Key person interview  Report 1: What is the new Panasonic ECO RELAY? - Talking with General Manager Michiko Ogawa, Office Head -

Panasonic started "Panasonic ECO RELAY for Sustainable Earth (Panasonic ECO RELAY)" on October 1, 2010.

In 2018 Panasonic Group will celebrate its 100th anniversary and to commemorate, it has a vision to become the "No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry." The Panasonic ECO RELAY, which is based on the theme of global environmental preservation, is an activity that symbolizes our commitment to achieve this.

What is the Panasonic ECO RELAY? What does Panasonic aim to achieve through this? We talked with Michiko Ogawa, General Manager of Corporate Citizenship Group of Corporate Communications Division, who serves the Office Head of the Corporate Promotion Committee.

Panasonic's environmental initiative over the years

Panasonic's environmental initiative started many years ago. If we take a retrospective glance, its history dates back to more than 30 years ago when Konosuke Matsushita called for the need to promote businesses to control and eliminate pollution. Its primary source can be found in Panasonic's underlying principles: "Every employee will fulfill its social responsibilities through its primary business" and "A company is a public entity of society."

However, the source of "Panasonic ECO RELAY," which started in October 2010, is the Matsushita Green Volunteer Club, which started in 1993. Under the leadership of what was at that time called the Matsushita Electric Workers' Union, this activity promoted communion with nature and activity development to address the prevention of global warming and preservation of the environment. The circle of participants enlarged to include union members, employees, and even retirees, resulting in creation of a large environmental action flow.

Further, based on this activity, Panasonic started the "Love the Earth Citizens' Campaign (LE Campaign)" in 1998 to encourage employees and their family members to actively engage in environmental activities, believing that "Only truly green-minded employees can manufacture truly green products." Specific activities which were conducted included development of green products, tree planting, and promotion of eco bag use, days not using private cars, and environmental household budget ledger by employees.

The "Green Plan 2010" developed in 2001 included a final goal of increasing the rate of employee participation in the LE Campaign to 80% in fiscal 2010, which was achieved ahead of schedule in fiscal 2009. Further, Panasonic Green Volunteer Club (PGV) simultaneously acted to raise employees' environmental awareness, including participating in green volunteer programs all over the country and enhancing the biotope that PGV maintains in Kadoma, Osaka by rice planting, artificial hatching of spot-billed duck eggs, etc.

In line with this growing environmental awareness among the group-wide workforce, Panasonic developed the eco-ideas strategy in 2007; vision looking to the 100th anniversary of its founding for fiscal 2018; and the "Green Plan 2018" as an environmental action plan to realize the vision, which has led to the Panasonic ECO RELAY we are promoting today.

Panasonic ECO RELAY promoting cross-regional development

Panasonic ECO RELAY is originally the name of the global environmental program started in 2008. Though the name is the same, the new Panasonic ECO RELAY, which made a fresh start in October 2010, is fundamentally different in activity contents from the previous one. While the previous ECO RELAY was conducted for a limited promotion period, the new Panasonic ECO RELAY is being promoted on a continuous and sustainable basis. Activities conducted individually within Panasonic Group are being brought together to be promoted and cross-regionally developed. In addition, it is clearly specified that activities will be conducted sustainably for an indefinite period.

Through the Panasonic ECO RELAY, "Activities conducted individually within Panasonic Group will be brought together to be promoted and cross-regionally developed so as to facilitate each and every employee around the world, as a global citizen, to actively engage in environmental activities and contribute to the creation of a sustainable global environment and society." And by "Incorporating in the word 'ECO RELAY' our wish to 'Connect all things' such as people, communities, and activities, and further connecting them to the next generation and at a global level, delivery of greater social contribution will be addressed." Thus, Panasonic's group-wide stance to concertedly carry out this program continuously and sustainably for years to come is clear.