In line with its commitment to the net-zero climate impact and to reaching Panasonic Environment Vision 2050, the brand has announced PANASONIC GREEN IMPACT initiative globally with an aim to contribute to society-wide reductions in CO2 emissions by switching customers to energy-saving products and supplying energy-saving solutions and green energy technologies to B2B/B2G customers.
Climate change is a defining issue that requires immediate action to help build a more sustainable and inclusive future. While it may seem that the impact is a slow burn and a direct effect rarely felt, climate change is still a severe threat that could endanger lives on earth. In fact, CO2 emissions continue to increase. In 2021, global emissions increased by nearly 5% over the previous year. According to a report published by Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, the world now has a 66% chance of surpassing 1.5°C of global warming over pre-industrial levels within the next decade.
Panasonic GREEN IMPACT Initiative
“As Panasonic, we are now focused on achieving a global CO2 emission of net-zero by 2030 across the entirety of our business operations. Around the world, it is estimated that more than 1 billion customers using Panasonic products every day create 86 million tons of CO2 emissions based on electricity consumption figures. This amounts to approximately 110 million tons of CO2 emissions across our entire value chain, a number that is equivalent to about 1% of total emissions from global electricity consumption. Thus, it is Panasonic’s duty to reduce these emissions as they have an enormous impact on our planet. The GREEN IMPACT policy will make Panasonic better in the coming future and thus help us manner a more sustainable future for the coming generations,” commented Mr. Hiroyuki Shibutani, Managing Director, PMMAF.
Panasonic factories located in the various parts of the world use renewable energy for power, and have energy-efficient fixtures and smart lighting, and HVAC system. Meanwhile, in the regions such as the middle east, where the brand doesn’t have production facilities, it continues to provide energy-efficient products helping to reduce the impact by Panasonic customers.
“We will continue and expand upon our work to reduce emissions caused due to the use of our products by developing and providing new technologies and solutions to increase efficiency for our customers in the business and government sectors. By strengthening our efforts in these areas, we aim to accelerate society’s transition to clean energy,” Shibutani added.
By 2050, Panasonic Group aims to create impact that reduces CO2 emissions by more than 300 million tons*1, or about 1% of the current total global emissions*2
*1* 300 million tons calculated with 2020 emission factors
*2* 33.6 billion tons of energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 (Source: IEA)
Contributing to a “Global Energy Revolution”
In countries around the world, we are now seeing efforts to accelerate the switch to renewable energy in grid power. This has given rise to a movement, including among individual energy consumers, for promoting “electrification” – the process of replacing equipment that burns fossil fuels with electrical equipment – spurring Panasonic Corporation to seize the opportunity to advance its efforts in a range of areas.
Lithium-Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles
Critical to the achievement of a carbon neutral society is the popularization of environmentally friendly vehicles. Panasonic is leveraging its battery technology and production know-how cultivated over many years to strengthen its competitiveness (on battery capacity, cost and supply capability) in the development and mass production of lithium-ion battery packs for electric vehicles (EV). Take, for example, the cylindrical, high-capacity 4680 cell set to become the mainstream: while continuing to improve the strengths of its batteries, which include high quality and high safety, Panasonic aims to lead the industry on cost competitiveness through consistent productivity advancements.
Strengthened competitiveness is extremely important to the evolution and spread of electric vehicles. Combined with advancements on the below-mentioned initiatives for reuse and recycling, we will make exhaustive efforts at reducing the environmental burden.
RE100 Solutions is Panasonic’s initiative to power energy consumption across its entire operations with 100% renewable energy generated in-house utilizing combined technologies of pure hydrogen fuel cells, solar cells, and storage batteries. A proof-of-concept started in April 2022 at the fuel cell factory in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture. Panasonic will cultivate new paths for the expansion of renewables through the full-scale application of hydrogen.
“Aquarea” Heat Pump Hot Water Heater
The Panasonic Aquarea hot water heater with built-in heat pump now available on the European market transfers heat captured by a heat pump from ambient air to make hot water with minimal power and with much lower CO2 emissions than conventional heaters powered by fossil fuels. In addition to increased use of power from renewable sources, electrification enables an energy time shift by storing sometimes unreliable renewable power as hot water, thereby limiting the burden on the power grid and contributing to the faster spread of renewables.
Contributing to a Circular Society
Also, critical to resolving the Earth’s environmental issues are efforts to create a circular society. Panasonic’s initiatives are not dependent on the consumption of natural resources; Panasonic is working towards reduced CO2 emissions throughout the product lifecycle based on the concept of a circular economy for sustainable growth.
Recycling Resin from Home Appliances
To make the best possible use of resin found in many home appliances, Panasonic is expanding the applications of resin recycled from obsolete home appliances. Panasonic’s proprietary technology allows for rapid classification and collection of three types of resin in highly purified form. The resin retrieved through this process is reborn as part of new products. Panasonic is working to develop technologies for the efficient collection and recycling of these kinds of resources, while also minimizing resource investment at the manufacturing stage and improving quality across every process in the resource cycle.
Model for Recycling Battery Materials
As already mentioned, Panasonic is working to strengthen the competitiveness of its EV lithium-ion battery business which also ties into the realization of a circular society. We are strengthening the reuse of resources not only through collection and recycling of batteries according to each country and region’s regulations, but also through the recovery of losses in the production phase and discontinued products.
Moreover, as well as working to make products last longer, by developing technologies such as controls on charge/discharge based on the specific characteristics and usage conditions, Panasonic can ensure every battery is used for longer, thereby further advancing its contributions to the achievement of a circular society.
These are just some of Panasonic’s wide-reaching initiatives. Panasonic aims to contribute to a carbon neutral future in all facets of society, solving global environmental issues by reducing CO2 emissions from operations and products, offering solutions for operational efficiency, and supplying a range of technologies to harness renewable energy resources.
Not Only For Us, For Future Generations Too
Panasonic embarked on a new organizational structure from April 2022, with divisional companies operating independently. While each company’s purpose differs, the common goal is the realization of “an ideal society with affluence both in matter and mind.”
Panasonic’s founder Konosuke Matsushita declared his goal for achieving this “ideal society with affluence both in matter and mind” when he devised the 250-year plan. Concurrent affluence in both material and spiritual terms is the key to happiness, and Panasonic committed itself to being the one to realize this “ideal society in which every individual is happy” over 250 years. The concept is not one of sacrificing ourselves for the sake of future generations, rather it is about experiencing happiness in living out our lives and making the next era better on top of that.
Essentially, at the root of Panasonic’s mission is the concept of achieving a state of well-being – happiness in both body and mind – to pass on to future generations through sustainable management. Sustainability management is achievable by putting that concept into practice, and Panasonic’s Basic Business Philosophy revised last year for the first time in 60 years is simply a code of conduct to that end.
Panasonic GREEN IMPACT represents an extremely important component of that mission. The brand stands as one to take on the challenges for people today and for future generations.