Initiatives for Eco-conscious Products (Green Products)

Panasonic uses a product assessment system that evaluates the environmental impacts of our products and services starting at the planning and design stages. Based on our criteria, we accredit our products and services that achieved high environmental performance as Green Products (GPs).

In the GP accreditation criteria, we assess the performance of our products in terms of prevention of global warming, effective utilization of resources, and management of chemical substances by comparing not only among our own products but also with competitors' products. In fiscal 2012, we took steps to further enhance our accreditation criteria by adding biodiversity and water conservation to existing items. This has in turn enabled the creation of a wider range of GPs.

Starting in fiscal 2014, the existing Superior GPs*1 have been enhanced to designate products and services that accelerate the transition to a sustainable society as Strategic GPs. Of these products, products that particularly create new consumer trends are certified as Super GPs.

*1 Products and services that showed superior environmental performance to products in the same category in the industry.

Based on a product assessment system, we accredit our products and services that achieved high environmental performance as Green Products (GPs). We designate products and services that accelerate the transition to a sustainable society as Strategic GPs. Of these products, products that particularly create new consumer trends are certified as Super GPs.

Definition of Strategic GPs

Products and services that accelerate the transition to a sustainable society:

(1) Products and services that reduce environmental impact with top-level environmental performance in the industry
(Energy-/Resources-/Water-saving products, etc.)

(2) Products and services whose promotion and dissemination lead to reducing environmental impact
(Recyclable or energy-creating products, energy-storing products, energy management systems, Smart Houses and Smart Cities, smart meters, products/services that support next-generation vehicles and environmental performances of stores, LED lighting, etc.)

(3) Products and services that reduce environmental impact on a specific region, or support measures to address environmental impact
(Air filtration devices, water filters, environmental engineering service, etc.)

Planning stage: target setting. Design stage: interim assessment. Shipment stage: final assessment

*2 Life Cycle Assessment: Method of quantitatively assessing the environmental impact of products at each life cycle stage.

Expanding the Scope of Strategic GPs

Panasonic has been devoting much of its energies into the creation of No. 1 eco-conscious products (Superior GPs) until fiscal 2013. In the course of business reorganizations such as expansion of B2B businesses, Panasonic has decided not only to pursue environmental performance of consumer products but also to work on further expansion of products and services that lead to the mitigation of environmental impact. Starting in fiscal 2014, the concept of Strategic GPs has been introduced for the creation of such products and services. In addition to alleviating impact on the global environment with top-level environmental performance, we aim to accelerate the drive to shift to a sustainable society through a variety of business operations, including those that are expected to reduce impacts through wider dissemination and those directly cutting impact in specified regions.

The ratio of Strategic GPs rose from approx. 21% in fiscal 2016 to 23% in fiscal 2017. Additionally, in our Green Plan 2018, we have set the fiscal 2019 target as 120% of expansion of sales in eco-conscious B2B Strategic GPs (compared with fiscal 2016). The result of fiscal 2017 was 103% compared to fiscal 2015. Panasonic will work to further push up the ratio of Strategic GPs in the future.

Of the Strategic GPs, the following three were named Super GPs for fiscal 2017: COMBO, the home delivery box; HITTM photovoltaic modules for automobile; and Se-HEV lithium-ion battery systems.

COMBO, Home Delivery Box for Detached Houses:
The delivery box provides convenience for residents to receive a packet while they are away and contributes to environmental protection by reducing usage of delivery notice paper and CO2 emissions from redeliveries. Also, the delivery box provides a stamp for the courier as a delivery proof and enables the courier to lock the delivery box without using any electricity. No electrical wiring is necessary either for installation or operation.

COMBO, compact size version

HIT Photovoltaic Module for Automobile:
HIT Photovoltaic Module for Automobiles were adopted for the new Prius PHV released by Toyota Motor Corporation in February 2017. Whereas conventional automotive solar cells have an output of several tens of watts and have been used for ventilation only, this product achieves high output of approx. 180 W, even in the limited space on a car roof, enabling generation of drive power. This allows EVs to run for some 1,000 km, or roughly 10% of the average annual travel distance of a passenger car in Japan.

HIT Photovoltaic Modules for Automobile

Se-HEV Lithium-ion Battery System:
Se-HEV uses a gasoline engine for the power generator, and electrically drives the vehicle by supplying the motor with electric power stored in the battery. The power for the vehicle's entire drive system is provided by the motor. To contribute to the acceleration feeling of EVs, higher fuel economy, and better cabin comfort, a compact and highly reliable lithium-ion battery with the industry's top charging/discharging performance was developed. A small and light battery system installable in a limited vehicle space was also achieved.

Se-HEV Lithium-ion Battery System

Improving Air Quality in Living Environments

Air pollution caused by PM2.5 etc. is now a major social issue not only in developed countries such as Japan but also in emerging countries including China and India. With this background, Panasonic has set offering products, services, and solutions that improve people's lifestyles, reduce burden on the environment, and help make our society more sustainable as the fiscal 2019 target in its Green Plan 2018 One specific element of the Plan is to improve the air quality of living environments (air purification), with a target figure equivalent to 14 million rooms with improved air quality over fiscal 2016 to 2019. The cumulative total for fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2017 is equivalent to 6.98 million rooms.

The humidifying air purifier F-VXM90 introduced in Japan in September 2016 features improvements to the discharger in the existing nanoe device, making the new nanoe-X capable of increasing the generation of hydroxyl (OH) radicals, which are effective in controlling pollen and other particles, by 10 times*3. The purifier is now able to neutralize pollen around the year in Japan. In addition, the "double flow pollen control current" creates two air currents to facilitate filtration at the floor level, roughly doubling the pollen control capacity.

*3 See the press release: "Panasonic Introduces Two Products including the F-VMX90 Humidifying Air Purifier" for details on test methods. (Japanese)

F-VMX90 Humidifying air purifier

Panasonic air purifiers were introduced in India, which has chronic air pollution problems, in 2013. In November last year, seven new air purifiers were introduced. Most models are equipped with Panasonic product features, including the ECONAVI, nanoe and HEPA filters that are well known in Japan. In addition, auto-restart functionality that enables the product to resume operation when power is restored after a blackout has been added in view of the power supply situation in India.

Major air purifier models for the Indian market. A wall-mounted type has been added to the lineup.

Initiatives for Eco-conscious Factories (Green Factories)

Panasonic is working on Green Factories (GF) activities in its efforts to cut down environmental impact caused by manufacturing. Specifically, based on legal compliance, each factory develops a variety of plans for reducing environmental impact in production activities, focusing on CO2 emissions, total waste generation, water consumption, and chemical substance releases and transfers. Progress control is implemented and improved through total emissions reduction and specific unit management to achieve both environmental impact reduction and business management.

The GF assessment system was introduced in fiscal 2011, aiming for further advancement by visualizing the activity levels at factories. Under the system, the factories evaluate themselves on a one-to-five scale across 19 environmental activity items classified into six basic groups: emissions reduction, environmental performance enhancement, reduction activities, risk reduction, human resource development, and management. Comparing the progress with other sites and implementing relative assessment enables the factory to identify issues and voluntarily review/promote measures for improvement. In fiscal 2014, the system was upgraded to enable the addition of further assessment items to the existing 19, based on the Company's needs. For example, at Companies where additional items have been introduced in the area of compliance with environmental regulations and management methods, assessment questions such as whether voluntary standards on air and water quality of the facilities/air conditioners have been set at a level higher than what is required by law have been included to strengthen risk management at respective factories.

Additionally, information on global activities for environmental impact reduction, legislation, and social trends are shared through the Manufacturing Environmental Information Sharing Group. In Europe, Southeast Asia, China, and Latin America where our factories are located, regional information exchanges and competitions on best practices to reduce environmental impact (presentation of awards for best practices and activities for group-wide expansion) are held as needed. We are promoting GF activities suited to the issues of each region to boost and accelerate efforts and actions.

Furthermore, the best practices regarding CO2 emissions, waste, chemical substances, water, etc. at respective factories are registered and shared in the Before/After (BA) chart search system accessible on a global scale, to enable utilization in other factories. In fiscal 2017, a large number of past cases that have accumulated were reviewed in detail. At the same time, the system was improved to enable easier access to appropriate practices and case studies, by adding items such as reduction volumes, economic benefits, and number of years required for investment recovery, and we are working to widely promote management know-how, etc. across the Group.

In order to support these GF activities, respective Regional Headquarters, Companies, and related divisions in each region are working on human resource development programs every year in their respective regions. Training programs are being organized, including those on energy conservation, management of chemical substances, and waste management, which are in great demand in China and Southeast Asia where Panasonic has many sites. Special training programs on environmental laws and regulations are being held especially in China, to ensure compliance with the legislation being strengthened at great speed.

We are working on optimal management of SOx (sulfuric oxide) and NOx (nitric oxide), the principal causes of air pollution, as well as the indicators of water contaminant concentration BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) and COD (chemical oxygen demand).

SOx/NOx management example: Panasonic Eco Solutions Interior Building Products Co., Ltd. Gunma factory

SOx(Nm³/h) FY Facility name Average measured Maximum measured
2015 Boiler No. 1 0.08 0.10
Boiler No. 3 0.06 0.06
Boiler No. 4 0.03 0.03
2016 Boiler No. 1 0.09 0.11
Boiler No. 3 0.07 0.07
Boiler No. 5 0.06 0.06
2017 Boiler No. 1 0.05 0.07
Boiler No. 3 0.04 0.04
Boiler No. 5 0.02 0.02

Boiler No. 1: Legal limit: 23.44, Voluntary limit: 4.00, Measuring frequency: Twice a year
Other boilers (FY2015): Legal limit: 0.65, Voluntary limit: 0.50, Measuring frequency: Once a year
Boiler No. 3 (FY2016/2017): Legal limit: 1.12, Voluntary limit: 0.50, Measuring frequency: Once a year
Boiler No. 5 (FY2016/2017): Legal limit: 0.61, Voluntary limit: 0.50, Measuring frequency: Once a year
The three boilers indicated above are those that resulted in high measured values in the respective fiscal year

NOx(ppm) FY Facility name Average measured Maximum measured
2015 Boiler No. 1 305.00 320.00
Boiler No. 3 110.00 110.00
Boiler No. 4 92.00 92.00
2016 Boiler No. 1 295.00 320.00
Boiler No. 3 100.00 100.00
Boiler No. 5 100.00 100.00
2017 Boiler No. 1 270.00 310.00
Boiler No. 3 100.00 100.00
Boiler No. 5 79.00 79.00

Boiler No. 1: Legal limit: 350.00, Voluntary limit: 320.00, Measuring frequency: Twice a year
Other boilers: Legal limit: 250.00, Voluntary limit: 180.00, Measuring frequency: Once a year
The three boilers indicated above are those that resulted in high measured values in the respective fiscal year

BOD/COD management example: Panasonic Ecology Systems Co., Ltd. Head Quarter factory

BOD(mg/l) FY Facility name Average measured Maximum measured
2015 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 2.91 9.50
2016 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 2.20 4.30
2017 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 1.70 4.50

Legal limit: 25.00, Voluntary limit: 16.00, Measuring frequency: Once a month

COD(mg/l) FY Facility name Average measured Maximum measured
2015 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 4.66 8.70
2016 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 3.80 7.60
2017 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 3.50 8.00

Legal limit: 25.00, Voluntary limit: 16.00, Measuring frequency: Once a month