Panasonic Sets Ambitious Green Goals for 100th Anniversary

OSAKA, Japan — It's barely been five months since Panasonic first unveiled its Green Transformation 2012 plan, one that would move the company back to the black by getting deep in green.

Last week, Panasonic stepped up its green game with a new comprehensive plan for steadily cutting its environmental impacts while making the world's greenest and most green-enabling products.

The "Green Plan 2018" uses the 100th anniversary of Panasonic's founding as a deadline for integrating green technologies into all of the company's business units. The year will also serve as a high-water mark of sorts for Panasonic's environmental footprint.

By 2018, according to the Green Plan, Panasonic's net CO2 emissions will have peaked, and will decline steadily thereafter at a projected rate of 2 percent per year. All told, the company intends to reduce its carbon footprint by 120 million tons by 2018 over its 2006 baseline.

At the same time as it's reducing its own carbon footprint, Panasonic intends to scale up the sales of technologies that can help other organizations cut their emissions. In addition to rolling out energy management systems for homes and buildings, the company will aim to earn the highest market share for fuel-cell cogeneration systems, and move to the head of the pack for global solar systems sales, lithium-ion battery systems and what it calls "eco-cars."

Panasonic has also announced a goal to achieve zero waste at all its manufacturing facilities as part of the Green Plan 2018, and will boost recycling to using at least 16 percent recycled materials.

As with its Green Transformation Plan, Panasonic sees a shift to green as a life-preserver and the best way to allow the business to make the most of the low-carbon economy.

"We are trying to offer a whole solution," Fumio Ohtsubo, Panasonic's president, told reporters at the Panasonic Center in Tokyo last week, according to Green Tech Media."We needed to produce a new line of business," he said, adding that energy provides "a lower risk of commoditization."

Panasonic's green shift is part of a larger trend in the electronics industry, which has recently seen Hitachi and Samsung announce big commitments to green technologies.