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The responses of children who received lessons are very good.
In particular, they highly evaluate the unique content that fully draws on Panasonic Group's unique capabilities as an electronics manufacturer.
GM Ogawa said, "Simply telling which home appliance uses the most electricity causes children to gasp in surprise. Knowing that, some children try to come up with ways to save electricity. The instructor from the mobile phone business explains that many components are finely configured inside a mobile phone. The instructor from the audio equipment business shows that speakers used to be big, but, today they can be as thin as paper and be capable of producing sound. There are cases where children show great interest in the fact that making smaller and thinner components leads to less material use and consequently contributes to saving the environment. The results of after-lesson questionnaires indicate that about 80% of children gained higher awareness of the environment through the program."
Among various home appliances, air conditioners use the most electricity, however, turning down the temperature settings even by one degree can help reduce power consumption. After learning this, some children put this into practice at home. Other children diligently switch off room lights when not being used or take as brief a shower as possible. Thus, in response to what they are taught, many children take eco actions in their daily life. Sometimes, unexpected effects are yielded. "Occasionally, Panasonic's eco learning education is conducted on a class observation day. In such cases, some parents have shared that eco-related topics helped to enhance communication with their children."
During fiscal 2011, the Eco Learning Program is being promoted at an accelerated rate.
GM Ogawa evaluates its progress in terms of "Outreach" and "Depth."
In terms of "Outreach," in fiscal 2010 eco learning was offered to approximately 100 thousand youngsters around the world, and in fiscal 2011 that number is expected to increase to 150 thousand. In particular, in Japan GM Ogawa hopes to increase the number of schools receiving "Eco Mono Gatari," which is the main study course, to up to 400 from the 300 in fiscal 2010, as well as to double the number of employees trained to be instructors from the current 35.
"Our initial goal was to have Eco Mono Gatari used in conjunction with a fifth grade social studies unit. Now, we think that it can also be used as part of a practical career education class for students in the second year of junior high school. Through providing youngsters with an opportunity to think how they can relate to society with the environment at the core, we hope to contribute to development of human resources to lead the next generation in a realistic way. GM Ogawa further commented enthusiastically, "SANYO Electric and Panasonic Electric Works have also been conducting their own unique eco learning. In the future, we will take advantage of the synergy effect of the three companies to go beyond our goal."
In terms of "Depth," the improvement of study materials is being addressed by incorporating the opinions of actual people involved. To facilitate information sharing worldwide, effective class contents are publicized as best practice. Further, there is a vision to expand contents to cover the field of career education.
In the "Green Plan 2018" announced as its environmental action plan in October 2010, Panasonic Group included an objective to offer eco learning to 2 million children by its 100th anniversary in 2018.
To this end, eco learning must be conducted globally with the Eco Learning Program being an important tool. Panasonic Group is now moving step by step toward the achievement of this major goal on a global-scale.
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