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".

Japanese

USA: SANYO North America Corporation aims to expand Panasonic kids school Eco Learning Program

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SANYO North America(SNA) continues to provide quality Environmental Education Programs to help inspire the next generation to make a better tomorrow.

On October 18th 2011, an environmental class featuring "Energy creation and Energy Storage to Change Our Future" was held at Isbell Elementary school in Frisco, Texas. Over 120 students from Isbell Elementary's 4th grade class attended as a part of their science curriculum. On the same week, on October 22nd, 2011, another set of classes was held in Japanese at Minato Gakuen, a Japanese language Saturday school in San Diego California, where 167 bilingual Japanese students were in attendance.

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"While our students learn about the different ways to store energy, they usually never get the opportunity to see the technology we speak of. When SANYO/Panasonic's Eco Education Program entered the classroom the students were immediately engaged, and they finally were able to see the real technologies how SANYO/Panasonic are revolutionizing the way we create, store and use energy," commented Ms. Julia Perry, one of Isbell's 4th grade teachers. She added, "They had never seen anything like this class before, and I am sure the experience and knowledge will remain in their memory for a long time to come." The Panasonic Kids School classes conducted by SNA provided a focus on clean energy generation sources, such as the company's solar panels, and storing energy via rechargeable batteries for a positive impact on future environmental issues. The classes featured hands-on experiments for the students including the first Panasonic "solar model car race", the use of a portable solar charger to recharge batteries that were used to power toy trains, and the human battery experiment.

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"We must make kids aware of environmental challenges we face today, and at the same time, educate them on where the technologies are taking us, because they are the leaders of tomorrow," stated Megumi Marsh, the planner and instructor for SNA's Eco Education Program. "It is rewarding to hear students' bright ideas and suggestions to make a better tomorrow. I hope to expand the program so we can inspire more students."

USA: Panasonic Summer Interns Making A Difference in the Local Community

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On a hot summer day in July, Panasonic's Summer Interns upheld Panasonic's business philosophy of "Contributing to Society" through a Volunteer Day at the YCS (Youth Consultation Service) Kilbarchan Residential Treatment Center in Paterson, New Jersey. YCS is a New Jersey based non-profit provider of behavioral, health, and social services to children and teenagers who have suffered at the hands of abuse or neglect or who simply have special needs that are not being met. One of the organization's major focuses is the placement of children in stable and supportive foster homes.

pna-intern2.jpg The Honorable Councilman Benjie E. Wimberly (center) Paterson, NJ presents a Certificate of Special Recognition for Panasonic

Kilbarchan located in Paterson, NJ is an all male facility which houses residents ranging in age from 12 to 18. Panasonic's involvement with YCS began in 2005 through the funding of various programs. There have been donations of company products to several YCS group homes. In addition, employee volunteers have hosted activities such as a Christmas Party and the YCS Summerfest, both held at Panasonic's US Headquarters offices in Secaucus.

This year was no exception! Panasonic summer interns pulled off an extreme makeover for the residents of Kilbarchan while they were away on a day trip. Rooms were painted, new bedding and curtains were put in place, new furniture was brought in, and photos that were taken by the residents with donated LUMIX digital cameras were organized. Their photos were then printed and framed to decorate the walls. In addition, Panasonic sponsored and outfitted two of their recreation spaces with Xbox game systems, Panasonic home theater systems, bookshelf stereo systems and VIERA plasma TVs.

pna-intern1.jpg A few strong Panasonic Interns help moving new furniture and carpet into the facility.

After a full six hours of hard work, Panasonic interns excitedly waited to provide a warm welcome for the young men when they came back to their new home. All of the residents were surprised by their new space and thanked the interns with smiles and applause; it was a great success. This community service opportunity not only made a difference within the Kilbarchan group home, but also helped the Panasonic interns to understand the significance of Panasonic's global principle of "Contribution to Society".

(by Terri from Panasonic Corporation of North America)

USA: Eco Ideas Volunteers Take on Wetlands Cleanup Challenge

Despite overcast skies and a biting wind, 27 Panasonic volunteers celebrated Earth Day by turning out for the annual spring cleanup of the marshland around the Hackensack River in northern New Jersey.  

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Four hours and roughly 15 tons of garbage later, the exhausted but satisfied Eco Volunteers could see the impact they had had on returning this small but significant part of the wetlands to its natural state. The volunteers removed more than 120 tires, including a huge truck tire that stood four feet tall, a suitcase full of clothes, a half-ton of tiles and smashed porcelain fixtures that probably came from a recent bathroom renovation, various appliances, a television, a small refrigerator, the front end of a full-size car and its engine block, which had to be dug out of the mud, and much more.  

"The Panasonic people worked really hard and made a true difference here today," Hackensack Riverkeeper Bill Sheehan pronounced. "They were willing to go deep into the marshland and get their hands dirty for a great cause."

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USA: National Wear Red Day

In February 2011 as part of "American Heart Month", Panasonic joined hundreds of organizations across the United States for the annual American Heart Association's (AHA) "National Wear Red Day" to help in the fight against heart disease – the leading cause of death in women. Wear Red Day is an important part of the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" movement – a program that builds awareness and gives women a plan of action to reduce the risk of heart disease and raise necessary funds for research.

Employees were encouraged to wear something red, donate a minimum of $5.00 (USD) and/or purchase a Go Red tote bag or reusable plastic cup, which allowed them to wear jeans to work on. Employees who made donations received a Go Red heart-healthy recipe booklet, pin or bracelet. At headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey, a free blood pressure screening was also available to all employees.

To enhance the Go Red activities and promote healthy living among employees, the Corporate Outreach Programs department offered employees Zumba classes – a Latin-inspired dance fitness program that blends international music and dance steps to create a “fitness party”.A donation of $5 or more or the purchase of a Go Red promotional item, allowed employees to participate in the four classes that were held every Thursday during the month of February in the cafeteria.

Over 700 Panasonic employees from nine regional offices raised $5,000 (USD) for the American Heart Association. PNA HQ added $1,000 (USD) making the total donation to the AHA $6,000(USD).


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USA: The Panasonic Creative Design Challenge Preliminary Robotics Competition

On January 19, 2011, student teams representing 35 New Jersey high schools took part in the preliminary round of competition in the 2011 Panasonic Creative Design Challenge (CDC) at PNA headquarters in Secaucus, NJ.

Introduced in 1991, the CDC is a premier science technology robotics competition in which New Jersey high school students compete for Panasonic prizes and scholarship awards. Panasonic's long-term partner in this program is the prestigious New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Three NJIT student interns develop the Challenge, and NJIT staff score written reports and provide judges for the performance and oral presentations segments of the competition. NJIT and Panasonic employee volunteers assist with all phases of the Challenge. 

In past years the theme of the CDC student challenges has focused on the environment and this year is no different. The theme of this year's challenge -- "Wildfire Response & Rescue" -- requires student teams to design and construct a device that has the ability to maneuver through an obstacle course and complete several tasks that are associated with a safe and efficient wildfire response and rescue mission.

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The tasks each device must complete include: crossing a river (device must be able to go through water); extinguishing a fire (retrieve “water” blocks from water stations and get them to the fire location); activating a fire alarm (pull down lever); rescuing survivors (pick up and drop off Lego people to a safe zone); delivering first aid packages (retrieve from supply stations and deliver them to another location on the platform). 

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For the preliminary round, teams were only required to complete 3 of the 5 tasks. Teams that successfully completed these tasks in the shortest amount of time then qualified for the CDC Finals which will be held for the first time at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey on April 12, 2011. A total of 26 teams will move onto for the final competition.

For more information about the CDC visit the website at www.panasonic.com/cdc