Japan: HIT Solar Cells Delivered to Elementary Schools and eco lesson also Held
April 21, 2011
In March 2011, the installation and startup of SANYO Electric solar power generation systems was completed for every one of the 28 elementary schools in Unnan City, Shimane Prefecture. Nationwide, there have been few initiatives quite as comprehensive as installing the systems into every single school within a certain city. To mark the achievement, a solar power generation system launch ceremony and associated environmental lesson were held at the Jjiryo Elementary School, one of the schools to which such a system has been delivered.
At the launch ceremony, Unnan City Chief of Education Hiroaki Doe explained, "In installing these solar power generation systems, we have three major objectives: for children to learn about the potential of solar cells as one means of preventing global warming; to promote the economic and sensible use of energy through greater understanding of how electricity is generated; and for the electricity generated to be used to power the schools' everyday activities."
President Kazuyuki Yoshida of Shimane SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. added, "It is our great mission to leave a beautiful planet for future generations, through the manufacturing activities we continue to pursue here in Shimane."
Following the conclusion of the ceremony, SANYO Electric also provided an environmental lesson on the theme of solar cells. A total of 33 third- to fifth-year pupils took part in the lesson, during which they could deepen their understanding of solar cells as an exciting means to helping solve global environmental issues through a variety of activities. These included a quiz on environmental issues, experiments using solar cells, and testing out the performance of solar chargers.
Comments from the children were highly positive. One said, "I learned a lot about the different types of solar cells and their features through these experiments. I also learned that this is a really eco-friendly way of generating electricity, so I am going to look around to find what kinds of other places are using solar cells as well." Another said, "I want us to do everything we can to help protect the global environment."
PSN receives an Award for Promoting a Sustainable Cooperative Society from Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture
April 21, 2011
Panasonic System Networks Co., Ltd. has received an Award for Promoting a Sustainable, Cooperative Society from the Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture for one of its corporate social contribution activities, creating a herb garden at Fukuoka Special School for the Visually Impaired (formerly Fukuoka School for the Blind).
The herb garden activities at Fukuoka Special School for the Visually Impaired have now entered their fourth year. A total of 50 to 60 representatives of Panasonic Group take part in biannual events every spring and autumn, including current employees, their families, members of the Kyushu Panasonic Family, members of Panasonic labor unions from across Kyushu, and even retired former employees. Combined with pupils, parents, and teachers from the school itself, a grand total of around 100 participants work to build and maintain the school's herb garden.
The participants are always divided into three groups: Beautiful flowers in bloom, Walking the paths together, and Eating tasty foods. In their various roles, they work up a sweat doing things like planting the herbs, weeding the garden, preparing paths and bridges that are safe even for children with visual impairments to walk along, and building new flowerbeds. This year, a Pizza oven group was added as well, with a stone oven completed within the garden so that the herbs harvested this year could be used to bake breads and pizzas.
By working with visually-impaired children and helping to build a herb garden within their school, this activity not only aims for pupils to enjoy the fragrances of the herbs, but also serves as a unique means of human resources training, with participants acquiring skills in aromatherapy and other techniques using herbs. It is hoped that this will boost job opportunities for visually-impaired children in future.
Japan: Panasonic donates Life Innovation Container to Miyagi Prefecture
April 1, 2011
At the end of March, Panasonic donated a Life Innovation Container to Miyagi Prefecture, which suffered widespread devastation in the recent Great East Japan Earthquake.
The Lifestyle Innovation Container is a full package of the Panasonic Group's energy creation, energy storage, and energy saving technologies into a single, 20-foot container. The system consists of solar panels, EV batteries, and charge-discharge control apparatus, and its development was headed by the Corporate Division for Promoting Systems & Equipment Business. This technology was originally developed for developing and emerging nations without electrical infrastructures, but this special donation was agreed in response to a request from Miyagi Prefecture following the extensive damage sustained in the disaster. The donated Lifestyle Innovation Container was installed at the municipal disaster response headquarters in the town of Minami-sanriku, which was almost totally destroyed by the tsunami.
The container will supply electricity for communications equipment and computers at the Minami-sanriku disaster response headquarters. It will also be used to charge mobile phones and otherwise provide support to those refugees forced to live at the Minami-sanriku General Gymnasium Bayside Arena, where the local disaster response headquarters is located.
Japan: Panasonic wins the Grand Award in the first METI Career Education Award
March 17, 2011
An Eco-Monogatari (Eco-Story), an on-site social studies and environment learning program promoted by the Corporate Citizenship Group won the Grand Award in the first Career Education Award hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The Career Education Award recognizes enterprises and organizations conducting "career education" projects that help children learn about the meaning of working and links between school education and the real world through the support of a work experience program and science experiments. As a result of assessments in the quality, promotion structure, and several other features of programs, Panasonic was selected as the most excellent program from 77 entries.
The Eco-Monogatari is a social studies and environmental learning program for considering relevant issues through the roles of people underpinning industrial production. With familiar home appliances as its theme, this program helps participants become aware of the fact that industrial products fulfill the role of supporting our lives and people engaged in manufacturing are making a wide variety of efforts to solve social issues while taking the environment into consideration. The Eco-Story was launched in 2008 and participants in the program, mainly on-site lessons, reached about 23,000 students at a total of 306 elementary and junior-high schools in 2010. The program is scheduled to be held at 400 schools in 2011.
Against the backdrop of growing expectations for companies' contribution in the field of education, we will continue to enhance our contribution to the support of next-generation development by making use of Panasonic's unique educational materials, such as the Eco-Story and Panasonic Global Eco Learning Program (PGELP).
Japan: Results report meeting held for businesses subsidized by Panasonic NPO Support Fund in 2010
March 17, 2011
The Corporate Citizenship Group of the Corporate Communications Division held a results report meeting for organizations subsidized by the Panasonic NPO Support Fund, which aims to help NPOs strengthen their organizational foundations in 2010. The event was held at the Panasonic Center Tokyo and attended by a total of 63 individuals, including representatives of the NPOs receiving subsidies, members of the fund's selection committee, and other NPO-related officials.
The Panasonic NPO Support Fund is one of the main programs of Panasonic's corporate citizenship activities focusing on two key areas: the environment and the next generation with the theme "education and coexistence." This fund hopes to promote sustainable growth for citizenship activities that are working to solve social issues in areas related to children and the environment, in order to realize a sustainable society.
To this end, the fund provides comprehensive financial and consulting-based support for initiatives to strengthen the organizational foundations of various NPOs. In 2010, applications for subsidy grants were received from a total of 256 businesses from across Japan, and the 22 businesses that were ultimately selected to receive support each gave presentations at this meeting on the contents and results of their activities over the past year.
Meeting participants made positive comments: "This was a very valuable opportunity to share our passion for tackling a common theme; that is to strengthen our organizational foundations."
The members of the fund's selection committee offered their encouragement to NPO officials by stating, "Since NPOs' reason for existence is to change society, please improve your organizations with a view to achieving your visions in the future. As organizational foundations are like weakening muscles, we ask you to continue to constantly and dynamically strengthen organizational foundations to prevent them from weakening." Attendees mutually raised their awareness aiming for further development.