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Updated on September 7, 2016

Reducing Waste Generation

Absolute Waste at Sites Reduced by 73% from the Fiscal 2000 Level

  • Waste at Sites
Under the Green Management 2015 mid-term environmental targets, Sony implemented a variety of measures to reduce waste and use materials more effectively in line with its targets to achieve an absolute reduction in waste at Sony sites of 50% or more from the fiscal 2000 level and achieve a recycle rate of 99% or higher for global sites by fiscal 2015. In fiscal 2015, the last year of Green Management 2015, waste at Sony sites totaled approximately 77,000 tons. This represents an approximately 73% decline from the fiscal 2000 level and was also about 1% lower than the previous fiscal year. This reduction was largely attributable to a reuse of packaging materials used when shipping parts—a major component of waste generated by production sites—and the promotion of reuse and recycling throughout the Sony Group. Waste at Sony sites per unit of consolidated net sales was 0.0048 tons/million yen in Japan and 0.0047 tons/million yen outside Japan.

Under Green Management 2020, which started in April 2016, Sony is working on a new target for fiscal 2020 of reducing absolute waste generated at Sony sites by 5% compared to the fiscal 2013 level.

Recycling Rate for Sony Sites

In fiscal 2015, the recycling rate for all Sony Group sites was 95%. Since fiscal 2012, this rate has taken into account the impact of incineration in Japan and other factors that reflect the reality of waste treatment. In Japan, the recycling rate for everyday waste at Sony sites also continued to improve, and now surpasses 99%. The recycling rate for Sony sites overseas—calculated excluding waste that Sony is required by law or ordinance to dispose of in landfills—was 97%. Sony continues to promote the recycling of waste from sites and strives to reuse it within the Group. Looking ahead, Sony will strive to further increase both the volume and variety of waste that is recycled, true to its commitment to recycling and reusing resources.

Management of Industrial Waste

Sony takes precautions to ensure waste from its sites is not inappropriately disposed of. For example, in Japan Sony has set consistent internal standards for selecting waste disposal contractors and inspecting disposal sites on an ongoing basis. It has also established an internal system of accreditation for disposal site inspectors, and is stepping up efforts to minimize risks associated with contracting out waste disposal. To reinforce this system, Sony implements periodic on-site inspections in the waste disposal contractors, thereby ensuring rigorous management procedures.

Waste Reduction

  • Sony EMCS Penang Tec made it possible to recycle scrap wood from speaker cabinets.
All Sony Group sites are making efforts to cut down on waste. At the same time, the Group is focusing on reducing its final disposal of waste to landfills or to incinerators that do not use the thermal recycling* method, with the goal of achieving a recycling rate of 99%.

Speaker manufacturer Sony EMCS Penang Tec has taken the initiative to recycle scrap wood left over from the manufacture of speaker cabinets. In the past, wooden planks were disposed as landfilled waste because the vinyl sheets attached to the wood made them difficult to recycle. After trying various measures in collaboration with the local government and waste treatment firms, the company found a way to separate the vinyl sheets from the wooden planks and is now able to recycle both the scrap wood and the vinyl sheets. This led to a reduction in the final disposal of waste and improved the production plant's overall recycling rate.
In addition, wood waste from furniture disposal and broken wooden pallets are now also recyclable under this project.

Thermal recycling is an incineration method for recovering and using the heat energy generated during incineration.

Improving Component Packaging

  • Returnable containers used to transport components at the Kuala Lumpur TEC of Sony EMCS (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
At all of its sites, Sony works to reduce the amount of waste through overall reviews of the packaging used in components and the optimization of this packaging.
For example, a range of measures are employed to reduce the amount of materials used in component packaging materials and hence curb the amount of waste. These include the complete elimination of protective bags for components, modifications to increase the capacity of containers used to store components, and the switch from disposable containers to multi-use returnable boxes. In particular, Sony is working to standardize the sizes of, and materials used in, returnable containers while aiming to expand the range of items for which such containers are used.
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