Group-wide Systems to Manage Environmental Risks

As a tool to continuously reduce environmental risks, Panasonic has established an Environmental Risk Management System specific to each Company. In accordance with the basic risk management policy for all Companies, we promote (1) identification of environmental risks and group-wide risk management each year, and (2) ensuring quick responses to reported environmental risks.

To identify environmental risks and implement the management system, environmental risks are identified for each Company and for each region in the world each year. From these risks, environmental risks on a group-wide level are selected. The risks that show a high level of frequency or seriously impact business management are designated as major risks and prioritized in planning and executing risk-reducing measures. These measures are implemented for each major risk, and progress is monitored and followed up on a quarterly basis in the PDCA cycle.

When an environmental risk is found, the relevant Company, related job functions, and Regional Headquarters collaborate to promptly implement emergency measures and recurrence prevention measures adapted to the risk level. Also, the management flow in case of risk discovery is standardized to prevent the occurrence of secondary risks as a result of confusion.

Plan (Planning), Do (Implementation), Check (Monitoring progress), and Action (Identifying environmental risks).

Environmental Compliance Management at Factories

Panasonic manages its environmental systems in full compliance with laws and regulations. We regularly measure emissions of gas, wastewater, noise, odor, etc., and introduce preventative measures for cases that may lead to serious violations.

Furthermore, key human resources are developed for information sharing among the Companies/Business Divisions, environment-related job functions, and Regional Headquarters, to ensure exhaustive compliance with legislation related to factory environment management in respective countries where Panasonic manufacturing sites are located. Specifically, activities to share information as well as specialized training are conducted for factory management officers in charge of the management of chemical substances, waste, wastewater, and exhaust gas, either by country or by region in Japan, Europe, China, and Southeast Asia. Field surveys on laws and regulations using checklists were conducted on a global scale to confirm comprehensive implementation of environmental compliance, and we also conducted verification of the effectiveness of various measures. As a result of these efforts, we had no violations of environment-related legislation. We will continue to ensure compliance with legislation as well as prevent recurrence.

Compliance with Environmental Regulations Relating to Products

Panasonic manages compliance with regulations relating to its products through a quality management system. Compliance with regulations is ensured with our Products Assessment System, a mechanism which incorporates environmental performance targets such as customer demands for environmental performance, the energy efficiency labeling program, and third-party certification systems, as well as evaluation of compliance with regulations on chemical substance management, energy efficiency, 3R, and recycling, to (1) establish general targets at the product planning stage, (2) define concrete targets at the design planning stage and confirm compliance at the design stage, (3) conduct interim assessment at the design completion stage, and (4) conduct final assessment at the mass production decision-making stage. Additionally, acceptance inspections are being conducted on a regular basis for purchased components to ensure compliance with the RoHS Regulations which regulates the content of six hazardous substances.

Notwithstanding, there was one violation of regulations relating to chemical substance management in fiscal 2017. Going forward, we will conduct reviews at a stricter level for potential presence of regulated substances and strengthen compliance management.

Measures Against Soil and Groundwater Contamination

In the latter half of the 1980s, soil and groundwater contamination due to chlorinated organic solvents was detected at some Panasonic sites. In response, we have conducted anti-contamination activities across the company. Specifically in 1991 we created the Manual for Preventing Contamination of Soil and Groundwater and began conducting necessary surveys and measures. In 1995 we discontinued the use of chlorinated organic solvents, and in 1999 created Guidelines on the Prevention of Environmental Pollution to ensure there would be no recurrence of similar problems at our sites. In fiscal 2003 we began enhancing our surveys and measures to comply with relevant laws and regulations, including the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act, which was enforced in Japan in 2003, and in fiscal 2004 started implementing measures to place all our bases across the globe under management supervision with regard to soil and groundwater.

Specifically, we conduct onsite inspections and interviews at the bases, in addition to surveying their use of VOCs and heavy metals. Furthermore, we implement surface soil surveys within the premises. For the sites where contamination was detected beyond the regulatory pollution standards, we conduct detailed borehole surveys to identify the boundaries of the contaminated areas and take remedial measures.

As a result of these efforts, we were able to place all our bases under management supervision in 2008. Furthermore, in fiscal 2011, the management supervision scheme was purpose-specifically reorganized and reinforced to establish a new management supervision scheme. With the highest priority given to preventing dispersion of pollution beyond our premises, this new scheme is implemented across all operating sites to further improve the level of measures against contamination. In fiscal 2017, we reviewed the new management supervision guidelines in response to the amended Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act in Japan.

Soil and Groundwater Risk Management Policy

Conditions subject to management supervision Procedure
Pollution dispersion prevention beyond
Panasonic premises
1. Conduct historical surveys
2. Determine and install monitoring wells at the premises' borders
3. Analyze groundwater at the borders
4. Check possibility of pollution from external sources
5. Report to management department
6. Determine the external pollution dispersion prevention methods
7. Install the external pollution dispersion prevention methods
8. Install assessment wells
9. Begin assessments (monitoring)
Thorough pollution source elimination 10. Conduct brief status check
11-1. Horizontal direction detailed analysis
11-2. Vertical direction detailed analysis
12. Determine the magnitude of pollution
13. Discuss the areas and methods of purification
14. Conduct purification and install pollution dispersion prevention measures
15. Monitor pollution source (groundwater) after purification
16. Report purification completion to management department

Soil and Groundwater Pollution Surveys and Remedial Measures for Fiscal 2017

Region Number of sites that completed remedial measures Number of sites currently taking remedial measures
Global (including Japan) 6 38
Japan (6) (32)

Initiatives for PCB Pollution

Panasonic discontinued the production of equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Japan in 1972 and has since been strictly managing its PCB waste. With the enforcement of the Law concerning Special Measures for Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Waste in July 2001, optimized storage, decontamination, and notifications are being practiced in compliance with the law. In fiscal 2017, 55 of 2,281 units, including transformers and capacitors using PCBs submitted under the early registration scheme were treated, by Japan Environmental Storage & Safety Corporation (JESCO) as our subcontracted PCB waste disposal operator. Additionally, approx. 36 tons of stabilizers and other waste with a high PCB concentration were consigned for treatment to JESCO, and approx. 246 tons of low-concentration PCB waste was contracted to a private incineration facilities certified by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment. We will continue to treat PCB waste towards March 31, 2027, which is the legally designated deadline by which decontamination is to be completed.