Initiatives for Eco-conscious Products (Green Products)

Panasonic uses a product assessment system that evaluates the environmental impacts of our products and services starting at the planning and design stages. Based on our criteria, we accredit our products and services that achieved high environmental performance as Green Products (GPs).

In the GP accreditation criteria, we assess the performance of our products in terms of prevention of global warming, effective utilization of resources, and management of chemical substances by comparing not only among our own products but also with competitors' products. In fiscal 2012, we took steps to further enhance our accreditation criteria by adding biodiversity and water conservation to existing items. This has in turn enabled the creation of a wider range of GPs.

Starting in fiscal 2014, the existing Superior GPs*1 have been enhanced to designate products and services that accelerate the transition to a sustainable society as Strategic GPs. Of these products, products that particularly create new trends are certified as Super GPs.

*1 Products and services that showed superior environmental performance to products in the same category in the industry.

Based on a product assessment system, we accredit our products and services that achieved high environmental performance as Green Products (GPs). We designate products and services that accelerate the transition to a sustainable society as Strategic GPs. Of these products, products that particularly create new consumer trends are certified as Super GPs.

Definition of Strategic GPs

Products and services that accelerate the transition to a sustainable society:

(1) Products and services that reduce environmental impact with top-level environmental performance in the industry
(Energy-/Resources-/Water-saving products, etc.)

(2) Products and services whose promotion and dissemination lead to reducing environmental impact
(Recyclable or energy-creating products, energy-storing products, energy management systems, Smart Houses and Smart Cities, smart meters, products/services that support next-generation vehicles and environmental performances of stores, LED lighting, etc.)

(3) Products and services that reduce environmental impact on a specific region, or support measures to address environmental impact
(Air filtration devices, water filters, environmental engineering service, etc.)

Planning stage: target setting. Design stage: interim assessment. Shipment stage: final assessment

*2 Life Cycle Assessment: Method of quantitatively assessing the environmental impact of products at each life cycle stage.

Expanding the Scope of Strategic GPs

Panasonic has been devoting much of its energies into the creation of No. 1 eco-conscious products (Superior GPs) until fiscal 2013. In the course of business reorganizations such as expansion of B2B businesses, Panasonic has decided not only to pursue environmental performance of consumer products but also to work on further expansion of products and services that lead to the mitigation of environmental impact. Starting in fiscal 2014, the concept of Strategic GPs has been introduced for the creation of such products and services. In addition to alleviating impact on the global environment with top-level environmental performance, we aim to accelerate the drive to shift to a sustainable society through a variety of business operations, including those that are expected to reduce impacts through wider dissemination and those directly cutting impact in specified regions.

The sales ratio of Strategic GPs in fiscal 2018 accounted for approx. 21% of the total sales. Additionally, in our Green Plan 2018, we have set the fiscal 2019 target as 120% of expansion of sales in eco-conscious B2B Strategic GPs (compared with fiscal 2016). The result of fiscal 2018 was 120% compared to fiscal 2016. Panasonic will work to further push up the ratio of Strategic GPs in the future.

The following three were named Super GPs for fiscal 2018: FA servo "MINAS A6" family; Data archiver "freeze-ray"; and Air quality improvement products with PM2.5 purification function.

FA Servo "MINAS A6" Family:
Optimized magnetic circuit and the adoption of unique motor structure to increase heat dissipation shortened the length of the body by 30% and lightened the weight by 20% compared with the conventional one, realizing reduction in size and weight at the industry's highest level. In addition, Panasonic's own control software algorithm technology and the application of a high-performance CPU drastically enhanced the responsiveness of a servo motor, which contributes to increase the production of machine and equipment that require high-speed positioning. Further, the industry-first wireless servo amplifier enabled remote adjustment.

FA Servo Motor and Servo Amplifier with wireless dongle

Data Archiver "freeze-ray":
The "freeze-ray" data archiving system was developed in order to meet customers' needs for long-term storage of large data in response to the development and application of IoT and AI technologies. Newly developed optical discs with triple in capacity compared with conventional discs and sophisticated robotics technology realized high-reliable and large data storage capacity of 1.9 PB at a maximum. There is no need for air conditioning costs of data storage, making it possible to consume less electricity. In addition, this optical discs made from long-lasting materials with environmental stress resistance enable to drastically reduce constant migration, contributing to saving resources.

Data Archiver "freeze-ray"

Air quality improvement products with PM2.5 purification function:
This range of products improves indoor air quality by purifying outdoor air through filters with high dust collecting capacity during airing. In order to mitigate the effects of worsening PM2.5 in China, Panasonic developed ventilation products with a top-class purifying capacity with PM2.5 removal rate of 98%. The PM2.5 sensor in the products measures a condition of air release, air supply, and air circulation. Amid growing attention to air quality in response to an environmental policy in China, the sensor enables customers to easily see indoor and outdoor air environment by showing the condition on the liquid-crystal display. Additionally, the products are designed for low noise not to disturb a living environment.

Wall-mounted energy recovery ventilator (ERV) unit

Improving Air Quality in Living Environments

Air pollution caused by PM2.5 etc. is now a major social issue not only in developed countries such as Japan but also in emerging countries including China and India. With this background, Panasonic has set offering products, services, and solutions that improve people's lifestyles, reduce burden on the environment, and help make our society more sustainable as the fiscal 2019 target in its Green Plan 2018. One specific element of the Plan is to improve the air quality of living environments (air purification), with a target figure equivalent to 14 million rooms with improved air quality over fiscal 2016 to 2019. The cumulative total for over fiscal 2016 to 2018 is equivalent to 10.90 million rooms.

The humidifying air purifier F-VXM90 introduced in Japan in September 2016 features improvements to the discharger in the existing nanoe device, making the new nanoe-X capable of increasing the generation of hydroxyl (OH) radicals, which are effective in controlling pollen and other particles, by 10 times*3. The purifier is now able to neutralize pollen around the year in Japan. In addition, the "double flow pollen control current" creates two air currents to facilitate filtration at the floor level, roughly doubling the pollen control capacity.

*3 See the press release: "Panasonic Introduces Two Products including the F-VMX90 Humidifying Air Purifier" for details on test methods. (Japanese)

F-VMX90 Humidifying air purifier

Panasonic air purifiers were introduced in India, which has chronic air pollution problems, in 2013. In November last year, seven new air purifiers were introduced. Most models are equipped with Panasonic product features, including the ECONAVI, nanoe and HEPA filters that are well known in Japan. In addition, auto-restart functionality that enables the product to resume operation when power is restored after a blackout has been added in view of the power supply situation in India.

Major air purifier models for the Indian market. A wall-mounted type has been added to the lineup.

Initiatives for Eco-conscious Factories (Green Factories)

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 2018, in order to assess and revise the existing support tools and manuals for energy saving, we have prepared a check sheet for energysaving potential to visualize and evaluate the efforts for energy saving as well as to find efficient approaches, expanding this activity to our business sites worldwide to reinforce and improve our energy-saving practices. Also, as a new activity to ensure our compliance with local environmental laws in China and Southeast Asia where a lot of our business sites incased, introduced a cross-company mutual audit, through which the Panasonic factories operated in the same area conduct an environmental audit mutually beyond the companies. We are further improving our eco-conscious approach utilizing know-how accumulated across the Group.

Cross-company mutual environmental audit

We are working on optimal management of SOx (sulfuric oxide) and NOx (nitric oxide), the principal causes of air pollution, as well as the indicators of water contaminant concentration BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) and COD (chemical oxygen demand).

SOx/NOx management example: Panasonic Eco Solutions Interior Building Products Co., Ltd. Gunma factory

SOx(Nm3/h) FY Facility name Average measured Maximum measured
2016 Boiler No. 1 0.091 0.110
Boiler No. 3 0.067 0.067
Boiler No. 5 0.062 0.062
2017 Boiler No. 1 0.047 0.073
Boiler No. 3 0.042 0.042
Boiler No. 5 0.023 0.023
2018 Boiler No. 1 0.038 0.054
Boiler No. 3 0.029 0.029
Boiler No. 5 0.032 0.032

Boiler No. 1: Legal limit: 23.44, Voluntary limit: 4.00, Measuring frequency: Twice a year
Boiler No. 3: Legal limit: 1.12, Voluntary limit: 0.50, Measuring frequency: Once a year
Boiler No. 5: Legal limit: 0.61, Voluntary limit: 0.50, Measuring frequency: Once a year
The three boilers indicated above are those that resulted in high measured values in the respective fiscal year

NOx(ppm) FY Facility name Average measured Maximum measured
2016 Boiler No. 1 295 320
Boiler No. 3 100 100
Boiler No. 5 100 100
2017 Boiler No. 1 270 310
Boiler No. 3 100 100
Boiler No. 5 79 79
2018 Boiler No. 1 210 240
Boiler No. 3 94 94
Boiler No. 5 83 83

Boiler No. 1: Legal limit: 350, Voluntary limit: 320, Measuring frequency: Twice a year
Other boilers: Legal limit: 250, Voluntary limit: 180, Measuring frequency: Once a year
The three boilers indicated above are those that resulted in high measured values in the respective fiscal year

BOD/COD management example: Panasonic Ecology Systems Co., Ltd. Head Quarter factory

BOD(mg/l) FY Facility name Average measured Maximum measured
2016 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 2.2 4.3
2017 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 1.7 4.5
2018 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 2.1 3.0

Legal limit: 25.0, Voluntary limit: 16.0, Measuring frequency: Once a month

COD(mg/l) FY Facility name Average measured Maximum measured
2016 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 3.8 7.6
2017 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 3.5 8.0
2018 Wastewater treatment facility/Integrated wastewater outlet 4.0 6.7

Legal limit: 25.0, Voluntary limit: 16.0, Measuring frequency: Once a month