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). At the same time, 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.

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.

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

Green Product Structure

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.)

Products Assessment System

*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. 19% in fiscal 2015 to 21% in fiscal 2016. We will work to further push up this ratio in the future.

Of the Strategic GPs, the following two were named Super GPs for fiscal 2016-namely, High-reliability, Pb 0% ADDED Zinc Carbon batteries for its environmental performance ranking at the top class in the industry, and the LED high-ceiling lighting and LED flood light projector that can cut down environmental impact dramatically.

Zinc Carbon batteries that are in wide use in developing and emerging countries commonly require the addition of lead to assure quality. However, because lead is a material with a high environmental impact, recycling is very difficult. For this reason, Panasonic developed a technology that assures the quality and reliability of Zinc Carbon battery that does not contain lead, and has made a head start in introducing the technology on a global scale. It is an eco-conscious product that responds to increasingly stricter environmental regulations as well as demands of eco-conscious consumers in countries around the world.

In addition to this, the LED high-ceiling lighting and LED flood light projector are an expansion of Panasonic's product lineup in this area, which had centered on products integrating the light source and its fixture, notwithstanding the dramatic improvement in energy conservation compared to products using an HID light source. The products chosen as Super GPs for fiscal 2016 are modular in design to create a wider variation in fixture style, light distribution and brightness. They can also easily replace existing lighting systems and contribute to wider LED use for high ceiling lighting and projector systems.

High-reliability, Pb 0% ADDED Zinc Carbon batteries

High-reliability, Pb 0% ADDED Zinc Carbon batteries

LED high-ceiling lighting with dispersion panel (module type)

LED high-ceiling lighting with dispersion panel (module type)

LED flood light projector (module type)

LED flood light projector (module type)

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 regular checks on the progress state of subordinate factories and to lead to greater improvements, Companies share the best practices implemented at similar factories as well as management knowhow corporate-wide, to upgrade the efforts to higher levels through continuous improvement. The case studies on reduction implemented at each factory are registered in the Before/After (BA) Chart Search System and updated for application at other factories. Presently, more than 2,700 cases are registered.

Additionally, information exchanges among factories within each country, human resource development, and GF promotion activities on regional issues such as in Asia and Europe, are underway. Through the Manufacturing Environmental Information Sharing Group, information on global activities for environmental impact reduction, legislation, and social trends are shared, and discussions are held to resolve issues in GF promotion. Outside Japan, information exchanges are promoted within each country and region where Panasonic factories are located, such as in Europe, Southeast Asia, and China. Especially in Southeast Asia, where there are many Panasonic plants and diverse legislative frameworks and issues that vary by country, competitions in best practices for environmental impact reduction (presentation of awards for best practices and activities for horizontal promotion) covering all factories in the region are held to boost and accelerate action in this direction.

Furthermore, in order to support these GF activities, respective Regional Headquarters, Companies, and related divisions in each region are working on various 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
2014 Boiler No. 1 0.11 0.12
Boiler No. 4 0.02 0.02
Boiler No. 6 0.02 0.02
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

Boiler No. 1: Legal limit:23.44, Voluntary limit: 4.00, Measuring frequency: Twice a year
Other boilers (FY2014/2015): Legal limit: 0.65, Voluntary limit: 0.50, Measuring frequency: Once a year
Boiler No. 3 (FY2016): Legal limit: 1.12, Voluntary limit: 0.50, Measuring frequency: Once a year
Boiler No. 5 (FY2016): 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
2014 Boiler No. 1 280.00 290.00
Boiler No. 4 80.00 80.00
Boiler No. 6 78.00 78.00
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

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
2014 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 3.40 6.80
2015 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 2.91 9.50
2016 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 2.20 4.30

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

COD(mg/l) FY Facility name Average measured Maximum measured
2014 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 4.13 5.80
2015 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 4.66 8.70
2016 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 3.80 7.60

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

Activities to Reduce Environmental Impact in Manufacturing

The Kasai Division of Panasonic Automotive & Industrial Systems Company located in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, produces prismatic lithium-ion batteries that are mounted on hybrid and electric vehicles. In fiscal 2014, the Division succeeded in developing its own formula for the operation of its air-conditioning equipment, which had been consuming more than a third of the plant's energy consumption at maximum efficiency and capacity, and established a simulation method for a preliminary assessment of energy-saving effects. Through reviews and implementation of a series of energy-saving measures, the Kasai Division achieved a reduction of energy consumption equivalent to 690.7 kl of crude oil and curtailed CO2 emissions by 1,356.8 tons compared to the previous year, without making any investments in air-conditioning equipment or measuring instruments. The Kasai Division was awarded the Minister's Prize of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (in the Successful Case of Energy Conservation Category) under the FY2015 Energy Conservation Grand Prize.

The Kasai Division produces automotive prismatic lithium-ion batteries

The Kasai Division produces automotive prismatic lithium-ion batteries

Automotive prismatic lithium-ion batteries produced at the Kasai Division

Automotive prismatic lithium-ion batteries produced at the Kasai Division