Tech Company Sets Sights on No. 1 in Green

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Panasonic Corporation President Fumio Ohtsubo shows off the company's first manufactured product, a 1918 attachment plug that allowed Japanese household to power electric devices through light sockets in their homes. Photo: Lori Brown, Earth911.

In a crowded auditorium in Tokyo last week, Panasonic Corporation President Fumio Ohtsubo announced an aggressive action plan to become the No. 1 green innovation company in the electronics industry by its 100th anniversary in 2018.

Holding the company’s first product – a light socket attachment plug manufactured in 1918 – Ohtsubo informed the room those original attachments were made from the recycled screw-in base of Edison light bulbs.

Ninety-two years later, that spirit of ingenuity and resource utilization is being revitalized through a company-wide initiative to lead the industry in green innovation.

Panasonic says it will achieve its goal through two main innovations: the Green Life Innovation, focused on offering products that allow individuals to live a green lifestyle, and the Green Business Innovation, focused on minimizing the environmental impacts associated with manufacturing and operations.

Included in the plan is the goal to double the sales ratio of best-in-class eco-conscious products, achieve a waste recycling ratio of 99.5 percent or better, reduce total resources used and increase recycled resources used in new products and develop alternative technologies for environmentally hazardous substances.

Panasonic has also taken on a massive CO2 emission reduction goal of 120 million tons from a FY2006 base level. Included in the carbon reduction target is an impressive energy management system developed to bring the concept of CO2 emission-free homes and buildings to market.

Fumio Ohtsubo presents his company's plan to achieve the No. 1 green technology space in the electronics industry by 2018. Photo: Lori Brown, Earth911.

The Panasonic Corporation is banking on its innovation in green technology, aiming to acquire the global top share in fuel cell co-generation systems and a global top three share in the solar cell industry by 2015, leading to 30 percent of overall worldwide sales by 2018.

The announcement, which coincided with CEATEC, was one in a series of large strides Panasonic has undertaken as of late.

From 3-D HD home video recorders and camera lenses to its buzzworthy stationary household fuel cell, the company’s display featured green technology front and center, drawing in large crowds of curious spectators and gadget aficionados.

Panasonic proudly displayed its lithium-ion battery technology, made better with the recent majority acquisition of Sanyo. Sanyo’s sophistication in smart energy generation and storage technology, including solar panels and lithium-ion batteries, lends itself perfectly to the realization of Green Plan 2018.

Lithium-ion battery storage units were featured in Electric Vehicles (EV), another prominent participant at CEATEC, as well as a key component of energy storage in Panasonic’s Home Energy Management System (HEMS) technology.

After a financial crisis that hit Japan with brute force, the drive toward green technology appears to be the ace Panasonic needs to lead in an every-changing industry.

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