Panasonic Corporate Citizenship News

Panasonic is working to create a more sustainable world.
Individual employee also carries out proactive social activities as global citizen with the theme "education and coexistence".

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Feature article: Solar LED Lantern Project (Deliver lights to non-electricity areas in the world)

1. Corporate Citizenship Activities with the use of Solar LED Lanterns

In the world today, 1.32 billion* people, mainly in developing countries, are still forced to live without reticulated electricity. The CSR&Corporate Citizenship Group has been working on a project in collaboration with international institutions, NPOs and NGOs, etc, to help improve people's lives in areas which have no electricity, by making good use of our energy technology. The Solar LED lantern is one of the products used in this project.
* Quoted from "World Energy Outlook 2011" issued by International Energy Agency (IEA)

ランタン表紙1.jpgPanasonic donated 4,000 solar LED lanterns in March 2011 to disaster stricken areas hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake. These three prefectures in the northeast of Japan were temporarily without power, and the afflicted people of the disaster thought very highly of Panasonic for our contribution.
ランタンタンザニアP1.jpgAlso in April of the same year, Panasonic donated 1,000 solar LED lanterns to the United Nations Development Program for Tanzania. Those lanterns enable people to study at night and run small businesses, etc, and they are very happy with them.(Photo: Solar LED Lanterns are utilized for children's home work in villages without electricity in Tanzania.)

Furthermore, in March 2012, Panasonic donated 2,000 solar LED lanterns to 15 organizations such as NPOs and NGOs etc, who are working to solve social issues in Cambodia. The Cambodian organization to which Panasonic donated the solar lanterns, sent us feedback on how they are being used and some notable examples are outlined below:

 

Solar LED Lantern Project (continued)
2. Solar LED Lantern Usage in Cambodia

*Using them for health care field.
The Non-Profit Organization, World Vision Japan, which works on health-care issues in poverty-stricken areas of agricultural districts, reported that solar lanterns enabled them to carry out medical examinations for expectant and nursing mothers and deliver babies, and provide emergency medical care for children during the night at health care centers in villages with no electricity. They quoted the following overjoyed comment from a woman who is close to her due date:

医療.jpg"I am really pleased that a light is on even at night at the health care center. I cannot visit the health care center during the day (as I have to work in the fields). But now I can come to the health care center even at night with a sense of security." (Photo produced by Non-Profit Organization, World Vision Japan)

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
*Using Solar LED Lanterns in the education sector
ランタン勉強.jpgThe Non-Profit Organization, Japan Team of Young Human Power, which works with the education sector, mainly on building schools, delivered a message to us from a teacher who prepares classwork for the following day by using a solar LED lantern.
"Until now, I have been using kerosene lamps. On windy days, the kerosene lamp goes out sometimes, and also the light from a kerosene lamp is weak, therefore it was difficult even just to prepare classwork for the following day. However, since starting to use solar LED lanterns, my work is going well and it is now possible for teachers to complete lesson preparation far more quickly. As a result of completing preparation more quickly, we now have time for studying ourselves, to improve teaching methods. Thank you very, very much for your support."  (Photo produced by Non-Profit Organization, Japan Team of Young Human Power)    

 

*The Non-Profit Organization, Japan Mine Action Service, 教室.jpgis working on the removal of anti-personnel land mines as well as building primary schools on the land after the mines have been removed. However, as there is no electricity, it is dark inside the school buildings even during the day. So, they reported that they made a special metal fitting to set up lanterns, and were using the lanterns hanging from the class room ceiling. (Photo produced by Non-Profit Organization, Japan Mine Action Service)  

 

 

 

 

*The Non-Profit Organization, ASAC (Association of School Aid in Cambodia) is carrying out literacy education for illiterate adults and lending家族.jpg solar LED lanterns to students as well as building schools and making donations to schools. Comments from students in the literacy classes are reported below:
"We use solar LED lanterns for every purpose in our life as well as studying to become literate. It is very handy as a solar LED lantern can be shifted to the kitchen when cooking a meal. Until now, we have been using car batteries. And it cost money to charge the batteries, and they can't be moved around as they are so heavy. But we can carry solar LED lanterns everywhere and can move them around, which is very handy. Solar LED lanterns have changed our lives so much."   (Photo produced by Non-Profit Organization, ASAC :Association of School Aid in Cambodia)

 

Solar LED Lantern Project (continued)

The Public Utility Foundation, School Aid Japan, also runs orphanages and uses solar lanterns in accommodation buildings and study rooms for the子供勉強.jpg orphans. To light the orphanages, an electric generator is used from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm, however the generator is switched off at 9:00 pm owing to the cost of fuel, therefore after 9:00 pm, the children were not previously able to do any private study. It is reported that since solar LED lanterns were adopted, children are now able to study after the generator stops at 9:00 pm, therefore the children's school results have improved.  (Photo produced by Public Utility Foundation, School Aid Japan)


 

 

 

Solar LED lanterns are also used for breakfast preparation at orphanages. ご飯.jpgThey start making breakfast at 4:00 am, before sunrise. Previously, it was very uneconomical as they were using a lot of fuel to run the generator for making breakfast. However, they say that since adopting solar LED lanterns, fuel costs have been reduced because they do not have to run generators.  (Photo produced by Public Utility Foundation, School Aid Japan)

 

 

 

 

*Using them for small scale business
The Non-Profit Organization, Kamonohashi Project, is running a small business which manufactures traditional craft articles made from rushes, 工場.jpgto help women in poor farming villages to become independent. Working in studios where it gets dark even during the day on rainy or cloudy days, as well as in the evening was hard on working women's eyes. They say that adopting solar LED lanterns resolved eye exhaustion caused by working in a dark studio, and so improved work efficiency and accuracy. (Photo produced by Non-Profit Organization, Kamonohashi Project)


 

 

 

 

The Non-Profit Organization, Caring for Young Refugees, 機織.jpgreported to us that solar LED lanterns are very helpful at the textile training center which they operate, as solar LED lanterns are used for weaving during night.
As we saw above, solar LED lanterns are utilized effectively in various fields and the users are very happy with them.(Photo produced by Non-Profit Organization, Caring for Young Refugees)

 

 

3. Future Prospects
In 2012, toward the 100th Anniversary of our founding, the Corporate Citizenship Group started the 100,000 Solar LED Lanterns Project.
By capitalizing on our company's technologies, solutions and expertise, we will continue to help resolve various social challenges facing local communities without access to electricity in developing countries.

 


 

Vietnam: Eco learning program at Panasonic Risupia Vietnam and school

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In October and November, 2011 Panasonic Vietnam continues to carry out Eco Learning Program for 832 students from 11 Elementary and Secondary Schools in Hanoi city at Panasonic Risupia Vietnam and their schools.

Participating in the program, students not only can show their knowledge about the environment by actively answering raised questions, attentively listen to new information of environmental current issues but also can have a chance to watch interesting KWN video clips on the theme.

This time, the program is expanded to Elementary School students from grade 3 to grade 5. Although at young age, the students start being aware of the methods to protect the environment such as turning off the light when not using, commuting to school by bicycle instead of car or motorbike, not throwing the rubbish into the street, planting trees, etc...

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Some students shared that after attending the program, they were deeply aware that environmental issues have become increasingly critical and serious for the entire globe even though they have not considered them before. They will start and continue to contribute, participate enthusiastically in the activities of protecting the environment.

The lecture is represented as a environmental knowledge competition between the different teams from class or school. This proactive training method has been attracting great attention, interest of many students, and teachers. Deeply understanding that the program are a valuable program for Vietnam students to improve their awareness of protecting the environment, Panasonic Vietnam will keep trying our best to implement and expand this program to more and more students nationwide.

Malaysia: Eco Works of Art & Eco Picture Diary National Contest & Awards Ceremony 2011

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85 participants comprising of students from age 10 to 16 years and teachers from 10 pilot schools in Selangor were present to receive their awards and prizes from Director of Co-Curricular and Arts Division, Ministry of Education Malaysia and Director General of National Visual Gallery Malaysia together with Managing and Deputy Managing Directors of Panasonic Malaysia at Panasonic Kids School Eco Learning National Contest & Awards Ceremony 2011 on 2 November at National Visual Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. Thirty entries were submitted for the Eco Works of Art contest using recycled materials converting them to art pieces and 3D models and 16 made the final. Whilst 500 entries were submitted for the Eco Picture Diary contest and 21 made the final.

These diaries were reviewed by a panel of judges who are experts in art and education. Judges for the Eco Works of Art comprise of National Visual Art Gallery Curators, Educationist, Artists, News Editor and Panasonic representative.

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11 year old Mohd Wafie from Taman Sri Andalas Primary School Klang won the Champion award for Eco Picture Diary contest and will represent Malaysia for the Global contest in Paris next year. He wrote about his 5-day experience from preparation for 'break fast' in Ramadhan leading to the 'Hari Raya' festive celebration. He shared his thoughts and observations on the abundance use of plastic bags, to avoid using polystyrenes containers for food, to encourage carpool for travelling to reduce CO2 emission, cleaning of airconditioner for better energy saving, preparing Hari Raya greeting cards made of recycled paper box to tree planting to help preserve the environment.

Grand winner for Eco Works of Art for Primary school category was Taman Sri Andalas Primary School Klang with their eco project titled "Eco Friendly Recycle House" and Grand winner for Secondary school category was Technic School Sepang with their eco project titled "Metal Flower". Both category winners were awarded a study trip to Japan in December 2011.

Thailand: Panasonic Group in Thailand to Help Flood Victims

Major floods are occurring during the 2011 monsoon season in Thailand, most severely in the Chao Phraya but also in the Mekong River basin. Beginning in late July and continuing for over three months, the floods have caused 666 reported deaths by November, affected over 5 million people, and caused damages estimated at up to 156.7 billion baht (5.1 billion USD) as of 18 October.

Panasonic Group in Thailand, as a member of Thai Society for 50 years, concerns about the victims of this disaster. We donated THB 230,000 to support the event to relieve flood victims to the Thai Red Cross Society in October 2011. PTHC group also donated THB 100,000 through Department of Labor Protection & Welfare, Samutprakarn Office. We continue our help by donating 500 sets of mobile toilet which were designed by reusing materials left from production line in November 2011. For our customers, we have launched a campaign called "Panasonic Service Clinique" which is a project to give a free repairing service and special price of spare parts. The campaign will be last until December.

As the situation seems to be continued in Thailand for a couple of months, Panasonic Group in Thailand are concerning about this situation with sympathy. And we are planning to continue the help to flood victims more and more.

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Indonesia: Solar panels put to use in region without electrical infrastructure

Panasonic's local companies in Indonesia, PT Panasonic Manufacturing Indonesia (PMI) and PT. Panasonic Gobel Indonesia (PGI), have donated solar panels and storage batteries to the local government of the Regency of Boalemo, in Gorontalo Province in the northern part of Sulawesi, to be used as part of an REDD initiative.

Short for "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in developing countries," REDD is a global initiative aimed at reducing emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by stopping deforestation in developing nations. Indonesia is currently facing severe deforestation issues due to illegal tree-cutting by residents of areas near tropical rainforests, or slash-and-burn farming. One measure being implemented by the government to prevent such deforestations is the removal of residents who make a living from cutting down trees or slash-and-burn farming away from these forests, and giving them alternative jobs such as animal husbandry.

Panasonic has now supplied five solar panels (total approx. 1 kW), 12 storage batteries, and one 42-inch plasma television to be installed in the district of Bongo in Wonosari, Boalemo Regency, where some of these residents have been relocated. The district of Bongo has no electrical infrastructure of its own. Until now, the only source of electricity came from small, oil-powered generators, meaning that residents were forced to live their lives with very little available electricity. The electricity generated by the newly-installed solar panels will now be supplied to meeting venues, mosques, and schools. It is hoped that this will significantly improve people's quality of life across this entire district.

A ceremony was held on November 29 to switch on the lights at a meeting venue in which one of the solar panels had been installed. Ichiro Suganuma, who currently serves as President of both PMI and PGI, spoke of his companies' donation: "It is my heartfelt wish that Panasonic's solar generators from will improve the lives of the people who have been relocated, and help reduce deforestation in Indonesia. Now, electricity will be supplied to schools, and I sincerely hope that this will be of real use in educating the children who will be responsible for Indonesia's future."