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Sony Sets ‘Road to Zero’ Environmental Program

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

“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.