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Panasonic Outlines Green Initiatives in Run-up to 2018 Centennial

October 6, 2010 By Nancy Klosek
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Panasonic Corp. president Fumio Ohtsubo announced in Japan on Oct. 6 the launch of a wide-reaching and long-term environmental action plan whose fulfillment is targeted at the company’s hundredth anniversary in 2018. He said that the company aims, through eco-friendly product development and manufacturing practices, to create a positive environmental impact while it doubles its sales, by then, of “eco-conscious” products over the Fiscal Year 2010 sales levels it had already achieved for those types of products.

Panasonic has set a high bar with its “Green Plan 2018” that will impact all its business activities, but in particular, the company is tackling CO2 emission reduction, waste recycling and reduction in water usage. Ohtsubo said the goal, through implementation of the plan, is for Panasonic to become the Number One maker of “eco-conscious” products and solutions.  Further, he said he expected Panasonic’s eco-related business activities to achieve ¥3 trillion (the equivalent of around $36.3 billion in U.S. dollars) in worldwide sales for the company by 2018 – and to account for a 30 percent slice of all of Panasonic’s sales.

A linchpin of Green Plan 2018’s plan’s success, he added, would be the completion of Panasonic’s acquisition of Sanyo, a global leader in smart energy technology generation and storage. Panasonic owns just over 50 percent of Sanyo and that company’s board in July endorsed Panasonic’s tender offer, which would make Sanyo a wholly owned subsidiary of Panasonic. He said the completion of the acquisition would have Panasonic and Sanyo “all working in one group, making our offering [to the market] more compelling and complete.

“In the 21st century,” he said, “we identified that eco business should be a core of our whole business, and that led to [the pursuit of the] acquisition of Sanyo.

“Panasonic has always been involved in contributing to society and in pursuing biodiversity, particularly in the past few years during global warming – a topic of interest globally,” Ohtsubo explained. “It is the largest challenge mankind faces, so it was natural for us to incorporate eco thinking into our mainstream business. Global warming needs to be squarely faced.”

Green Plan 2018, although global in nature, will impact Panasonic’s manufacturing policies and product planning in different ways, said Ohtsubo, who emphasized that its implementation would be dictated by local market needs. “The core of Panasonic business is to make day-to-day consumer life more comfortable and affluent. To realize that, we have to look at different lifestyles in the world and conduct research there. We have to study and get the right information to propose the most suitable products for a particular area,” he said, citing as an example the development of washing machines that use a minimal amount of water, for areas in inland China.
 

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