The first carbon mitigation project in Japan under Dow’s Official Carbon Partnership with the International Olympic Committee, is now underway. Dow and Aeon– the largest retailer in Asia – have signed a Carbon Project Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and food loss by utilizing Dow technologies in food packaging solutions and practices.
Based on this agreement, Aeon will adopt the use of vacuum skin packaging, supported by Dow’s ionomer technology, for various food products sold at the stores owned by its group companies. Vacuum skin packaging extends the shelf life of products and offers better protection during shipment, leading to a mitigation of food loss.
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.
Aeon’s group company – Daiei, started a trial sale of the products utilizing VSP in November 2019 with four of its beef products. Since then, they have expanded their product lineup to include poultry and lamb packaged products, with plans to increase the store count and add packaged seafood products.
“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 at Dow-Mitsui Polychemicals, the joint venture that manufactures and markets the technology in Japan under a license from Dow.
“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.”
The actual avoidance of food loss will be converted CO2 to contribute to the Dow-IOC Carbon Partnership to offset CO2 emission from IOC activations around the world.
This project agreement is one of several projects executed by Dow and the IOC around the world as part of the carbon partnership program.
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 Carbon Projects with project partners that lead to the reduction of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions in various areas, quantifies impacts as CO2 equivalent reductions, and obtains third-party verification.
Dow also recently committed to additional global carbon emissions reduction targets, including achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.