Taking the long view, Sony is instituting its “Road to Zero” plan, which would see the company have zero environmental footprint by 2050.
The company is looking at not only reducing its waste and emissions, but also at its use of materials such as petroleum-based virgin plastics.
Generally, Sony is aligning its goals in four areas: climate change, resource conservation, control of chemical substances and biodiversity.
To get the company started, it has set short-term goals for the end of FY 2015 (March of 2016), against a 2008 baseline, including:
– a 30 percent reduction in annual energy consumption of its products
– a 10 percent reduction in product mass
– a 50 percent absolute reduction in waste generated
– a 14 percent reduction in transportation/logistic emissions
– a 16 percent reduction in packaging waste from incoming parts
– a 5 percent reduction in the ratio of virgin petroleum-based plastics
– an increase in waste recycling to more than 99 percent
Six Product Life Cycle Stages
Sony is also looking at six life cycle stages of its products.
1. Research and development – The company plans to develop technologies that reduce customer energy consumption. Sony also plans to develop and refine technologies related to the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle).
2. Product planning and design – The company will launch “Environmental Flagship” models and services in each business category, as well as eliminate use of certain chemical substances, including polyvinyl chloride and brominated flame retardants.
3. Procurement – Sony will establish a mechanism for determining supply chain emissions, among other efforts.
4. Operations – At Sony’s offices and factories, it will conduct environmental assessments and develop plans to help meet the above FY2015 goals.
5. Logistics – Here, Sony will rely on compact packaging and increased loading efficiency to help reduce its logistics footprint. The company also plans to shift away from truck shipping to rail and sea, when possible.
6. Take back and recycling – Sony is pledging to produce items that are easier to recycle.
In a recent version of Greenpeace’s “Guide to Greener Electronics,” Sony/Ericsson ranks near the top, just behind Nokia.
Sony has participated in industrywide efforts to better understand the environmental supply chain issues facing retailers, including a meeting with Wal-Mart Canada suppliers.