As of the end of March 2001, Sony had achieved zero landfill, defined as reducing waste disposal in landfills through either reducing, reusing, recycling more than 99% of waste generated, at all its Semiconductor manufacturing sites and offices in the Sony Group engaged in the development and production of semiconductor products.
The Sony Group is promoting the reduction of waste, the recycling, reusing of resources, aiming at zero landfill (as Sony defines reducing more than 95% of waste generated in landfills through reducing, reusing, and recycling) to eliminate waste materials not ultimately used by society. Many chemicals for cleaning wafers and many materials for creating components are required in the development and production of semiconductor products. In addition, in the manufacture of semiconductors for such products as cellular phones, gallium arsenide is used for the substrate. Therefore, the treatment of waste water in these processes has been an issue needing to be overcome in order to achieve zero emission.
To ensure fairness, and to avoid any bias in the reporting of information, this Report has been verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the independent accountant which audits Sony's consolidated financial accounts.PricewaterhouseCoopers inspected 12 Sony facilities, including overseas locations. All the Sony semiconductor plants in Japan, principally located in Kyushu, have achieved zero landfill through gallium arsenide reuse by using Sony's own system to treat waste water containing the chemical, by turning fluoric acid waste into a cement material after neutralizing it and by recycling vinyl chloride as a raw material.
External audit is obligatory for annual reports which disclose financial results, but it is not yet common for environmental reports.There are very few precedents of an external audit being applied in such detail on a global and consolidated base.We feel this is one of the distinguishing features of our Report. Furthermore, such facilities as Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corp.'s Kumamoto Technology Center and Sony Computer Entertainment Fab2 have been designed at the construction stage to meet zero-landfill standards by taking the reuse and recycling of resources into account.
The Sony Group has incorporated environmental conservation toward attaining sustainable economic development in its corporate management policy. And it is developing and promoting ecological activities under this guideline to attain specific targeted numerical values based on its Sony Environmental Vision Towards Sustainability. Last October, the Sony Group set a new target which intends to double its eco-efficiency, a figure obtained by dividing sales by environmental impact, by 2010, compared to 2000 levels. Along with zero landfill, it is also promoting a comprehensive reduction in the environmental burden, such as by reducing the input of resources and harmful substances.