Green Life Points – Incentivising Green Shopping Behaviours in Japan
Carbon neutrality is an important aspect of Green Shopping, but how can malls and shops contribute to this goal? An initiative from Japan may serve as an inspiration to promote climate-friendly shopping behaviours!
To further its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, the Japanese government rolled out a wide-ranging loyalty programme in the second half of 2022 to promote green lifestyles across the nation. Participating businesses issue “Green Life Points” to customers with specific green behaviours. Proposals for the programme were received from a wide range of sectors, from transportation and electricity to finance, to be implemented either nationally or regionally; a total of 26 of these proposals have currently been adopted.
Green shopping accounts for a huge part of the programme. Large corporations like Rakuten and Aeon, as well as some other shopping centres, supermarkets, restaurants and online stores are now participating. Aeon, for example, issues points to customers who opt out of plastic cutlery at its stores. Meanwhile, Rakuten awards points for purchases of energy-efficient appliances, sustainably packaged or label-less products, and sustainable fashion. These points can be used on future purchases, converted to airline mileage, or even used for investments in some cases.
Research by the Japanese Environment Ministry has revealed that 85% respondents are aware of the environmental point-reward system in supermarkets, 46% in convenience stores and restaurants, and 26% in shopping malls. More than 60% of respondents also said they would be inclined to adopt additional environmentally-friendly practices if there were incentives.
As one of the world’s leading shopping paradises, Hong Kong is especially prone to resource-intensive shopping activities, producing a huge amount of waste and carbon emissions. It is hoped that with concerted efforts from all industry members, Hong Kong will develop effective measures to promote a green shopping environment in the near future.