Environment : Collaboration Across the Supply Chain

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Collaboration with Suppliers and Transportation Partners

As a company backed by a number of suppliers, we must consider the environmental impacts of our entire supply chain, and not just of our own operations. Through our coordination efforts with suppliers and transportation partners, who form an integral part of our business operations, we strive to minimize our environmental impact across the entire supply chain, focusing on the reduction of CO2 emissions, resource recycling, chemical substance management, and biodiversity conservation.

Activities for Green Procurement

Since the publication of the Green Procurement Standards in 1999, we have been promoting the manufacture of eco-conscious products in partnership with our suppliers. Furthermore, in the Green Procurement Standards, we set out the establishment of a group of suppliers who support our Environmental Policy in supplying products and goods in order to materialize the targets in supplier collaboration in our Green Plan 2018. In addition to cooperation in "reducing environmental impact in supplier business operations" and "sharing achievements through collaboration," we are asking our suppliers to "seek the cooperation of upstream business partners" to expand the scope of activities of reducing environmental impact throughout the entire supply chain.

Also, based on the Green Procurement Standards, we have been conducting the Green Procurement Survey, where we monitor the implementation status of our suppliers regarding our requests, to promote environmental impact reduction activities more effectively with our suppliers. In fiscal 2013, we conducted a trial survey targeted at our major global suppliers. We received responses from 415 companies, and were able to confirm the level of activity in areas such as environmental management system development, thorough implementation of chemical substance management, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, promotion of resource recycling, and biodiversity conservation.

From fiscal 2014, we have replaced surveys conducted on a group-wide scale with surveys at a site level as a means of communication with our suppliers.

In China, seminars on our CSR Procurement Policy and Chinese environmental regulations were held in September 2016 for more than 400 suppliers in Guangzhou, Dalian, and Shanghai. By calling for exhaustive implementation of CSR through the supply chain by using the CSR self-assessment checklist as well as sharing China’s latest environmental regulations, we are making efforts to grasp the risks and reduce environmental impacts across the supply chain.

In response to the enhancement of regulations such as the EU RoHS Directive, we have been engaging in continual environmental quality assurance audits of our suppliers since 2005 to improve the management level throughout the entire supply chain. In fiscal 2017, we assessed the environmental quality assurance systems of some 1,400 suppliers and have supported their efforts to upgrade their management levels.

Estimation of Environmental Impacts in Business Activities by Suppliers

In order to assess greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the entire supply chain (scope 3*1), we made our original calculations based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the international accounting standard for GHG emissions. Since fiscal 2012 we have conducted assessment surveys on four occasions, with the cooperation of 185 suppliers in the areas of raw materials, electrical and electronic components, and processed parts.

From fiscal 2012, we started estimating our overall GHG emissions in the upstream range by multiplying the volume of materials purchased with the resource-specific GHG emissions per basic unit based on the Input-Output Table published by the Japanese government. The estimation results based on fiscal 2016 data is 12.91 million tons, roughly five times the GHG emissions of our own production activities.

*1 Other indirect emissions, excluding Scope 1 (direct emissions from facilities owned and controlled by Panasonic) and Scope 2 (emissions from production of energy consumed at facilities owned and controlled by Panasonic).

Sharing Achievements through Collaboration

Since fiscal 2010, we have been implementing the ECO-VC*2 Activity with our suppliers. This program is a collaboration between Panasonic and our suppliers, aimed to both reduce environmental impact as well as reinforce product capability and achieve further rationalization for our products and our suppliers. In fiscal 2010, the target for reducing environmental impact was limited to energy saving (CO2 emission reduction). However, this was extended in fiscal 2011 to Recyclingoriented Manufacturing aiming at saving resources and using recycled materials. The geographical range of our activities has also extended. Initially centered in Japan, actions accelerated to China and other parts of Asia in fiscal 2013, and later extended to a global scale in fiscal 2015.

ECO-VC activities are stored in a database for effective use within the Panasonic Group. Furthermore, exemplary activities are recognized through awards at the ECO-VC Presentation of awards/Reception Meeting. These activity presentations are also shown at the meeting venue to be shared with participating suppliers for use and application in future activities.

Although the number of cases presented by suppliers in fiscal 2017 fell from the previous year to 622, many excellent proposals were presented. One of the outstanding practiced recognized and selected was “Reduction of electric power consumption with automotive infotainment system MCU” by Renesas Electronics. This achieves VC of reducing CO2 emissions of the entire system by 60% while dramatically improving both the performance and system costs, with an RH850 system MCU in the automotive infotainment system.

Going forward, we will expand ECO-VC activities with as many suppliers as possible through greater application of value engineering (VE) methodologies. By reducing environmental impacts and reinforcing product capability, and with further rationalization, we will strengthen partnerships with our suppliers.

*2 VC: Value Creation

Environmental Achievements Made through Proposals

Items FY2014 FY2015 FY2016 FY2017
Number of proposals 1,077 1,445 933 622
CO2 reductions derived from proposals 483,387 tons 512,675 tons 484,532 tons 253,265 tons
Use of recycled resources derived from proposals 19,353 tons 21,323 tons 19,153 tons 18,421 tons
Reduction in resources used derived from proposals 21,211 tons 24,311 tons 21,243 tons 20,224 tons

Collaboration with Environmental NGOs

Panasonic has more than 50 manufacturing sites in China. With environmental issues in China becoming more serious due to its economic development, we are working to improve the environmental challenges through coordination and continuous communication with environmental NGOs. In fiscal 2017, we visited the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), a Chinese environmental NGO, twice to exchange views and information on our activities to address environmental risks. Although Panasonic fell from sixth to seventh place in the IPR Global Rankings, we gained 10 more points in the evaluation compared to the previous year.
At the Second Green Supply Chain Forum in Beijing held by IPE and other organizations on October 27, 2016, we gave a presentation on our activities for environmental and CSR risks in our Chinese supply chain in the main session named Business Best Practices Case Sharing, alongside representatives of global corporations including Apple Inc. The forum was attended by over 200 representatives from China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, the China United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Association, business corporations located in China, foreign global corporations, environmental NGOs, and other bodies.

Increasingly stringent environmental restrictions are anticipated to be implemented in China. We strive to reinforce our green supply chain activities, aiming for further advancement of our brand value.

Green Supply Chain Forum