Sustainability Initiatives through our BusinessPolicies considering environment and society

Policy on Initiatives for Food Safety and Reliability

In the Food Business, the Marubeni Group supplies a wide range of products to meet the increasingly diverse needs of the times. In a number of our businesses, through our ownership of manufacturing and processing facilities, we have built an extensive value chain stretching from raw material procurement to delivery of products and services to consumers. In this way, we are contributing to food safety and reliability, while addressing nutrition issues by providing food products with outstanding functionality.

The Handling of RSPO/ISCC Certified Products

Roughly 30% of the palm oil and palm oil derivative products handled by our subsidiary Baum & Co., Inc. (USA) are RSPO/ISCC certified products.
We are doing our part to promote such certified products by responding to the needs of our environmentally conscious customers.

Initiatives for functional ingredients

As an example of our initiatives on food safety and reliability, at Group company Toyo Sugar Refining Co., Ltd . we produce and sell various types of sugar, as well as functional ingredients such as Rutin and Hesperidin that can be used in food products, beverages, supplements, and cosmetics.
We will proceed to develop new products, making full use of our proprietary enzyme processing technologies and accumulated expertise, while addressing nutrition issues through the sale of these functional ingredients.

Overview of Rutin
Overview of Hesperidin

Compliance System for Ensuring Safety and Reliability of Processed Food Products and Beverages

Marubeni strives to keep up with industry trends, including through membership of the Association for the Safety of Imported Food, Japan and the Japan Food Hygiene Association. At the same time, to improve our technology, we have been working in partnership with an external specialist organization since 2004, accumulating expertise on food safety and hygiene management. In particular, to ensure the safety of imported agricultural, livestock, and marine produce, as well as processed food products, we gather information and check safety ourselves. Furthermore, depending on product characteristics and risks, we may have external specialists perform plant inspections of local suppliers.
If a food safety-related incident does occur, we have systems in place to implement immediate response measures in communication with relevant government agencies and suppliers. These initiatives help to build awareness of food safety among overseas suppliers, leading to improvement of safety measures throughout our supply chain.
We ensure that employees receive appropriate training and that relevant information is shared. We hold internal Group training for all newly assigned employees twice annually, and quarterly Group compliance liaison meetings with Group companies.
Twice annually we hold seminars on selected topics and issues related to food safety, such as ensuring safety of food product imports. In the year ended March 31, 2020, we invited an external expert to hold a seminar on the revised Food Sanitation Act in Japan. Group companies and suppliers were invited to participate in the seminar as part of our efforts to raise awareness of food safety.

Participation in Food Safety Initiatives and Associations, etc.

Marubeni aims to provide safe, reliable food products and ingredients, and to maintain and improve quality management functions. To achieve this, Marubeni Group companies participate in the activities of the following external organizations with the goals of gathering information and exchanging opinions.

Japan Food Additives Association

The Japan Food Additives Association (JAFA) is comprised of companies and organizations that are involved in the production, import, sale and use of food additives in Japan. The association is a successor to the Federation of Japan Food Additives Groups, etablished as a nationwide organization in October 1982 with the addition of new members.
JAFA works under the guidance of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and other related government agencies with the objectives of providing members with accurate knowledge pertaining to the production, sale, and use of food additives, and promoting consumer understanding of safety and utility. In addition, JAFA seeks to contribute to the sound development of food-related industries, and to better consumer dietary habits and public hygiene.
The Marubeni Group gathers information about the safety and functionality of food additives from JAFA, and conducts its businesses appropriately, receiving advice on matters such as labeling for food additives and interpretations of the relevant laws.

Japan Food Additives Association

All Japan Coffee Fair Trade Conference

The All Japan Coffee Fair Trade Conference formulated the Fair Competition Code for Labeling of Regular Coffee and Instant Coffee Products, designed to aid consumers in the purchase of regular coffee and instant coffee products. The code was recognized by the Japan Fair Trade Commission on November 13, 1991, and a notification was published in the Kanpo (the official gazette of the Japanese Government) on November 27, with full enforcement starting from May 28, 1993.
On November 29, 1991, the conference was inaugurated as a discretionary body with membership consisting of coffee-related business operators who agree with the objectives of the conference. It is dedicated to ensuring the fair labeling of coffee products.
The Marubeni Group receives advice regarding coffee labeling and related matters from the All Japan Coffee Fair Trade Conference.

All Japan Coffee Fair Trade Conference (Japanese only)

Japan Soft Drink Association

The Japan Soft Drink Association is an industry organization that prioritizes shared benefit and public good. The association aims to ensure rigorous compliance with laws and regulations among soft drink manufacturers, sellers, and related businesses, and facilitates smooth coordination of activities between association members and the government. It also promotes, supports, and provides guidance on corporate social responsibility, encourages healthy consumption of soft drinks, and spreads awareness and knowledge relating to soft drinks.
Through the Japan Soft Drink Association, the Marubeni Group receives advice on matters such as beverage labeling and quality management.

Japan Soft Drink Association

Society of Soft Drink Technologists, Japan

The Society of Soft Drink Technologists, Japan was launched in 1992 with the objective of providing a forum for soft drink technologists and researchers to meet and exchange information, while furthering technological innovation and skill development. The society works to provide technical support so that the soft drink industry can continue to develop in harmony with the public interest.
Through the Society of Soft Drink Technologists, the Marubeni Group receives advice on matters such as beverage labeling and quality management.

Society of Soft Drink Technologists, Japan (Japanese only)

Contribution to Sustainable Fishing

Pacific bluefin tuna stock, playing a key role as one of the top predators in the Pacific Ocean marine ecosystem, contributes to employment and economy in Pacific coastal countries including Japan. However, it remains near the historic low and the sustainability of the stock in the future is a concern.
Responding to this situation, Marubeni Corporation announces to release a joint statement, "PACIFIC BLUEFIN TUNA CONSERVATION PLEDGE" in November 2016 with five Japanese companies involved in distribution of marine products. This pledge is published on a voluntary basis through WWF Japan’s leadership.
Marubeni have promoted the sales of MSC and other fishing industry certified products, and contributed to a sustainable fishery. Participating in this joint statement, Marubeni will work on the management of sustainable fishery resources.

Click here to view the “PACIFIC BLUEFIN TUNA CONSERVATION PLEDGE” web site.
(English text after Japanese text below)

Support for "Sustainable Seafood Week 2019"

With increasing concern that seafood is being depleted from seas around the world, efforts are being made to shift toward sustainable use of marine resources. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Japan Office, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Japan, and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Japan hold the Sustainable Seafood Week (SSW) 2019 to further spread the awareness of sustainable seafood across Japan in October. The annual campaign started in 2014 and this time is the sixth year.
Sustainable Seafood refers to food made from fish caught by methods that prevent depletion of marine resources or farmed responsibly, and do not have adverse effects on the biological system, to preserve the valuable marine resources into the future. Marubeni has been promoting the handling of MSC certified products, which are guaranteed as natural marine products caught with consideration of marine resources and the environment. Marubeni supports the activities of the Sustainable Seafood Week that aim to spread the practice of sustainable seafood.

Click here to view the "Sustainable Seafood Week 2019" web site. (Japanese only)

Cooperation with Business Partners to Recycle Food Waste and Reduce Resource Usage

With the aim of realizing a recycling-based society, the Marubeni Group is promoting recycling of food waste and reduction of resource usage through cooperation with its business partners (waste generators, processors, consumers, etc.). We continuously supply recycled feedstuff made from the inedible parts of marine/livestock products and food production by-products to formula feed manufacturers. Additionally, products made from livestock and fish fed with formula feed are sold to general consumers through Marubeni Group sales channels. Through these efforts, Marubeni realizes a recycling loop. We also collect waste edible oil from business activities such as supermarkets and convenience stores. Purified oil and fat made with this oil are supplied to chemical manufacturers as raw material for resin, paint, soap, etc.

Initiatives for Environmentally Friendly Procurement of Raw Materials for Textiles

Marubeni has partnered with an Indian textile company to supply organic cotton yarn to domestic and foreign weaving, knitting, and sewing factories.
This textile company selects farms and ginning (the post-harvest process for separating the cotton seeds from the fibers) factories with GOTS certification, and purchases raw cotton from them. Because the company itself also has GOTS certification, the organic cotton Marubeni handles is 100% traceable.

Performance data
  FY2018
Organic cotton handling volume (tonnes) 1,150
Proportion to overall cotton traded 3.7%
Traceability 100%
GOTS certification 100%

Initiatives for Cellulose Nanofiber (CNF)

In 2017, Marubeni established a CNF Business Incubation Section responsible for product development and market cultivation using CNF materials. We have already begun the supply of CNF materials for sports products and audio equipment, and are also working to cultivate the market for this new, environmentally friendly material.

Initiatives for Environmentally Friendly Pulp Manufacturing

To reduce its impact on the environment, the pulp mill of our subsidiary in Indonesia employs elemental chlorine-free (ECF) bleaching pulp manufacturing process.

See here to learn more about our ECF initiatives

Policy on Environmental and Social Initiatives in the Real Estate Business

The Marubeni Group’s business activities contribute to solving environmental and social issues with the aim of providing people with comfortable places to live.
For the environment, in design, construction and property management, we not only apply existing environmental measures, but also take steps to improve energy efficiency and energy-saving performance in materials procurement as well as our various facilities and systems. In this way, we are helping to realize a low-carbon society and curb global warming.
For society, in every aspect of design, construction, and property management, we build relationships with tenants, the region, and communities, working together with them to tackle social issues. In urban redevelopment projects, we cooperate with stakeholders to create neighborhoods that contribute to the local community as a whole, thereby contributing to sustainable regional development.

Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Signed by Asset Management Company

Japan REIT Advisors Co., Ltd. (JRA), a Marubeni Group company in the real estate asset management business, has been conducting the investment management for United Urban Investment Corporation (UUR). In November 2018, JRA signed the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and became a PRI signatory.

Click here for details on PRI
News Release: Japan REIT Advisors Co., Ltd. Recognized as a Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Signatory

As a comprehensive J-REIT, UUR aims to reduce various risks and secure mid to long-term stable earnings by making real estate investments spanning diverse uses and locations that are not limited by purpose or area. URR is also working to improve sustainability through environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations for sound management that can coexist with society and the natural environment. When considering real estate investments, JRA carefully examines the impact on the environment (asbestos, soil contamination, etc.), tenants (antisocial forces, work environment, etc.), and neighborhood (relationship with the community, traffic volume as a result of the relevant properties, etc.), in addition to the profitability. JRA has earned third-party environmental performance evaluations such as CASBEE (Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency) through analyses not just at the time of acquisition, but also for efforts to improve the environmental performance after acquisition as well. As a result of these initiatives, as of 2019, JRA has earned the Green Star (the highest award) for five consecutive years in the survey for the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), the annual benchmark that assesses sustainability practices in the real estate sector.

UUR and JRA will continue to make further efforts to achieve asset management that considers ESG in the future.

Click here to view the “United Urban Investment Corporation” web site.

Click here to view the policies and specific approaches regarding environment, Initiatives for external ESG recognition

Click here to view the “Japan REIT Advisors Co., Ltd.” web site.

Policy on Mine Closures

The Marubeni Group understands the importance of reducing the impact on the environment and surrounding communities when closing down mines. We use a local business entity to communicate with local communities and other stakeholders from the project planning stage, formulate a mine closure plan, conduct an environmental impact assessment, obtain environment-related authorizations from regulatory agencies, carry out various types of monitoring necessary for maintaining those authorizations, and strive to minimize the social and environmental impact when the mine is decommissioned. We also start the necessary rehabilitation before mine closure to lessen the environmental impact after the mine closes.