The emerging and developing countries of the world are currently facing a variety of social issues related to subjects including poverty, energy, education, food, medicine, and health. At Panasonic, we see doing everything we can for regional development through our main line of business as our mission. We put our technologies, solutions, and expertise to active use toward resolving regional social issues. One such project is the 100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project, launched in fiscal 2013, as a project meant to help celebrate Panasonic's upcoming 100th anniversary. Panasonic will also continue to enhance its cooperation with a variety of stakeholders that include NPOs, NGOs, and international organizations both within and outside of Japan.
100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project
Through this project, Panasonic donates small solar-powered lights, or solar lanterns, to NPOs, NGOs, and international organizations. The plan for this project is to provide 100 thousand of these lanterns by Panasonic's 100th anniversary, coming up in 2018, starting in fiscal 2013. So far, the project has provided donations of more than 61,000 solar lanterns in 17 countries (as of May 2016).
There are some 1.2 billion people, most of them in developing countries in Asia and Africa, who live their lives without the benefit of electric power. This lack of access to electric lighting restricts the nighttime activities of these people and creates a wide range of problems in terms of healthcare and education, as well as gendered issues. The donated lanterns are helping to resolve these social issues, and have earned a great deal of praise, with recipients saying that it has brought many positive changes, including making it safer for women to give birth at night, making it possible for children to study at night, and increasing safety for women.
Pro Bono Program for Supporting NGOs in Emerging Countries -
Panasonic Innovation Volunteer Team (PIVoT)
This project involves the dispatch of volunteers from among Panasonic employees to NGOs in emerging countries to use the skills and experience they have gained through Panasonic's main line of business, to help the organization work toward solving the issues it faces. In addition to volunteers who physically go to the areas where the NGOs operate, there are many other experts who come together through teleconferences and social media platforms to tackle these issues. Through these experiences, we learn a great deal about the ways of life and the variety of social issues in the regions where we work, and also about sustainable lifestyles. We put all of this new knowledge to work for us in the creation of new products.
Panasonic NPO Support Fund for Africa
As part of Panasonic's efforts to fulfill its duty as a member of global society and help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we launched the Panasonic NPO Support Fund for Africa in 2010 as a program to support more robust public relations platforms for NPOs and NGOs active in African countries.
Many countries in Africa face poverty and hunger, as well as issues related to healthcare and education, and are looking for solutions.
The Panasonic NPO Support Fund for Africa program seeks to support the activities of NPOs and NGOs that are addressing these issues by increasing their level of recognition, as well as public understanding of and sympathy for what they do. The aim of this program is to expand the ranks of members and supporters of such organizations while enhancing their management platforms by transmitting information about the conditions of these countries and the activities of these organizations to foster a deeper public understanding.
Panasonic will continue to make contributions toward solving these issues in Africa and creatinge a sustainable society through this program.
Workshops for Solving Social Issues -
Panasonic Innovation Workshops (PIWS)
Panasonic Innovation Workshops (PIWS) are workshops held by Panasonic as a chance for our employees to learn about social issues in emerging and developing countries and then generate new business ideas based on that knowledge.
Since their inception in 2012, these workshops have engaged with topics such as the state of electric power in farming regions of India and Cambodia, and water-related issues in Indonesia. Bringing together employees from a variety of work fields, these workshops deepen the understanding of participants on the way people live in these areas and the problems that they face through lectures from outside experts and surveys in the areas in question. Participants are able to build on that learning to propose new products and businesses based on the needs of the people there.
TABLE FOR TWO (TFT)
Panasonic has been working with the NPO TABLE FOR TWO (TFT) since August 2009.
TFT is a Japan-born effort aimed at rectifying the global food imbalance between developing countries that suffer from starvation and malnourishment and developed countries that face obesity and lifestyle-related diseases.
Specifically, in addition to donations received, for every TFT healthy meal provided in a cafeteria, one school lunch worth roughly 20 yen is given to a child in Africa or Asia.
School-provided lunches serve not only to improve nutrition, but also lead to the creation of opportunities for education as well.
The organization pulled together 2.6 million yen in donations through its activities from January to December of 2015.
Total donations received by the program from January 2010 to December 2015: 14,119,309 yen