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

Raise the environmental action level another notch

In conjunction with the start of the new Panasonic ECO RELAY, the "Love the Earth Citizens' Campaign (LE Campaign)" and "Panasonic Green Volunteer Club (PGV)" were dissolved in order to promote their initiatives in an integrated way.

On December 2, 2010, the 1st Panasonic ECO RELAY Corporate Promotion Committee Meeting was held in Osaka with the attendance of approximately 70 persons, including executives of Panasonic Corporation, Panasonic Electric Works, and SANYO Electric. It was simultaneously telecast to the Tokyo and Kofu venues.

"As One Panasonic, we are connecting the regional axis and domain axis and conducting activities year-round to create a system to enable cross regional development. In the future, we will take additional steps, for example, integrating environment-related websites; creating linkages to global websites; conducting an eco-learning program and global citizenship activity support program; and eventually implementing a social contribution awards system," said GM Ogawa.

Regarding integration of environment-related websites, with the "eco ideas net" at the core, which started in the fall of 2009, various environment-related resources have been integrated. As a group-employee project, energy and CO2 reduction indicators are displayed. In particular, the "eco update," a key feature of the website, presents stories of eco efforts by Panasonic Group around the world. Already, over 500 stories are available for viewing.

GM Ogawa further said, "For Panasonic that aims to become the No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry, each and every employee needs to have their mind set on green innovation. It is important to create a circumstance that enables employees to realize something new about the environment in their day-to-day work and living and take action accordingly."

In conjunction with the start of the new Panasonic ECO RELAY, a new logo was created and a positive stance toward its utilization was exhibited as part of Panasonic Group's eco-branding initiative. This is another idea devised to have employees be environmentally-conscious on a day-to-day basis.
It may be safe to say that Panasonic Group employees are more environmentally conscious than those of competitors.

As an established program, in fiscal 2010 ECO RELAY was implemented for the third time. In terms of performance in numerical terms, it has been promoted at 269 business sites in 32 countries and regions with a total of 754 activities being registered. This is further evidence of our high environmental consciousness.

Yet, for the new Panasonic ECO RELAY, GM Ogawa expressed her desire to raise the activity level another notch.

"I hope to find a way to radiate group-wide a positive attitude to participate in actual environmental activities based on the ECO RELAY and to have employees reflect environmental activities in their day-to-day work while enjoying them. At the same time, since external environmental activities are mostly conducted in the form of volunteering, it's more likely that there will be some debate about whether they are work or not. However, rather than getting hung up on this, it is important that we always be environmentally conscious and keep our positive attitude toward taking part in activities as corporate citizens from the perspective of social contribution." If we interpret our founder's word, "A company is a public entity of society," in a broad sense, it is clear that external environmental activities dovetail perfectly with this teaching.

The ECO RELAY Action Plan for fiscal 2011 includes three priority themes: "Support to develop the next generation," "Biodiversity conservation," and "Aquatic conservation." In March 2011, an annual action plan was developed for each business site to promote cross-regional development throughout the year.

With the new Panasonic ECO RELAY, we have taken another step forward in our initiative to realize Panasonic's goal of becoming the "No. 1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry." Because of its hands-on characteristic, we believe that it is a significant step for us to take.