Emerging and developing countries around the world are now facing a wide range of challenges, including poverty, energy, education, food, medical, and health problems. We at Panasonic have the mission of contributing to the growth of local communities through our business. By capitalizing on our company's technologies, solutions, and expertise to resolve issues facing local communities, in fiscal 2012 we will establish a global fund as part of our social investments in the development of local communities and human resources. We plan to expand the scale of our investments to one billion yen by 2020. One example is a 100,000 solar lanterns project launched in fiscal 2012 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our company's founding. We will also strengthen collaboration with various stakeholders, such as international NGOs and other organizations.
Improving People's Lives in Off-grid Areas
An estimated 1.32 billion people* still live in non-electrified areas of the planet; about 80 percent in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. With access to electricity, their living conditions would see a substantial improvement in many areas, including medicine, education, communications, agriculture, and business. This has prompted Panasonic to join with NPOs, NGOs, and other international organizations to improve people's lives in non-electrified areas through its energy technologies. (*Source: 2009 IEA)
Solar LED Lanterns Light up Non-electrified Areas
In April 2011, Panasonic made a donation of 1,000 Solar LED Lanterns to Mbola village in inland Tanzania via the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). A Solar LED Lantern is a compact lighting device that provides night lighting from electricity generated during the day from solar power and stored in batteries. Panasonic Solar LED Lanterns are widely used for lighting in off-grid areas and are eco-friendly, since no CO2 is emitted while they are in use. People in Mbola expressed their appreciation to Panasonic: "Thanks to the Solar LED Lanterns, children now can study after dark."
Life Innovation Container Able to Supply Electricity 24 Hours, 365 Days
The Life Innovation Container is a stand-alone power supply system developed by Panasonic to supply electricity to off-grid areas all over the world and thus contribute to enhancing people's lives and creating a sustainable society.
Panasonic's energy creation and storage technologies are fully packaged into a 20-foot cargo container. A total of 18 solar panels, including six panels on the roof of the container, generate 9.9 kWh of power a day on average (in the case of Tanzania). Inside, 48 storage batteries and power control equipment are installed to enable the container to maintain the electricity supply even if there is no sunshine for three to four days. Another key feature is that the Life Innovation Container can be easily transported and installed anywhere.
Panasonic NPO Support Fund for Africa
The Panasonic NPO Support Fund for Africa is a part of our efforts to attain the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a commitment on the part of the international community. The program supports the strengthening of the public relations efforts of NPOs/NGOs active in Africa.
Countries in Africa face many social problems waiting for a solution in the fields of education and healthcare, as well as the problems of poverty and starvation. The Panasonic NPO Support Fund for Africa supports activities designed to spread a deeper understanding of the social issues in Africa and build awareness of NPOs/NGOs working to solve these problems. By describing the activities of each organization and spreading the word about conditions in African countries, the program aims to increase understanding among people, increase volunteers and supporters for the organizations, and strengthen their management foundations.
In fiscal 2014, ¥3,020,000 in aid was given to four groups. Since the program began, a total of ¥9,590,000 in aid has been donated to 12 organizations.
Road improvement work conducted by the NPO CORE (Community Road Empowerment)
Table For Two (TFT)
Panasonic has been participating in a social action program promoted by Table For Two International (TFT), an NPO, since August 2009. This project originated in Japan with a view to eliminating the imbalance in food conditions, in which the developing world is facing hunger and malnutrition while the developed world is suffering from obesity and other lifestyle diseases.
In specific terms, when healthy dishes are served at the Company's 16 cafeterias spread across 11 internal sites, 20 yen per meal, equivalent to the cost of one school meal in Africa, is donated to TFT. Through this and other fund-raising activities Panasonic has donated around 9.11 million yen to TFT.