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Environment:Environmental Risk Management

Group-wide Systems to Manage Environmental Risks

As a tool to continuously reduce environmental risks, Panasonic has established an Environmental Risk Management System specific to each Company and promotes (1) regular identification of environmental risks and group-wide management and (2) ensuring quick responses to reported environmental risks.

To identify environmental risks and implement the management system, the environmental risks that need to be managed are first determined based on the actual environmental risks reported from Companies and risk assessment results conducted across the entire company. These risks are then classified according to their occurrence frequencies and the degree of impact on business. Risks classified as major and thus require strict control are subject to the PDCA approach, where countermeasures are established and implemented, and progress is checked and ensured.

When environmental risks are identified, the affected Companies and related divisions at the Head Office and Regional headquarters collaborate to promptly implement emergency measures and recurrence prevention measures adapted to the specific risk level. Also, the management flow in the event of an identified risk is standardized to prevent related secondary risks caused by uncertainty and confusion.

Classification of Environmental Risks and Countermeasure Implementation

Environmental Compliance Management at Factories

Panasonic manages its environmental systems in full compliance with laws and regulations.
We regularly measure emissions of gas, wastewater, noise, odor, etc., and introduce preventative measures for cases that may lead to serious violations. Such information is shared both internally and externally to fulfill our corporate responsibility for information disclosure.

In fiscal 2013, there was one case of environment-related legal violation in Japan and two outside Japan. In response, we made the necessary notifications to local governments and implemented countermeasures.

Cases of Violations of Laws and Ordinances Related to Environmental Pollution (such as exceeding the standard legal level, etc.) in Fiscal 2013

Region Air Water
quality
Noise Odor Waste Total
Global (including Japan) 0 2 1 0 0 3
Japan 0 0 1 0 0 1

Managing Waste Management Risks

Inappropriate disposal of waste can cause environmental problems, as well as inconvenience and concerns to the public. In order to prevent this problem, especially outside of Japan, we have developed with local specialists waste disposal control checklists for each country, based on local laws that serve as the standard for factory waste management, subcontractor selection, etc. In addition, extensive efforts are being made to train personnel specializing in waste management, and training programs and local study sessions are organized and held in Asia and Europe to gain higher management skills.

Measures Against Soil and Groundwater Contamination

In the latter half of the 1980s, soil and groundwater contamination due to chlorinated organic solvents was detected at some of Panasonic's sites. In response, we have conducted anti-contamination activities across the company. In fiscal 2003 we began enhancing our surveys and measures to comply with relevant laws and regulations, including the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act, which was enforced in Japan in 2003, and in fiscal 2004 started implementing measures to place all our bases across the globe under Panasonic's management supervision with regard to soil and groundwater.

Specifically, we conduct onsite inspections and interviews at the bases, in addition to surveying their use of VOCs and heavy metals. Furthermore, we implement surface soil surveys within the premises. For the sites where contamination was detected beyond the regulatory pollution standards, we conduct detailed borehole surveys to identify the boundaries of the contaminated areas and take remedial measures.

As a result of these efforts, we were able to place all our bases under management supervision in fiscal 2009. Furthermore, in fiscal 2011, the management supervision scheme was purpose-specifically reorganized and reinforced to establish a new management supervision scheme. With the highest priority given to preventing dispersion of pollution beyond our premises, this new scheme is implemented across all operating sites to further improve the level of measures against contamination.

Soil and Groundwater Risk Management Policy

Conditions subject to management supervision Procedure
Pollution dispersion prevention beyond Panasonic premises
  1. Conduct historical surveys
  2. Determine and install monitoring wells at the premises' borders
  3. Analyze groundwater at the borders
  4. Check possibility of pollution from external sources
  5. Report to management department
  6. Determine the external pollution dispersion prevention methods
  7. Install the external pollution dispersion prevention methods
  8. Install assessment wells
  9. Begin assessments (monitoring)
Thorough pollution source elimination
  1. Conduct brief status check
  2. -1. Horizontal direction detailed analysis
     -2. Vertical direction detailed analysis
  3. Determine the magnitude of pollution
  4. Discuss the areas and methods of purification
  5. Conduct purification and install pollution dispersion prevention measures
  6. Monitor pollution source (groundwater) after purification
  7. Report purification completion to management department

Soil and Groundwater Pollution Surveys and Remedial Measures for Fiscal 2013

Region Number of sites that completed remedial measures Number of sites currently taking remedial measures
Global (including Japan) 5 58
Japan 4 51

Initiatives for PCB Pollution

Panasonic discontinued the production of equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Japan in 1972 and has since been strictly managing its PCB waste. With the enforcement of the Act on Special Measures concerning Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Waste in July 2001, optimized storage, decontamination, and notifications are being practiced in compliance with the law. 1,764 of 2,281 units including transformers and capacitors using PCBs submitted under the early registration scheme were treated as of March 31, 2013 by Japan Environmental Safety Corporation as our subcontracted PCB waste disposal operator. We will continue to treat PCB waste towards March 31, 2027, which is the legally designated deadline by which decontamination is to be completed.

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