Educating shoppers on conservation

  • Business
  • Saturday, 07 Feb 2009

Aeon wants to be retailer with top CR programmes.

SHOPPERS at Jusco stores may also end up doing their bit for the environment and community as part of Aeon Co (M) Bhd’s corporate responsibility (CR) strategy.

Managing director Nagahisa Oyama says Aeon, as one of the leading retailers in the country, is in a better position to influence its customers to practise environmental conservation and social contribution.

“We are at the front line and have direct contact with customers.

“This enables us to encourage customers to use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags, contribute to the environment by recycling and even donate to the Malaysian Jusco Foundation, among others,” he says.

One of the retailer’s passions is the prevention of global warming.

“We would like the public to know that we are passionate about this cause. It is a shared responsibility and everyone must contribute to make a difference.

“We are working hard to create awareness and educate the public on how to prevent global warming but we also want to lead by example,” Oyama says, adding that all activities complied with Aeon Japan’s directive to cut carbon dioxide emission by 30% by 2012.

One of the group’s initiatives include tree planting whereby a tree-planting ceremony is held before the opening of a new store.

“We have planted some 397,540 trees to date,” Oyama says.

The group will be organising a mega tree-planting ceremony at Paya Indah Woodlands in October as part of its 25th anniversary celebration.

The plan is to invite 2,500 Malaysians and Japanese to participate in planting some 25,000 trees.

Aeon also has a “Say No To Plastic Bag” campaign to encourage customers not to use plastic bags and use the Jusco reusable shopping bag instead so as not to harm the environment.

Every 25th of the month beginning this year is “No Plastic Bag Day” at Jusco outlets where customers are encouraged to use their own bags or the Jusco reusable bag.

Oyama says the group has also set up community recycle centres at 10 Jusco outlets to encourage the public to trade in recyclable items for cash. The centres collected 72,293kg of recyclable items in 2008.

According to Oyama, Aeon is planning to open three more recycling centres this year.

“We also have an energy saving commitment where each of our stores and also headquarters incorporate electricity saving devices to cut energy usage and reduce carbon emission.

“Lighting will be used only when necessary and air-conditioning is switched off when not needed. Some stores also have solar powered lights in parking areas,” Oyama says.

Aeon’s eco-friendly stores include Aeon AU2 Setiawangsa, Selangor and Aeon Bukit Indah, Johor which use solar power for all their electricity needs.

“Other stores in progress will have the same concept,” Oyama says.

Aeon also has a charity arm called the Malaysian Jusco Foundation which was set up in 2000. The foundation has donated more than RM2mil to worthy causes so far. Its current fund size stands at about RM1.2mil.

The foundation has invested RM300,000 to set up a second Rumah Tunas Harapan, in collaboration with the welfare department, in Taman Equine, Selangor to be completed by the second half of the year.

Oyama says Aeon’s good CR practices would help enhance its reputation and build up its image in the corporate world and among its customers.

“It is one of the best ways to enhance our position as a retailer of choice.

“We aim to be the leader in the retail market in terms of having the most comprehensive CR programme,” he adds.

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