Sony sites worldwide are taking steps towards a zero environmental footprint from the four perspectives in our Road to Zero environmental plan. Environmental performance of business operations is also carefully evaluated in the Sony Green Star Program.
Sony products are not the only thing that benefits from advanced environmental technology. Sony plants and offices do, too. Around the world, Sony sites save energy in many ways. Below are some examples of these conservation efforts.
Kumamoto TEC, a source of semiconductor devices in Sony products
Kumamoto TEC in Japan produces imaging devices used in digital cameras and other products. Nanoscale semiconductor production requires constant temperature and humidity, and the plant's previous climate control system consumed considerable power, which prompted Kumamoto TEC to seek a more efficient system. Plant managers decided to develop their own system, for maximum energy efficiency throughout the site.
The plant began by replacing chillers, pumps, and boilers with new, high-efficiency units. A control system was then developed in-house to coordinate operation for maximum energy conservation. With this system, operators can avoid wasting hot or cold water, which reduces CO2 emissions by about 83% over the previous climate control system. Kumamoto TEC's energy-saving system will be introduced at Sony plants in Wuxi, China, and elsewhere around the world.
Sony Electronics (Wuxi) Co., Ltd
Many Sony sites in China receive expert energy audits and are implementing conservation measures that are expected to have a greater impact. Priorities in 2010 included enhancing building insulation, adopting efficient lighting, and switching to better refrigerants. Sites nationwide participate in these efforts.
Rooftop insulation at Shanghai Suoguang Visual Products
Examples can be seen at Shanghai Suoguang Electronics, where ordinary glass windows have been replaced with double-glazed windows, and at Shanghai Suoguang Visual Products, where the roof has been coated with insulating paint. Rooftop insulation has also been applied at two Sony plants in Wuxi and the technology center in Shanghai. Meanwhile, since 2008 many sites have been saving energy in air conditioning by switching refrigerants, an initiative that reduced annual CO2 emissions by about 620 tons in 2010.
An energy audit in China
A program underway since fiscal 2007, energy audits seek more effective ways to save energy. Sony Group experts visit sites to study current methods of conservation and measures for efficient thermal circulation. Results of this analysis are applied to improve a site's own environmental measures. These energy audits are conducted worldwide.
Sony Electronics headquarters
LED overhead lighting in theatres on the studio lot of Sony Pictures
At Sony Electronics headquarters in San Diego, solar panels now cover the roof of the parking garage, thanks to a collaborative project with a local utility company. Elsewhere in California, Sony Pictures Entertainment now shoots under efficient LED lighting, which consumes 50% less electricity. Lighting systems in all studio sound stages were replaced with sensor-equipped lighting, which helps save more than 400,000 kWh of power annually. In related energy saving efforts, the company is also transitioning to LED overhead lighting in its theatres on the studio lot.
A Sony sign, now lit by LED bulbs
In Singapore, several steps have been taken for greater lighting efficiency at Sony's manufacturing facility. Lights which are rarely used or unnecessary have been removed, lights are used for a shorter period of time each day, and reflectors have been set up for better light diffusion – these are all part of the comprehensive efforts to avoid wasting energy. Additionally, the factory has replaced fluorescent lights—including those used in the “Sony” signage on the exterior wall of the building —with the energy-efficient LED lights. Replacing 1,900 fluorescent tubes with LED lights is expected to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 200 tons.
Overhaul of chiller system at Sony EMCS Penang Tec
By overhauling its chiller system and air handling unit, Sony's manufacturing facility in Penang, Malaysia has reduced annual greenhouse gas emissions by 700 tons. Similarly, Ayutthaya and Chonburi Technology Centers in Thailand have installed variable speed drive (VSD) controls for their water motor pumps (cooling tower, chiller system, and water supply) to control the water flow rate in the system based on the load demand. These efforts have resulted in an annual greenhouse gas reduction of 110 tons and 93 tons, respectively.