Sony Sets ‘Road to Zero' Environmental Program


San Diego - In a goal toward achieving a 0 percent environmental footprint by 2050,


unveiled the "Road to Zero" global environmental plan Wednesday.

The plan uses backcasting methods to set specific midterm environmental targets for the next five years in line with that goal.

Sony's definition of a zero environmental footprint is not only limited to the neutralization of carbon emissions, but also extends to waste and use of finite materials such as oil-derived virgin plastics, Sony said.

Targets are based on four environmental perspectives - climate change, resource conservation, control of chemical substances and biodiversity - across all product lifecycle stages, from research and development to recycling.

The midterm targets will be implemented globally across the Sony group beginning in fiscal year 2011 (April 2011), and will extend through the end of fiscal year 2015 (March 2016), at which time new targets for the following five years will be set, Sony said.

Specific midterm targets include:

  • 30 percent reduction in annual energy consumption of products (compared with fiscal 2008);
  • 10 percent reduction in product mass (compared with fiscal 2008);
  • 50 percent absolute reduction in waste generation (compared with fiscal 2000);
  • 30 percent absolute reduction in water consumption (compared with fiscal 2000);
  • 14 percent reduction in total CO2 emissions associated with all transportation and logistics (compared with fiscal 2008); 
  • 16 percent reduction in incoming parts packaging waste (compared with fiscal 2008); 
  • increase of waste recycle ratio to 99 percent or more; 
  • 5 percent reduction in utilization ratio of virgin oil-based plastics in products  (compared with fiscal 2008); 
  • assessment of impact of resource procurement and facility construction on biodiversity, and promotion of biodiversity programs such as groundwater cultivation; and
  • minimization of the risk of chemical substances through preventive measures, reduction in use of specific chemicals defined by Sony, and promotion of use of alternative materials.

"We are fully committed to putting our innovative spirit and technological expertise to use to help solve environmental challenges," stated Howard Stringer, Sony chairman and CEO. "From the development of new materials and energy-efficient technologies, to the introduction of better processes in manufacturing and production, we will work aggressively to meet the ambitious targets we are setting for ourselves and, at the same time, establish a model for others in our industries to follow."

In the U.S., Sony Electronics was the first consumer electronics manufacturer to institute a nationwide take-back recycling program in 2007 through which consumers can recycle any Sony-branded product free of charge. To date, SEL has recycled more than 13,000 tons of electronic waste through its take-back efforts.


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