Action against climate change

Our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction efforts

Recruit Group aims to achieve carbon neutrality in GHG emissions*1 through our business activities by FY2021, and achieve carbon neutrality in GHG emissions*1 through our business activities and its entire value chain by FY2030*2.

*1 GHG emissions through business activities are the sum of direct emissions from the use of fuels in the owned or controlled sources ("Scope 1") and indirect emissions from the use of purchased electricity, heat, or steam in the owned or controlled sources ("Scope 2"). GHG emissions through the value chain are indirect emissions other than Scope 1 and 2, occurring in the value chain. Carbon neutrality includes reducing the GHG emissions as well as offsetting residual emissions.

*2 Declared at May 17, 2021

To accomplish our environmental vision, "More ECO More Smile", we set a goal of reducing our GHG emissions in Japan by 25% from the fiscal 2008 level by fiscal 2020. We exceeded this target by a wide margin in fiscal 2019, reducing our emissions by 48.8% from the base year level.
On December 21, 2020, we established a goal of reducing GHG emissions from the M&S SBU to carbon neutral by fiscal 2025. Yet in order to further contribute to tackling the growing crisis of climate change, we decided to take a step further, and now we aim to achieve carbon neutrality from our business operation across the group by the end of fiscal 2021 and achieve the same for our business operation and the entire value chain by 2030.

We recognize that reducing emissions throughout the value chain could be challenging, since it requires cooperation from suppliers and customers. However, regarding that our planet is the basis for all life, we believe that we should contribute to the protection of the global environment, in order to contribute to a brighter world where all individuals can live life to the fullest, we have committed to achieve carbon neutrality in GHG emissions through our business activities and its entire value chain by FY2030. To this end, we will be devising and adopting various measures, such as switching to renewable energy and purchasing carbon credits, in addition to day-to-day energy conservation efforts, including enabling online office work and encouraging greater power savings.

What areas do our GHG estimates cover?

In addition to carbon emissions from energy use in our offices, we consider ourselves responsible for GHG emissions from all the processes involved in producing our products and services. Based on this concept, our GHG estimates cover employee activities and the whole life cycles of our products and services. We work with our customers, clients, business partners, and employees in engaging in a wide range of activities to prevent further global warming.In specific terms, besides office energy consumption, we cover a wide range of corporate activities, such as water use, waste treatment, employee commuting, sales activities, and the manufacturing of paper used in offices and for advertisement. Also covered are the entire life cycles of products and services, including raw material procurement, papermaking, printing, distribution, disposal, and recycling involved in the publication of information magazines, and the manufacturing, distribution, use, disposal, and recycling of information equipment involved in internet services.

Item Activity
Corporate activities
  • Use of electricity, natural gas, water, and sewage in offices
  • Employee travel (commuting, sales visits, 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,and bookbinding for information magazines
  • Raw material procurement and manufacturing for servers/peripheral equipment
  • Content production and system building
  • Clients' use of peripheral equipment
  • Distribution from raw material procurement for information magazines to disposal of their copies
Service use
  • Server operation (data center servers and air conditioning power)
  • Clients' use of peripheral equipment
Disposal and recycling
  • Amount of information magazine copies left in racks and booksellers and use of energy in transportation and recycling
  • Amount of information magazine copies disposed of by customers and use of energy in disposal by customers

How have our GHG emissions changed?

We began calculating our GHG emissions in fiscal 20108, setting a target of reducing total GHG emissions from our Japanese operation by 25% by fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2008, whose actual and reliable figures were available for collection.

We expanded the scope of calculations in 2012 upon the change of our governance structure. Also, we revised the method of classifying travel and commuting expenses in 2015 upon expanding our overseas businesses.

To ensure better accuracy, we reviewed our pre-2015 emission calculation processes, revised the emissions intensity used, and performed recalculations based on the Basic Guidelines on Accounting for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Throughout the Supply Chain (Ver. 2.2) and the Emission Factor Database for Corporate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounting Over the Supply Chain (Ver. 2.4), both formulated jointly by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE).

From the emissions in 2019, we started using the GHG Protocol as the basis for calculation.

Note1:All figures in this page are based on the Green Value Chain Platform formulated and released by the MOE and the METI.
Note2: We receive assistance from Waste Box and JMA Consultants Inc. in GHG emission calculations.

GHG emissions in Japan

*Estimate based on the Green Value Chain Platform formulated and released by the MOE and the METI.

Chart of GHG emissions
GHG emissions by Scope in Japan

*Estimate based on the Green Value Chain Platform formulated and released by the MOE and the METI.

(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%

*Scope 1, 2 and 3 calculations are Each Scope's calculation items are:
Scope 1: Direct emissions from the use of fuels in the owned or controlled sources. (mainly from gas)
Scope 2: Indirect emissions from the use of purchased electricity, heat, or steam in the owned or controlled sources. (mainly from electricity)
Scope 3: Other indirect emissions occurring in the value chain. (emissions in business commute/travel and information magazine publications, etc.)
* For the list of main emission factors, click here
* Scope 1 and Scope 2 calculations for operations in Japan include the total floor area of buildings rented by our group companies as part of activities. However, some buildings were excluded from fiscal 2018 onward due to the change of parties in rental agreements. This caused a significant decrease in emissions.

Scope 3 split by source in Japan

*Estimate based on the Green Value Chain Platform formulated and released by the MOE and the METI.

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 servers 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

Starting from fiscal 2017, we monitor GHG emissions intensity.
The GHG emissions intensity (Global Scope 1 + 2 t / sales revenue (billion yen)) in fiscal 2017 was 17.6 (38,262 t / 2, 173.3 (billion yen)).
The figures for fiscal 2018 and 2019 were 6.9 (15,957 t / 2,310.7 (billion yen)) and 21.6 (51,880 t /2,399.4 (billion yen)), respectively.

Our GHG reduction efforts

We take various measures to reduce GHG emissions from our corporate activities and over the life cycles of our products and services, which include:

Item Activity
Corporate activity
  • Going paperless
  • Promotion of remote work
  • Pushing forward with energy-saving efforts and use of renewable energy
Life cycle
(product, service)
Raw materials, manufacturing
  • Optimization of print runs
  • Procurement of energy-efficient servers and peripheral equipment
  • 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 web-based magazine manuscripts
Disposal and recycling
  • Recycling of magazine copies remaining in racks/bookstores
  • Facilitating information magazine recycling by customers

Activities in Offices

To help reduce GHG emissions toward a green recovery, one of the Recruit Group's key operational bases, the Recruit Ginza 8 Building (Chuo-ku, Tokyo; commonly known as "G8") switched its power plan from the conventional fossil fuel-generated electricity to 100% renewables, such as solar- and biomass-generated electricity* in August 2020.
It is a 100% renewable plan based on Renewable Energy Attribute Certificates*. They mainly consist of non-FIT renewable power sources and Green Energy Certificates, as well as J-credits (derived from renewable energy) and Non-fossil Fuel Energy Certificates with Tracking Information. In effect, the electricity plan represents net-zero GHG emissions.

A portion of the purchase prices for Renewable Energy Attribute Certificates, mainly consisting of Green Energy Certificates, are used to maintain and manage green power generation facilities, helping spread the use of renewable energy.

* Renewable Energy Attribute Certificates represent the environmental value of being widely recognized renewable energies under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG accounting and reporting rules) that serves as the global standard. Certificates permitted for RE100 reporting in Japan are Green Energy Certificates, J-credits (derived from renewable energy), and Non-fossil Fuel Energy Certificates with Tracking Information.

Activities in Offices

Activities in onlineservices

Online services are an indispensable part of every business of the Recruit Group. According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the increased use of IT on a global scale is expected to push up electricity consumption by IT equipment in Japan to 240 billion kWh in 2025, five times more than the current level. Then in 2050, it will be 550 billion kWh in 2050, 12 times higher than the current level. The Recruit Group integrated all the data centers and hitherto dispersed IT equipment, and utilizes more environmentally friendly data centers. At the same time, we updated IT and network equipment to the latest models for lower power consumption and reduced the total number of pieces of equipment. This way, we have been striving to reduce total GHG emissions from our data center used for online service operation.

Activities in Internet services

Activities in Information magazines

The Recruit Group is making various efforts to reduce environmental loads in every process concerning our free magazines. Specifically, various GHG emissions reduction measures are taken, such as employing as thin paper as possible, reducing the number of delivery trucks,and recycling the remaining copies to cardboard.
We also conduct a research project to enhance distribution efficiency to reduce surplus copies. The research is producing better accuracy. The Recruit Group uses the percentage of copies actually taken away from racks to the total number of copies placed there as an internal indicator, which we call the "takeaway ratio." We take measures, such as using AI."

From printing to collection: Our environmental efforts each process

You may find our free magazines in racks at railway stations and shops nationwide and non-free magazines at bookstores and kiosks. We keep making efforts at each process of circulation to ensure people who need our magazines will always find them where they expect them to be and at the same time minimize the environmental load.

Measures in the printing process

Measures taken at the printing stage

The Recruit Group publishes many types of information magazines with a large circulation, reaching roughly 180 million copies in 2017. The more copies printed, the larger the quantity of the resource, paper consumed. To minimize paper consumption while keeping the necessary amount and quality of information intact, we recommend using as thin paper as possible without show-through while ensuring magazine quality. We also recycle any off-cuts inevitably produced from bookbinding.

Measures hin the delivery process

Measures taken at the delivery stage

After being printed and bound, information magazines are distributed from bookbinding factories and brokers' warehouses to magazine racks and bookstores nationwide. The main means of delivery are trucks, which inevitably increases GHG emissions. The Recruit Group strives to reduce these emissions. Particularly in the case of free magazines, for which we make delivery arrangements on our own, we ensure the optimum delivery frequency through optimum distribution planning and delivery schedules.

Measures in the display and maintenance processes

Measures taken at the placement and maintenance stage

We want to deliver our free and paid magazines to our readers without any single copy left in racks or bookstores. This is our desire as a business operator who, at the same time, is responsible for reducing environmental loads. To that end, the magazine racks need to be designed to attract readers easily while avoiding spoiling the aesthetic quality of where they are installed or disturbing pedestrians' safety and movement. Thuss, we design and locate magazine racks with utmost care and attention. We also ask truck drivers and dedicated bookstore staff to maintain our racks and store displays to ensure they are always kept clean for everyone to enjoy.

Measures in the collection process

Measures taken at the collection stage

The Recruit Group's thorough efforts also extend to the management of collecting magazine copies left without reaching readers. Of course, our basic premise is to perform accurate estimation and minimize leftovers to ensure every single copy is delivered to every person who needs one. Our contracted paper recyclers collect left-overs and deliver them to paper manufacturers. This way, leftovers are recycled into cardboard and other paper products.

Optimization of print/circulation volumes

The Recruit Group makes constant efforts to reduce the number of copies collected without reaching readers. If we simply reduced the number of copies to be printed or delivered to magazine racks and bookstores, we might end up failing to reach people who need our information. Thus, we launched a project to optimize the circulation volume by predicting when, where, and how many readers would take their copies based on elaborate calculations, adopting creative ways to optimize the delivery volume and improve the delivery method. We keep making daily trial-and-error efforts, proactively adopting cutting-edge technologies.

Climate related risks and opportunities

We have identified climate related risks and opportunities for our businesses.

Risks Actions and opportunities
Short term Market risks: Non-availability or increased cost of raw materials Use more IT tools to reduce paper consumption.
Acute physical risks: Increased severity of extreme weather events We put in place a BCP (Business Continuity Planning) to prepare against natural disasters.
  • We provide regular safety confirmation drills and lectures on initial disaster response to ensure employee safety.
  • We have emergency stockpiles in place at all premises. Also, stocks are kept in external warehouses to allow delivery of relief supplies to affected areas in the event of a disaster.
  • We have a web-based system in place that shows 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 set reduction targets of achieving carbon neutrality in GHG emissions through our business activities by FY2021, and carbon neutrality in GHG emissions through our business activities and its entire value chain by FY2030.
Medium to long term Technology risks: Unsuccessful investment in new technologies We have an internal carbon price in place and calculate the shadow price of GHG emissions before making an investment decision for procurement of data center equipment.
Strategic & legal risks: Enhanced emissions-reporting obligations We disclose our GHG emissions with improved data coverage.
Strategic & legal risks: Increased pricing of GHG emissions We implement various measures to continuously reduce GHG emissions
Reputation risks: Increased stakeholder concern or negative stakeholder feedback We set reduction targets of achieving carbon neutrality in GHG emissions through our business activities and its entire value chain by FY2030.