Promotion of Circular Economy
Alongside changes in customer lifestyles, there is now a growing global trend for customers to use only specific functions of a product, rather than using or owning the whole product. In Europe, building a circular economy for sustainable economic growth has become a major economic strategy, in a move away from continuous resource consumption.
This trend is spreading around the world along with the change in customers’ sense of values. Amid this development, the Panasonic Group is introducing the idea of circular economy and moving forward in efforts to promote effective utilization of resources and maximization of customer value. The circular economy activities we promote have two aspects: 1) creation of circular economy businesses, and 2) evolution of recycling-oriented manufacturing.
In order to realize the new value of using only product functionalities, instead of using or owning the whole product, we will strive to create circular economy businesses. These include a "Sharing service", where multiple users use the same individual product, a "Product as a service" where services are fulfilled based on functions, and "Repair and Maintenance, Refurbish and Remanufacturing", where functions, values, and the lifecycle of a product are utilized in the most efficient manner by recycling or reusing the product itself or the components used in the products.
Alongside this, we continue to implement recycling-oriented manufacturing by reducing the total amount of resources used, utilizing sustainable resources, and striving towards zero waste emissions. Furthermore, we will develop recycling-oriented manufacturing to a higher level by using innovative materials and the latest digital technologies.
With all these activities, we aim to realize both "A better life" and a "Sustainable global environment" towards Panasonic GREEN IMPACT PLAN, based on an ecodesign concept which maximizes customer value in use by increasing resource efficiency at each process in design, procurement, and production.
Concept for the Actions toward Circular Economy
We will promote effective utilization of resources and maximization of customer value by creating circular economy business and evolving recycling-oriented manufacturing.
As specific activities, we took actions to meet our targets regarding resources in Green Plan 2021. In order to create our own circular economy businesses, we assessed our entire existing product and solution portfolio to identify items that correspond to the circular economy concept.
The assessments cover how the product is used, the product life cycle, and more than 10 items concerning the product's market. We have completed mapping of the relationships between our existing businesses and the circular economy. Now, we will step by step shift the current businesses to circular economy related businesses based on the mapping.
We accomplished to use at least 42 kt of recycled resin (cumulative from FY2020-2022), and we have also achieved the target of 99% or more for factory waste recycling rate.
We continue to work towards achieving the resource-related targets listed in GREEN IMPACT PLAN (GIP) 2024. We plan to adjust our existing businesses along the circular economy aspects as outlined in our concept above. We are also using the same mapping with future new businesses, and aim to establish at least seven new circular economy business models by 2024.
We plan to improve materials to meet both the characteristics requirements and environmental safety, ensure stable supplies, advance production technology to use new materials, and improve recycling technology, through which we aim to achieve a total of more than 90k tons of recycled resin (cumulative from FY2023-2025). Addtionally, zero waste emissions are important for us as a part of efficient usage of resources and we will continue our efforts to achieve a factory waste recycling rate of 99%.
To accelerate these activities, we started the "Global Circular Economy Project" in April 2020 with Panasonic Europe as the project lead. As one of the project related activities, we are promoting recycling activities in various regions across the world.