October 21, 2020
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten Certified as an Eco-First Company by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment

- Promoting activities in each business to reduce the burden on the environment and popularize sustainable consumption

Tokyo, October 21, 2020 - Rakuten, Inc. today announced that on October 21, 2020, it was certified as an Eco-First company within the Japanese Ministry of the Environment’s Eco-First Program.

"Eco-First" certification ceremony

The Eco-First Program sees the Minister of the Environment offer certification to companies that are engaged in “advanced and independent industry-leading business activities” with regard to the environment. Upon obtaining this certification and as part of its “Eco-First Commitment”, Rakuten has promised the Minister of the Environment that it will carry out environmental protection initiatives relevant to its different services.

As an example of these initiatives, Rakuten Ichiba is providing Rakuten BOX lockers for deliveries of products purchased by customers, to curb the need for redeliveries, reducing related greenhouse gases. Rakuten Ichiba also offers consumers the opportunity to shop in a way that supports a sustainable lifestyle through EARTH MALL with Rakuten, a site within Rakuten Ichiba which focuses on offering products that have internationally recognized certifications relating to sustainability. Rakuten’s agricultural service Rakuten Farm is making efforts to popularize sustainable organic farming, which will reduce the burden on the natural environment, and is promoting environmental conservation and the creation of regional circular and ecological spheres (regional CES) through its activities. The Rakuten Group service Rakuten Energy is carrying out initiatives for Rakuten Denki and Rakuten Denki Business customers to enable them to save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

In addition, in December 2019 Rakuten joined the international RE100 (“Renewable Electricity 100%”) initiative, with the aim of ensuring that the electricity used in its business activities is 100% renewable electricity by 2025. As of the end of 2019, the proportion of renewable electricity used has reached 51.4%.

Rakuten will continue working toward its aim of realizing a sustainable society, together with its customers, partners, local people and employees.

■ The Eco-First Commitment
URL: http://www.env.go.jp/guide/info/eco-first/commitment/r021021e.pdf (*Japanese only)

The mission of Rakuten, Inc. and the Rakuten Group is to “contribute to society by creating value through innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Rakuten is focusing its efforts on promoting environmentally-friendly and sustainable lifestyles through its businesses. As well as reducing the environmental burden of its businesses, the Group is carrying out activities to popularize sustainable consumption through services such as Rakuten Ichiba and Rakuten Farm, and is working to contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society and to conserve the natural environment and biodiversity together with its customers, partners, local communities and employees.

1. Promoting activities to reduce the burden on the environment
Rakuten is endeavoring to understand and reduce the environmental burden of greenhouse gases, waste, energy, resources and all forms of pollution brought about by its company activities and the use of its services, with the aim of realizing a sustainable society. The Group has also set appropriate targets to reduce the burden on the environment and is carrying out a variety of initiatives to meet these targets.
For example, in order to reduce greenhouse gases when making deliveries, Rakuten offers a variety of pickup options to users to collect products purchased from Rakuten Ichiba at nearby convenience stores, post offices and Rakuten BOX lockers, reducing the percentage of redeliveries. Rakuten is also working on initiatives to curb redeliveries through an experimental nudge project on the Rakuten Ichiba platform.
Rakuten Group service Rakuten Energy is also implementing initiatives to enable Rakuten Denki and Rakuten Denki Business customers to save energy and reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.

2. Promoting sustainable consumer behavior
Rakuten Ichiba offers consumers the opportunity to shop in a way that supports a sustainable lifestyle through the EARTH MALL with Rakuten site. It aims to popularize products made in ways that are environmentally, socially and economically friendly, with a focus on products that have internationally recognized certification relating to sustainability.

3. Business operations powered by 100% renewable electricity
Rakuten has joined the international RE100 (“Renewable Electricity 100%”) initiative with the aim of decreasing the impact of its business activities on climate change and using its technology and innovation to contribute to anti-climate change measures. Starting with its company headquarters, Rakuten will promote initiatives to achieve the RE100 target of ensuring that all of the electricity used in its business activities is 100% renewable electricity by 2025 through cooperation with internal and external stakeholders, including Rakuten Energy, at locations such as data centers and logistics centers. As of the end of 2019, the proportion of renewable electricity used has reached 51.4%.

4. Creating a sustainable society and regional CES by promoting organic farming
(1) Rakuten is proactively promoting business that will create an environment which will allow sustainable and environmentally-friendly organic food products to be incorporated into everyday life. It will contribute to the realization of circular and ecological societies in various regions of Japan by constructing and providing a business environment that can contribute to sustainability in people’s lives.
・Rakuten is promoting a project for regular deliveries of organic produce developed by Rakuten’s agricultural service Rakuten Farm, as well as the creation of an environment in which customers can deepen their relationships with farmers and obtain organic food products via the internet quickly and simply.
・The company will promote the sale of organic agricultural produce to establishments such as restaurants, retail stores, and hotels, making an environment in which eating organic meals is commonplace.

(2) Rakuten will focus its efforts on realizing a decarbonized society and promoting the conservation of biodiversity by encouraging support of organic farmers who are responsible for sustainable and environmentally-friendly organic farming.
・The company will train people to manage farms by creating training sites for organic farming and then employing and fostering people who are interested in farming. It will increase the number of registered organic farmers to 1,200 people by 2030 (there are 150 as of November 2019).
・The company will provide a variety of sales channels, including farming support services and in-house processing plants, and create a structure to support organic farmers within Japan.
・The company will focus its efforts on reducing the burden on organic farmers, through measures such as sharing farming machinery and collectively purchasing agricultural materials to reduce costs.

5. Environmental protection for the air, soil, water, and more
The company’s agricultural service Rakuten Farm will promote sustainable farming, especially organic farming, which will preserve the cleanliness and richness of the air, soil, and water, promote the conservation of biodiversity, and lead to comprehensive solutions to environmental, social and economic problems in local areas. In so doing, Rakuten Farm will construct regional CES.
The company will also focus on farming methods that reduce the amount of fertilizer used, therefore reducing the nitrate nitrogen discharge from fertilizers that flows into environmental waters, and send farmers trained in such methods to local areas.

6. Environmental education and HR training
Rakuten will propose a lifestyle that will help build a circular and ecological society and raise consumers’ awareness of sustainability, by conveying the appeal of an organic lifestyle through Rakuten-operated media.

Rakuten will check on the progress of the above initiatives and report the outcomes to the Ministry of the Environment, as well as making this information public through regular reports, etc.

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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