Retail Innovation: Asahi’s Revolutionary CO2 Absorbing Vending Machines

May 21, 2023By Jeremy Brown
Jeremy Brown

Consider for a moment, your daily walk to work. The familiar scenery unfolds; the morning rush, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, and the ubiquitous sight of vending machines perched on street corners. Now, imagine if these machines, dispensing your favourite drink, could also help combat climate change. Seems far-fetched? Not anymore.

In an audacious step towards a decarbonized future, ASAHI SOFT DRINKS CO., LTD., a subsidiary of Asahi Group Holdings, is pushing the boundaries of innovation in the retail industry. Come June 2023; the company plans to test a revolutionary vending machine that not only provides beverages but also absorbs atmospheric CO2. The absorbed CO2 will then be repurposed as an industrial raw material in a wide range of applications, from fertilizers to concrete production.

From Concept to Reality

The concept behind these vending machines is simple yet groundbreaking. Unlike conventional vending machines, these 'green' vending machines are equipped with a special material that filters out and absorbs atmospheric CO2, offsetting up to 20% of the CO2 emissions produced from the electricity used to operate them.

An exciting real-world example is brewing right in the heart of Tokyo, where Asahi will install approximately 30 such vending machines, chiefly in the Kanto and Kansai regions, for this proof-of-concept demonstration. This move signifies a bold leap towards sustainable practices, inspiring other retail giants worldwide.

The Impact

To appreciate the impact, picture this: the volume of CO2 absorbed by each vending machine equals the annual absorption volume of approximately 20 Japanese cedar trees aged between 56-60 years. That's a significant contribution, considering the scale of vending machine deployment in urban landscapes.

It represents only about 20% of the CO2 emissions generated in producing the electricity used to operate the machines, but it is an innovative step in the right direction.

Asahi’s initiative adds another layer to sustainability in the retail industry, fostering a movement where corporations can create value for their customers while significantly reducing their environmental footprint. This "Asahi Carbon Zero" project encapsulates the company's commitment to achieving zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

Your Role

So, how can you play your part in this revolutionary change? It's simple. Next time you're purchasing a drink from a vending machine, consider your choices' impact on our environment. Encourage businesses that are striving for a more sustainable future, and call for more corporations to adopt sustainable practices in their operations.

Finally, I challenge retail thought leaders to consider the potential of initiatives like Asahi's in shaping the industry's future. Let's bring more such stories to light, foster innovation, and create a retail landscape that contributes positively to our planet.

#Sustainability #Innovation #RetailIndustry #Decarbonization #ClimateChange #GreenTech