Global Warming Mitigation

While people seek for affluent lifestyles, the acceleration of global warming caused by the increase in CO2 emissions from people's daily lives and corporate activities is becoming a concern. Panasonic promotes measures to mitigate the progress of climate change and to minimize the impact by reducing the greenhouse gases emitted from its products and services as well as production activities.

As measures to mitigate the impact of our products and services, we offer energy-management products and solutions that link and control a range of energy-saving/creating/storing products.

In promoting our net-Zero Energy House (ZEH), we defined a numerical target for the ZEH ratio for all detached houses under Green Plan 2018. However, the promotion did not progress as planned, with a slump in the rate of installation of photovoltaic power generation systems, essential for ZEH, as a result of the decline in the surplus energy purchase price. The figure for fiscal 2017 was 17% compared to our initial fiscal 2019 target of 68%. This has led us to redefine the ZEH ratio targets to 17% for fiscal 2018, 22% for fiscal 2019 and 50% for fiscal 2021. To achieve these targets, we plan to accelerate the dissemination of ZEH by making effective use of government policies and by providing a comprehensive proposal for eco-conscious and smart living spaces.

In addition to these energy management solutions in the housing area, the Panasonic Group is also promoting Smart Town projects in Fujisawa City and Yokohama City in Kanagawa Prefecture. Under Green Plan 2018, we are aiming to start construction/sales at three locations (870 lots) from fiscal 2016 through fiscal 2019. The results up to fiscal 2017 were three locations (424 lots).

More details on reducing CO2 emissions at our factories and offices can be found on CO2 Reduction. For details on reducing CO2 emissions in logistics, see Green Logistics.

*1 A ZEH is a house designed to produce net-zero or nearly zero consumption of primary energy per year by improving the energy-saving performance of the housing structure and equipment and utilizing energy efficient means such as renewable energy. The Japanese government aims to make ZEH as the standard for new houses by 2020.
*2 A house that reduces its primary energy consumption per year by 75% to less than 100% by utilizing energy efficient means such as renewable energy.

Solutions for Global Warming Mitigation

Panasonic works to comprehensively reduce CO2 emissions from stand-alone home appliances to the whole house itself, with the four concepts of "saving energy," "creating energy," "storing energy," and "managing energy" which is to link and control energy use. As energy management products, we have developed and marketed the Energy Creation-storage Linked System, which enables smart utilization of electricity by linking a photovoltaic power generator with storage batteries, and Smart HEMS, a Home Energy Management System.

Smart HEMS visualizes power usage through a monitor and further saves electricity with ease by automatically controlling electrical appliances. Smart HEMS now offers an even more comfortable living space by linking with wiring equipment (switches) for lighting, ceiling built-in air purifiers, and electric window shutters. Further, in order to increase the penetration of HEMS in the market towards the realization of a smart grid society, we developed Smart Cosmo, a power distribution board that plays a central role in power distribution and information management in the home and is capable of supporting various functions for future scalability.

Furthermore, data on electric power consumption, measured with Smart HEMS, is stored in a cloud and is made available for use by customers via the Smart HEMS Service app for smartphones, assisting people with comfortable and energy-saving lifestyles. The service displays the power usage status for the entire house and by branch circuit, as well as supports reducing electric power charges through peak shifting. Eco-conscious features including remote control of appliances and other equipment and push notification of the operating status of appliances are also now included in the Smart HEMS service.

In December 2016, AiSEG2 (with a 7-inch monitor) that combines the HEMS Gateway (AiSEG) and a device monitor was introduced. Improvements were made in terms of affordable pricing and flexibility in installation. In step with the wider popularization of Net-Zero Energy Houses (ZEH), a display has been installed to give quick and easy access to the electric power consumption status of the power generated by the photovoltaic power generation system or ENEFARM.

Creating new value in everyday life with Smart HEMS

The Zero Eco housing specifications proposed by PanaHome Corp. feature an eco-performance that exceeds zero energy balance and introduce three housing standards for the future, specifically: (1) creating energy: linking the HIT solar module with a lithium-ion storage battery unit; (2) utilizing energy: insulation for the entire house, using insulation material even in the inside of the structure base to give cooler temperatures in summer and warmth in winter, as well as the HEPA Plus ventilation system equipped with ECONAVI, using a HEPA filter that can remove 99.97% of all microparticles down to 0.3 μm*3; and (3) using energy wisely: using Smart HEMS for energy management and using Private VIERA to control housing equipment. These specifications have enabled lifestyles that surpass the net-zero energy balance, achieving an outstanding environmental performance and economy at the same time.

*3 Performance value for the HEPA filter at factory default specifications; this does not represent the performance level for the entire ventilation system. Additionally, the removal of microparticles less than 0.3 µm in size has not been confirmed.

Furthermore, in April 2017, its flagship product Casart Premium equipped with the new comfortable Air LOHAS air-conditioning system was introduced. Air LOHAS is an innovative ventilation/air-conditioning system that combines a dedicated air conditioner with a ventilation system. While maintaining comfortable temperature levels inside the entire house, the system makes effective use of geothermal energy and air conditioning control featuring temperature sensors in each room to provide both a comfortable environment and energy conservation.

Scheme for utilizing energy
Casart Premium

Energy Management in Non-Residential Buildings

Panasonic is also working towards the energy management of non-residential buildings. One such effort is the Smart Community completed in 2015 in Noda Village in Iwate Prefecture, which was affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. Energy used in the 11 public facilities in the village, including village administration offices, can be monitored through our Energy Visualization System. The energy usage data can be checked at each facility, as well as in the village office, through a networked digital signage. Facilities with even higher power usage are equipped with a demand control system that can reduce energy consumption using a lighting control system in the event of tight power supply.

Scheme for utilizing energy

From 2015, we have been offering Emanage as an energy management solution for smaller-sized offices and stores. The service leads to reducing power consumption by identifying issues using ASP data*4 through visualization and energy conservation diagnoses of power usage at the office or the store, and by continually proposing improving or renewing facility equipment.

*4 ASP: Application service provider, which is a service that allows using the features of Panasonic servers available online.

Meanwhile, for food retailers, energy conservation and speedy maintenance have become serious issues for equipment such as display freezer cases, air conditioners, lighting and other equipment. To address these problems, Panasonic offers S-cubo, a remote data service for stores.To date, the service has been used by more than 15,000 stores and consists of the following three cloud services: (1) ERMOS Remote Management Service, a tool to visualize temperature and electric power data; (2) Equipment Ledger System, a remote management service that enables online centralized management of data for a wide range of equipment and devices, as well as quick and easy access to the data; and (3) Pro Maintenance Tool, a remote maintenance service for analyzing operation data of equipment in the event of bugs or malfunctions to enable early detection of problems.

By combining these services, remotely providing integrated data for energy management, temperature quality control, equipment management, and maintenance was made possible. Big data gathered in the cloud is analyzed to provide services including early detection of equipment problems, analysis of issues in energy use, and energy conservation and efficient maintenance through coordinated operation of equipment.

In April 2017, we introduced S-cubo+Cs, a refrigerator/freezer management service for food retail businesses. This is a service package providing a range of services from installation of refrigerators/freezers to energy-saving management and maintenance for a monthly fee for clients in the food retail industry. The service aims to reduce initial investment costs and the workload involved in management, focusing chiefly on the value of refrigerating foods.

Specifically, the service provides analysis of the status of operation of a store’s equipment and supports choosing which stores to invest in. Remote monitoring based on IoT is conducted to forecast malfunction, improve maintenance efficiency, as well as to analyze the operation data using AI. Energy-efficient operation adapted to the store’s environment is enabled through these remote-control features. By offering a total service covering from the selection of investment targets to higher efficiency in maintenance and energy-efficient management through remote monitoring and control, the service aims to minimize maintenance and energy costs as well as enable the renovation of more stores within limited investment budgets, thus supporting efficient business management. A refurbishing service will also start, where refrigerators/freezers in existing stores will be inspected and repaired or painted as necessary to be reused in other stores in the chain.

Outline of S-cubo

Panasonic has also introduced a variety of solutions contributing to reducing CO2 emissions at the Municipal Suita Soccer Stadium, the home of J League soccer team Gamba Osaka, which was completed in Suita City, Osaka, on September 2015. For nighttime lighting, 384 units of our HID 1500 LED projector modules were installed. Energy consumption has been reduced by approx. 30% compared to conventional HID lighting*5, while maintaining a brightness of more than 1500 lux on the field.
There are 2,100 panels of our HIT solar cell module equipped in three places on the stadium roof, generating approx. 500 kW of power. The data indicating how much energy was generated and consumed is on display on a monitor set inside the stadium, as a way to boost eco-awareness among spectators.

*5 When compared with installation of HID lighting. 164 units of Sky Beam 2000 (2050 W), 148 units of Multi Halogen 1500 (1630 W), 16 units of High-Pressure Sodium Lab 400 (440 W) = 584,480 W, 384 units of LED 1500 (1086 W) = 417,024 W

Panoramic view of the stadium
HID 1500 LED Projector Module installed in the stadium

For a Sustainable Town

In PanaHome Smart City Shioashiya (also named Sorashima) in Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, with a total of 500 households including both houses and apartments, Panasonic realizes Japan's first*6 net-zero energy town. This will be achieved by smart houses that have a high self-sufficiency rate of energy through a variety of advanced facilities, including a photovoltaic power generation system and the Panasonic Energy Creation-storage Linked System, as well as excellent insulation performance owing to its efficient building structure. Another contributor to the net-zero energy town is ParkNade Shioashiya, an apartment block where each of the 83 households are fully equipped with a solar generation system and a household fuel cell ENE-FARM-a first in Japan.*7

*6 As of August 2013. As a large-scale housing estate with more than 400 households in total including both detached houses and apartment blocks (surveyed by Panasonic).
*7 As of August 2013. As an apartment block with more than 80 households (surveyed by Panasonic).

Smart Apartment, ParkNade Shioashiya

Smart City Shioashiya, or Solar-Shima, is a smart city independently developed by PanaHome since 2012, on an extensive landfill site developed under the initiative of Ashiya City, Hyogo Prefecture that offers a panoramic view of mountains and the sea. This housing development project to build roughly 500 housing units is scheduled for completion in 2023, and is based on the concept of smart energy, town design, and town management, making maximum use of renewable energy while protecting the natural environment. Solar-Shima won the Gold Award in the Smart Buildings category of the 3rd ESCI Best Practice Awards sponsored by APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation).

Fujisawa SST detached houses and commercial facility areas

Panasonic also promotes the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (Fujisawa SST). This town consists of roughly 1,000 housing units, commercial facilities, health/welfare/educational facilities, etc., on a previous Panasonic factory site of approx. 19 ha in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture. The grand opening was in November 2014 and the project is scheduled for completion in or after fiscal 2021. Aiming for sustainable development of the entire town, the following environmental targets have been set: (1) Reduce CO2 emissions by 70% compared to 1990; (2) Reduce daily water usage by 30% compared to 2006; (3) Achieve a renewable energy usage rate of at least 30%; and (4) Ensure a three-day lifeline. To achieve these targets, we are making the most of the eco-conscious products, technologies, and solutions by the Panasonic Group-including a smart house with virtually zero CO2 emissions equipped with a photovoltaic power generation system and accumulator batteries, and installation of Community Solar, a photovoltaic power generation and storage system for public use.In August 2016, Wellness Square, a multifunction complex consisting of facilities for medical care, nursing care, education, childcare, and multigenerational communication, was opened. It is equipped with photovoltaic power generation and gas cogeneration systems and storage batteries with an output of approx. 68 kW to help reduce environmental impact. Additionally, in November of the same year, the Next Delivery SQUARE was opened as a consolidated distribution infrastructure for the entire town, enabling consolidated delivery of packages from various courier services as well as eco-conscious and smart package receipt utilizing ICT. With the introduction of photovoltaic power generation and LED lighting and through the use of low-carbon construction materials, it has achieved a reduction in CO2 emissions by roughly 30% compared to the conventional distribution center.

In December 2016, it won the 2016 Environment Minister's Award for Global Prevention Activity (Countermeasure Technology Introduction and Dissemination Category) hosted by the Ministry of the Environment.

Fujisawa SST detached houses and commercial facility areas
Community Solar in Fujisawa SST

We now utilize our know-how in smart city development that gives a priority to people's lives, which was acquired through building of the Fujisawa SST, to urban developments both in and outside Japan. In March 2016, we announced with our business partners the Tsunashima SST plan, a project for town development on a former Panasonic business site in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, and construction for all facilities were launched in November. It is planned to be a next-generation urban-type smart city combining eco-conscious apartment blocks, commercial facilities, a technology development center, a town energy center, hydrogen utilization sites, town management centers, etc., and will be created through collaboration among 11 organizations including Panasonic. The town is scheduled to open in 2018. As environmental targets, (1) 40% reduction in CO2 emissions (compared to the fiscal 2006 level), (2) 30% reduction in household water consumption (compared to the fiscal 2006 level), and (3) at least 30% of usage of renewable energy etc.*8 have been set, and safety and security targets such as securing lifeline operation for three days as well as other security targets have also been set.

In March 2017, the Yokohama Tsunashima Hydrogen Station was opened as a center for the use of hydrogen energy, which is drawing attention as a next-generation source of energy. In addition to contributing to building a hydrogen society by supplying hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles, it will provide information on the characteristics of hydrogen as well as activities that make use of hydrogen. Future efforts to supply electricity generated from hydrogen using pure hydrogen fuel cells are also being studied.

*8 New energy in addition to photovoltaic power generation, including new technologies such as natural gas cogeneration and fuel cells that contribute to the diversity of energy as innovative and advanced energy application technologies.

Bird's-eye view of Tsunashima SST

Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company (PESCO), a group company of Panasonic Corporation of North America announced in January 2016 its smart city project to be developed in cooperation with corporate partners and local government officials in Denver, Colorado.The construction of the CityNOW Project, located near Denver International Airport, is currently in progress, aiming to create a more sustainable community through infrastructure improvements and enhanced public services that promote sustainable energy and water conservation, and convenient, easy access to safety and medical facilities. In November 2016, the Road X Project (traffic control system using ITS technology) in partnership with the Colorado Department of Transport was announced. Recently, a micro-grid was installed utilizing photovoltaic power generation and lithium ion battery systems, smart LED lighting, rooftop solar cells, and other business solutions.

Conceptual image of the CityNOW Project

In addition, at IFA2016, Europe's largest household appliance trade fair held in September 2016, we announced our participation in "Future Living Berlin," which aims to develop communities outside the city of Berlin by the end of 2018. Panasonic will provide technologies of renewable energy, security, mobility systems, and cloud services in the project. In each building of the smart homes built in the community, solar cell panels will be installed as power generation equipment and heat storage equipment using heat pump technology will be organized to create an environment where residents can utilize a highly-efficient energy circulation system.

"Future Living Berlin" at IFA2016

Global Warming Adaptation

Panasonic has developed the coastal monitoring system that sources power independently. This system continuously operates wireless network cameras and wireless transmission devices by photovoltaic power generation modules and storage batteries.

Panasonic is also making efforts for adaptation to address unavoidable impacts on the global environment that cannot be addressed by mitigation measures. Such adaptation is based on the matters indicated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) etc., focusing on the impact of climate change on the ecosystem, society, and the economy. Further, we understand that it is important for the measures to take account of regional characteristics, as impacts of climate change vary according to the region.

Our measures are currently implemented from the viewpoints of the following two aspects:
(1) Efforts to reduce the impact of climate change through our products, services, and solutions; and
(2) Efforts to reduce the impact on our corporate activities

Specific examples of (1) include the coastal monitoring system and the Green Air-Conditioner. Panasonic has developed the coastal monitoring system that sources power independently. This system continuously operates wireless network cameras and wireless transmission devices by photovoltaic power generation modules and storage batteries. It would contribute to preparing for high tides that are expected to increase due to climate change. Development of Green Air-Conditioners is underway in cooperation with other companies in time for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Dry-type mist made by mixing fine particles of water and air to minimize the sense of wetness as well as air curtains that will create dome-shaped cool spaces under shades are designed to provide relief from the summer heat in open spaces. These systems are expected to reduce heat stroke and other adverse effects on everyday life caused by global warming.

As for (2), the importance lies in first identifying the issues to be addressed by assessing the impact of climate change on Panasonic. One such issue is the effect of water shortages on our production activities. We are currently working on assessing water-related risks, and we plan to examine necessary measures based on the assessment results. For more details, see the chapter on Water Resource Conservation.

Passive Greenhouse Agricultural System