Based on its success in acquiring ISO14001 certification for all global sites, Sony has embarked on the task of building and implementing a common environmental management system that can be applied to Sony Group operations worldwide. As part of this process, Sony underwent the necessary auditing and succeeded in acquiring ISO14001 certification for the environmental governance functions of its HQ and regional environmental offices in June 2004. This network of HQ and regional environmental offices forms the backbone of Sony's environmental management system.
Sony is in the position of having already acquired ISO14001 certification on an individual basis for all its business sites around the world. The urgent need to strengthen environmental management of products in recent years, however, has made it necessary for Sony to switch from using independent site-based environmental management systems and implement a global environmental management system covering the entire Sony Group. It is with this goal in mind that Sony embarked on the task of building a global environmental management system designed to strengthen support for environmental activities and ensure that Sony business units (network companies and other group companies) and Sony sites around the world will be able to achieve the objectives of Sony Group environmental policies and the mid-term environmental targets (Green Management 2005). In order to be able to verify that the new management system is operating effectively, Sony has also established a system of verification in which a single external certification organization conducts an external audit of the new system. The audit includes verification of levels of greenhouse gas emissions and the accuracy of data included in the annual CSR Report outlining environmental performance.
For the future, Sony intends to gradually change over from the current system of independently acquired ISO14001 certification to a system of group ISO14001 certification by using the network of HQ and regional environmental offices, which has recently acquired certification for environmental governance. The target is group ISO14001 certification for the entire Sony Group by the end of March 2006.
The changeover to group certification on a global basis will make it possible to build an environmental management system more effective in improving environmental performance and minimizing environmental risk throughout the Sony Group.