Environment : Collaboration Across the Supply Chain

eco ideas

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.

Measures 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, to respond to the first amendment to the Environmental Protection Law in 25 years, 42 companies under the Panasonic Group conducted a survey targeting some 700 major suppliers in China to mainly review the state of pollutant emissions and day-to-day environmental management, in an effort to identify risks in the supply chain and reduce environmental impact.

In response to the enhancement of regulations such as 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 2016, we assessed the environmental quality assurance systems of some 1,600 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 2015 data is 12.99 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 Panasonic Excellent Partners Meeting held every autumn. 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 2016 fell from the previous year to 933, many excellent proposals were presented. One of the outstanding practices recognized and selected was "support for optimal design of LCD TV under-frames" by Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, which involves LCD TV under-frames that were conventionally designed specifically for each flagship/generic model. This proposes identifying potential problems during the diagram design stage based on analytic support in rigidity, strength, and metal molding CAE*3, and reflecting the findings to the design to achieve the steel material best suited to the shape of the frame part. This enabled cutting down the number of molds used, reducing the thickness of the metal plates and the number of design steps, and resulted in dramatic cost cuts and a reduction in CO2 emissions by approx. 1,300 tons.

Continuing efforts will be made together with as many suppliers as possible in realizing reduction of environmental impacts, product capability reinforcement and further rationalization through ECO-VC activities, and further strengthen partnerships with our suppliers.

*2 VC: Value Creation
*3 CAE (computer-aided engineering) is a tool that uses computer technology to assist product design and review.

Exhibition of outstanding ECO-VC practices

Exhibition of outstanding ECO-VC practices

Environmental Achievements Made through Proposals

Items FY2013 FY2014 FY2015 FY2016
Number of proposals 866 1,077 1,445 933
CO2 reductions derived from proposals 412,000 tons 483,387 tons 512,675 tons 484,532 tons
Use of recycled resources derived from proposals 17,011 tons 19,353 tons 21,323 tons 21,243 tons
Reduction in resources used derived from proposals 18,431 tons 21,211 tons 24,311 tons 19,153 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 September and November 2015, we conducted exchange of views with Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) in regard to information disclosure and reduction of environmental impact in the supply chain.
The IPE announced its 2015 Green Supply Chain Ranking at the Green Supply Chain Forum held in October 2015 in Tianjin City, China, and Panasonic ranked in sixth place overall and second in the IT company field, out of 167 global companies. These are the results of winning recognition for our management of compliance with environmental regulations by suppliers based on the IPE database, as well as our unique activities in building a green supply chain, including ECO-VC activities. Examples of these activities were presented at the Forum.

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

Green Supply Chain Forum

Green Supply Chain Forum