% (28.17 tons) as of FY2022.

Reduction of Food Loss

Reduction of food loss

Surveying the current state and discussing response measures

At Maruha Nichiro Group, most food loss is generated by business divisions belonging to the Processed Foods Business Unit and Foodstuff Distribution Business Unit and by Group companies, and a large amount of food loss tends to be generated by frozen foods compared to non-frozen foods. The main reasons for this are that frozen foods, which are also often produced outside of Japan, are prone to packaging damage when shipped in transport containers, and a certain amount of waste is also generated by products left over from box-opening sampling inspections at the time of import.

Responding to food loss from exterior packaging damage

In response to food loss from exterior package damage, we have reconsidered the type of packaging, reduced banding of multiple boxes, and are promoting modularization of carton cases and pallet transportation. With regard to exterior package damage, it is necessary to standardize industry-wide criteria and reduce the burden on workers to confirm damage. Therefore, we are working to engage in dialogue and partner with the government, other companies in the industry, and upstream and downstream companies, with the aim of developing and proliferating an AI app that determine exterior packaging damage based on uniform criteria.

Example of damaged exterior packaging

Damage from crushed corner
Damage from crushed corner
Damage from band penetration
Damage from band penetration

Establishing a donation scheme for frozen foods

We have been donating food to food banks since 2009. However, due to the shipment costs and lack of sufficient frozen storage facilities at food banks, we had not made progress on the donation of frozen foods, which make up a large portion of our food loss. As we considered how to overcome this problem, we formed a partnership between Food Bank Kanagawa and logistics companies that store our products . This enabled us to establish a scheme by which Food Bank Kanagawa receives our frozen products directly from the warehouse in periodic donations. As a result, donations of frozen products in addition to non-frozen products have increased dramatically, bringing the total amount of FY2022 donations to 16.87 tons. Currently, periodic donations are primarily for the remaining products following box-opening sampling inspections, for which quality can be guaranteed. In the future we intend to expand this to products with damaged exterior packaging.

Regular Donation Scheme Flow

Regular donation scheme flow
Left: Frozen food stored in logistics company warehouse
Center: Confirmation of condition of open boxes removed during import inspection
Right: Picked up in a freezer owned by Food Bank Kanagawa

Food loss generated by distribution or consumers after sale

In addition to extending the shelf-life of non-frozen foods, which we have been implementing thus far, in 2022 we began selling some frozen foods for commercial or institutional use with shelf-life extended by six months—extended from 12 months to 18 months—by checking the quality through storage testing. We are making steady progress on reducing food loss through the implementation of various measures. In FY2023, we plan to work to drastically reduce food loss caused by damage to exterior packaging.

Other Initiatives