Sony Corporation on April 7 announced its "Road to Zero" global environmental plan. The plan, which includes a long-term goal of achieving a zero environmental footprint by 2050, uses backcasting methods to set specific mid-term environmental targets for the next five years in line with that goal. Sony's definition of zero environmental footprint is not only limited to the neutralization of carbon emissions, but also extends to waste and use of finite materials such as oil-derived virgin plastics.
Targets are based on four environmental perspectives – climate change, resource conservation, control of chemical substances and biodiversity – across all product lifecycle stages, from research and development to recycling. The mid-term targets will be implemented globally across the Sony Group beginning in fiscal year 2011 (April 2011), and will extend through the end of fiscal year 2015 (March 2016), at which time new targets for the following 5 years will be set.
Specific mid-term targets include:
"We are fully committed to putting our innovative spirit and technological expertise to use to help solve environmental challenges," said Sir Howard Stringer, chairman, CEO and president of Sony Corporation. "From the development of new materials and energy-efficient technologies, to the introduction of better processes in manufacturing and production, we will work aggressively to meet the ambitious targets we are setting for ourselves and, at the same time, establish a model for others in our industries to follow."
Sony has already made significant progress in reducing its environmental impact around the world. Sony's European sites, for example, have reduced their CO2 emissions from electricity use and facility heating by approximately 93 percent between fiscal years 2000 and 2009. In addition, the majority of its BRAVIA TV range now carries the European Union “flower”, an eco-label introduced by the EU to certify greener, more environmentally friendly products that comply with strict ecological criteria.
Sony Europe is also a founding member of the 'European Recycling Platform' (ERP). Fully operational in 11 European countries, the ERP effectively manages end-of-life collection and recycling for all consumer electronics products. In 2008, approximately 60,000 tons of electronic waste were collected and recycled on behalf of Sony in 20 European countries.
In the U.S., Sony Electronics (SEL) was the first consumer electronics manufacturer to institute a nation-wide Take Back Recycling Program in 2007 through which consumers can recycle any Sony-branded product free of charge. To date, SEL has recycled more than 13,000 tons of electronic waste through its take back efforts.
In Japan, Sony is the only company that voluntarily collects used small-sized consumer electronics on an experimental basis jointly with a municipality, Kitakyushu City in southern Japan. Gold, silver, bronze and palladium are extracted from the products discarded by city residents and are subsequently reused by Sony. For example, the recycled gold was used in Sony's semiconductor chips that were then adopted for use in Sony Ericsson's "URBANO BARONE" mobile phone (available in Japan through KDDI Corporation since February 2010).
In addition, the new VAIO W eco edition, launched in most major global markets this year and designed to be the industry's most environmentally friendly laptop, features recycled plastic parts, an electronic manual and an innovative carry-bag that saves 10 percent in CO2 emissions during production.
Sony Pictures Entertainment, based in Culver City, Calif., took an important step toward its zero waste goal in June 2009 by partnering with the City of Culver City in a first-of-its-kind organic waste composting program. Thanks to this program, the studio has already diverted up to 80 percent of its waste from landfills (as of December 2009). In addition, an estimated 8,559 set pieces were reused in 2009, saving over a million pounds (500 tons) of material and helping reduce impact on natural resources. That same year, the studio recycled 81 tons of electronic waste.
Sony's fiscal year 2015 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and power consumption per product were reviewed and approved by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as a renewal of the company's Climate Savers Programme commitments. Sony has been a member of the WWF Climate Savers Programme since 2006. The Programme was organized by WWF International to mobilize companies to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
To learn more about Sony Group's "Road to Zero," refer to: http://sony.net/SonyInfo/csr/eco/RoadToZero
About Sony Corporation
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $79 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009.