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We use a product assessment system that evaluates the environmental impacts of our products and services starting at the planning and design stages. Based on our criteria, we accredit our products and services that achieved high environmental performance as Green Products (GPs). Additionally, products that showed environmental performance superior to similar products in the industry are certified as Superior GPs. Products that set a new trend towards a sustainable society are certified as Super GPs.
In the GP accreditation criteria, we assess the performance of our products in terms of prevention of global warming, effective utilization of resources, and management of chemical substances by comparing not only among our own products but also with competitors' products. In fiscal 2012, we took steps to further enhance our accreditation criteria by adding biodiversity and water conservation to existing items. This has in turn enabled the creation of a wider range of GPs.
After achieving our fiscal 2011 target of developing 90% or more GPs for three consecutive years since fiscal 2006, we decided to shift the focus of our activities to the creation of Superior GPs. The idea of Superior GPs was launched in fiscal 2005 with the certification of 19 models. Subsequently, the number has increased while upgrading the standards on superiority over competing goods, which led to certification of 464 models in fiscal 2013. Although the ratio is small, there is also a growing number of products that have been certified for protecting biodiversity and water resources.
In addition to the increase in number of models, since fiscal 2011 we have also been working on increasing the percentage of sales for Superior GPs. Impacted by the drop in sales of consumer goods, the percentage of sales for Superior GPs remained at approx. 10% in fiscal 2013.
The Super GP for fiscal 2013 was the Super High Brightness DLP®*2 Projector, which is used to project images onto large screens at concerts and convention halls. With high-power lamps, a new quad-lamp system, and a new liquid cooling system, the amount of power consumption, weight/volume, and noise all have been significantly improved compared with similar professional projectors by competitors. This has enabled us to realize an innovative evolution in the environmental performance of this projector.
Super High Brightness DLP® Projector PT-DZ21K
We aim to reduce our environmental impact to as close to zero as possible in all our factories worldwide, and our Green Factories (GFs) are engaged in activities that will help us achieve this goal. Specifically, we include plans to reduce the environmental impacts in our production activities focusing on our factories' CO2 emissions, total waste generation, and chemical substance releases and transfers in our midterm business plan and business goals, and implement those plans as well as progress control.
We started our internal GF accreditation system in fiscal 2006 to evaluate the activities of our factories and we certify factories that meet certain standards as GFs. After achieving a fiscal 2011 target of 90% or higher GF accreditation rate for all factories in fiscal 2009 and 2010, we upgraded the GF accreditation system to the GF assessment system to further improve the standard of measures implemented across our factories.
Under the upgraded system, our factories evaluate themselves on a one-to-five scale across 15 environmental activity items classified into five groups, and visualize the progress to address issues and make improvements.
The group-wide goal of achieving over Level 4 on average by fiscal 2013 was realized ahead of schedule in fiscal 2012. We are determined to reduce environmental impacts and at the same time enhance our management structure through the PDCA of these activities.
In fiscal 2013, Yamagata Plant, which manufactures digital camera lens units and aspherical lenses, was awarded the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry prize in the Energy Conservation Grand Prizes hosted by the Energy Conservation Center, Japan (ECCJ) for factory-wide original activities to save and create energy. Energy conservation and productivity were upgraded to minimize energy consumption per basic unit through real-time monitoring of facility operation status and improvements in manufacturing processes, including the development of energy-saving lens molding devices. After the Great East Japan Earthquake, action was taken to respond to the need to control peak power demand, such as reducing the air-conditioning load by recycling the air returned from clean rooms, improving pressure loss in air ducts at plants, exhaustively reducing the use of lighting, and installing LED lighting fixtures. Despite the difficulties in organizing production shifts caused by 24-hour operation, maximum peak power consumption was slashed by 21% in fiscal 2012 over the previous year, and CO2 emissions reduced by 17%.
On December 12, 2012, we opened the Panasonic Technopark as a major operational base in India. Technopark is located in Jhajjar in the state of Haryana, India, and produces air-conditioning units “Cube” for the Indian market, as well as washing machines and welding equipment. It is India's first ‘eco ideas’ factory*4 to engage in eco-conscious manufacturing through CO2 emission reduction, waste management and recycling, and chemical substance management. In the face of this chronic shortage of power and water, Panasonic has installed a solar power generation system with a maximum output of 28.29 kW to serve its administrative buildings and parking areas, and a 100% water recycling system for its plant and administrative offices. Through these efforts we are contributing to local power conservation and the preservation of sustainable water resources, as well as promoting energy-saving activities such as greater visibility of power usage.
Technopark floor plan