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Zero Waste Emissions from Factories
Pursuing Zero Waste Emissions by minimizing final disposal
Waste generated at our factories is classified into: (1) recyclable waste (including those that can be sold and those which can be transferred free of charge or by paying a fee), (2) waste that can be reduced by incineration or dehydration, and (3) final disposal (waste with no option other than being sent to landfills). We reduce the emission of waste by boosting yield in our production process and increasing the recycle rate of our waste materials. Accordingly, we strive globally toward achieving our Zero Waste Emissions*1 goal by reducing the amount of final disposal to nearly zero by fiscal 2013.
Specifically, we had set the factory waste recycling rate goals at 98.5% for fiscal 2012, and buoyed by efforts to strengthen measures in China and Europe, the result we achieved was 98.9%. With a goal of achieving a recycling rate of over 99% in fiscal 2013, we will continue to improve our rate of factory waste recycling.
- *1 Panasonic’s definition: Recycling rate of 99% or higher. Recycling rate = Amount of resources recycled/(amount of resources recycled + amount of final disposal).
Measures to reduce the generation of waste
As a means to reduce the generation of waste, we are fostering resource-saving product design. In our production activities, we have reduced the generation of shape forming waste by improving the molds used in the production process. Moreover, we have started a “visualized analysis” of waste for every process. We undertook such analyses at nine sites in fiscal 2011 and eight sites in fiscal 2012 to identify specific factors that cause waste generation, which enable us to link the findings to further reduce waste. In our logistics operations as well, we are reviewing the use of packaging materials to reduce waste and promote the reuse of such materials. As a result, despite the decrease in production, we improved our amount of generated waste per basic unit of production ratio by 0.2% in fiscal 2012 over fiscal 2011.
Measures to reduce the amount of final disposal
We are working diligently to constrain the level of waste materials that are particularly difficult to recycle, including thermosetting resin. We are also strictly adhering to waste sorting practices in production processes to further expand the reuse of resources.
Because waste recycling rates in our overseas factories lag behind those in Japan, we have worked to improve the average level of recycling activities by sharing information within and between regions. Starting from Europe and China and other Asian countries, we expanded our activities in the Americas in fiscal 2012. Specifically, in addition to accelerating the information sharing on waste recycling issues between local factories and business domain companies in Japan, we also promote the sharing of excellent examples and know-how among our factories across regions by utilizing the BA Charts,*2 which are prepared by each region, adopting the long-standing approach toward CO2 reduction activities. Our specialists have visited 44 of the Group’s factories with high waste disposal amounts and low recycling rates to review the state of waste management and propose solutions that are tailored to the local recycling and waste management infrastructure.
At Panasonic Appliance Refrigeration Devices Singapore Pte., Ltd. (PAPRDSG), it has implemented measures to reuse waste sand generated by cast components for compressors. In the past, waste casting sand could not be easily recycled and had largely been disposed of in landfills in accordance with local laws. Referencing recycling techniques developed in Japan, PAPRDSG explored local companies capable of recycling waste molding sand, and through collaboration with a good recycler, waste molding sand is now used in the construction of underground railways and as roadway blocks. These recycling endeavors have led PAPRDSG to reduce its amount of final waste sand disposal by 83% compared to fiscal 2011.
Road pavement blocks made of foundry waste sand and road paved with the blocks
To continue these successes, we must develop human resources with expertise in waste management. We have been providing regular training on waste management in each region, and in fiscal 2012, training sessions held in Asia and Europe were attended by approx. 470 officers responsible for waste management.
- *2 BA Chart: Chart that provides a comparison between before and after the implementation of waste reduction and recycling measures.
- Note: SANYO Electric at that time and PLD not included in fiscal 2008 through 2010.
|Items||Total wastes||Recycled||Final disposal|
- *3 Combustion residue, fiber scraps, animal residue, rubber scraps, debris, ash particles, items treated for disposal, slag, infectious waste, PCB, waste asbestos (only in Japan)
Total wastes including revenue-generating waste per basic unit of consolidated sales*4 for fiscal 2012
|Global||0.07 tons/million yen|
|(Japan)||(0.06 tons/million yen)|
|(Outside Japan)||(0.07 tons/million yen)|
- *4 Total wastes including revenue-generating waste per basic unit of consolidated sales＝total wastes including revenue-generating waste/consolidated sales
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