Scientific Dialogue: How Can We Shop Sustainably?

On 24 September 2023, an event with the theme “How Can We Shop for the Future of the Earth” at a shopping mall in Nagasaki, Japan, was co-hosted by the Future Earth Global Secretariat Hub Japan, the AEON Environmental Foundation, the National Institute for Environmental Studies, AEON Kyushu Co., Ltd., and Nagasaki University.

During the first part of the event, the students from Nagasaki University quizzed various shoppers about SDGs and environmental issues; the students showed a panel and asked them questions. In doing so, they piqued the interest of the visitors. The students then took the people who expressed their interest in learning more to the event center, where experts were around to provide the details of the latest scientific knowledge and answer any questions.

During a dialogue session, the audience was asked some questions: “Do you care about the impacts on the earth when you shop?” and “Do you care where and how the product is made when you buy something?” One audience responded to the first question saying  “From a young age, I have been familiar with the bounty of the sea and have lived a self-sufficient life”. Another audience responded to the second question and said, “I try to buy domestic products” and “When I buy a product, I care about the materials as well as the labor environment for creating a product”.

The event ended with speakers’ closing remarks, which stressed the importance of spreading awareness and taking action to protect the environment. A store manager also expressed that she would keep disseminating information so the efforts would continue.

“Let’s act to protect the ecosystem and share your thoughts with people around you,” said Ms. Saza.

Associate Prof Suk expressed she would like to continue to work with the community and create more opportunities to share beneficial research in everyday life. Prof. Emori also pointed out that individuals alone cannot stop global-scale problems but it is important to continue discussing global issues.

This session was attended by about 80 people in person. The event was also live-streamed and posted online, and has since reached more than 1600 views so far.


  • Seita Emori (The University of Tokyo and National Institute for Environmental Studies)
  • Sunhee Suk (Nagasaki University and Future Earth Global Secretariat Hub Japan)
  • Mana Saza (SWiTCH Association of Sustainability)
  • Mayumi Kai (Store Manager of AEON Togitsu SC)


Future Earth Global Secretariat Hub Japan together with the AEON Environmental Foundation and National Institute for Environmental Studies has been organizing a dialogue project to set Japan’s national SDGs Targets through dialogue processes from 2021 to 2023. The theme selected was Goal 12 from the SDG targets, “Responsible Consumption and Production,” with an emphasis on speaking with the young generation.

The core process of the dialogue between experts and young generation for the SDGs, especially for the Targets, was presented to the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Kishida, in March, 2023, as part of the recommendations by the Japanese government’s SDGs Promoting Roundtable, whose members include Fumiko Kasuga, Japan Hub Diretor. Future Earth will continue this dialogue series to facilitate scientific communication between experts and youth.

Further information can be found in the Future Earth Annual Report 2022-23.

This article first appeared on the Future Earth website on 27 October 2023.