The finals of the 7th AEON Eco-1 Grand Prix environmental competition for Japanese high school students were held at Tokyo Big Sight in the city’s Koto Ward on Dec. 8. Again, as in previous years, I was among the judges examining entries and selecting winners of the annual prizes awarded by the Chiba-based multinational’s 1% Club Foundation and the Mainichi national newspaper.

The foundation has operated since 1989, when major companies in the AEON group, Asia’s largest retailer, began setting aside 1 percent of their pre-tax profits to donate to environmental and educational activities.

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