Updated on August 29, 2018
Sony is implementing and continually improving its globally integrated environmental management system with the aim of realizing the Sony Group Environmental Vision, achieving its mid-term environmental targets and complying fully with legal requirements, regulatory demands and internal policies established for the Group.
Since the 1990s, Sony sites*1 throughout the world have sought certification under ISO 14001, the international standard for environmental management systems. Acquisition of ISO 14001 certification at all sites was completed in fiscal 2000. Since then, Sony has expanded this effort, establishing a group-wide environmental management system that integrates headquarters with environmental departments, business units and sites globally, while taking advantage of the management systems already operational at each business site, and acquiring integrated ISO 14001 certification for the entire Sony Group in fiscal 2005. As of March 31, 2018, integrated ISO 14001 certification had been obtained by 105 of the Sony Group's business units and sites around the world.*2
To deal with the increasingly diverse and complex environmental issues that affect Sony's operations, such as manufacturing and sales of environmentally conscious products, recycling, and environmental management at sites, Sony has established specialized functions at the Sony Group's environmental headquarters, specifically in the areas of environmental management related to energy consumed at sites and by products; resource conservation, including recycling; chemical substance management; biodiversity conservation; procurement; logistics; technological development; and communications. The Sony Group's environmental headquarters is overseen by management, and a Sony Corporation corporate executive officer assumes ultimate responsibility. The president of Sony Corporation and other executives share information on environmental issues of importance to the Sony Group in regularly held executive meetings, as well.
Each of these specialized functions works together with regional offices and departments that specialize in such areas as product quality, customer service, occupational health and safety, and disaster prevention, to achieve a uniform and effective management system. Each specialized function issues targets to the operating units, divisions and sites and reviews their progress. To promote integrated environmental management globally, Sony has established six regional environmental offices to facilitate region-wide environmental management activities, such as a better understanding of local, legal and regulatory trends, effective communication of standards and instructions set forth by headquarters to the regional divisions and sites, and effective performance of audits at all regional business divisions and sites. These are the North America environmental office, Latin America environmental office, Europe environmental office,*1 Japan/East Asia environmental office,*2 China environmental office,*3 and Pan Asia environmental office.*4
In compliance with ISO 14001, the global standard for environmental management systems that is based on the rationale of the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, Sony's corporate headquarters conducts annual assessments of the environmental impact of the entire Sony Group and, after identifying risks and opportunities, incorporates its findings into mid-range environmental targets and annual plans. In line with these plans, individual business units and sites establish and implement their own annual plans, incorporating essential elements of guiding principles established by the headquarters. Progress on the implementation of these business plans is reviewed regularly by a committee that is headed by the officer in charge of environmental affairs, contributing to ongoing improvement efforts. Awards are given annually at the global level to recognize outstanding activities in core businesses. These activities are counted as part of overall annual performance evaluations for main business units and sites and the results of these assessments are reflected in the bonuses awarded to management-level employees. To gauge the progress of these environmental activities, Sony has developed an online data system for periodically collecting performance for, among others, power consumption by products, energy used by sites, and volume of waste generated. To ensure the effective functioning of the PDCA cycle, Sony has created an environmental document structure in line with the requirements of ISO 14001. The structure covers overall elements of environmental management such as management procedures on site and in the business groups, internal environmental communications, and efforts to make products more environmentally conscious.
Another means by which the Sony Group facilitates environmental action is to provide broad environmental education for employees that is tailored to specific objectives or the type of work they perform.
Sony has established an integrated environmental audit system that combines three kinds of audits — internal, corporate and external — and aims to facilitate continual improvements to the Sony Group's environmental management system, prevent environmental accidents at sites, and ensure the reliability of environmental data. In internal audits, business units and sites independently confirm the effectiveness of their own organization's environmental management system. In corporate audits, headquarters or regional environmental offices conduct audits of business units and sites in order to verify compliance with corporate rules. In external audits, an external certification body conducts audits to determine the effectiveness of environmental management systems throughout the Sony Group.