Initiatives for Eco-conscious Products (Green Products)

Based on the product assessment system where the environmental impacts of products and services area assessed from the planning and the design stages, Panasonic accredits own 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 them not only with our own products but also with competitors’ products. Since fiscal 2012, we have conduct various activities 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. The products and services which have been developed from the conventional superb Green Products*1 starting from fiscal 2014, and which can accelerate the transition to a sustainable society, are newly defined as Strategic GPs.

Among these products, those that particularly create new trends are certified as Super GPs.

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

Green Product Structure

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.)

Products Assessment System

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.

Increase in sales volume of Strategic GPs

In fiscal 2014, Panasonic newly defined 'Strategic GP' in order not only to pursue the environmental performance of consumer products, but also to commit ourselves to further increase sales volume of various products and services which lead to mitigation of environmental impact in the course of structural reform of business such as expansion of B2B business. Based on the definition, we have worked to create such products and services. In addition to reducing environmental load on a global scale with top-level environmental performance, we aim to accelerate a shift to a sustainable society through various business operations, including products or services whose contribution to reduce environmental load can be expected by promoting diffusion of them, as well as whose contribution to reduce environmental load directly in specific regions can be expected.

The sales ratio of Strategic GPs in fiscal 2018 accounted for approx. 24% 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 141% compared to fiscal 2016. Panasonic will work to further push up the sales ratio of Strategic GPs in the future.

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 2019 is equivalent to 14.06 million rooms.

The humidifying air purifier F-VXR90 introduced in Japan in 2018 features improvements to the discharger in the existing nanoe device, making the 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-VXM90 Humidifying Air Purifier" for details on test methods. (Japanese)

F-VXR90 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 leading Green Factories (GF) activities in its efforts to cut down the environmental load caused by manufacturing. On the assumption of compliance of laws and regulations in each factory, concretely we formulate a plan to reduce environmental loads in manufacturing activities, such as amounts of CO2 emission, generated wastes and valuables, water consumption, and discharged and transferred chemical substances, conduct Progress management for total reduction amount with basic unit of discharged amount and the like, and improve the activities. Thereby, we intend to achieve reduction of environmental loads and increase of our business at the same time. In fiscal 2011, we started the GF assessment system*1 aiming to further improve GF activities by visualizing the progress status in each factory.

In addition, we share information on global activities for reducing environmental loads, relevant laws and regulations, and social trends through the Manufacturing Environmental Information Sharing Group.

In Europe, Southeast Asia, China, and Latin America, we hold information exchanges and competitions on best practices by region to reduce environmental impact (presentation of awards for best practices and roll-out of good examples to other regions). By doing so, we promote GF activities suited to the issues in each region to expand and accelerate the activities.

As measures to strengthen the company-wide foundation aiming at improving the structures with energy efficiency, we have developed a BA (Before/After) chart search system to share and spread knowhow across the world on the Internet. With the system, each factory can register and share their best practices concerning managing CO2, waste, chemical substances, water, etc. Further, we prepared “Energy-Saving Potential Diagnosis Sheet” which is a tool with which users can evaluate visualized energy-efficient structure and extract of effective measures, based on the existing support tools and manuals for energy-efficiency which we reviewed and updated. And then, we rolled out the sheet to all sites. In fiscal 2019, we confirmed validity of the Diagnosis Sheet.

Besides, in China and Southeast Asia, we started a cross-company compliance assessment (CCCA) as a new activities to comply with environmental laws and regulations more definitely. In the CCCA, one factory A conducts an environmental assessment for other factory B in the same region, while the factory B conducts an assessment for the factory A, beyond own Company border. In China, we have newly trained 20 internal assessors in fiscal 2019 and conducted assessments in 11 factories; as a result, some points need to be improved were extracted. In Southeast Asia, we conducted CCCA in groups formed by country. In fiscal year 2019, we conducted the CCCA at 22 factories in 6 countries, i.e. 24 sites. We will further upgrade the level of activities, by accelerating the CCCA, learning each other through checking compliance with relevant laws and regulations, and utilizing accumulated corporate-wide knowhow.

*1 The GF assessment system enables factories to evaluate themselves on a five-point 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. Factories then compare their selfassessment results with the results from other factories to obtain a relative assessment to identify issues to be addressed and determine corrective measures. The system was improved in fiscal 2014, in the way that items to assess could be added to the standard 19 items as required by each Company. For example, a Company may implement tasks concerning compliance with environmental laws and compliance management to strengthen risk management in its factories. Then, in the assessment questionnaire, they can set questions with their own standard values stricter than the legal requirements, for example, for their ventilation systems or other facilities that control air and water quality.

cross-company compliance assessment (CCCA)

Indicators for GF Assessment System

Furthermore, by setting up our own regulatory limits, we are working on optimal management of sulfur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), the principal causes of air pollution, as well as indicators of water contaminant concentration biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD).

SOx/NOx management example: Tajima Factory, Device Solutions Business Division, Industrial Solutions Company

SOx(Nm3/h) FY Facility name Average measured Maximum measured
2017 Absorption Water Heater No. 1 0.004 0.005
Absorption Water Heater No. 2 0.004 0.005
Absorption Water Heater No. 3 0.004 0.005
2018 Absorption Water Heater No. 1 0.003 0.004
Absorption Water Heater No. 2 0.001 0.002
Absorption Water Heater No. 3 0.003 0.004
2019 Absorption Water Heater No. 1 <0.004 <0.004
Absorption Water Heater No. 2 <0.003 <0.004
Absorption Water Heater No. 3 <0.002 <0.003

Absorption Water Heater No. 1: Legal limit: 6.5, Voluntary limit: 5.0, Measuring frequency: Twice a year
Absorption Water Heater No. 2: Legal limit: 6.5, Voluntary limit: 5.0, Measuring frequency: Twice a year
Absorption Water Heater No. 3: Legal limit: 6.5, Voluntary limit: 5.0, Measuring frequency: Twice a year

NOx(ppm) FY Facility name Average measured Maximum measured
2017 Absorption Water Heater No. 1 52 53
Absorption Water Heater No. 2 40 43
Absorption Water Heater No. 3 43 47
2018 Absorption Water Heater No. 1 52 55
Absorption Water Heater No. 2 51 58
Absorption Water Heater No. 3 47 48
2019 Absorption Water Heater No. 1 65 77
Absorption Water Heater No. 2 61 65
Absorption Water Heater No. 3 66 75

Absorption Water Heater No. 1: Legal limit: 180, Voluntary limit: 150, Measuring frequency: Twice a year
Absorption Water Heater No. 2: Legal limit: 180, Voluntary limit: 150, Measuring frequency: Twice a year
Absorption Water Heater No. 3: Legal limit: 180, Voluntary limit: 150, Measuring frequency: Twice a year

BOD/COD management example: Hikone Factory, Beauty And Personal Care Business Division, Appliances Company

BOD(mg/l) FY Facility name Average measured Maximum measured
2017 Factory wastewater outlet 1.2 5.1
2018 Factory wastewater outlet 1.4 2.9
2019 Factory wastewater outlet 1.3 3.7

Legal limit: 20.0, Voluntary limit: 18.0, Measuring frequency: four times a month

COD(mg/l) FY Facility name Average measured Maximum measured
2017 Factory wastewater outlet 1.1 2.3
2018 Factory wastewater outlet 1.0 3.4
2019 Factory wastewater outlet 0.9 2.4

Legal limit: 20.0, Voluntary limit: 18.0, Measuring frequency: four times a month