Nature Conservation As Priority

AS its tagline suggests, Panasonic is a brand that gives more than ideas for life. To heed the global call to save the Earth, the company is committed to improve environmental performance through its set of unique conservation efforts.

Panasonic Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s managing director Tony Endoh said the company has placed the environment at the heart of its product design.

The company applies ecofriendly methods to manage hazardous substances, disposal of wastes, safety and health-related concerns, including emergency responsiveness. It is known to be the first manufacturer to remove lead from its plasma TVs. The manufacturing process of plasma TVs also uses recyclable materials.

In Malaysia, Panasonic’s “green” efforts started as early as 1995, when the company introduced the country’s first chlorofluorocarbon-free refrigerator. Currently, the company has five types of refrigerators and its energy-efficient products include eight microwave ovens. Its split- type air-conditioner range comprises five models, ranging from one horsepower to 2.5 horsepower.

According to Endoh, Panasonic is increasing the number of energy- efficient products in response to the expected increase in demand for such products from consumers, who are more aware of environmental issues, and rising costs of fuel and electricity.

Energy-efficient products use less energy to operate and so substantially reduce the release of carbon into the environment. Panasonic sees this as an important step in reversing global warming and minimising the negative impact of progress on the environment.

Besides contributing towards conserving the environment, consumers who opt for Panasonic products benefit from Inverter Technology, a solution that intelligently determines the optimum power that an appliance needs. Embedded in products such as air- conditioners, refrigerators and microwave ovens, the technology delivers cost-savings and avoids wastage.

Realising the need to do more, the Panasonic Green Plan 2010 seeks to reduce overall carbon emissions by 300,000 tonnes within the next two years. And in another effort to minimise its carbon footprint, Panasonic controls noise and air pollution while transporting its products to consumers.

Apart from conserving natural resources through efficient use of electricity, water and paper in conducting business activities, Panasonic employees are trained to exercise greater care for the environment.

Last year, the company spent RM500,000 on corporate social responsibility initiatives. This year, it will spend about 15 to 20 per cent more on efforts to contribute back to society.

Taking its nature-friendly policies to heart, Panasonic Malaysia is on a quest to save Malaysia’s rich coral reef ecosystem in Terengganu, which is currently threatened by pollution, careless tourism and destructive fishing practices. To reverse the damage, Panasonic and the Marine Park Terengganu have constructed artificial reefs with suitable materials to encourage coral growth and sustain it as a home for a variety of marine life.

And together with Universiti Malaysia Terengganu and the Marine Park Terengganu, Panasonic will conduct learning sessions with local primary schools on the importance of conserving the environment and how this can be done.

Panasonic also extends its involvement with environmental initiatives through its Computer Recycling project, Go Green Campaign, World Forestry Day sponsorship and more.

Endoh commented that there is an urgent need for more corporations to respond to the green call. He said Panasonic is committed to educating consumers and dealers on the positive impact that they can achieve by using eco-friendly products.

He added that the strategy will benefit Mother Nature and provide users with substantial savings over the long term through lower maintenance costs.

As Endoh concluded, “The bottom line lies in knowing what you can do and what you should do for the environment.”

(c) 2008 New Straits Times. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.