Sony Pledges to Consume Only Green Certified Electricity by 2040

published: 2018-09-17 11:27 | editor: | category: News

Sony Corp., the global technology giant based in Japan, announced on 10 September that it has joined the Global Initiative RE100 and will be raising the share of renewable generation in its power usage from the current level of 7% to 100% by 2040. Sony already laid out a plan called “Green Management 2020” in 2015. The goals of this plan, which is scheduled run from 2016 to 2020, are to cut the annual average energy consumption of Sony’s electronic products by 30% and to lower company’s carbon emissions by 300,000 tons through the use of green certified electricity. The latest announcement on the target of using electricity wholly from renewable generation in 2040 represents an ambitious expansion of Sony’s environmental mission.

Sony in a press release stated that joining RE100, which was launched by the non-profit organization The Climate Group, is to raise environmental awareness among consumers and investors worldwide. With 111 business sites around the globe, Sony will increase its utilization of renewable energies by installing solar panels on the roofs of its factories and purchasing green certified electricity. According to the reporting by Nikkei Asian Review, Sony will use renewable energies to power both the manufacturing of its hardware products (e.g. television sets and cameras) and the creation of its media content (e.g. moviemaking).

In the short term, Sony intends to increase the share of renewable generation in its total power usage from 7% to 30% by 2030. Nikkei’s reporting points out that while all of Sony’s operations in Europe are running on renewable energies, 80% of the company’s total energy consumption is centered in Japan and mainly related to the production of its semiconductor components.

To conserve more energy and reduce carbon emissions, Sony has also been modifying the equipment of its semiconductor plants. For example, the air conditioning system in the company’s Nagasaki Technology Center now uses electricity produced by the reclaimed heat from the facility’s equipment. Previously, the air conditioning system was powered by steam turbines driven by the burning of fossil fuels. Since a lot of energy is used to maintain the temperature and humidity levels in the clean room, which is a core part of the facility, this improvement has increased the facility’s overall energy efficiency by 2.1 times. In addition to the installation of rooftop solar panels, the purchase of green certified electricity, and the optimization of equipment, Sony may also consider acquiring utility-scale solar power plants in order to achieve its 2040 target.

Japan has been working on ways to reduce its reliance on nuclear power since the meltdown disaster at Fukushima Daichii in 2011. To encourage domestic utility companies to purchase power from renewable sources, the Japanese government instituted a feed-in tariff scheme in July 2012. Since then, the deployment of solar photovoltaic generation in the country has expanded rapidly on a yearly basis, with installed capacity increased by 28.75 million kilowatts during 2012-2016. The reporting by Nikkei notes that Sony might start acquiring solar power plants in 2032, when some of these facilities will have passed their 20-year age limit for receiving subsidy.

Major enterprises worldwide are riding on the trend of investing in renewable energies and setting a zero-carbon emission target. Japanese companies that have joined the RE100 coalition include Fujitsu Ltd., AEON Co. Ltd., ASKUL Corp., Daiwa House Group, Marui Co. Ltd., Envipro Holdings, and The Johnan Shinkin Bank. These companies belong to various industries and trades such as electronics, department store, recycling, office supply, real estate, and finance.

Japanese Companies Working Towards Using 100% Renewable Electricity and Their Target Deadlines

2030

ASKUL Corp., Marui Co. Ltd.

2040

Daiwa House Group, Sekisui House Ltd., Watami Co. Ltd., Sony Corp.

2040

Envipro Holdings, Fujitsu Ltd., The Johnan Shinkin Bank, Ricoh Co. Ltd., AEON Co. Ltd.

 

The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) estimates that the total scale of socially responsible investments (SRI) worldwide grew 25% between 2014 and 2016 to US$22.9 trillion. Furthermore, more and more corporations are investing in the renewable energy sector to demonstrate their support for building a more environment friendly society.

 (The above article is an English translation of a Chinese article written by Daisy Chuang. The credit of the top image goes to Ian Muttoo via Flickr and falls under the license of CC BY 2.0.)

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