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 eco-conscious 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 response to the enhancement of regulations such as the 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 2017, we assessed the environmental quality assurance systems of some 1,400 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 2017 data is 12.94 million tons, roughly five 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.

ECO-VC activities are stored in a database for effective use within the Panasonic Group. Furthermore, exemplary activities are recognized through awards at the ECO VC Presentation of awards/Reception Meeting. These activity presentations are also shown at the meeting venue to be shared with suppliers for use and application in future activities.

The number of activities reported in fiscal 2018 was rather low at 354 compared to previous years, nevertheless the quality remained high as usual. The case selected as the best practice was submitted by ROHM Co., Ltd. In this case, they reduced power consumption in the washing machine power supply system by 67% by adopting a newly-developed power circuit based on their exclusive analog technology and a compact coil, while reducing the standby power consumption by 49% and the component footprint by 70%. Based on the Environment Vision 2050 announced in June 2017 (see page 13), we add the value of energy in addition to Value Engineering to reinforce our partnership with suppliers in the future.

*2 VC: Value Creation

Environmental Achievements Made through Proposals

Items FY2015 FY2016 FY2017 FY2018
Number of proposals 1,445 933 622 354
CO2 reductions derived from proposals 512,675 tons 484,532 tons 253,265 tons 58,448 tons
Use of recycled resources derived from proposals 21,323 tons 19,153 tons 18,421 tons 2,671 tons
Reduction in resources used derived from proposals 24,311 tons 21,243 tons 20,224 tons 1,090 tons

Collaboration with Environmental NGOs

Panasonic has more than 50 manufacturing sites in China. With environmental issues in China becoming more serious due to its economic development, we are working to improve the environmental challenges through coordination and continuous communication with environmental NGOs.

In fiscal 2018, we have visited the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), a non-governmental environmental research organization in China, in order to discuss our activities to deal with environmental risks. In the discussion, we reported our deepened understanding on the significance of an environmental audit and environmental laws and regulations in China gained through study sessions for our business sites about the audit, which was held in Guangzhou, Dalian, and Shanghai in June 2017, and also exchanged opinions in relation to an internal environmental audit for our factories. Additionally, we informed them that we post the list of environment-related information of our factories in China and some suppliers of indirect materials on our website. Stricter environmental regulations are expected in China. We work towards the reinforcement of our activities concerning green supply chain so as to further improve our brand value.