Environment : Contribution to Local Communities and Education for the Next Generation
Panasonic Eco Relay for Sustainable Earth
In order to encourage employees and their families to actively engage in environmental activities at home and in their local communities, Panasonic has been promoting Love the Earth Citizens' Campaign (LE Campaign) in Japan since 1998, believing that only truly green-minded employees can manufacture truly green products. In 2008 we introduced Panasonic Eco Relay, where business sites around the world plan local environmental activities and implement them with their employees, along with adults and children from the community. These activities have expanded on a global basis and developed in many different ways. We strive to contribute to establishing a sustainable global environment and society as global citizens through activities under Panasonic Eco Relay for Sustainable Earth, which was named in October 2010 to reflect our desire to make a connection across the generations.
Panasonic ECO RELAY JAPAN (PERJ), in cooperation with the Panasonic labor union, has been working on the restoration of woodlands in Sasayama, Hyogo Prefecture, with the support of local governments and environmental NPOs since 2011. A vacation center belonging to the Panasonic Group Workers Union Association is located in the area, serving as a venue for visitors to refresh the body and mind as well as for communicating the Group's activities in nature preservation and environmental education.This activity now expands beyond the Panasonic Group and involves local farmers and universities. Working together with the community, we continue monthly activities to recover rice terraces such as growing rice and vegetables, as well as to conserve forests such as woodland thinning and bamboo charcoal making. Also, reports on the current state of Sasayama's ecosystem, along with photos of activities, are compiled and released on our website.
Environmental Education for Children
In hope of the sound growth and development of children who are to become the driving force of our planet's future, as well as to maximize their potential, we believe in the importance of providing them with opportunities for learning. As such, we have been accelerating our activities for environmental education for children on a global scale since fiscal 2010.
In November 2015, UNESCO and Panasonic Corporation signed a project agreement to promote educational support aimed at sustainable development for the next generation of young people living in the vicinity of the Ancient City of Bagan in Myanmar, which is currently a nominee for UNESCO World Heritage listing. The two-year project, which commenced the following month in December, aims to empower local educators and students with the necessary knowledge and tools to advocate for sustainable development.
As part of this project, we donated 500 eneloop solar storage systems equipped with LED lighting, solar panel, and storage battery, to 130 schools without access to electricity in December 2016,, providing a better learning environment for over 13,000 students.
During the donation ceremony held at Nyaung U Basic Education High School, the Eco Learning Program was also held for children and teachers to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable development for Myanmar with high growth potential and develop future leaders in the area of environmental sustainability.
This two-year project will also promote knowledge and skills for sustainable development in classrooms through the development of teaching materials and teacher trainings. We will continue our efforts to provide teachers and children with knowledge and experience indispensable for sustainable development in Myanmar.
Panasonic Corporation of North America holds the Eco Picture Diary Contest as part of the Panasonic Student Eco Citizenship Project, in partnership with the Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning. In 2016, a total of 102 teachers and over 3,000 students participated, and the number of Eco Picture Diaries submitted totaled 244. The judging results were announced in May. The Eco Picture diary created by students from these schools, offer specific solutions to serious environmental problems in a creative way. Students describe all steps of their project in detail. Their diaries are then evaluated and judged on a number of criteria, including their pictures.
Panasonic Sales Latin America promotes the Eco Picture Diary Program to raise awareness of environmental protection among children who will be the driving force of the next generation as well as the entire society. In FY2017, the Eco Picture Diary Program was implemented in Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador, and El Salvador, with the participation of approx. 1,000 elementary school students. The children submitted their picture diaries for the contest and took part in environmental workshops to learn about natural resources and photovoltaic power generation.
We have set our goal to provide such educational programs to 2 million children worldwide by 2018, when Panasonic celebrates its 100th anniversary. As of fiscal 2015, the number stands at roughly 298,000, and the cumulative total at approx. 2.709 million since fiscal 2010.
Tree Planting Activities
We implement tree planting activities in our drive to preserve nature as well as to boost environmental awareness both within and outside Panasonic, and have further expanded the activities to a global scale from fiscal 2008.
Working together with a local woodworking company, PT. Panasonic Manufacturing Indonesia has been supporting tree planting activities in Mount Sumbing in the east of Central Java since 2010. More than 5,700 trees have been planted to date. One feature of this program is increasing means of income for local farmers by planting coffee trees along with broadleaf trees, which leads to invigorating the entire village.
In July 2016, the Panasonic Group in Thailand organized 2016 Panasonic Mangrove Planting in Chonburi Province in central Thailand. More than 500 Panasonic staff members and their families attended the tree planting. They first cleaned the beach and then planted 2,540 mangrove trees. The participants also visited the Thailand Sea and Natural History Museum.