News from the forefront of Sony's environmental initiatives worldwide
News from the forefront of Sony's environmental initiatives worldwide
Not all products and services are available in all countries/regions
To convey the importance of diversity in nature and promote a range of conservation activities, Sony China has introduced the Wow! Wow! Biodiversity Project at workplaces across the country. The project was expanded to China in 2016 after beginning in Japan a year earlier.
At an inaugural event, participants met in June for nature observation at Shanghai Botanical Garden. In July, discoveries and impressions about nature were shared on local social media for a photo contest. Through 713 photos on social media, participants shared the wonders of nature with a wide audience and received more than 42,000 likes.
Many other activities are being held around the country, including environmental education for elementary students in Guangdong.
SMX held the campaign "The step to a better quality image" and received televisions of any brand giving in exchange a discount coupon to buy a new 4K BRAVIA TV. During 2 months campaign, SMX collected 2,362 TVs, recycling more than 36 tons of e-waste. TVs that were collected were recycled, and the functional ones were donated to UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) to provide information to the refugees arriving Mexico. The success of the campaign reflects the interest of customers to join initiatives that contribute to improve the place in which we live.
Sony group company Green Cycle, dedicated to promoting recycling in society, has given tours of their facilities in Nagoya to more than 15,000 visitors. Used TVs, appliances, and computers are recycled here.
In their efforts to promote recycling, Green Cycle encourages consumers to recycle through established channels. Toward this end, the company has actively given tours of their facilities, which demonstrate how essential it is to recycle electronics.
People of all ages and from all places have toured the facilities—not only local representatives and students but also visitors from other prefectures and countries. They are often amazed at how even the smallest of parts are carefully recycled, as they gain an appreciation for manufacturing that is designed with recycling in mind. As the result, visitors gain a deeper understanding of recycling, including the importance of eventually taking back the used products on which recycling depends.
Sony India has partnered with Isha Project GreenHands (PGH) to support planting of 10,000 trees in Tamil Nadu under the model "Trees for Life". Through this partnership, a combination of fruit, timber and fodder trees will be raised through PGH nurseries and will be distributed to farmers for planting in their farmlands and will be closely monitored for 2 years. In addition, together with Isha Foundation, Sony India has also supported "Zero Budget Natural Farming" Project and has trained more than 1,000 farmers to increase their profitability by reducing input cost and by growing organic produce. These projects aim to make the farming more economically viable while preserving ecology and water resources.
Bio-fertilizer has been generated from Sony Technology Thailand - Chonburi (STT-C) since 2010 where an on-site bio-fermentation machine converts food waste from its canteen into biogas and bio-fertilizer. Besides using the bio-fertilizer for its own landscape and the Eco Park in the factory, STT-C has donated the bio-fertilizer to the employees, industrial parks and the public. Recently, STT-C visited a school to share the knowledge on bio-fermentation with the aim to encourage the students to recycle food waste into bio-fertilizer for use in the school’s organic vegetable garden. In this visit, 100 kg of bio-fertilizer were donated to the school and vegetable seeds were sowed together with the students using the bio-fertilizer. In addition, STT-C also reached out to a wider network by posting article online where interested parties may contact STT-C to receive the free bio-fertilizer. As of now, a total of 180 kg of bio-fertilizers have been distributed via this online platform.
Since 2011, Sony China has held environmental events at universities across the country in partnership with the Center for Environmental Education and Communications of State Environmental Protection Administration of China, to encourage recycling of used electronics. In 2016, Zhejiang University of Technology hosted an event on high-efficiency production systems aiming for zero environmental impact. Besides introducing about 450 students to Sony's Road to Zero environmental plan, the event showed how Sony works toward this goal by recycling, saving energy, and more in operations nationwide.
Many students in China are keenly interested in domestic environmental issues. Here, the students listened attentively and contributed to a lively Q&A session. They also took great interest in the descriptions of environmentally conscious technologies in the Sony products on display, which drew crowds of curious students.
A joint project of Sony and the Nature Conservation Society of Japan (NACS-J) has been recognized in Biodiversity Action Award Japan 2016. Through the Wow! Wow! Biodiversity Project, Sony and NACS-J encourage biodiversity protection by inviting many people to enjoy and appreciate nature.
The award program was established by the Japan Committee for the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB-J) to recognize exemplary biodiversity protection and sustainable use of natural resources throughout Japan.
Many participants experience the wonder of nature and come to appreciate the importance of biodiversity from the Wow! Wow! Biodiversity Project, which promotes nature observation around Japan and the sharing of these memories on Facebook. The award attests to the high standards set by this project.
Sony has been included in the CDP’s* Water A List and thereby recognized as one of the highest performing companies in terms of water management.
Sony’s inclusion in the A List for water resource management is a recognition of the company's efforts including reduction of water consumption at its operating sites and recharge groundwater used during the semiconductor production process at its Kumamoto Technology Center. Sony is one of 24 companies worldwide to be conferred with the highest performance rank of “A” in 2016. In addition to this honor, Sony has also been included in the CDP’s A List for climate change response, in recognition of the company's progressive efforts to reduce the energy consumption of its products, curb greenhouse gas emissions at its operating sites, and accelerate the use of renewable energy. This marks the second consecutive year that Sony has been selected to the A List for climate change response.
* The CDP is a not-for-profit organization (NPO) founded in the UK in 2000. It conducts surveys on water resource management at private companies, then analyzes and releases the findings of these surveys to the public. This year, the CDP surveyed over 1,200 companies globally - including 150 leading companies in Japan.
Columbia Pictures and Rovio’s The Angry Birds Movie along with the United Nations (UN) Creative Community Outreach Initiative won the Environmental Media Association (EMA) Award for Best Ad Campaign for the Angry Birds for A Happy Planet campaign. The effort was in support of the UN’s International Day of Happiness and Sustainable Development Goal #13, Climate Change. This campaign encouraged everyone to take action against climate change and had the unique opportunity to bring awareness to and inspire a younger audience. The campaign reached over one billion people.
Additionally, Sony Pictures Television’s The Blacklist was honored with Best Television Episodic Drama for the season three episode, “Eli Matchett,” for its incorporation of an eco-story line. This award highlights the power of content to raise awareness and drive conversation about critical environmental issues.
Sony has been recognized for the second consecutive year as one of the highest performing companies included in the “A List” of the CDP Japan 500 Climate Change Report 2016. The CDP is a nonprofit organization (NPO) founded in the UK in 2000 and conducts surveys on climate change response at private companies, then analyzes and releases the findings of these surveys to the public. This year, the CDP surveyed over 5,500 companies globally including 500 leading companies in Japan.
Sony’s inclusion in the A List for climate change response is a recognition of the company's efforts to reduce the energy consumption of its products, curb greenhouse gas emissions at its operating sites, and accelerate the use of renewable energy. Furthermore, it is an acknowledgement of the company’s climate change mitigation strategies and environmentally conscious measures, as well as the successes that have been gained through these efforts. Sony is one of 193 companies worldwide to be conferred with the highest performance rank of “A” in 2016, a distinction it has now achieved for the second consecutive year.
Since 1998, employees of SDT come together every year for biodiversity conservation. This year, new activities were introduced. Besides planting 400 native perennial trees, a total of 100 seed balls coated with clay were slingshot into the remote valley in the West Region Wildlife Sanctuary. SDT also attempted for the first time making artificial salt areas and building a check dam across a brook. Artificial salt area or mineral lick provides essential minerals for wild animals and the check dam, which reduces water flow, retains water for animal use and plant growth. These activities support biodiversity conservation by enhancing the quality of the natural landscapes and at the same time, bringing the 300 employees of SDT a step closer to understanding the importance of biodiversity.
Sony DADC in Southwater won the prestigious Green Business of the Year Award 2015 from Gatwick Diamond Business, a trade association supporting and empowering local businesses.
Thanks to measures such as the adoption of closed loop recycling schemes for CD (polystyrene) and DVD (polypropylene) cases and the use of thermal recycling to divert waste from landfill, Sony DADC in Southwater has delivered an outstanding environmental performance with recycling rates over 99%. Moreover, Sony DADC in Southwater has driven the energy usage down 27% in 2014 from FY2008 by replacing refrigerant chillers with Dry Air Coolers to cool the office temperature and by using smaller air compressors during non-productive hours. Sony DADC in Southwater was awarded for its efforts in recognizing the importance of energy and waste reduction initiatives as its key challenges and for adopting a systematic approach and research which have led to cost savings and innovation.
In the past, a product sold internationally may have included manuals in unneeded languages that were simply disposed of. Now, Walkman® and headphone guides for these markets describe basic operations more directly – in pictures instead of words – which helps conserve resources. By eliminating the need to prepare instructions in several languages, pictorial guides have slashed paper consumption for these products in 2015 by roughly 23.8% from the previous year – nearly 16.7 tons. Efficient documentation also enables smaller, lighter packaging, which helps curb CO2 emissions in distribution. This textless approach was recognized with a 2015 Good Design Award in Japan.
As a Sony manufacturer in Guangdong, China, Sony Electronics Huanan set a target in 2015 to reduce paper consumption by 40% from the previous year's levels. One approach taken was to turn paper documents into digital data.
Taking a cue from other group companies, SEH developed their own document management system, which leverages existing tablets and computers. Then the site took on document digitization.
Once the system was in place at some departments in November 2015, SEH reduced their average monthly paper consumption by about 43%. This spring, the site began introducing a system for documents that currently require the most paper: work standards in the production department, which cover detailed procedures and key points for workers. SEH will be further reducing paper consumption in the future.
Sony Korea has been honored by South Korea's Carbon Neutral Program, established in 2008 by the Korea Energy Agency (KEA) under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Recognized for the innovation and reliability of their longstanding CO2 management system, Sony Korea is the first private-sector company selected in this program. By pursuing carbon-neutral* initiatives, such as switching to renewable energy, Sony Korea has essentially halved CO2 emissions. Their wide-ranging environmental activities also include speaking at other organizations to raise environmental awareness. For the company's environmental leadership in the industry and management of emissions data, KEA recognized Sony Korea as the leading carbon-neutral company in fiscal 2015. KEA will also incorporate Sony Korea's activities and knowledge in their carbon neutrality guidelines.
* Carbon neutrality: offsetting CO2 emissions from business activities by improving the energy efficiency of activities to lower emissions and, for activities with emissions that are difficult to reduce, by introducing renewable energy from natural sources or taking similar measures
Over 52,000 people came to enjoy this year's PGA tournament, 2016 Sony Open in Hawaii. With the support of over 1,500 volunteers as well as Waialae Country Club, SEL continued sustainability initiatives, aiming to reduce waste, increase recycling and reduce overall footprint of the event. Recognizing the efforts, Sony Open in Hawaii (SOIH) was certified as "Green Event" under State of Hawaii Green Business Program (HGBP). State indicated that SOIH has achieved "Kela (Excellent)" level under the program, and SOIH is the largest event that has been certified under HGBP. We will continue environmental activities collaborating with non-profits, volunteers and other partnering organizations at the next tournament.
SIA participated in the “Festi Harpía” held on April 10th at the Summit Municipal Park in Panama for the 11th time. “Festi Harpía” is held every year to highlight the Harpy Eagle, which is Panama´s national bird listed as endangered species, to promote its conservation. The event was attended by more than 13,000 people this year. SIA, founding member of Friends of the Harpy Eagle Patronage, participated with the sale of goods in aids of the Patronage and a contest for children which sought to create environmental awareness using Sony Pictures Entertainment’s animated movie “Angry Birds.” SIA also promoted "Live the Change (Vive el Cambio)" encouraging visitors to recycle their electronic waste.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Program recognized Sony Electronics Inc. once again as a 2015 SMM Electronics Challenge Bronze Tier Award Winner for its commitment to responsibly recycle electronic waste through certified recyclers. Sony supports EPA's SMM voluntary program as Plug Into E-cycling more than 10 years, which aims to influence responsible recycling and show leadership at recovering value from electronic scrap.
This notable achievement involved recycling a total of 13,590 tons of used electronics through certified recyclers, which is an increase of 32 tons from the previous year. This avoided the release of over 35,000 tons of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere, which is the same amount of CO2 emissions saved by generating enough electricity for more than 4,400 U.S. homes for one year.
Red, the starring animated character voiced by US star Jason Sudeikis in the upcoming “The Angry Birds Movie,” was named Honorary Ambassador for Green on the International Day of Happiness today at the United Nations.
The appointment of Red is part of the #AngryBirdsHappyPlanet campaign to help the world body promote the International Day of Happiness, which is observed on March 20 each year, and encourage people to take action against climate change and its impacts. The campaign begins on March 20th, leading into Earth Day on April 22nd.
Sony was recognized for exemplary long-term environmental goals in the Low-Carbon Cup 2016, supported by governmental ministries. As a program that commends outstanding efforts to curb climate change, the Low-Carbon Cup this year recognized companies and municipalities that are actively working toward their future goals.
Under the Road to Zero environmental plan, Sony pursues a long-range objective of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The award recognizes our steady progress toward this end, which includes better product energy efficiency and energy-saving measures at Sony sites.
Green practices continued at the 2016 Sony Open in Hawaii. Free electronics recycling events kicked off the initiative at two high schools in Hawaii prior to the tournament. Visitors to the Sony Open were encouraged to bike, use public transportation, or carpool to minimize environmental impact. Partnership with Recycle Across America continued, promoting recycling of wastes using the standardized labels for waste receptacles. In addition, food vendors in the Spectator Village went "Styrofoam free" and the tournament program was printed on FSC-certified paper this year. SEL expanded the activities based on its experiences in the previous year.
In September 2015, Sony Pictures Television's networks launched "Picture This," a global campaign that supports efforts around the world to protect and preserve the environment. This effort utilizes the channels' storytelling expertise to engage viewers around environmental issues important to each market. "Picture This" combines these local efforts into a worldwide voice to bring awareness to everyday efforts that can help protect our natural resources. The networks are using their collective resources – from on-air campaigns to community events – to bring attention to the issues that are affecting their regions and collectively make a difference. With 45 participating networks reaching people in 177 countries and in 30 languages, Sony Pictures Television is engaging viewers in these efforts and inviting them to picture a better place, a more sustainable community and a cleaner environment.
“Live the Change (Vive el Cambio)” is an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program which several Sony Group Companies in Latin America rolled out in 2014. This initiative expanded worldwide and Sony Europe launched it in autumn 2015. A Sony Store hosted the environmental event under the theme “Hotel Transylvania 2”, the Sony Pictures Entertainment’s popular animated movie. At this event, visitors could trade in their old e-waste for the Store’s discount vouchers. In a month’s campaign, 98 products, mainly mobile phones, have been collected and recycled. This eco-themed event also has a positive influence especially in enhancing environmental awareness of the children who attended the campaign. Sony Europe is planning to roll out the initiative to other stores in the region.
To promote collection and recycling of electronic waste, Sony China has held environmental events at universities in China in partnership with Center for Environmental Education and Communications of State Environmental Protection Administration of China since 2011. This year at Sichuan Agricultural University, a forum was held under the theme “Touching your life by green products”. More than 300 students participated, affirming their commitment to conservation and an environmentally conscious lifestyle. Sony’s environmental initiatives were introduced along with the importance of environmental conservation in the hall. At a collecting area that was set up, many electronic wastes were collected.
Sony has participated in the Climate Neutral Now initiative organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The initiative calls on businesses and organi-zations to measure, reduce the emission, and offset their remaining climate footprint with renewable energy in order to limit global temperature rise to less than 2°C relative to the pre-Industrial Revolution level. On the initiative’s website, Sony has pledged support for the initiative in line with our Road to Zero environmental plan, that aims for a zero environmental footprint by 2050. Sony will contribute to the initiative through the progress of the mid-term targets Green Management 2020.
Sony has been recognized by the CDP in the Japan 500 Climate Change Report 2015. Sony was listed in both the CDP’s “Climate A List”, which assesses performance relating to climate change mitigation strategies and measures, and its Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI), which rates transparent information disclosure. Sony’s inclusion in the A List is recognition of the company’s efforts to reduce the energy consumption of its products, curb greenhouse gas emissions at its operating sites, and accelerate the use of renewable energy.
Since 2000, the CDP has conducted surveys analyzing climate change strategies at leading global companies and this year, the CDP surveyed over 5,000 companies globally including 500 leading companies in Japan. In this year’s report, Sony was awarded the CDP’s highest performance band of “A” for its actions to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change, and a perfect disclosure score of 100 in the CDLI, making it a standout performer in both indices.
SOEM-KL Tec has once again won the ASEAN Energy Award for Energy Management in Buildings and Industries - Industry Special Submission (Process Improvement) Category. Awarded by the ASEAN Centre for Energy, this award is presented to SOEM-KL Tec for its efforts in improving the energy efficiency of its reflow oven machines through several measures such as thermal insulation and process optimization, resulting in cost savings.
This is the second consecutive year for SOEM-KL Tec to win the ASEAN Energy Award among other environmental awards received by the manufacturing plant, including the prestigious Prime Minister's Hibiscus Awards in 2014.
Recognizing the important role of business in curbing climate change, Sony group companies in the U.S. came together under the name of Sony Corporation of America (SCA) to participate in the American Business Act on Climate Pledge called by the U.S. White House in October 2015. Attending the White House Summit on Climate and the Road through Paris, SCA announced a pledge on behalf of Sony to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from site operations, reduce the annual energy consumption of products, raise awareness and inspire action on environmental sustainability through Sony’s Entertainment contents, and enhance engagement of entire value chain by requesting major manufacturing partners and component suppliers cooperate for monitoring and reduction of environmental impacts. 81 companies joined the climate pledge to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to climate action and to voice support for a strong outcome to the COP21 Paris climate negotiations.
Sony EMCS Kohda Site in Aichi Prefecture has received the 3rd Green Society Contribution Award by the Organization for Landscape and Urban Green Infrastructure. It recognizes corporate greening and outstanding environmental initiatives that contribute to local communities and protect biodiversity
To become a “green, park-like factory”, the greenery at Kohda Site has been activated and expanded by employees since the site was founded in 1972. Conservation of woodland affectionately called Sony Forest led employees to develop trails, set up athletic equipment and introduce other features enjoyed by local children who visit for nature learning. In recent years, Kohda site has invited those local elementary students to work together on the conservation of ecosystem such as cultivation of acorns and other native seeds. As a result, the award was recognized by the environmental conservation activities with the local community for many years.
In 1991, Sony introduced the world’s first commercial lithium-ion battery, which delivers efficient energy use with less energy loss as it can be charged with high electrical conversion efficiency. Since then, Sony has focused on continually improving this technology to deliver rechargeable batteries with superior properties such as improved energy efficiency and increased energy density. In 2014, energy storage system applying this technology brought the excitement of home team soccer matches to areas of Côte d’Ivoire without electricity, thanks to a joint project between Sony and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Not only is the Sony’s proprietary lithium-ion technology in these systems exceptionally efficient, their lithium iron phosphate cathode does not require rare-earth metals, which enables significant resource conservation. Sony brightened the hearts and minds of children in Africa while minimizing the environmental impact.
In July 2015, Sony Korea was recognized by the Green Consumer Network (GCN*) for our efforts to activate the ”Zero Waste Campaign” in alignment with the commitment of the “Road to Zero” within the Sony Group. Sony Korea has expanded the scale of the campaign by joining hands with companies including affiliated companies of Sony in Korea, government authorities, NGOs and other companies. Through the “Zero Waste Campaign”, Sony Korea has also inspired their children and neighbors to participate and raise awareness towards environmental conservation. Sony Korea was awarded a contribution plaque in recognition of Sony’s proactive initiatives at the National Convention of the GCN in Korea. The GCN national convention is held every 3 years and Sony Korea was only invited guest to the convention as a private company.
* The GCN is a civil organization which has been conducting various activities to protect consumer rights and preserve the earth’s ecosystem and environment.
Sustainability was incorporated into various parts of the Sony Open in Hawaii PGA tournament this year. To simplify and encourage recycling by everyone at the tournament, SEL adopted the standardized labels of Recycle Across America (RAA) on all 136 sets of trash and mixed recycling bins. Nearly 6,000 pounds of glass, plastics, and cans from the event were collected and recycled. RAA’s labels were also donated by SEL to local schools to support their own recycling. Sony products on display at the Sony Product Tent were powered through Blue Planet Research’s renewable energy system, configured with solar panels and Sony energy storage modules. Inside, visitors saw the indicator on how much electricity is being stored and discharged. Building on this year’s baseline data and experiences, we hope to continue our efforts in reducing the environmental impact at the next tournament.
As part of its Sony Pictures Entertainment commitment to protecting the environment for future generations, SPE empowers employees to choose more eco-friendly ways of commuting. Since 2008, SPE’s alternative vehicle incentive program has supported employees who choose to purchase a qualifying hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle. To date, employees have purchased more than 350 alternative vehicles through the program. In 2014, SPE worked with U.S.-based charging infrastructure company NRG eVgo to add 60 more charging stations to the existing 55 spaces for these vehicles. This gives employees the confidence of access to charging at work, encouraging sustainability at home and work. Charging stations have also been added at Sony Electronics headquarters in San Diego as part of incentives for employees who switch to electric vehicles.
Although recycled plastic had been used in PlayStation® peripheral packaging for some time, in 2013 SCEA found a way to source this material from post-consumer PET bottles instead of relying solely on scrap plastic from manufacturing. The same level of quality is maintained while encouraging recycling in society by shifting SCEA demand to used water bottles that might otherwise go to landfills. In 2014, more than 1,200 metric tons of post-consumer PET has been used by SCEA.
Sony Pictures Entertainment has celebrated a decade of environmental innovation at its Screen Gems film label. In 2006, the label built a semi-permanent set superstructure on Stage 23 of the Sony Pictures Studio Lot used in seven different feature films. During the filming of the hit film “Think Like a Man (2012)”, Screen Gems became the first production to use only LED and energy efficient light-bulbs on set. While shooting “About Last Night (2014)”, Screen Gems continued its focus on reducing the energy consumption. Thanks to the use of LED lighting and the Sony F65RS digital motion picture camera, which captures high quality picture in low light, the production was able to use the existing power grid in place of set generators. Screen Gems’ dedication to and implementation of sustainable moviemaking practices has helped drive industry awareness of new eco technologies and new approaches to production.
According to the United Nations University Report, the amount of global electronic waste reached 41.8 million metric tons in 2014. And out of all the electronic waste generated, it is estimated that less than one-sixth of it has been diverted to proper recycling and reuse. With the aim of reaching out to the young generation on electronic-waste recycling in Pan-Asia region, Sony Group companies in Singapore have come together to create an awareness video urging the need of proper disposal of electronic wastes. The video features the young, up and rising Singaporean band “The Sam Willows”. Find out more about the number of phones or headphones consumers have and how they handle old equipment in the video. And, don’t forget to share this video with your friends and family. Let’s create awareness on e-waste recycling and do our part for the environment!
Conservation supported by Aichi-based Kohda Site, Sony EMCS Corporation, has received certification from the Japan Committee for the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB-J). In this project, native seedlings essential in local planting are cultivated with assistance from Consumer Co-operative Society Aichi and community members in “Sony Forest.” It was a lush community-based forest before the factory was built, and the forest within the grounds of the site is now carefully maintained by Kohda Site employees. Seeds from the forest are collected by employees, joined by their families and local children. After cultivation, the seedlings are donated to the local government, non-profit organizations, and others for use in planting projects. Employees also continue conservation efforts within Sony Forest, in hopes of creating a habitat for owls.
One of the key focus areas of Sony’s long term environmental program Road to Zero is the conservation of natural resources. Throughout our business operations, we are constantly looking at ways to reduce the amount of natural resources we use, either by making our products smaller (thus reducing the amount of necessary materials), or by using new technologies and alternative materials, such as SORPLAS™ (a recycle plastic developed by Sony) to reduce the use of virgin materials. Additionally, Sony Group around the globe are working together to launch initiatives aimed at the recycling of old electronic waste, ensuring these old materials are recycled in a proper manner instead of being sent to landfill.
Sony Group Companies in Latin America are supporting “Live the Change (Vive el Cambio)”, the regional electronic waste (e-waste) recycling program in Latin America. Sony Mobile Communications (SOMC) participated in an environmental event held in Buenos Aires in September 2014, where 3,000 people visited to the SOMC booth and brought in their old electronics products for recycling. At Green City Expo (Expo Ciudad Verde) in November 2014, Sony also gave a speech about Urban Mining, focusing on e-waste take-back and recycling to educate the participants.
Addressing concerns about environmental pollution and health risks posed by incorrect disposal of products containing mercury, Sony has worked for years to develop mercury-free micro batteries. In 2004 an advance in eliminating this element in silver oxide batteries led to the world’s first mercury-free silver oxide batteries the next year, which was followed in 2009 by a breakthrough in developing alkaline micro batteries without mercury. Accordingly, we have reduced mercury use by about 627 kg(*1) during fiscal year 2013—enough to fill 91 PET bottles.(*2) Minamata Convention on Mercury (United Nations treaty) was adapted in 2013, which states that the manufacture, import or export of alkaline micro batteries containing mercury shall not be allowed after 2020, while Sony terminated in-house production of silver oxide or alkaline micro batteries containing mercury in March 2014.
*1 Based on mercury reduction from the 400 million silver oxide and alkaline micro batteries produced by Sony annually.
*2 500ml PET bottles
Semiconductor production at Kumamoto TEC consumes considerable amounts of groundwater. Although water in this area has always been plentiful, local residents worried that less rice paddy cultivation and more residential development might restrict the supply. That’s why Kumamoto TEC has been working with local environmental NGOs on an ongoing groundwater recharge program since 2003. From May to October, before and after planting and harvest, fallow paddy fields used for other crops are irrigated with river water, which penetrates the soil and replenishes the aquifer. The program has also earned praise in the annual report of the Ministry of the Environment in Japan, as a pioneering effort that protects biodiversity.
Historically, in the movie industry most large sets assembled for films are ultimately disposed of after use. This situation motivated Sony Pictures Entertainment to start recycling used sets. Recycling at Sony Pictures began in 1990 with set pieces from TV programs, and the initiative was expanded in 2001 to include movie sets to reduce the waste.
Sony Pictures stores over 13,000 set pieces in warehouses and the pieces are loaned out to TV and feature productions throughout the industry. In a typical year, over 5,000 pieces are reused. This activity reduces making new set pieces and this contribute to the saving resources. Efforts for set reuse have grown over time. On set of the feature The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the crew recovered 49.7 tons of materials for donation or reuse on other films, and a total 52% of waste was diverted from landfill.
Employees of Sony’s manufacturing facility in Penang, Malaysia (PG Tec), have enjoyed many years of close engagement with the local community to protect the local environment through programs such as planting papaya trees on the factory grounds, rainwater harvesting and participating in Earth Hour initiatives. In addition to manufacturing Sony’s personal audio products, employees of PG Tec also share the scientific principles of these products with local students through the unique hands-on experience of the Sony Science Program workshops.
On October 17th, 2013, Sony Korea was recognized for their efforts to lower their environmental footprint of business operations in Korea. The first award, The Minister Award from the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on Climate Change Response, was presented for the continuous efforts in energy conservation and climate change response programs.
Only 12 days later, the South Korean Ministry of the Environment presented the “Best Environmental Management System” to Sony Korea in recognition for their long standing commitment to the environment, including ISO14001 certification and numerous internal and externally-sponsored activities designed to promote environmental conservation.
Sony Technology Thailand (STT), which produces digital cameras and car audio products, has joined Thailand’s CSR-DIW (Corporate Social Responsibility – Department of Industrial Work) initiative to further develop their local CSR program. In an award ceremony hosted by Thailand’s Ministry of the Industry in October 2013, STT was recognized for its activities relating to the environment and community involvement, which include mangrove conservation and education programs for school children.
The nearly 50 Sony Group Companies employees volunteered for Sony's 14th Annual SomeOne Needs You (SONY*) Volunteer Day in New York, in a very special project benefiting the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens, New York. Volunteers planted more than 5,000 Spartina alterniflora plants on Rulers Bar Island in Jamaica Bay, which was in need of replanting in select areas where sand dunes had piled up over the winter, burying and damaging some of the wetland plants. Sony's work will go a long way toward stabilizing the shoreline edge of this critical wetlands island. Volunteers also repaired damaged protective fencing along the marsh edge and removed broken bottles and other debris from the islands.
* Sony’s global in-house employee volunteer program
Sony Electronics has established an external support network of key recycling vendors from its Take Back Recycling program to enable public donations of gently used children's books at about 80 drop off locations in the US since 2012. This national book collection program is to benefit the South Africa Mobile Library Project, a part of the South African Department Education’s efforts to improve literacy level across the country. Together with efforts from our employees, over 6000 books were collected in 2014.
SmartWay Transport is the flagship program of US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for improving fuel efficiency and reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) and air pollution from the transportation supply chain industry. SEL is an EPA SmartWay Shipper, striving toward the 100% SmartWay score. While SEL continues to try the 100% use of SmartWay carriers, SEL is also expanding the use of rail where transit time allows, consolidating shipments into truckloads and into common destinations, and increasing loading efficiency, thanks to many products being smaller and slimmer than before. As a participant, SEL monitors and reports its GHG emission annually and its GHG emission from the US domestic shipments was reduced by approximately 62% in 2013 from 2012.
Sony Electronics is a sponsor of “I Love A Clean San Diego” since 2011 which is dedicated to lead and educate communities to actively conserve and enhance the environment. While SEL employees continue to participate in their annual events for volunteering including Creek to Bay Cleanup and California Coastal Cleanup Day, SEL also sponsors its Coastal Cleanup Day Photo Contest. Under the theme of “Candid Acts of Kindness” for 2014, volunteers capture their clean up actions and a winner will receive Sony’s Cyber-Shot camera. In the 2014 contest dozens of photos were submitted and over 500 people from the public voted for their favorite picture online.
We are launching a Sustainability Initiative at 2015 Sony Open in Hawaii. Sony strives toward achieving a zero environmental footprint throughout the lifecycle of our products and business activities. Creating a more sustainable Sony Open is part of our efforts to reduce environmental impacts, working with partners, communities and other stakeholders. The Sony Open in Hawaii is a great occasion to be reminded about the importance of keeping Hawaii as beautiful as it is, while aiming to conduct the event in a sustainable manner. This won’t be a single year initiative – it is rather a journey to take.
Update: The initiative was kicked off with Sony Take Back Recycling event in Honolulu, Hawaii. Learn more about our initiative and results from here.
Sony Electronics Inc has received a Sustainable Materials Management Award, a distinguished environmental honor for manufacturers in the USA, for its commitment to responsibly recycle electronic waste through certified recyclers. The special award was presented to Sony Electronics on September 23, 2014 in Washington DC.
The aim of EPA(*), through third-party certification programs, is to prioritize worker safety and improve the environmental management systems for companies handling and recycling electronic waste. The SMM Awards recognize those as partners with EPA helping raise awareness. EPA believes the certification schemes based on ISO14001 and 18001 are a healthy alternative to strict regulations.
* EPA: United States Environmental Protection Agency
In recognition of their “Sustainable Energy Management Program”, SOEM KL Tec was selected as the 2nd runner up in the Large Industry Category of the Energy Management in Building and Industry, 2014 ASEAN Energy Awards.
During the award ceremony held in Vientiane, Laos on September 23rd, 2014, KL Tec’s energy management program was singled out for their commitment to increasing energy efficiency while also implementing measures that are easily transferable to other industries.
WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Japan announced its Ranking of Effective Corporate Efforts to Address Climate & Energy Issues, looking at 50 companies in Japan’s electrical equipment industry, and accordingly, Sony ranked in the first place among others. The ranking is an evaluation using the common indicators of the effectiveness of a company's global warming countermeasures based on disclosed information, such as environmental and CSR reports. Sony has established "Road to Zero" environmental plan with the aim of reducing its environmental impact to zero. WWF Japan recognized Sony's long-term vision, degree of difficulty of its reduction targets for greenhouse gases, and its improvement of data reliability through third-party verification.
Between 2009 to 2013 Sony Poland Sp. z.o.o. planted 14,000 lime, pine and other trees near Warsaw in cooperation with Poland's Department of Forestry. In addition to support the growth of the planted forest, the company has continued to provide aid to help cover costs of care for planted areas.
Sony UK Technology Centre has managed the Environmental Centre at their site in Pencoed since 2003. The center lodge was built with timber (a renewable resource), and there are nature trails nearby. In this lush natural setting, the many elementary school students who visit learn about biodiversity in an environmental workbook prepared by Sony UK Technology Centre. More than 10,000 chaperoned students have visited since 2003.
For 23 years, Sony Group companies in North America have sponsored an annual Children's Earth Day artwork contest as a means of educating and raising awareness of our environmental activities among employees in North America. This year a child sponsored by an employee from Sony Electronics in San Diego won the grand prize and a chance to have her artwork on the cover of the Earth Day calendar. This year's theme was “Giving back for a better planet and society.”
Since 1980, some 40% of coral reefs have suffered destruction or depletion, and 35% of mangrove forests may have been lost worldwide. In 2010, a project called “1,000 Seedlings for a Mangrove Forest” was initiated by Sony Technology Thailand（STT） where employees and their families planted 1,000 mangrove seedlings. Since 2010, the height of the mangrove trees has reached over 3 meters and wildlife numbers have increased significantly. Additionally, STT has now expanded the area designated for planting trees in the mangroves.
Every year since 2012, Sony Korea has run the Zero Waste, One Sony initiative, aimed at the collection of old electronic waste (E-Waste) while supporting local charities in the city of Seoul and Kyounggi province. In 2014, 43 families (an increase from 14 families for the inaugural event) collected over 1,300 kg’s of E-Waste, which was then sent off for proper recycling. Additionally, over 2,500 unwanted household items were donated to the Beautiful Store, a local Korean charity organization.
In Beijing it's windy and people suffer from sand storms in Spring. Tree-planting could avoid sand storms and also decrease of carbon dioxide emissions. Sony China has been working to plant with a 10-year target set in 2003. Since then, “Sony Forest” has flourished, with 3,600 trees outside Beijing (in Yanqing and Huairou) and growing. Group companies in Shanghai, Huizhou, Huanan, and other areas also participate in planting.
More models than ever in new Cyber-shot™ cameras introduced from March 2014(*1) are made with an original recycled plastic called SORPLAS™(Sustainable Oriented Recycled Plastic) Recent technological advancement in SORPLAS™ formulation enabled its use in additional parts, clearing the strict durability standards for digital cameras. More than 35%(*2) of plastic used in HX400V contains recycled plastic, while it retains the luxurious finish expected in a model with a powerful 50× optical zoom.
*1 DSC-HX400V/HX400/HX60V/HX60/WX220/W830 Not all models are available in all countries/regions. *2 Gross value of recycled plastic includes virgin plastics and additives. It also represents the use of both SORPLAS™ and other recycled plastic, where SORPLAS™ accounts for approximately 12.7% (41g) of the entire plastic use in this product.
As Sound Bar home theater systems combine a long bar speaker with a box-like subwoofer, their different shapes and sizes led to wasted space inside the standard rectangular packaging.
A solution was found for Sound Bar HT-ST3 released in 2013, which are also more compact. To eliminate the wasted space inside, the bar speaker and subwoofer are arranged next to each other in a cushioned, L-shaped box that follows the shape of both components. In terms of distribution, the new packaging is estimated to improved shipping efficiency by 48% while reducing CO2 emissions by 30%.*
* As calculated per unit shipped to Japan, based on 40 km by truck and 6,000 km by container ship, with each container filled with models of uniform size.
Many more units can fit in each container, thanks to a switch from rectangular to L-shaped packaging.
This year, new models such as HT-CT370 and HT-CT770 are also shipped in this unique packaging.
The United Nations has declared the 10-year period from 2005 through 2015 as the International Decade for Action-"Water for Life". The Sony Group Companies in Singapore have established a local "Water for Life" program that is now in its 5th year, with the goal of raising community awareness to the importance of water conservation and biodiversity. For 2013, the program focused on the installation of 10 floating wetlands in a local reservoir. These wetlands, which were constructed by Sony employees and local students, teachers and government officials, helped to clean the water in the reservoir while also creating a biodiversity hub above the water.
SOEM KL Tec has received 2 Prime Minister's Hibiscus Awards, the highest environmental honor for business and industry in Malaysia, for its commitment to environmental management and improvement.
The Notable Achievement Award is awarded to an organization in recognition of their local environmental management system (EMS). The EMS at KL Tec was certified externally in 1996 and is also certified under Sony’s Global Environmental Management System (GEMS).
The Special Project, Bronze Award was presented to KL Tec for efforts made to reduce CO2 emissions throughout its manufacturing operations, via the implementation of numerous energy saving initiatives.
To learn more about the environmental initiatives at KL Tec's that led to these awards, please click on the link below:
In a first of its kind partnership, Spider-Man is the first Super Hero ambassador for Earth Hour, the global movement organized by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), with a message to inspire individuals to use their power to become Super Heroes for the planet. Stars from the highly anticipated upcoming Sony film - including Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx - are all Earth Hour ambassadors and supporting individual Earth Hour Blue projects. This year, Earth Hour globally launched on Saturday March 29, at 8:30pm at a signature event in Singapore, with the director, producer and stars of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 present.
For the past 20 years, Oita TEC on the southern coast of Kyushu has spearheaded cleanup efforts on Kurotsuzaki Beach. Each year, almost all employees gather voluntarily to pick up litter and the ongoing commitment has helped keep the coastline relatively free of trash. Their effort was rewarded in 2009 with the first return of endangered loggerhead sea turtles coming back to breed in decades. Oita TEC expanded cleanup area by calling on other local companies from 2011. Thanks to this and other efforts, loggerhead sea turtles have come ashore on the beach to spawn continuously since 2011. Oita TEC also helps protect turtle eggs during incubation.
As part of its efforts to help protect the natural environment, Sony promotes ambitious greening activities. In 1998, the Kohda site established “Sony Forest”, which is composed of trees originally growing on its factory grounds, for the enjoyment of the local community. In recognition of these efforts, in 2011 the Kohda site received 2011 Superlative Stage certification under SEGES*, the first such site in Japan to receive the highest level of certification. Oita Tec also works to protect the precious natural woodland within its grounds. In 2003, a part of the Center's land was transformed into Sony Shionoka Park and opened to the local community. Oita Tec received 2013 Superlative Stage certification, which is the same as Kohda site.
* The Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System (SEGES) is an evaluation and certification program run by the Urban Green Space Development Foundation. SEGES evaluates businesses' greenbelts and the contributions to society and the natural environment made by these businesses through the protection and nurturing of such spaces and recognizes outstanding initiatives by businesses
One of the issues faced in the maintenance of forests is the lack of demand for timber generated by forest thinning. To address this problem, since 2011 - the International Year of Forests - Internet service provider So-net Corporation has produced novelty goods made with timber from forest thinning and has been using these goods mainly in its marketing activities. This initiative not only helps to promote the use of thinned timber but also brings a large number of So-net's customers into contact with such products, thereby providing a valuable opportunity for the general public to learn about the importance of forest conservation and biodiversity. Since 2012, the novelty goods have been manufactured in Minamisanriku-cho, Miyagi Prefecture, which sustained severe damage from the major earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, thus helping to support employment in the disaster-affected region.
Sony's headquarters building-Sony City-in Tokyo features a highly efficient integrated heating system as well as a variety of energy-saving technologies. One such technology recycles treated water from an adjacent wastewater treatment facility which would otherwise be discharged into rivers back into the building, harnessing the untapped energy therein to power the building's cooling and heating systems. This has reduced the energy requirements of the building's cooling systems and minimized waste heat from cooling systems, thereby mitigating the heat island effect. Sony City was awarded and has been maintaining a "top-level facility" certification by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government since the fiscal year 2011.
Sony Electronics Inc.'s head office building in San Diego, California was awarded LEED® Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Solar panels on the parking structure generate electricity equivalent to over 4% of the building total energy consumption. Sony continued its efforts to further reduce the electricity consumption through the use of LED technology and advanced lighting controls, contributed to additional 5% reduction in electricity use, saving over 225,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. Considering limited availability of water resources in San Diego, low-flow water fixtures and use of water condensate from air conditioning system lower the water usage by up to 47% than current codes.
* LEED® is a green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to encourage buildings and communities to improve their environmental performance in terms of CO2 emissions reductions, natural resources and resource stewardship, and indoor environmental quality.
Since 1995, SIA, Sony's sales company in Panama, has promoted an educational initiative named "Education for Conservation." The program promotes environmental conservation and raises awareness of the harpy eagle, Panama's national bird, which is a symbol of the serious loss of forest habitat and biodiversity in Latin America. Since 1998, SIA has been sponsoring the establishment of the Harpy Eagle Center in Panama and State-of-the-art technologies were introduced, including a video wall featuring Sony's BRAVIA™ LCD televisions, enabling visitors to enjoy an interactive virtual experience of the harpy eagle's natural environment and to raise the awareness of the environmental conservation.
Semiconductor production requires a lot of pure water. Sony is a grateful user of the pristine groundwater found in abundance near our semiconductor plant in Kumamoto area of Japan. These lush environs made the perfect terrain for a Sony TV commercial set to Pachelbel’s Canon as recreated solely with sampled sounds of water. The commercial, with its captivating sights and sounds, was recognized with the highest honor for commercials at the 17th Environmental Communication Awards, jointly sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment and the Global Environmental Forum.