While almost every major company had its green accolades on display at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, in our opinion, Panasonic really took the cake with an entire wall-to-wall area of sustainable initiatives.
On Friday, a crowd of about 75 people gathered around a Panasonic representative as she explained the latest in residential fuel cell technology in Panasonic’s “Eco Ideas” display.
What could be the future of home energy usage, the fuel cell uses natural gas to generate electricity and heat. To store all the energy you’re generating at home, Panasonic also offers a battery module comprised of 840 lithium-ion batteries.
As we perused the thousands of booths at the show, a top question we had for the major electronics giants we interviewed was “what exactly is your plan for your products after they’ve reached their end of life?”
We didn’t have press hard to find Panasonic’s answer. The company’s exhibit updated us on the continuing, steady growth of Panasonic’s nationwide recycling program, which already provides hundreds of free drop-off sites across the country, making it convenient for consumers to properly recycle their Panasonic consumer electronics products.
Initially launching in 2007 with just 160 locations in ten states, the company declared that it would have 400 drop-off sites by the end of the 2009 fiscal year.
Panasonic has surpassed that goal as the program is now represented in all 50 states. Its next big feat will be expanding the network to include at least 600 drop-off sites by the end of fiscal 2010.
On a more tangible note for readers, Panasonic is also getting behind the public to spur on environmental responsibility. The company recently backed the eco social networking site, eco-ideas.net, a platform that allows users to share new ways to become a more environmentally conscious citizen on both a large and small scale. Using the blog-like platform, visitors can connect via Facebook, Twitter or Google.
Surprisingly, Panasonic was not listed in the top 10 most sustainable retailers at CES. But from what we saw first hand, we think the company is definitely moving in the right direction.