It is said that available fresh water is only about 0.01% of the Earth’s total water resources. We understand that the water crisis is one of the global risks, considering further increase in water consumption because of economic growth and population increases in near future.
As risks of extreme water shortages is becoming higher as one of social issues, Panasonic is working to conserve water resources both in its products and production activities, in order to fulfill its social responsibility and to reduce risks in the management. Our Environmental Policy. stipulates that we make efforts to conserve water resources by using water efficiently and preventing water pollution. In accordance with the “Green Plan 2021”, our environmental action plan, we are continuously working on reducing the water used in our production operations. As for risk management, we had conducted water conservation activities, aiming to complete our water risk assessment at all our production sites by fiscal 2019, and have completed 100% of the assessments.
Specifically, we evaluated the scale of water risk at all regions where our production sites are located, in order to identify and mitigate effects of water on our business activities. In the evaluation, we utilized evaluation tools such as Aqueduct supplied by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Water Risk Filter supplied by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which can evaluate risks in various aspects; not only from physical risks such as water shortages, but also from the risks in water-related regulations as well as reputation risks in each region. We also made use of public databases available from respective national governments. In areas with higher water risks, we collected information through public local information as well as through hearings with relevant organizations, etc. By conducting detailed analyses and close examination of the local information and the site data including water use volumes, we, more specifically, identified the effects on our business activities. We steadily proceeded processes of the water risk assessments, and in fiscal 2018, completed water risk assessments at all of our production sites. At present, no water risks that could affect our business activities have been reported. Yet, we will continue to make efforts to reduce water consumption in our production activities in the future under the water risk assessment that had been implemented.
For promoting these activities, we have developed a structure for the promotion of environmental management, including water management. We are now conducting environmental activities using PDCA cycle under the structure, and are upgrading the environmental management level. In addition, we have organized an Environmental Risk Management Structure to continuously reduce environmental risks; under the structure, we (1) identify environmental risks and promote company-wide risk management every fiscal year and (2) promptly respond to the risk when it arises. Through these activities, we will continue to manage our environmental risks.
Moreover, we have participated in the Water Project, a public-private partnership project aimed at boosting awareness of water conservation, which was launched under the initiative of Japan’s Ministry of the Environment in 2014. Objectives of the project are to maintain a sound water cycle and promote its recovery. The project distributes water-related activities conducted by corporations, and water-related information including importance of water. We will work in cooperation with the Japanese government and other companies to conserve water resources.