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Environment: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.

Greater efforts in China, the rest of Asia, and Europe have resulted in a factory waste recycling rate of 99.3% for fiscal 2013, exceeding the 99% target.

  • *1Panasonic'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 are engaging in resource loss reduction, employing our own unique material flow analysis methods. We consider materials that do not become products and excessive use of consumables as resource losses, and make the material flow and lost values for each process visible in order to resolve the issues with the involvement of the design, manufacturing, and other relevant business divisions. In fiscal 2013, company-wide efforts started and succeeded in cutting resource loss in target processes and materials by 25%. In addition, the Resource Loss Navigation system was developed to automatically display information to help reduce resource losses. In the future, this system will be utilized to promote further reductions in resource losses.

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 outside Japan. Specifically, in addition to accelerating the information sharing on waste recycling issues between our local factories and group companies in Japan, we also promote the sharing of excellent examples and know-how among our factories across regions by utilizing BA Charts*2 prepared by each region, following our long-standing approach toward CO2 reduction activities. Additionally, our specialists have visited 52 of the Group's factories with large 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

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 2013, training sessions held in Asia and Europe were attended by approx. 880 officers responsible for waste management.

  • *2BA Chart: Chart that provides a comparison between before and after the implementation of waste reduction and recycling measures.

Amount and Recycling Rate of Total Wastes Including Revenue-generating Waste

Note: SANYO Electric at that time and PLD not included in fiscal 2009 through 2010.

Breakdown of Total Wastes Including Revenue-generating Waste (by region)

Breakdown of Final Disposal (by region)

Breakdown of Total Wastes Including Revenue-generating Waste for Fiscal 2013 (by category)

(tons)

Items Total wastes Recycled Final disposal
Metal scrap 172,067 171,311 314
Paper scrap 52,084 50,984 124
Plastics 48,228 44,364 169
Acids 56,371 46,371 7
Sludge 25,022 20,154 452
Wood 24,103 22,109 16
Glass/ceramics 10,936 10,696 155
Oil 20,403 15,935 87
Alkalis 28,036 20,426 4
Other*3 21,464 18,770 1,627
Total 458,715 421,121 2,955
  • *3Combustion 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 2013

Global 0.06 tons⁄ million yen
  • *4Total wastes including revenue-generating waste per basic unit of consolidated sales= total wastes including revenue-generating waste⁄ consolidated sales.

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