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. Dow also recently committed to additional global carbon emissions reduction targets, including achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
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.
*1 About Dow and IOC Official Carbon Partnership
Signed in September 2017, the Dow-IOC Carbon Partnership is designed to build a low carbon future for the world, through sports and science partnerships. Under the partnership, Dow launches projects (so called Carbon Projects) with project partners that leads to reduction of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in various areas, quantifies impacts as CO2 equivalent reductions, and obtains third-party verification. Verified reduction is used to balance greenhouse gas emissions associated with the IOC’s activities and Olympic movement, and to build a positive legacy of low-carbon business practices.
*2 About Carbon Projects
The agreement promotes activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by collaborating with partner companies and organizations in various fields such as improving packaging materials, high-performance buildings and infrastructure, reforestation, and improving industrial efficiency. So far, the program with the IOC has launched projects with Petronas Chemical Group, American Green Building Association, American Architects Association International Region, Firestone Building Products, Restore the Earth Foundation, PPG and others.
*3 About AEON Food Waste Reduction Targets
*4 About Ionomer resin
It is a type of resin with a structure in which a part of the carboxylic acid group is crosslinked between the molecular chains, with Polyethylene side chain by a metal cation. This type of resin is used in a film for vacuum skin pack packaging because it exhibits unique properties of both toughness (puncture-resistant) and elasticity (stretches without pressurizing the contents). In Japan, a joint venture, Dow-Mitsui Polychemicals Co., Ltd., manufactures and markets under a license from Dow.
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