AEON Vietnam has implemented a bag rental service to boost green behaviour in a bid to pursue its sustainable development goals.
On November 16, domestic and foreign experts, managers, and business leaders were present at the Sustainable Development 2023 conference, themed Taking Responsibility, Taking Action, that was organised by Vietnam Investment Review in Hanoi.
As COP28 is on the horizon, participants in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are focussing on action instead of visions, with more attention being paid to stories of taking responsibility and actually implementing plans.
At the conference, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hue, director of corporate communications and external relations at AEON Vietnam, shared one of the practical steps being applied at the retail chain. Its bag rental project allows customers to rent bags by making a deposit and then receiving a refund when they return bags the next time they go shopping.
She said that the project was developed based on a survey of 3,000 customers per store, targeting those who forgot to bring their bags or had unexpected shopping needs.
The project not only aims to reduce the use of plastic bags but also helps measure changes in customer habits, thereby supporting the government's orientation towards charging for, and ultimately banning, the use of plastic bags.
Citing a story from Japan, Hue said that when the Japanese government started charging for plastic bags, retailers faced protests and complaints from customers. However, as the consumer base at AEON had already formed the habit of using eco-bags, the Japanese retailer did not encounter this situation. Thanks to AEON's large market share in Japan, it has significantly promoted the transformation of customer behaviour.
"AEON Vietnam's philosophy is 'All for customers'. Therefore, it uses a bag rental solution, ensuring customers do not need to spend money to buy bags. With this initiative, customers can contribute to the common good and build positive habits without having to trade off too much on cost," she said.
AEON Vietnam is joining its suppliers to promote green products. With the company's own products, it is accompanying small manufacturers to implement green initiatives, guiding them to follow the same path. As a result, these businesses have the opportunity to practice actions that will lead to a greener environment.
Another important point that was emphasised by the representative of AEON Vietnam is the story of green human resource management. It implements this to support environmental activities while increasing employee awareness and their commitment to addressing environmental issues.
For example, cashiers and sales staff need to convince customers to rent bags. The company also trains its team to turn reminders into communication calls. The staff members embrace these activities and are keen to create a green environment.
Its employees are ambassadors for AEON's culture, philosophy, and business strategy. To prepare green personnel, the company carries out internal communications with messages via emails, posters, and more. The retailer also implements other activities like Cleaning Day, an eco-bag contest, an image contest, and conducts environmental surveys every year.
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