Sustainability Files :
Providing Our Customers with Innovative Eco-conscious Products

Panasonic, with its strength in technology, pursues satisfying its BtoC and BtoB customers by providing better products. It is working on developing innovative products also from an environmental perspective, aiming to create added value appealing to customers as well as to materialize a sustainable society.

To this end, we are working on development and sales of Green Products (GPs). Based on a product assessment system that evaluates the environmental impacts of Panasonic products and services starting at the planning and design stages, we accredit products that achieved high environmental performance as GPs, and of these products, we accredit those that accelerate the transition to a sustainable society as Strategic GPs. In addition to striving to increase Strategic GPs, we accredit the products among Strategic GPs that particularly create new consumer trends as Super GPs. By awarding the relevant divisions and announcing Super GPs both inside and outside Panasonic, we aim to create more products that are innovative and eco-conscious.

The following three products were accredited as Super GPs for fiscal 2014, and an award ceremony was held in July 2014.

Energy-zero House: CASART ECO CORDIS

CASRT ECO CORDIS by PanaHome Corporation has succeed in creating a net-Zero Energy House (ZEH) which is expected to be widely promoted in Japan, and pursued the functionality that makes the best of naturally-available energy and advanced design.

By developing the Full-PV Roof, which is composed of solar cell panels, to be used for the entire roof, an innovative design that is now followed by other companies was materialized, and installation of solar cell panels that can generate more than 10 kW of power was made possible for houses. The house also utilizes geothermal heat, which is cooler than the external air in the summer and warmer during the winter, in combination with improved heat insulation to reduce the energy load necessary for air conditioning. In addition, a hybrid ventilation system with ECONAVI installed in the house takes in the clean air under the floor and automatically controls the interior air flow. Furthermore, the entire energy-saving performance of the house was improved by carefully designing the house layout with large eaves that give less heat loss, as well as wide opening windows that maximize the natural light and breeze.

Not only does this house enable net-zero energy consumption with a design where the building reduces energy usage and the roof generates energy, it also brings financial benefits by enabling the residents to sell excess energy to power companies. It is possible to make around 10 million yen-worth income over 20 years, depending on conditions, by applying the Feed-in Tariff Scheme for Renewable Energy. This house realizes a lifestyle that is beneficial to the earth as well as household economy.

Yutaka Nakamura Director of Quality & Environment Division Executive Senior Councilor PanaHome Corporation

I believe that environmental contribution in the housing business is not only to reduce environmental impacts in business activities but also to improve environmental performance as well as to offer eco-conscious lifestyles to many customers.

We launched CASART ECO CORDIS in April 2013 as a product commemorating the 50th anniversary since the founding of PanaHome. The entire roof is composed of Panasonic solar panels with high-power generation efficiency (HITTM ), which enabled installation of high-capacity power generation even for houses with an average total floor area (about 115 square meters).

Over 1,000 orders for houses with high-capacity power generation were placed within the year from launch. We have received comments from customers, one of them being "satisfied with the total performance that includes gaining income from selling electricity made through high-capacity power generation, insulation performance, and the ECONAVI ventilation system."

We will continue our developments in the smart and energy strategies, and aim to make all our products ZEHs in Japan by 2018, which is two years ahead of the government's plan. At the same time we will also provide customers outside Japan, mainly in Asia, with eco-conscious and comfortable houses.

Top-level Environmental Performance in the Industry: CFC-free Freezer System

Appliances Company of Panasonic Corporation developed this CFC-free Freezer System for stores, adopting CO2 refrigerants in Japan for the first time. With our original energy-saving technology, this won the ECCJ Chairman's Prize for the Products and Business Models category in the Energy Conservation Grand Prize 2013.

CFCs used as refrigerants for freezers and air conditioners can damage the ozone layer and cause global warming. We focused on CO2, which has much smaller impact than CFCs, and worked on developing freezers which were considered to be difficult in using CO2 refrigerants. With unique compressor technology and freezing cycle, we achieved an efficiency and energy-saving performance as high as freezers that use conventional HFC refrigerants, and we also developed a display case compatible with CO2 refrigerants. We additionally developed a master controller that for centralized control of various equipment in the store such as freezer, air conditioner, and wattmeter. This not only enabled remotely checking the operation status of the freezer and display case, but also further improved the energy-saving performance by optimal operation and directly linking the system to services offered in the event abnormal operation is detected.

It has been verified by stores that installed this system that adopting this system enabled saving energy by 25.4% under freezing conditions and 16.2% under refrigerating conditions, compared to a freezing system using an HFC refrigerant (R-404A). This system is currently installed in supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan.

(Left) OCU-CR1000VF, a CFC-free freezer using CO2 refrigerant
(Right) RAS-V673, a display case compatible with a CFC-free freezer
Taro Ogawa Councilor Cold Chain Business Division, Appliances Company, Panasonic Corporation

In developing the CFC-free Freezer System, we adopted a CO2 refrigerant that has smaller global warming potential and pursued energy saving. This system was materialized by developing and manufacturing our two strengths, display cases and freezers, and further linking and controlling the two.

After operation tests in supermarkets in 2008, we officially started commercial installation in September 2010 as the first CFC-free freezer system in Japan. Operation tests were then conducted in convenience stores, and the energy-saving effect was recognized by our convenience store partners, who have given favorable comments including "The CFC-free freezer system is a must for future energy-saving measures."

We will continue to expand development of equipment for stores and apply CO2 refrigerants in more products, and work on our initiatives to become the top in preventing global warming.

Supports a Safe and Comfortable Life for People in China: Air Purifier

In China, where air pollution has become a great social issue, air purifier F-VXJ90C handles improving the air quality within a room. The high air-purifying performance not only tackles PM2.5 but has also achieved a top-class energy-saving performance in China.

Panasonic Ecology Systems Guangdong Co., Ltd. closely connects with the lifestyles of the people in China, and uniquely develops and manufactures air purifiers exclusive to China. Of their products, F-VXJ90C adopts a HEPA dust-collecting filter, which can remove 0.3μm-size particles by 99.97%. Its power consumption during normal operation is merely 5 W. In addition, it is equipped with the ECONAVI function, which uses a sensor technology to automatically control operation through five sensors (people, illuminance, humidity, dust, and smell). It optimally operates in line with people's movement and room environment, and offers comfort in life as well as contributes to the global environment through energy-saving.

The high level of technology of F-VXJ90C, including the high performance of removing PM2.5 and energy-saving performance through ECONAVI, is highly recognized by the Chinese Indoor Environmental Monitoring Committee. In the future, we plan to further offer air purifiers as represented by F-VXJ90C not only in China but also in other regions that require support and countermeasures for air pollution resulting from rapid economic growth.

Air purifier F-VXJ90C
Yoshiyuki Hanamura Managing Director Panasonic Ecology Systems Guangdong Co., Ltd.

Panasonic Ecology Systems Guangdong is engaged in businesses closely connected with the environment, and globally promotes a variety of IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) products

We launched air purifiers in China in 2004. At that time, products developed and made in Japan were brought to China for sales, but we promoted development, manufacturing, and sales to be done locally. This enabled us to enter the market at an early stage with products closely connected with daily life, and we were able to further contribute in improving the indoor air quality environment in China by expanding sales.

Based on manufacturing that is closely connected with local conditions, we will continue to develop products with higher customer satisfaction, and work for better indoor air quality not only in China but at a global level.