It is said that available fresh water is only about 0.01% of the Earth’s total water resources. In addition, the World Economic Forum, host of the Davos meetings, has stated in its annual report on global risks that the water crisis continues to be one of the top risks with global impact, in view of the increase in water consumption to be caused by future economic growth and population increases.
With water shortages becoming an increasingly grave social problem, Panasonic is working to conserve water resources both in its products and production activities, in order to fulfill its social responsibility and to reduce management risks. Our Environmental Policy stipulates that we make efforts to conserve water resources by using water efficiently and preventing pollution. Under Green Plan 2018, our Environmental Action Plan for fiscal 2019, we are working to expand our range of products that contribute to saving and recycling water. At the same time, we have worked on reducing the volume of water we consume, while using more recycled water in our production processes to conserve water resources throughout our business activities. In risk management, we worked for our water risk assessment at all our production sites to be completed by fiscal 2019, and have completed 100% of the assessments.
Specifically, we evaluated the scale of water risk at all regions where our production sites are located, in order to identify and mitigate effects of water on our business activities. In the evaluation, we utilized evaluation tools such as Aqueduct supplied by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Water Risk Filter supplied by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which can evaluate risks in various aspects; not only from physical risks such as water shortages, but also from the risks in water-related regulations as well as reputation risks in each region. We also made use of public databases available from respective national governments. In areas with higher water risks, we collected information through public local information as well as through hearings with relevant organizations, etc. By conducting detailed analyses and close examination of the local information and the site data including water use volumes, we, more specifically, identified the effects on our business activities. We steadily proceeded processes of the water risk assessments, and in fiscal 2018, completed water risk assessments at all of our production sites. At present, no water risks that could affect our business activities have been reported. Yet, we will continue to make efforts to reduce water consumption in our production activities in the future under the water risk assessment that had been implemented.
In promoting these activities, we have built a structure to promote environmental management, including water management, under the responsibility of the CQO (Uehara Hiroshi, as of August 2019), to proceed activities using PDCA cycle and upgrade the environmental management level.
In addition, we have established an Environmental Risk Management Structure to continuously reduce environmental risks, and (1) identify environmental risks and promote company-wide risk management every fiscal year and (2) promptly respond to occurrence of environmental risk. Through these activities, we will continue to manage our environmental risks.
Moreover, we have participated in the Water Project, a public-private partnership project aimed at boosting awareness of water conservation, which was launched under the initiative of Japan’s Ministry of the Environment in 2014. Objectives of the project are to maintain a sound water cycle and promote its recovery. The project distributes water-related activities conducted by corporations, and water-related information including importance of water. We will work in cooperation with the Japanese government and other companies to conserve water resources.