Retail giants in Japan going greener

Japanese retail conglomerate Aeon has taken a step toward its goal of becoming a carbon-neutral company.

On Tuesday, it opened a shopping mall in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, that operates with net zero carbon dioxide emissions from electricity and gas consumption.

Aeon says its mall in Kawaguchi only uses electricity generated by renewable energy sources.

Its air conditioning is powered entirely by carbon-neutral gas. The CO2 emissions from drilling the gas are offset by credits earned by activities such as planting trees.

Aeon is following the lead of convenience store chain Seven-Eleven Japan, which switched 40 of its outlets in and around Tokyo to solar energy earlier this month.

And Starbucks Coffee Japan says about 350 of its stores will be running off renewable energy by October. That's about 20 percent of its outlets.