Updated on August 29, 2018
Under the Green Management 2020 mid-term environmental targets, Sony is working to achieve an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 5% from the fiscal 2015 level by fiscal 2020. Main efforts toward this end included striving to reduce greenhouse gases such as CO2 related to energy consumption and cutting emissions of perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and other gases. In fiscal 2017, Sony's emissions of greenhouse gases (calculated in terms of CO2) totaled approximately 1.42 million tons. This represents an approximately 2% up from the fiscal 2016 level. Greenhouse gas emissions per unit of consolidated net sales, or emissions intensity, were 0.14 tons of CO2/million yen in Japan and 0.03 tons of CO2/million yen outside Japan.
In fiscal 2017, emissions of CO2 from energy use at Sony sites*1 accounted for approximately 1.31 million out of the approximately 1.42 million tons of total emissions at Sony, up by about 67,000 tons from fiscal 2016. CO2 emissions resulting from the use of energy at sites in Japan amounted to approximately 1.06 million tons, an increase of approximately 86,000 tons from fiscal 2016. The main increase was attributable to an increase in device production volumes. CO2 emissions resulting from energy use at Sony sites include emissions from fuel used by Sony-owned business vehicles. In fiscal 2017, CO2 emissions resulting from fuel used in vehicles amounted to approximately 22,000 tons.
Going forward, Sony will take efforts to restrict greenhouse gas emissions through infrastructure-related measures, including the installation of high-efficiency equipment and the promotion of energy recycling, and to enhance nonstructural measures, notably the introduction of training programs designed to foster energy-saving leaders.
PFCs and other greenhouse gases with high global warming potential are used in cleaning and etching processes in the manufacture of semiconductors. Emissions of PFCs and other greenhouse gases in fiscal 2017 (calculated in terms of CO2) totaled approximately 100,000 tons, down about 27,000 tons from fiscal 2016. The main decrease was attributable to introduction of gas abatement equipment and other reduction initiatives. Sony is taking further steps to reduce emissions, including installing gas abatement equipment.
To achieve its fiscal 2020 reduction targets, Sony is working on various energy conservation activities at its sites around the world. A sample of these initiatives follows.
Sony Device Technology (Thailand) Co., Ltd. rebuilt its clean rooms used for semiconductor manufacturing to incorporate energy-efficient air conditioning (AC) systems. The systems use the warm air that rises from heat-producing machinery to carry dust particles away from clean room work surfaces. The warm air is circulated through the ceiling to supply fresh air, keeping work surfaces clean with less air flow than a conventional AC system. The new systems reduce CO2 emissions by roughly 67%, saving approximately 2,700 tons of emissions annually compared to a conventional system. The energy-efficient AC systems are also being deployed in the manufacturing lines of Sony Technology (Thailand) Co., Ltd., which is projected to save approximately 560 tons of CO2 emissions annually compared to a conventional AC system.
Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation's Nagasaki Technology Center is working to improve air conditioning systems with the goal of conserving energy in cleanroom facilities used to manufacture semiconductors. Previous systems consumed a great deal of energy blowing clean air into cleanrooms and cooling down waste heat generated by the rooms' production equipment. Focusing on waste heat generated by this equipment, the center installed waste heat recovery equipment and a two-fluid humidification system to effectively use waste heat to power air conditioning equipment. By releasing mist to humidify and cool the room and facilitate transpiration that traps heat from the surrounding environment, two-fluid humidification establishes a system that is remarkably easy to control to ensure a stable air condition. Cleanroom facilities where semiconductors are manufactured must meet rigorous criteria, including precise humidity levels and temperatures. Utilizing two fluids, this humidification system not only meets these conditions, but also saves energy. The Nagasaki Technology Center capitalizes on the synergistic effect between the two-fluid humidification system and the use of recovered waste heat, which had previously been lost as surplus energy, to significantly reduce energy consumption in its cleanroom facilities. This initiative has become the new model for maintaining cleanroom humidity/temperature in the manufacture of semiconductors by Sony.
Sony promotes a broad range of energy-saving efforts at its sites around the world. In addition to increasing the energy efficiency of buildings and equipment, in recent years Sony has actively implemented activities for reducing energy consumption suggested by manufacturing site employees. These activities focus on the formulation and implementation of energy-saving solutions for manufacturing sites, which consume more electricity than any other part of Sony's manufacturing operations. Employees set ambitious project targets and take steps to shed light on energy consumed in different manufacturing processes. This enables employees to identify unnecessary uses of energy in such processes, as well as to develop and test solutions and, having confirmed the effectiveness thereof, to effect ongoing improvements. Particularly outstanding solutions are subsequently expanded to other sites. These activities were prompted by the effectiveness of the Eco Challenge Project implemented in 2009 at Sony Corporation's Sendai Technology Center and Sony Storage Media Manufacturing Corporation's Tagajo site. Similar energy conservation activities are now being implemented at Sony manufacturing sites around the world.