Several industry leading eco-conscious Sony products are showcased here, including examples of product-based initiatives from the four Road to Zero environmental Perspectives.
Sony has succeeded in a challenging technical feat—making alkaline button batteries without mercury.
The batteries are available in an environmentally friendly series of mercury-free alkaline button batteries,
silver oxide batteries, and Lithium coin batteries bearing a“0% Mercury” logo.
A small amount of mercury is added to conventional alkaline button batteries to control hydrogen buildup by the anode. Simply adding no mercury at all for environmental reasons would pose a risk of battery swelling and leakage. For this reason, successfully removing mercury to create a mercury-free series of alkaline button batteries called for two gas-blocking systems. Gas-suppressing technology in the anode, already used in non-mercury silver oxide batteries, is combined with original Sony gas-absorbing technology in the cathode.
Nearly 300 million silver oxide batteries and alkaline button batteries are produced by Sony annually
Switching to non-mercury batteries enables a reduction of about 68 500-milliliter PET bottles (approx. 470 kg) of mercury
Sony manufactures nearly 300 million alkaline button batteries and silver oxide batteries each year. Eliminating mercury in these two types of battery corresponds to an annual reduction of about 470 kg of mercury—equivalent to about 68 500-milliliter PET bottles. Because incorrect disposal of mercury may cause environmental pollution and health problems, many initiatives are aimed at phasing out mercury around the world. Sony is committed to reducing our environmental impact, in this respect and others, through innovation.
*500 ml PET bottles
Our first breakthrough in non-mercury button batteries came in 2004 with silver oxide batteries. Within the industry at the time, it was viewed as technically challenging to create non-mercury button batteries, which were one of the few products exempt from general restrictions on mercury. What made non-mercury silver oxide batteries possible were the same gas-suppression technologies later used in alkaline button batteries, described above. This breakthrough earned the grand prize in an inaugural manufacturing award program of the Japanese government in 2005, in the product technology and development category.
Some button batteries, indispensible in familiar electronics such as mobile games, watches, and toys, contain trace amounts of mercury. Sony succeeded in creating the first non-mercury silver oxide batteries in 2004, followed in 2009 by non-mercury alkaline button batteries. As of late 2010, these non-mercury batteries are sold in 31 countries around the world.
*Lithium Coin Battery has not contained any mercury from the beginning