"Our sustainable development strategy is associated with the company's operations and business philosophy, including three pillars of economy, the environment, and society. To realise this, AEON Vietnam has been implementing many initiatives to build a sustainable distribution system and promote sustainable consumption," said Nguyen Bang Lang, in charge of Sustainable Development at AEON Vietnam.
|AEON has created special checkouts and rent schemes to limit plastic waste|
However, Lang also acknowledged that changing behaviours related to sustainable consumption is complicated and must be done in a long and persistent way with the joint efforts of both manufacturers, retailers, government, and the involvement of third parties such as non-governmental organisations and the media.
"AEON Vietnam is moving in the direction of multilateral cooperation so that customers can change their behaviour, and at the same time help suppliers switch to a more sustainable production direction," said Lang.
With the business philosophy of doing its all for customers and commitment to give customers peace of mind and trust in daily life, AEON Vietnam strives to cooperate with suppliers and partners to ensure a stable source of goods, to give consumers a wide choice of quality products and reasonable prices.
The company also searches and coordinates with suppliers to research and develop new products in the AEON private label according to environmentally friendly standards. According to the plan towards 2025, AEON Vietnam will promote these products in the business system, introducing more quality items to Vietnamese consumers.
AEON has supported Vietnamese businesses to promote and introduce local products and promote domestic consumption through supply-demand matching programmes and exhibitions of Vietnamese goods for many years. Earlier this year, over 400 Vietnamese enterprises participated in connecting, displaying, and exhibiting more than 2,000 local products through a single programme.
Not only contributing to improving production capacity, AEON Vietnam's activities also support suppliers to achieve the goal of exporting to international markets, especially Japan, through its retail system.
The proportion of domestic goods in AEON Vietnam's retail system is currently 80 per cent. The total turnover of Vietnamese goods exported to AEON's retail system in Japan and other countries also reached $347 million last year.
Along with the goal of building a sustainable distribution channel, the Japanese retailer is also ready to accompany customers in the journey towards sustainable consumption with many impressive initiatives.
Since opening the first general merchandise store and supermarket in Vietnam in 2014, AEON has used 100 per cent biodegradable plastic bags.
A bag rent initiative has been implemented since June, along with a programme to reduce bills for customers who use their own bags when shopping. As of August, the number of biodegradable plastic bags at AEON Vietnam's supermarkets and general department stores has decreased by 21 per cent.
AEON supermarkets also stopped selling single-use plastic products such as plastic straws and cups, replacing them with products with similar functions but made from more environmentally friendly materials such as paper, rice flour, corn starch, and bagasse. The payment and accumulation of customers points has also become greener through an app to accumulate points instead of using traditional cards.
However, AEON acknowledges that the journey to promote sustainable consumption is facing difficulties because sustainable products with bio-labels on the market are not yet abundant. Despite the challenges, according to Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hue, director of Corporate Communication and External Affairs, AEON is determined to build a more sustainable Vietnamese retail market.
"We will continue to enhance the daily lifestyles of customers and contribute to the development of Vietnam by promoting, improving, and diversifying, and also increasing and bringing new values to customers towards a sustainable future," said Hue.
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