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Panasonic China Environmental Forum 2009 Held in Beijing
On May 19, Panasonic held the Panasonic China Environmental Forum 2009 in Beijing, China, jointly with the China-Japan Friendship Association. At the Environmental Forum in 2007, Panasonic announced the Declaration of Becoming an Environmentally Contributing Company in China, and since then, the Company has built up its internal ground in order to make such a contribution to the environment in China. At the forum on May 19 - the second one up to now - we announced our determination to respond to a request by Chinese President Hu Jintao during his visit to our company, which is that Panasonic make a new environmental contribution to China’s energy saving and environmental conservation sectors by demonstrating its advanced environmental technologies. Panasonic will share with the Chinese public and companies know-how for the environmental sustainability management that it has cultivated up to now, and thereby become a model company in terms of environmental contribution in China.
Among guests to attend the forum were representatives from the China-Japan Friendship Association, the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China and the Japanese Embassy. Panasonic was represented by President Ohtsubo, Panasonic China Chairman Toshiro Kisaka and management executives from China and Northeast Asia. The total attendance at the forum exceeded 300 individuals. At the outset of the forum, complimentary addresses were made by guests before President Otsubo delivered his own opening greeting.
During his speech, Ohtsubo spoke of a story that the company's founder, Konosuke Matsushita, had promised his comprehensive support when the then-Chinese First Vice Premier, Deng Xiaoping, had asked for Panasonic's cooperation in the modernization and electronic industrialization of China during his visit to Panasonic in Japan in 1978. In addition, Ohtsubo expressed his gratitude for continuous support received from China and its people since then, which has helped the company develop its business widely throughout the country.
He then expressed his determination regarding the company's future initiatives, saying that "Panasonic has considered what kind of visible activities could make a direct contribution to the environmental conservation and what kind of actions could be taken in China to develop human resources who take a lead in environmental initiatives. This forum is being held with an aim of conveying Panasonic’s intention to forge new ties with China. Panasonic is determined to become a model company for environmental contribution in China."
Kisaka, of Panasonic China, was the next to take to the stage. In a powerful speech, he said "as a model company for environmental contribution in China, we intend not to keep our company's environmental technologies, know-how, and initiatives to ourselves, but to develop a plan to allow these technologies and knowledge to be utilized widely by other companies and society throughout China. We hope that our initiatives will, in this way, have a major impact on a increase in environmental awareness of the Chinese society and other companies and individuals begin to change the ways they think and act. This, I believe, constitutes our social responsibility as a company, and serves as an example of our management philosophy in action within our environmental management."
He then specifically declared to implement activities in each of three ‘eco ideas’ initiatives - ‘eco ideas’ for Products, ‘eco ideas’ for Manufacturing, and ‘eco ideas’ for Everybody, Everywhere throughout China.
(1) ‘eco ideas’ for Products: Launching top level energy-saving products successively
Panasonic will continue its pursuit of top level energy-saving performance across all of its products and aim to develop top level energy-saving products in all categories to which the Chinese government's Energy Efficiency Label is applied. Initiatives will extend not only to energy saving in products, but also to energy generation, storage, and management, as Panasonic sets out its brand identity for several years into the future.
(2) ‘eco ideas’ for Manufacturing: Offering know-how of environmentally-conscious manufacturing to society
Panasonic will utilize factory environmental management know-how and human resources it has cultivated over many years to train factory engineers in other Chinese companies. Specialist engineers will be dispatched to the Chinese government’s programs for training human resources in order to share basic environmental management information, know-how, and specific case studies, with the aim of training engineers in Chinese factories.
(3) ‘eco ideas’ for Everybody, Everywhere: Spreading employees' eco activities into local society
Panasonic will provide environmental education to one million children in the regions where its various sites are based over the next ten years, which leads to enhancement of environmental awareness. A total of one million trees will also be planted over the next ten years to absorb CO2 and improve the natural environments of these regions.
Afterwards, an environment-themed panel discussion by experts of Chinese environmental issues was also held at the same venue, with a lively exchange of opinions taking place with regard to raising environmental awareness in China, and future initiatives to deal with environmental issues. The panelists offered high praise for the forum that had just taken place, and suggested that the mass media should promote Panasonic's declaration that it would offer environmental know-how of its manufacturing sites to society.
Later on the same day, a tour of Panasonic Center Beijing was offered for guests and members of the press to mark the recent refurbishment of its environmental display corner. The Panasonic Center Beijing is intended to serve as a base for environmental communications, allowing as many people as possible to learn about the importance of environmental affairs.
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