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Panasonic North America (PNA) announced its 'eco ideas' Declaration for North America in January 2011. Since then, PNA has pursued a number of environmental goals and activities in 2012 focusing on building a LEED certified new headquarters building in Newark, New Jersey, providing world-leading energy efficient products, making eco-educational materials available to children and expanding our award-winning consumer electronic product recycling program.
Regarding the reduction in CO2 emissions in use of products, the result in fiscal 2013 was approximately 4.61 million tons and the target was achieved the number of youngsters reached with environmental education information was 145 thousand including via an online environmental educational game. With regard to emissions from North American headquarters' operations, we anticipate a 45% reduction by moving into PNA's new state-of-the-art building in July 2013 and the number of collection sites for Panasonic's National Recycling Program reached over 1,800 as of the end of fiscal 2013, exceeding the target by 12%.
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In July 2013, Panasonic North America will move its headquarters to a newly built, state-of-the-art office tower along the riverfront in the downtown business district in Newark, New Jersey. The facility is designed to meet LEED Platinum Certification standards for commercial interiors. Among the metrics to attain the highest level of LEED certification include energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Sustainability is also a focus as the facility's exterior built to attain LEED Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Buildings Council. We anticipate that this new LEED building will enable us to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our corporate HQ operations by 45% when compared to our 2007 emissions.
Besides the building's innovative design, its location is a key factor in contributing to GHG emission reductions. Built adjacent to a major rail transportation hub, the new HQ facility will facilitate greatly expanded use of public transportation by employees. The environmental benefits from employee use of mass transit can be substantial. Based on an employee survey, we estimate that an additional 2 thousand tons of CO2 emissions can be saved by moving 80% of employees out of their cars and onto trains and other modes of public transit.
New headquarters building with LEED certification
Panasonic's highly efficient LED TVs and ventilation fans received special recognition by the U.S. EPA in 2013. The EPA placed 9 Panasonic Viera LED TVs and 24 Panasonic Whisper Green ventilation fans on the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013 listing. According to EPA, "The ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013 designation recognizes the most efficient products among those that qualify for the ENERGY STAR. These exceptional products represent the leading edge in energy efficient products this year."
In addition, Panasonic's line of energy efficient ventilation fans also helped earn the company's Eco Solutions Company the EPA ENERGY STAR Award for Sustained Excellence in 2013. This marked the third consecutive year the company was so honored.
Ceiling ventilation fan with North America specifications
ENERGY STAR trophy
In fiscal 2013, we undertook two major environmental education projects for the next generation towards attaining the targets set out in our 'eco ideas' Declaration.
The first was an educational initiative aimed at inspiring greater environmental awareness among America's children and young adults. As part of the Panasonic Kid Witness News schools video contest, we invited middle and high school students to create short Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos that promote greater eco-awareness and environmental sustainability. Five PSA videos were selected as the finalists after a thorough review, and young adults across the U.S. were invited to vote for their favorite video. We hope that children's environmental awareness will be enhanced by watching the videos and participating in the voting.
The second initiative was the development of an educational game called "Green$treets," which runs on tablet devices and helps young people learn that environmental smartness can lead to economic smartness. This game was released in March 2012 and is now very popular among the educational games category in tablet apps.
Screen shot for KWN PSA Sweepstakes
Panasonic continues to demonstrate its strong commitment to environmentally sound recycling of used electronic products and is pleased to announce that we have achieved a key goal to provide over 1,800 collection sites across the United States.
In addition, Panasonic was one of the first electronics manufacturers to begin collecting end-of-life products voluntarily from consumers. Starting from 1999, we have now collected over 87 million pounds of e-waste and recycled it properly. Also, in 2012 Panasonic joined the US EPA Sustainable Materials Management Challenge, committing to recycle 100% of the used products we collect at third-party certified recyclers. Today we have achieved 97% of this goal and anticipate hitting 100% by the end of this fiscal year.
Large scale solar installations in the United States are increasingly equipped with solar forecasting devices known as "sky imagers." These devices are powered by sophisticated algorithms, many of which were developed by University of California at San Diego (UCSD) researchers and engineers. The technology used by UCSD was funded in partnership with SANYO/Panasonic's solar group along with several state agencies.
The "sky imagers" algorithms are now being used by major solar installations at numerous locations across the United States. Among the benefits of using the algorithms has been to support utilities' better integrate solar power into their renewable energy portfolios, helping them overcome the natural variability of sunshine. Utilities using the algorithms can better predict, and time manage, the fluctuations of sunshine-generated power.
Panasonic is also a proud sponsor of the VISION House® at INNOVENTIONS Attraction presented by Green Builder® Media, located at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This ground-breaking green show home is designed to provide visitors with a glimpse of the very best in residential design and sustainable living. Visitors receive a guided tour of the home introducing them to the latest in energy saving and intelligent products including advanced building ventilation technology featuring Panasonic's award winning ENERGY STAR ventilation fans.