Environment : Creation of Circular Economy Business

eco ideas

Creation of Circular Economy Business

In our drive to promote the efficient use of resources and to maximize customer value, we are working to create businesses based on a circular economy model.

Our first business model is our "sharing service." The service consists of bicycle parking areas; three were created inside Tsunashima SST*1 and at Hiyoshi Station. On top of this, 30 IoT-linked electrically-assisted bicycles have been made available to residents of the town and employees at commercial facilities in a trial project to study how to operate and manage an IoT-linked electrically-assisted bicycle service.

Moreover, as a model for "products as a service," we have implemented a scheme to provide display cases with refrigerators/freezers, combined with a refurbishment service for those refrigerators and freezers:

This service to provide refrigeration does not involve marketing equipment to supermarkets, convenience stores or other food retailers. Instead, it is aimed at offering "food refrigeration" as a value. The refurbishment scheme focuses on inspecting and repairing display cases that have been used at retail chain stores and which will then be reused at other retail stores. These services are expected to reduce maintenance and energy costs, and at the same time it will facilitate cheaper, low-budget store renovations by making business management more efficient.

Furthermore, we are also promoting the following activities based on a circular economy concept. One example is building renovation: A building that we had used as a showroom and for other purposes for nearly 20 years was renovated through a joint effort with our partners. It has been transformed into a business and commercial complex named TENNOZ Rim*2 which includes a co-working space, studio, laboratory, lounge and café. We consider renovation projects enabling more effective use of existing structures with additional performance features to be better than activities related to new buildings, as a circular economy business.

We are also seeking to create new value from factory waste in the form of totally new products, through creative design. To date, waste from manufacturing processes for clothing irons, rice cookers and kitchen systems has been used to produce bookends, lighting equipment, tables and other furniture items in creative collaboration with our business partners. We plan to develop further projects of that kind and create new value through broader co-creation.

Through these activities, we are working to create businesses based on a circular economy. Likewise, we are making progress in transitioning existing businesses into businesses based on a circular economy model. To achieve this, we are working on analysis of the development of circular economy options for existing businesses indicated in the Green Plan 2021, in accordance with the guidelines we established in fiscal 2020.

*1 A next-generation sustainable smart town that was built in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, in March 2018. It is being managed by the Tsunashima SST Council organized by Panasonic and 10 other companies in various industrial fields to engage in innovative, eco-friendly activities and to create new services through collaboration among urban community developers, residents and local governments.
*2 See https://www.tennoz-rim.tokyo/