From the viewpoint of effective usage of resources, we believe that generation of waste and revenue-generating waste at factories must be minimized, even if such waste could be sold as valuable commodities. Based on this belief, we identify the amount of generated waste (including both revenue-generating waste and factory generated waste) and classify it into: (1) recyclable waste (including those that can be sold and those which can be transferred free of charge or by paying a fee), (2) waste that can be reduced by incineration or dehydration, and (3) landfill (waste with no option other than being sent to landfills).
We reduce the emission of waste by boosting yield in our production process and increasing the recycling rate of our waste materials. Accordingly, we strive globally toward achieving our Zero Waste Emissions from Factories*3 goal by reducing the amount of landfill to nearly zero. We have reinforced such efforts particularly in China and other Asian countries, where many of our factories are located.
With the waste plastic import control introduced in China, the volume of material being recycled has dropped, leading to an increase in landfill waste disposal. As a result, the factory waste recycling rate in fiscal 2020 was 98.9%, falling short of the 99% target in our Green Plan 2021. We will introduce more activities which aim to maintain and improve the factory waste recycling rate.
As a means to reduce the generation of waste, we are fostering resource-saving product design. In our production activities, we are engaging in resource loss reduction, employing our own unique material flow analysis methods. We consider materials that do not become products and excessive use of consumables as resource losses, and make the material flow and lost values for each process visible in order to resolve the issues with close collaboration with the design, manufacturing, and other relevant business divisions. In the future, we will promote further reductions in resource losses through the Resource Loss Navigation, our original system developed to automatically display information to help reduce resource losses.
As measures to reduce the amount of landfill of waste and revenue-generating waste, we constrain the amount of waste materials that are particularly difficult to recycle, such as thermosetting resin. We are also strictly adhering to waste sorting practices in production processes to further expand the reuse of resources.
Because waste recycling rates in our overseas factories lag behind those in Japan, we have worked to improve the average level of recycling activities by sharing information within and between regions outside Japan. Specifically, in addition to accelerating the information sharing on waste recycling issues between our local factories and group companies in Japan, we also promote the sharing of excellent examples and know-how among our factories across regions by utilizing BA Charts*4 prepared by each region, following our long-standing approach toward CO2 reduction activities.
*3 Definition by Panasonic: Recycling rate of 99% or higher. Recycling rate = Amount of resources recycled/(amount of resources recycled + amount of landfill).
*4 A chart-format summary of comparisons between "before and after" implementation of waste reduction and recycling measures.