Environment : Collaboration Across the Supply Chain

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Collaboration with Suppliers and Transportation Partners

As a company backed by a number of suppliers, we must consider the environmental impacts of our entire supply chain, and not just of our own operations. Through our coordination efforts with suppliers and transportation partners, who form an integral part of our business operations, we strive to minimize our environmental impact across the entire supply chain, focusing on the reduction of CO2 emissions, resource recycling, chemical substance management, and biodiversity conservation.

Activities for Green Procurement

Since the publication of the Green Procurement Standards in 1999, we have been promoting the manufacture of ecoconscious products in partnership with our suppliers. Furthermore, in the Green Procurement Standards, we set out the establishment of a group of suppliers who support our Environmental Policy in supplying products and goods in order to materialize the targets in supplier collaboration in our Green Plan 2018. In addition to cooperation in “reducing environmental impact in supplier business operations" and “sharing achievements through collaboration," we are asking our suppliers to “seek the cooperation of upstream business partners" to expand the scope of activities of reducing environmental impact throughout the entire supply chain.

Also, based on the Green Procurement Standards, we have been conducting the Green Procurement Survey, where we monitor the implementation status of our suppliers regarding our requests, to promote environmental impact reduction activities more effectively with our suppliers. In fiscal 2013, we conducted a trial survey targeted at our major global suppliers. We received responses from 415 companies, and were able to confirm the level of activity in areas such as environmental management system development, thorough implementation of chemical substance management, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, promotion of resource recycling, and biodiversity conservation. From fiscal 2014, we have replaced surveys conducted on a group-wide scale with surveys at a site level as a means of communication with our suppliers.

In China, seminars on our CSR Procurement Policy and Chinese environmental regulations were held in September 2016 for more than 400 suppliers in Guangzhou, Dalian, and Shanghai. By calling for exhaustive implementation of CSR through the supply chain by using the CSR self-assessment checklist as well as sharing China's latest environmental regulations, we are making efforts to grasp the risks and reduce environmental impacts across the supply chain. In fiscal 2018, self inspection using the CSR self-assessment checklists was expanded to other Asian countries besides China to gain a wider understanding of environmental impact from our business activities.

In response to the enhancement of regulations such as EU RoHS Directive, we have been engaging in continual environmental quality assurance audits of our suppliers since 2005 to improve the management level throughout the entire supply chain. In fiscal 2019, we assessed the environmental quality assurance systems of some 1,200 suppliers and have supported their efforts to upgrade their management levels.

Estimation of Environmental Impacts in Business Activities by Suppliers

In order to assess greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the entire supply chain (scope 3*1), we made our original calculations based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the international accounting standard for GHG emissions. Since fiscal 2012 we have conducted assessment surveys on four occasions, with the cooperation of 185 suppliers in the areas of raw materials, electrical and electronic components, and processed parts.

From fiscal 2012, we started estimating our overall GHG emissions in the upstream range by multiplying the volume of materials purchased with the resource-specific GHG emissions per basic unit based on the Input-Output Table published by the Japanese government. The estimation results based on fiscal 2018 data is 13.95 million tons, roughly 6 times the GHG emissions of our own production activities.

*1 Other indirect emissions, excluding Scope 1 (direct emissions from facilities owned and controlled by Panasonic) and Scope 2 (emissions from production of energy consumed at facilities owned and controlled by Panasonic).

Sharing Achievements through Collaboration

Since fiscal 2010, we have been implementing the ECO-VC*2 Activity with our suppliers. This program is a collaboration between Panasonic and our suppliers, aimed to both reduce environmental impact as well as reinforce product capability and achieve further rationalization for our products and our suppliers. In fiscal 2010, the target for reducing environmental impact was limited to energy saving (CO2 emission reduction). However, this was extended in fiscal 2011 to Recyclingoriented Manufacturing aiming at saving resources and using recycled materials. The geographical range of our activities has also extended. Initially centered in Japan, actions accelerated to China and other parts of Asia in fiscal 2013, and later extended to a global scale in fiscal 2015.

Case examples of ECO-VC activities are stored and accumulated in a database for effective use within the Panasonic Group. We have shared these progressive case examples of the activities with suppliers for their references, so that they can make the best use of them in their activities, through awarding outstanding case examples in the ECO VC Presentation of Award and Information Exchange Meeting, and have exhibited the examples at the meeting venue.

In Panasonic's centennial year, fiscal 2019, the number of entries for achieved activities drastically increased to 820 from 354 in fiscal 2018, with a large number of proposals submitted on the main theme of "Creating New Values."

*2 VC: Value Creation

Environmental Achievements Made through Proposals

Items FY2016 FY2017 FY2018 FY2019
Number of proposals 933 622 354 820
CO2 reductions derived from proposals 484,532 tons 253,265 tons 58,448 tons 30,499 tons
Use of recycled resources derived from proposals 19,153 tons 18,421 tons 2,671 tons 80 tons
Reduction in resources used derived from proposals 21,243 tons 20,224 tons 1,090 tons 3,027 tons

Collaboration with Environmental NGOs

In fiscal 2016, Panasonic started asking our suppliers (approx. 7,000 in number) in China, where a large number of its production sites are located, to fill in and submit CSR self-check lists. At the end of fiscal 2019, we completed collecting the list from all existing suppliers. Additionally, we began an on-site CSR and environment check of key suppliers (approx. 20 companies), collecting their CSR self-check lists at the same time.

In face of rising social pressure in China for suppliers to take necessary actions for environmental issues, guidance for suppliers has become an important issue from points of CSR. For this reason, we have conducted CSR and environmental inspections in China in the form of audits not only for CSR compliance but with great attention to the environmental activities of the suppliers. Through the CSR and environmental inspections, we have asked them to improve the condition, if necessary, and also have conducted follow-up inspections.

At the same time, we are engaged in environmental improvement for suppliers through communication with the Chinese environmental NGO, Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE). In the Green Supply Chain ranking of suppliers to major business corporations (CITI Index) published since fiscal 2015 by the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), Panasonic has been rated in high ranks every year. In fiscal 2019, Panasonic was ranked as the fourth in the IT industry (one place higher than previous year) and the 1st in overall ranking in Japanese companies.