Efficient Use of Resources


Our daily lives depend greatly on plentiful global resources. MC believes it is important to simultaneously generate three kinds of value: economic value, societal value, and environmental value - while benefiting in a sustainable manner from limited resources within our planetary boundaries. MC’s Environmental Charter positions this as a key consideration in business activities by clarifying that we will promote the sustainable use of natural resources including energy, minerals, food stocks, wood and water throughout our global business operations. Specifically, MC strives to recycle, reuse, and efficiently use resources, reduce the ecological footprint of our business activities, maintain healthy stocks in fishing activities, and otherwise efficiently utilize resources in accordance with our business operations.

Reference:Mitsubishi Corporation Environmental Charter

サステナビリティ・CSR部 ステークホルダーエンゲージメントチーム(PQ-E)


Officer in Charge Akira Murakoshi (Member of the Board, Executive Vice President, Corporate Functional Officer, CDO, CAO, Corporate Communications, Corporate Sustainability & CSR)
Deliberative Body
(A subcommittee under the Executive Committee, a management decisionmaking body)
Sustainability & CSR Committee
Important matters related to the efficient use of resources deliberated in the Sustainability & CSR Committee are formally approved by the Executive Committee and put forward or reported to the Board of Directors based on prescribed standards.
Department in Charge Corporate Sustainability & CSR Dept.

Reference:Diagram of the Sustainability Promotion Framework

Risk Management

When reviewing and making decisions on loan and investment proposals, MC conducts a comprehensive screening process which considers not only economic aspects, but ESG factors as well. This includes considering measures to address recycling and closed-loop businesses, waste management and related matters. Besides screening new investment and exit proposals, MC also strives to make improvements to existing business investments by monitoring their management practices.

サステナビリティ・CSR部 ステークホルダーエンゲージメントチーム(PQ-E)


With regard to waste emissions in its Head Offices, in principle, MC aims to reduce emissions by 1% from the previous fiscal year, and targets are set based on the previous fiscal year’s results. In addition, with regard to recycling rates, MC has set a goal of achieving zero waste emissions offices, with the aim of recycling at least 95% of the waste produced by MC.

* MC defines “zero emissions” as cases where vendors are contracted to recycle 95% or more of waste produced by its Head Offices. MC also promotes waste reduction, reuse, and recycling, and manages Head Office activities with waste emissions targets.

(Unit: kg)
  2018.3 2019.3 2020.3
Waste Emissions volume 563,283 585,218 494,256
• Recycling volume 554,600 576,834 487,080
• Waste volume 8,683 8,384 7,329
Recycling rate (%) 98.5% 98.6% 98.5%

Scope of aggregation (non-consolidated): Mitsubishi Shoji Building, Marunouchi Park Building, and certain other offices in Tokyo

* Waste volume figures exclude waste resulting from internal construction service tasks

サステナビリティ・CSR部 ステークホルダーエンゲージメントチーム(PQ-E)


Recycling and Closed-Loop Business Initiatives (Chuo Kagaku)

MC consolidated subsidiary Chuo Kagaku Co., Ltd. has been voluntarily collecting used plastic food containers from consumer co-ops, supermarkets and other organizations since 1990. Working closely with local service providers, MC promotes recycling at the regional level by selecting the most effective method after analyzing various options, and thus reducing its environmental burden. In chemical recycling, collected used containers are thermally decomposed into basic chemical raw materials utilizing steelmaking equipment, and some of the raw materials are recycled into new food trays. In thermal recycling, containers are broken down and solidified to produce alternatives to fuels such as coal, and used as boiler fuel for power plants, paper companies, etc. In materials recycling, containers are broken down, melted and otherwise processed, then turned into recycled products such as benches.

MC is also focusing on environmentally-friendly materials that can be used safely in all food products. CHUO A-PET GREEN (C-APG), an ECO MARK certified product, makes effective use of resources by using recycled PET as the raw material for plastic containers. Its safety has also been ensured by meeting voluntary industry standards that comply with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The product epitomizes MC’s drive to address social issues pertaining to the environmental and safety.

Going forward, Chuo Kagaku will continue striving to reduce and avoid waste, as well as reduce the use of raw materials. These include high-performance gas barrier containers that are sealed with freshness-preserving gas to inhibit the oxidation of food and the growth of bacteria, thereby reducing food waste; containers that contribute to reduced use of plastic by using talc for more than 50% of their raw material; and research into heat-resistant materials that improve the efficiency of cooking.

Furthermore, Chuo Kagaku has formulated environmental impact reduction plans every five years since 2006 and is forging ahead with environmental initiatives. In 2017, MC established the Third Five-Year Plan to Reduce Environmental Impact (2017–2021).

Chuo Kagaku Co., Ltd.’s Third Five-Year Plan to Reduce Environmental Impact (2017–2021)

Theme Description of initiatives Targets (for 2022.3)
Reduction of waste Recycling in-house waste
  • Promoting zero emissions activities by recycling in-house waste
Promoting recycling and collection of used plastic food containers at stores
  • Promoting local closed-loop recycling and collection of used plastic food containers at stores
  • Practical use of closed-loop food packaging recycling
Promoting education about and practice of the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) via closed-loop recycling
  • Promoting zero-emission activities by recycling in-house waste
〈Past Achievements〉

(1) Recycling in-house waste

In the year ended March 2020, 96.8% (2,520 tons) of the 2,602 tons of waste produced within MC was recycled and effectively reused. Waste breakdown in order of volume is as follows: plastic waste, wastepaper, general combustible materials, scrap metal, wood shavings, and waste oil. Plastic waste was generated by manufacturing plants. Additionally, waste including PET bottles, empty cans, wastepaper, and plastic materials such as polypropylene (PP), PET, and polyethylene (PE) are proactively recovered and separated by the relevant department the Head Offices to promote recycling.

Targeted Waste 2019.3 2020.3 Recycling rate (A) – (B)
YoY change (points)
Generated Waste (tons) Recycling rate (B) Generated Waste (tons) Recycling rate (A)
Plastic waste 2,764 96.5% 2,193 97.2% + 0.7
Wastepaper 265 99.5% 233 99.4% ▲ 0.1
Scrap metal 169 99.4% 65 100% + 0.6
General combustible materials 28 1.1% 68 79.4% + 78.3
Wood shavings 40 95.2% 29 89.2% ▲ 6.0
Waste oil 14 84.4% 14 84.2% ▲ 0.2
Total 3,280 96.0% 2,602 96.8% + 0.8

(2) Promoting collection and recycling of used plastic food containers from stores

With the cooperation of consumers, retailers such as supermarkets, and packaging material stores, Chuo Kagaku collects used plastic food packaging at stores and employs a variety of recycling processes to transform such materials into usable resources again. Chuo Kagaku also fulfills its obligations as a manufacturer of plastic food containers under Japan’s Containers and Packaging Recycling Law, with regard to recycling used plastic food containers collected by municipalities nationwide. The amount collected over the past 30 years has been 915.57 million tons, or 22.9 billion sheets (1 sheet equals 4 grams ).

  2016.3 2017.3 2018.3 2019.3 2020.3
Volume collected (tons) 2,484 2,566 2,546 1,887 1,625
Volume collected (converted to number of sheets) 620,910,000 641,540,000 636,370,000 471,830,000 461,100,000


Recycling and Closed-Loop Business Initiatives (Livestock Feed Production Business)

Nosan Corporation, a consolidated subsidiary of MC, uses Eco Feed as a raw material for its formulated livestock feed, with the aim of helping to increase the food recycling rate and enhance the livestock feed and food self-sufficiency rate. Currently, Nosan Corporation uses approximately 7,000 MT per year of dried Eco Feed recycled from discarded by-products of food production, unsold food products, leftovers from cooking etc., and approximately 20,000 MT per year of by-products from bakeries and confectionery factories (bread crumbs, cake flour). These are used as raw materials for livestock feed.


* A livestock feed manufactured using by-products of food production (by-products obtained from the food production process), unsold food products (bread and boxed lunches, etc.) leftovers from cooking (cut vegetable scraps and other leftovers from cooking) and residual farm products (imperfect farm produce, etc.).

Recycling and Closed-Loop Business Initiatives (Livestock Business)

Japan Farm Holdings Inc., a consolidated subsidiary of MC, is a large-scale livestock company which won the Fiscal 2016 Eco-Feed Award from the Japan Livestock Industry Association for its work building a closed-loop recycling model. The model is centered on reusing waste generated from a primary industry, specifically the lees left over from producing the distilled liquor shochu. Japan Farm is located in Kagoshima Prefecture, which is famous for sweet potato shochu manufacturing. The by-product waste known as lees from shochu manufacturing had been an ongoing issue. Japan Farm worked in collaboration with local distilleries for over two years to develop feed that reuses the shochu lees. The feed is used for breeding pigs for “Brand Pork.” Along with reducing waste disposal costs and CO2 emissions, a closed-loop model has been established in such a manner where the manure from the pigs given the feed is recycled into fertilizer sold by vendors such as local agricultural cooperatives.

Reference:From the Japan Livestock Industry Association website page providing eco-feed information (Japanese only)
コンシューマー産業グループCEOオフィス(HI-F), 食品産業グループCEOオフィス 経営計画ユニット(LI-F)


Paper Consumption (Non-Consolidated)
(Unit: Thousand sheets)
  2019.3 2020.3 2021.3
Paper consumption (A4 copy paper conversion) 46,510 38,265 16,900

Scope of aggregation: Head Offices, six Japan-based branches and offices under each branch’s jurisdiction

サステナビリティ・CSR部 ステークホルダーエンゲージメントチーム(PQ-E)

Recycling Volume

Non-Consolidated Recycling Volume (Head Office)
(Units: kg)
  2018.3 2019.3 2020.3
Recycling volume 554,600 576,834 487,080

* A 100% recycling rate at Mitsubishi Shoji Building, the Head Office building.

Non-Consolidated Recycling Volume (Food Waste)
(Units: kg)
  2019.3 2020.3 2021.3
Food waste recycling volume 260,270 217,100 164,700

MC periodically reports on its food waste on a non-consolidated basis including amounts generated and recycled in accordance with Japan’s Food Recycling Law, and works to recycle in line with targets the law stipulates that companies must strive to achieve.

Non-Consolidated Recycling Volume (Container and Packaging Waste)
(Units: kg)
  2019.3 2020.3 2021.3
Mandatory container and packaging recycling volume 25,796 25,934 22,391

* Regarding container and packaging waste discarded by consumers, the mandatory container and packaging recycling volume as an importer. Waste produced by MC on a non-consolidated basis is not included.

MC fulfills its recycling obligations pertaining to container and packaging waste on a non-consolidated basis as an importer in accordance with Japan’s Containers and Packaging Recycling Law.

サステナビリティ・CSR部 ステークホルダーエンゲージメントチーム(PQ-E), 食品産業グループCEOオフィス 経営計画ユニット(LI-F)

Water Discharge

(Units: Thousand m3
  2019.3 2020.3 2021.3
Water discharge 43,818 48,215 47,894
Water discharge
(By destination)
Ocean 24,356 27,172 30,286
Surface water 16,824 19,279 15,760
Subsurface / well 1,200 272 274
Off-site water treatment 1,140 1,374 1,469
Beneficial / other use 298 117 105

Scope of aggregation: Consolidated (Main Japan-based subsidiaries)

Reference:Water Withdrawal, Water Recycling Volume and Rate

サステナビリティ・CSR部 ステークホルダーエンゲージメントチーム(PQ-E)

Waste Emissions

Consolidated Waste Volumes
(Units: Thousand tons)
  2019.3 2020.3 2021.3
General waste from business 214 192 157
Industrial waste 226 286 257
Total 440 478 414

Scope of aggregation: Consolidated (Parent company and main Japan-based subsidiaries)

Non-Consolidated Waste Volume (Head Office)
(Units: kg)
  2018.3 2019.3 2020.3
Waste Emissions volume 563,283 585,218 494,256
• Recycling volume 554,600 576,834 487,080
• Waste volume 8,683 8,384 7,329
Recycling rate (%) 98.5% 98.6% 98.5%

Scope of aggregation (non-consolidated): Mitsubishi Shoji Building, Marunouchi Park Building, and certain other offices in Tokyo

* Waste volume figures exclude waste resulting from internal construction service tasks.

Non-Consolidated Waste Volume (Domestic Branches, Branch Offices and Other Offices, Non-Consolidated Business Emissions)
(Units: Kg)
  2018.3 2019.3 2020.3
Waste 1,137,287 1,717,642 1,623,076
  • * Figures include emissions from welfare facilities.
  • * Figures exclude specially controlled industrial waste (infectious waste, PCB waste) and business-related general waste from domestic branches and branch offices.
  • * There is no record of nitrous oxide (NOx), sulfur oxide (SOx), or volatile organic compound emissions.

Reference:Toxic Waste Emissions

サステナビリティ・CSR部 ステークホルダーエンゲージメントチーム(PQ-E)

Independent Practitioner’s Assurance

ESG Data marked with a star (⋆) for the year ended March 2021 has received independent practitioner’s assurance from Deloitte Tohmatsu Sustainability Co., Ltd.

Reference:Independent Practitioner’s Assurance Report

サステナビリティ・CSR部 ステークホルダーエンゲージメントチーム(PQ-E), 食品産業グループCEOオフィス 経営計画ユニット(LI-F)