From the “use” to the “create” era
Factories use large amounts of energy every day and emit large amounts of CO2. In order to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs), you may have heard that efforts to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions are on the rise at Japanese factories.
Panasonic announced on August 30 this year that it would become a member of the “RE 100,” an international initiative aimed at procuring all electricity used in its business activities from renewable energy sources. In 2017, the company formulated its “Environmental Vision 2050,” and reaffirmed that by 2017, “energy to create” such as solar power generation, fuel cells, and hydrogen energy, which is expected to expand in the future, will exceed “energy to be used,” which sustains production and other business activities and is the energy used in products. At present, the total amount of “energy to create” is less than 1/10 of “energy to be used,” but our policy is to control “energy to be used” as much as possible through technological advancements designed to improve the energy-saving performance of products. Furthermore, we are implementing innovations in manufacturing processes, and are expanding opportunities to utilize clean energy and increase “energy to create” by enhancing our creation, energy storage, and contribution to new social systems such as the hydrogen society.
Our Vision sets out two policies to achieve our goals. The first is “Activities to create a society where people can feel safe with clean energy.” In addition to developing technologies to utilize clean energy such as solar cells, hydrogen storage and supply, and storage batteries, we will also work to convert fossil fuels to clean energy by developing eco-friendly and smart transportation technologies such as battery systems, automatic operation, and next-generation logistics and transportation systems for electric vehicles. The second policy is “Promoting business for a sustainable society.” We are working to promote the effective use of resources and to build plants with zero CO2 emissions. For example, we started operation of a plant that uses 100% renewable electric energy sources in Brazil, and will have installed photovoltaic power generation systems at all business sites by 2020.
In 2017, when Panasonic announced its Vision, it reduced CO2 emissions by about 40% from the 2012 level. The company’s ultimate goal is to switch global electricity consumption to 100% renewable energy by 2050.