Dow to sign Carbon Project Agreement with AEON to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through food packaging solutions
Reduced greenhouse gas emissions through food loss mitigation will support Official Carbon Partnership with Dow and the IOC
MIDLAND, Mich. – July 29, 2020 – Marking the first carbon mitigation project in Japan under Dow’s (NYSE: DOW) Official Carbon Partnership1 with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dow and AEON CO., LTD (AEON) – the largest retailer in Asia – signed a Carbon Project Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and food loss by utilizing Dow technologies in food packaging solutions and practices. The Dow-AEON Carbon Project Agreement is one of several projects2 executed by Dow and the IOC around the world as part of the carbon partnership program.
The international community set a goal of halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With a reliance on imported crops, Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate is at a 25-year low. In contrast, 6.43 million tons of food in Japan are wasted per year due to food products that are unsold, unconsumed or past the expiration date.
“Plastic packaging can play a critical role in reducing food loss, ensuring consumer safety and meeting environmental goals of lowering carbon emissions,” said Dr. Nicoletta Piccolrovazzi, circular economy market director for Dow and global technology & sustainability director for Dow Olympic & Sports Solutions. “At Dow, we foster collaboration across the value chain – film producers, converters, equipment manufacturers, brand owners and retailers – to promote packaging solutions that support resource efficiency and a more circular economy. In teaming up with AEON on this project, the goal is twofold: integrate new packaging technologies that preserve food freshness and deliver quantifiable environmental impacts, while raising awareness with consumers on the issue of food loss and its importance.”
In 2017, AEON committed to contributing to the industry’s SDG by setting a target of halving the company’s own food waste by 20253. AEON started adopting the use of vacuum skin packaging (VSP) for several types of food in its stores owned by group companies. Supported by Dow’s lonomer technology (in Japan, a joint venture, Dow-Mitsui Polychemicals Co., Ltd., manufactures and markets under a license from Dow)4, VSP extends the shelf life of products and offers better protection during shipment, leading to food loss mitigation and carbon reduction throughout the lifecycle.
“Powered by our vision for a low carbon society and a country with zero food waste, AEON has set challenging yet attainable sustainability goals for our company and customers that will contribute to the industry’s effort to help build a sustainable future,” said AEON. “This agreement will accelerate the achievement of our goals through this first-of-its-kind food packaging collaboration in Japan.”
Aeon’s group company – Daiei, made a trial sale in November 2019 with four of its beef products. Since then, they have expanded their product lineups to include poultry and lamb packaged products, with plans to increase the store count and expand this packaging solution to seafood application.
The collaboration with Dow and AEON will drive the adoption of more sustainable solutions that mitigate GHG emissions throughout the products’ lifecycle. The resulting climate benefits will be validated by a third party and contribute to Dow’s Official Carbon Partnership with the IOC.
“Through the reduction in food loss and food waste, combined with the need for less packaging material, VSP provides a better-protected product with an improved environmental footprint,” said Taro Fukuzaki, Executive Vice President, Dow-Mitsui Polychemicals. “This technology removes nearly all residual oxygen from the package, which not only leads to extended shelf life of products and better protection during shipment, but also minimizes the need for added preservatives depending on its applications. The strong sealant and surface adhesion to meats and seafood helps minimize migration of liquids and presents a cleaner package to the consumer.”
Dow’s Carbon Partnership with the IOC aims to help to build a positive legacy of low-carbon business practices and drive action-focused collaborations against climate change. Initiated in 2017 to balance the operational carbon footprint of the IOC and beyond, the partnership encourages organizations outside the Olympic movement to adopt programs for reducing carbon emissions while catalyzing change across value chains.
For more information on Dow’s sustainability programs and the Dow-IOC Carbon Partnership, visit https://www.dow.com/en-us/sports/sustainability. For more information about AEON, visit https://www.aeon.info/en/aboutaeon/.
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company’s ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company. Dow’s portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure and consumer care. Dow operates 109 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 36,500 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $43 billion in 2019. Dow is a Worldwide Partner and Official Chemistry Company of the Olympic Movement and the Official Carbon Partner of the International Olympic Committee. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit www.dow.com or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.
AEON is a group company centered on the retail businesses with comprehensive finance, real estate development, service businesses and more under the philosophy of “Customer centered pursuit of peace, respect people, contributing to local communities”. Approximately 300 group companies and approximately 580,000 employees in 14 countries in Japan, China, and ASEAN with approximately 20,000 stores and business offices servicing customers with a rich and convenient lifestyle. We aim to halve the food waste by 2025 and have set up the “AEON Decarbonization Vision 2050” and are working together as a group to realize a decarbonized society.