Updated on August 29, 2018
Under the Green Management 2020 mid-term environmental targets, Sony implements 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 5% from the fiscal 2015 level. In fiscal 2017, waste at Sony sites totaled approximately 55,000 tons. This represents an approximately 9% increase from the fiscal 2016 level. The main increase was attributable to an increase in device production volumes. Sony reuses packaging materials used when shipping parts—a major component of waste generated by production sites—and pursues reuse and recycling throughout the Sony Group. Waste at Sony sites per unit of consolidated net sales was 0.0033 tons/million yen in Japan and 0.0031 tons/million yen outside Japan.
In fiscal 2017, the landfilled waste rate for all Sony Group sites was approximately 1.3%. The rate for sites in Japan was 0.2%. The landfilled waste rate for Sony sites—when calculated including waste that Sony is required by law or ordinance to dispose of in landfills—was approximately 1.8%. Sony strives to reduce the rate of waste disposed in landfills by recycling wastes generated by sites.
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.
All Sony Group sites are making efforts to cut down on waste.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 amount of waste disposed in landfills and improved the production plant's overall recycling rate.
In addition, other types of production wood wastes are now also recyclable under this project.
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.