Joint Research on Changing Consumption Behavior by Displaying the Carbon Footprint of Food Menu Items

Jul. 25, 2022
Marubeni Corporation
Sustainable Management Promotion Organization

Marubeni Corporation ("Marubeni") and Sustainable Management Promotion Organization ("SuMPO") have agreed to jointly investigate the changing consumption behavior of consumers by displaying the carbon footprint of food menu items at the cafeteria of Marubeni’s head office in Tokyo. This is the first time in Japan that SuMPO has provided a technology to display the carbon footprint of foods in a company’s cafeteria and to conduct research on consumption behavior.

A carbon footprint is a system whereby GHG emissions generated throughout the entire lifecycle of products or services, from raw material procurement to disposal and recycling, are converted into CO2 and then displayed. It is expected to become a common language in a carbon neutral society in the future. In this case, the carbon footprint will be displayed on food menus as a ‘carbon version of calories’ *1.

Approximately 10% of domestic GHG emissions originate from food. Therefore, life cycle assessment (LCA *2), an evaluation method for decarbonized products and services, particularly energy and mobility, has been attracting attention. However, there are few examples of GHG emissions calculations of the life cycle of food menu items, making it important to promote the visualization of these emissions and develop reduction and marketing methods.

Marubeni formulated a long-term vision on climate change aiming to achieve net zero GHG emissions in the Group by 2050, and has been focusing on initiatives such as the development and marketing of environmentally friendly food products as part of its green strategy. In addition, SuMPO, the only ISO-based carbon footprint program operator in Japan, will be able to utilize its specialized LCA knowledge for this research.

Together, Marubeni and SuMPO will conduct an investigation to make food-related GHG reduction efforts visible and develop effective consumer marketing with the aim of building a carbon-neutral society through food.

1 It was developed as one of the action plans proposed in SuMPO’s Carbon Neutral Initiative (SuMPO/CN Strategy published on June 10).

2  A method for quantitatively assessing the environmental impact of a product or service over its entire life cycle or at a specific stage. It has recently been attracting attention as a decision support tool for the development and improvement of environmentally friendly products and services due to growing environmental awareness.


About Marubeni

Name Marubeni Corporation
Name Marubeni Corporation
Head Office 4-2, Ohtemachi 1-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8088, Japan
Established December 1, 1949
Rep. Masumi Kakinoki
Main Business Marubeni Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries use their broad business networks, both within Japan and overseas, to conduct importing and exporting (including third country trading), as well as domestic business, encompassing a diverse range of business activities across wide-ranging fields including lifestyle, ICT & real estate business, forest products, food, agri business, chemicals, energy, metals & mineral resources, power business, infrastructure project, aerospace & ship, finance & leasing business, construction, industrial machinery & mobility, and next generation business development. Additionally, the Marubeni Group offers a variety of services, makes internal and external investments, and is involved in resource development throughout all of the above industries.
Website https://www.marubeni.com/en/

About SuMPO

Name Sustainable Management Promotion Organization
Name Sustainable Management Promotion Organization
Head Office Mitsui-sumitomo Building, 2-1, Kaji-cho 2 chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Japan
Established June 26, 2019 (Business started on October 1, 2019)
Rep. Chairman of the Board Hideteru Ishida (Professor Emeritus, Tohoku University)
Executive Director Takehisa Kabeya (full-time)
Main Business For resolving social and environmental issues, such as global environmental problems:
1. Company survey, market research, environmental conscious analysis, etc.
2. Building a new business model, designing a promotion plan, etc.
3. Economic (ripple) effect analysis, environmental impact assessment, etc.
4. Public relations activities.
5. Others.
HP https://sumpo.or.jp/index.html


Related press releases of Marubeni:

Click here for “The Marubeni Long-Term Vision on Climate Change: Towards Net-Zero GHG Emissions,” released on March 9, 2021.

Click here for Marubeni’s “Mid-Term Management Strategy GC2024,” released on February 3, 2022.

Related press releases of SuMPO:

Click here for the “Recipe de Carbon Footprint (Carbon Version of Calories),” released on December 7, 2021 (in Japanese).