Top Ten Sustainability Initiatives of Sony Corp

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Sony Corporation, commonly known as Sony Corp, or just Sony, is a Japanese multinational Conglomerate and one of the leading electronics manufacturers for both the consumer as well as professional markets in the world. Like many other electronics manufacturers, Sony Corp is deeply involved with sustainable initiatives that will increase environmental stewardship and decrease climate change and carbon dioxide emissions. Sony Corp ranked in ninth place out of 15 spots on the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics. It was rated on its practices and policies regarding climate impact reduction, sustainable practices, and production of green products. Here are just a few of the sustainability initiatives that Sony Corp has been doing to make the environment a much safer place for future generations.

1 ) Efficient Energy Use at Japan Sony Corp Locations. At the Sony Chemical and Information Device Corporation in Japan, all employees are able to experience their own environmental contribution via an ongoing energy saving program known as Eco Attack 30. Through this program, all the hardware aspects of “installing highly efficient machinery and timers, as well as central surveillance and automatic control equipment has been complemented with a software aspect where all employees are able to monitor energy consumption in real time – ‘visualization,’ discover and improve unnecessary air conditioning, lighting usage and so forth through inspection patrol, and by encouraging awareness,” was put into practice.

2 ) Efficient Energy Use at China Sony Corp Locations. A number of Sony plants throughout China are implementing a large number of various measures based on current energy saving assessments. A number of these locations have introduced technologies such as solar panel streetlamps and solar water heaters to reduce energy consumption. During 2010, a lot of effort was placed in energy efficient lighting, better insulation for buildings, and replacing older refrigerants with more energy efficient ones.

3 ) Efficient Energy Use at Europe Sony Corp Locations. A number of Sony Corp locations in Europe have implemented a number of measures and continue to improve their energy efficient approach. For instance, in the United Kingdom, Sony Corp created a joint organization, which operates under the Environmental Management System, to allow local companies to fully comply with the requirements listed on the Carbon Reduction Commitments Energy Efficiency Scheme in the United Kingdom. Between the years 2008 and 2010, the CRC WG companies from Sony Corp in the United Kingdom, achieved over nine percent in energy savings.

4 ) Efficient Energy Use at North America Sony Corp Locations. In North America, Sony Electronics Inc. was worked with a local electric power utility company to install solar panels along the roofs of the parking lot at the headquarters located in San Diego, California. There are a number of other environmentally conscious features that enabled the building to receive LEED Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Council. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. has been experimenting with LED lighting on movies like Angels and Demons and Quantum of Solace, as well as television game shows like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! By 2009, all studio sound stages in the lot were retrofitted with energy efficient lights and motion detection software.

5 ) Efficient Energy Use at Singapore and Malaysia Sony Corp Locations. In Singapore, Sony Electronics Pte. Ltd. implemented a number of key measures to increase lighting efficiency, including the installation of mirror reflectors in order to better diffuse the light. In Malaysia, the Sony EMCS Sdn BHd.’s Penang TEC has been able to improve their air handling unit and chiller system through a complete overhaul. With all the modifications, the Malaysian office has been able to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions annually by 700 tons.

6 ) Reducing Energy Consumption via Sony Corp Vehicles. In an effort to reduce the total amount of energy consumption by Sony Corp business vehicles, the company has been replacing a number of their existing vehicles with hybrid vehicles. For instance, March 31, 2011 in Japan, more than 50 percent of all business vehicles were environmentally conscious vehicles. Sony Electronics in the United States has created a four year plan to convert a majority of its corporate fleet of 600 vehicles to hybrid vehicles. By end of 2010, most of the vehicles were hybrids.

7 ) Reducing Environmental Impact Regarding Logistics. Sony Corp is looking to decrease the environmental impact of all products throughout the entire lifecycle, from the amount to energy consumed making the product to how much cardboard and pallets are used to transport the finished product. When it comes to transportation, Sony Corp looks to decrease transportation weight by reducing the weight of their products without decreasing the quality of the product. This includes shrinking the packaging size, improving leading efficiency, and using environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

8 ) Development and Utilization of Vegetable – Based Plastics. Plastics that are based in vegetables are a type of biomass – plant matter-based resources. These vegetable-based plastics are superior when compared to conventional plastic because this type reduces consumption of petroleum and contributes to the overall reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. At Sony Corp, there are continual efforts to promote, develop, and utilize vegetable-based plastics. Sony Corp has taken the lead of the pack with its adoption of these plastics in packaging materials.

9 ) Promotion of Environmentally Conscious Packaging. Sony Corp has been able to boost the total quantity of products it is able to load on every container by shrinking the size of their packaging. Not only does this help Sony Corp reduce the volume of packaging materials utilized and associated costs, but it also aids in reducing the overall environmental impact associated with logistics. Sony Corp. is also taking strides in reducing the amount of petroleum based materials it uses in its packaging, instead opting to use recycled plastic and paper materials.

10 ) Utilizing Recycled Plastics in Products. Sony Corp has been making an effort to minimize consumption of finite resources by making large strides in utilizing recycled plastics for its products. On average, Sony Corp utilized over 24,000 tons of recycled plastics per year on products, such as recording media, televisions, digital video cameras, audio products, and PCs. In February of 2011, Sony Corp developed Sony Recycled Plastic or SoRPlas for short. It utilized over 99 percent recycled materials and has fire-retardant properties.

Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He is also author of The 2012 Cleantech Directory. He can be reached at shawn@watershedcapital.com.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

1 Comment

  1. I will be so happy if Sony designs products that can be reduced to ashes. When designing is not for the short period the consumer uses the product, nor designing for the dump, but for the product to either 1) be completely reusable by Sony at the end of its productive cycle for the costumer, or 2) be compostable or “return back to ashes,” and not to further pollute the planet.

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