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Action against climate change

Reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

Towards net-zero GHG emissions*1 (carbon-neutral) at the Media & Solutions SBU (Strategic Business Unit) by fiscal 2025

*Including direct emissions from urban gas supplied to our company buildings and rented buildings (scope 1) as well as indirect emissions from the use of electricity (scope 2)

To realize our environmental vision, a "more ECO more Smile", we established a target to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in Japan by 25% from the fiscal 2008 level by fiscal 2020. By fiscal 2019, we had managed to reduce our emissions by 48.8%, which greatly exceeded our target.

Moving forward, we have established a new target for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, to take action toward our direct GHG emissions*1 from the M&S SBU to achieve net zero (carbon-neutral) by fiscal 2025 (fiscal year ending March 2026). We will be reviewing and adopting various policies such as the introduction of renewable energy and the purchase of carbon credits, in addition to day-to-day energy conservation efforts including encouraging power savings in offices, in order to achieve our new target.

Areas covered by our GHG estimates

In addition to carbon emissions from the use of energy in our offices, we look at impacts from a wide range of corporate activities including water use, waste disposal, employee commutes and sales activities, and the manufacture of paper used in sales, advertising, and our offices. We also consider the entire life cycles of our products and services, including raw material supply, papermaking, printing, distribution, disposal, and recycling in our magazine business, and the manufacturing and distribution, use, and disposal and recycling of computer and other equipment in our Internet services.

Item Activity
Corporate activity
  • Use of electricity, natural gas, and water in our own buildings and leased buildings
  • Use of transportation by employees (commuting, sales, business trips, job relocation, etc.)
  • Disposal of industrial and general waste
  • Use of office paper (material procurement, papermaking, printing, distribution, disposal, recycling)
  • Software development and acquisition
  • Use of third-party services, e.g., call centers
Life cycle
(product, service)
Raw materials, manufacturing
  • Raw material procurement, papermaking, printing, binding of magazines
  • Procurement and manufacture of raw materials for servers/peripheral equipment
  • Content production and system building
  • Clients' use of peripheral equipment
Distribution
  • Distribution from raw material procurement to disposal
  • Distribution until servers and peripheral equipment reach data centers
  • Server operation (data center server and air conditioning power)
Service use
  • Server operation (data center server and air conditioning power)
  • Clients' use of peripheral devices
Disposal and recycling
  • Amount of information magazine copies left in racks and booksellers and use of energy in transportation and recycling
  • Use of energy in customers' disposal and recycling of information magazine copies

GHG emissions

We began calculating our GHG emissions in fiscal 2010 and took fiscal 2008, for which we could reliably collect actual values, as our base year. With a change in our governance system in October 2012, we expanded the scope of these calculations from that year, and in 2015 revised the classification method we use for travel and commuting expenses due to the expansion of our overseas business.

Furthermore, we reviewed the process for calculating emissions that we had used prior to fiscal 2015. In order to be more accurate, we also recalculated them based on the Basic Guidelines on Accounting for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Throughout the Supply Chain (Ver. 2.2) formulated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of the Environment. The main changes that resulted are as follows below.

We reviewed our GHG emission output levels based on the Emission Factor Database for Corporate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounting Over the Supply Chain (Ver. 2.4)

Each year, the trend of our GHG emissions is reported at the Board of Directors'meeting. The President, CEO, and Representative Director oversees the progress towards our target.

Note: In performing calculations for Scopes 1, 2, and 3, we receive assistance from Wastebox and JMA Consultants Inc.

Chart of GHG emissions
GHG emissions by Scope
(t) FY2008 FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019
Scope1* 1,979 2,783 2,983 980 917
Scope2* 12,276 10,138 10,289 5,934 5,635
Scope3* 280,227 187,749 174,865 164,795t 144,248
Total 294,483 200,670 188,137 171,709t 150,800
Progress towards our target - 127.4% 144.5% 166.8% 195.2%

* We calculate emissions for Scopes 1, 2 and 3 based on the Green Value Chain Platform formulated and released by the Ministry of Environment (MOE) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The items required to be calculated in each Scope are the following:

Scope 1: Direct GHG emissions from the use of gas at offices
Scope 2: Indirect GHG emissions from the use of electricity at offices
Scope 3: Indirect GHG emissions from activities except for those mentioned above (such as emissions from business travel and publishing information magazines).

* the list of main emission factor is here

*The total floor area of the leased building of the group companies was used as the activity amount to calculate scope 1 and 2, but it is excluded since FY2018 due to the change of the lease contract body.

Scope 3 split by source (Japan)

Item FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019
Emissions from magazine business 79.7% 78.1% 75.7% 76.2%
Office supplies 7.9% 5.9% 8.7% 6.6%
Business travel 3.7% 4.1% 4.4% 4.6%
IT server 3.7% 6.1% 5.2% 6.1%
Commuting 3.6% 4.1% 4.8% 5.6%
Others 1.4% 1.7% 1.2% 0.9%
Total 100% 100% 100% 100%

GHG emissions intensity

From FY2017, we have started to monitor GHG emissions intensity.
The GHG emissions intensity in FY 2017(Global Scope 1 + 2 t / sales revenue (billion yen)) was 17.6 (38,262 t / 2, 173.3 (billion yen)).
The GHG emissions intensity in FY 2018 (Global Scope 1 + 2 t / sales revenue (billion yen)) was 6.9 (15,957 t / 2,310.7 (billion yen)).
The GHG emissions intensity in FY 2019 (Global Scope 1 + 2 t / sales revenue (billion yen)) was 21.6 (51,880 t /2,399.4 (billion yen)).

Major efforts for GHG reductions

We undertake the following activities to reduce GHG emissions in our corporate activities and over the life cycles of our products and services.

Item Activity
Corporate activity
  • Going paperless
  • Promotion of remote work
  • Energy-saving efforts
  • Large-scale events and seminars inside and outside the company (venue electricity, setup, materials, etc.)
Life cycle
(product, service)
Raw materials, manufacturing
  • Optimization of print runs
  • Procurement of energy-efficient servers and peripheral equipment
Distribution
  • Optimization of the number of copies distributed
Service use
  • Shifting customer interviews from face-to-face to online
  • Paper consumption reduction through online application forms and Magazine manuscript
Disposal and recycling
  • Recycling of magazines remaining in racks/bookstores
  • Facilitating information magazine recycling by customers

Climate related risks and opportunities

We have identified climate related risks and opportunities to our business.

Risks Actions and Opportunities
short term Market Risks: Increased cost of raw materials (For example: paper procurement) We utilize IT tools to reduce the use of paper.
Acute physical risks: Increased severity of extreme weather events We have BCP(Business Continuity Planning) in place in order to prepare for and recover from natural disasters.

・To ensure safety, our employees are given regular safety confirmation drills and lectures on initial disaster response.
・ Emergency stockpiles are maintained on all premises. Additional measures are also in place, e.g. keeping stocks in external warehouses to allow the distribution of relief supplies to affected areas.
・We implement a web system to show real-time information on affected areas and damage statuses.

Before signing a lease agreement, we check the property according to our evaluation criteria, including compliance with the new seismic standard, to prepare against earthquakes.
Reputation risks: Increased stakeholder concern or negative stakeholder feedback We have a target to reduce GHG emissions by 25% between FY2008 and the end of FY2020. We undertake many measures to reduce GHG emissions.
(Examples: We utilize AI to improve the take-away ratio of free magazines. In addition, we collect all magazines that did not reach readers. These are recycled and partially reused in cardboard boxes.)
medium to long term Technology risks: Unsuccessful investment in new technologies We have an internal carbon price and when investing in new technologies and procuring equipment for data centers, GHG emissions of equipment are financially calculated and shadow price is used for decision making.
Legal risks: Enhanced emissions-reporting obligations We disclose our GHG emissions and have been improving our coverage of data.
Legal risks: Increased pricing of GHG emissions We undertake many measures to reduce GHG emissions
Reputation risks: Enhanced emissions-reporting obligations We have a target to reduce GHG emissions by 25% between FY2008 and the end of FY2020. We undertake many measures to reduce GHG emissions.
(Examples: We utilize AI to improve the take-away ratio of free magazines. In addition, we collect all magazines that did not reach readers. These are recycled and partially reused in cardboard boxes.)

Activities in Offices

In order to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and work toward a green recovery*1, in August 2020, the source of electricity used at the Recruit Ginza 8 Building (Chuo-ku, Tokyo; commonly known as G8) was switched from a conventional fossil fuel-derived power plan to one that uses 100% renewable energy from sources such as solar, biomass, and more - a 100% renewable energy plan*2. This means the building's electrical power usage is GHG neutral.

*1 "Green recovery" refers to a sustainable recovery plan for the economy post-COVID-19

*2 Energy plan that provides Energy Attribute Certificates and International Renewable Energy Certificates (I-RECs) that are composed of Green Energy Certificates (GECs), J-credits (renewables), and Non-Fossil Certificates (NFCs) with tracking.

Activities in Offices

Activities in Internet services

Internet service is indispensable for every business of Recruit Group. Amid the progress of IT on a worldwide scale, it is reported in the estimate by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry that the amount of electricity consumed by IT equipment in Japan will reach up to 240 billion kWh in 2025, five times higher than the current level, and 550 billion kWh in 2050, 12 times higher than now. Recruit Group integrated its data centers and aggregated distributed IT equipment, and also built a data center with less environmental burden. At the same time, we replaced both IT and network equipment with the latest models for lower power consumption, and also reduced the overall amount of equipment. We are making efforts to reduce total GHG emissions at our data centers used for Internet service operation.

Activities in Internet services

Activities in Information magazines

"As for Recruit Group's free magazines, we are making efforts to reduce environmental burden in each of the processes. Specifically, in order to reduce GHG emissions, we are making various efforts such as using as thin paper as possible, reducing the number of delivery trucks, recycling the remaindered copies to cardboard, and so on.
In addition, we are conducting research on projects for improving distribution efficiency to reduce wasteful distribution, which has resulted in improving its accuracy. In Recruit Group, we call the ratio of the number of copies actually taken away to the number of copies placed in the rack the ""takeaway ratio."" We address the improvement of the takeaway ratio by taking measures such as utilizing AI."

From printing to collection: Efforts for the environment at each stage

Free magazines placed in magazine racks of railroad stations and shops nationwide, and magazines displayed and sold at bookstores and kiosks. Considerable efforts are being made at each stage of the circulation in order to realize both the timely and sufficient distribution and presentation of magazines to consumers and the reduction of environmental load to the lowest level possible.

Measures taken at the printing stage

Measures taken at the printing stage

Recruit Group publishes many types of information magazines in large quantities, reaching roughly 180 million copies in 2017. The more copies we print, the larger the quantity of paper, our key resource, we consume. Recruit Group recommends that the paper to be used for magazines be as thin as possible, on condition that the quality of the magazines can be maintained and avoiding show-through, for the purpose of minimizing the consumption of paper while providing the quantity of information needed. We also recycle all paper left over after the magazines are bound.

Measures taken at the delivery stage

Measures taken at the delivery stage

The printed information magazines are distributed from printing plants and agent warehouses to magazine racks and bookstores nationwide. The delivery, which is conducted mainly by using trucks, will increase GHG emissions. In particular, with respect to free magazines, Recruit Group itself arranges delivery companies, and makes efforts to realize the optimum frequency of delivery to reduce GHG emissions by planning the most appropriate schedules for publication and delivery.

Measures taken at the placement and maintenance stage

Measures taken at the placement and maintenance stage

It is our desire as business operator and at the same time, as a company responsible for reducing environmental load that free magazines placed in magazine racks and magazines displayed at stores be provided to our readers to the last one copy. To that end, the magazine racks need to be designed to attract readers easily, and must not spoil the beautiful appearance of streets or disturb the safety and movement of pedestrians. Therefore, we design and locate magazine racks with utmost care and attention. Furthermore, we request truck drivers and dedicated bookstore staff to keep our racks and store displays in order so that the racks and store displays are always kept clean and can be enjoyed by everyone.

Measures taken at the collection stage

Measures taken at the collection stage

Recruit Group also strictly manages left-over and collected information magazines which did not reach readers. It is a basic premise as a matter of course to minimize the leftovers by accurately estimating the number of magazines to be published so that they will be distributed to the last copy to all the people in need of the information. The left-over information magazines are collected by our contracted waste paper collection companies and delivered to paper manufacturing companies. The wastepaper is thus recycled into corrugated cardboard, etc. through these processes.

Optimization of the number of copies of information magazines to be printed and distributed

Recruit Group makes constant efforts to reduce the number of copies of information magazines which are collected without being read by readers. If we simply reduce the number of printed copies or the number of copies to be delivered to magazine racks and book stores, it is likely that our information magazines will not be available to people who really need information. Therefore, we started a project aiming at optimizing the number of copies to be delivered, and adjusting the number of delivered copies, and improving the delivery method by estimating based on elaborate calculations when, where and how many readers will take our information magazines. We continue to repeat trial-and-error efforts on a daily basis by proactively making the most of cutting-edge technologies.