Updated on August 29, 2018
The Sony Group's mid-term targets include targets for products, which involve the reduction of annual power consumption, the promotion of resource conservation and the management of chemical substances. Business units identify the environmental impact throughout the lifecycle of target product categories and formulate their targets based on the category’s specific characteristics. Then, they execute environmentally conscious design by setting environmental mid-term targets for each product. They review progress against their environmental mid-term targets for each product, and report results to the department in charge of environmental functions at headquarters. In turn, this department evaluates the targets and progress of each business unit, using these evaluations as the basis for its review of the Sony Group's progress on achieving its environmental mid-term targets. Based on the results of this review, Sony determines areas of focus and revises targets for the subsequent fiscal year. This method enables Sony to execute ongoing environmentally conscious processes for each business unit and product, which in turn ensure the development of environmentally conscious products.
One initiative Sony is taking to ensure that its products are environmentally responsible involves designing them with recyclability in mind. This means, for example, reducing the number of screws, and labeling the material type of plastic used in parts to make it easier to extract resources from used products during recycling. For example, Sony has issued Environmental Design Standards and Guidelines for TVs, which are used when planning and designing new products. These design standards and guidelines reflect the trends in regulations inside and outside of Japan as well as Sony's mid-term environmental targets. Additionally, Sony conducts an annual review and revision of these guidelines based on industry trends and the latest recycling information, which is gathered via regular sharing of information and opinions with the Green Cycle Corporation, a Sony Group company engaged in the recycling business.
Product life cycle assessments (LCAs) are a means of identifying and quantifying the environmental impact of products at all stages of their life cycles, which include the manufacture of materials and parts used in products, the assembly and transport of products, product use and standby mode, and end of life (i.e., disposal and recycling). LCAs of major products help us to clarify priorities for product improvement for all product categories and reduce the environmental impact of Sony products.
As shown in the chart titled "Breakdown of CO2 Emissions Over the Life Cycle of Signature Sony Products," we see that the life cycle stages responsible for generating a large portion of a product's CO2 emissions differ depending on the product category. For example, for product categories such as LCD televisions, and Blu-ray Disc™/DVD players, emissions during product use account for a large proportion of total emissions. For this reason, reducing the power consumption of these products during use is particularly important. Conversely, among product categories such as smartphones and digital video cameras, a large portion of CO2 emissions occur at the manufacturing stage and in the production of materials and parts, rather than during use. For these products, such measures as reducing the parts count are crucial in lowering life cycle CO2 emissions. LCA results are reflected in mid-term environmental targets and incorporated into product design.
Sony is working on environmentally conscious and recycling-friendly designs and is improving environmental performance in terms of energy and resource conservation in a wide range of product categories. Signature products for these efforts are introduced on the “Sony and the Environment” website.