Panasonic is working on Green Factories (GF) activities in its efforts to cut down environmental impact caused by manufacturing. Specifically, based on legal compliance, each factory develops a variety of plans for reducing environmental impact in production activities, focusing on CO2 emissions, total waste generation, water consumption, and chemical substance releases and transfers. Progress control is implemented and improved through total emissions reduction and specific unit management to achieve both environmental impact reduction and business management.
The GF assessment system was introduced in fiscal 2011, aiming for further advancement by visualizing the activity levels at factories. Under the system, the factories evaluate themselves on a one-to-five scale across 19 environmental activity items classified into six basic groups: emissions reduction, environmental performance enhancement, reduction activities, risk reduction, human resource development, and management. Comparing the progress with other sites and implementing relative assessment enables the factory to identify issues and voluntarily review/promote measures for improvement. In fiscal 2014, the system was upgraded to enable the addition of further assessment items to the existing 19, based on the Company's needs. For example, at Companies where additional items have been introduced in the area of compliance with environmental regulations and management methods, assessment questions such as whether voluntary standards on air and water quality of the facilities/air conditioners have been set at a level higher than what is required by law have been included to strengthen risk management at respective factories.
Additionally, information on global activities for environmental impact reduction, legislation, and social trends are shared through the Manufacturing Environmental Information Sharing Group. In Europe, Southeast Asia, China, and Latin America where our factories are located, regional information exchanges and competitions on best practices to reduce environmental impact (presentation of awards for best practices and activities for group-wide expansion) are held as needed. We are promoting GF activities suited to the issues of each region to boost and accelerate efforts and actions.
Furthermore, the best practices regarding CO2 emissions, waste, chemical substances, water, etc. at respective factories are registered and shared in the Before/After (BA) chart search system accessible on a global scale, to enable utilization in other factories. In fiscal 2017, a large number of past cases that have accumulated were reviewed in detail. At the same time, the system was improved to enable easier access to appropriate practices and case studies, by adding items such as reduction volumes, economic benefits, and number of years required for investment recovery, and we are working to widely promote management know-how, etc. across the Group.
In order to support these GF activities, respective Regional Headquarters, Companies, and related divisions in each region are working on human resource development programs every year in their respective regions. Training programs are being organized, including those on energy conservation, management of chemical substances, and waste management, which are in great demand in China and Southeast Asia where Panasonic has many sites. Special training programs on environmental laws and regulations are being held especially in China, to ensure compliance with the legislation being strengthened at great speed.