Sony hits greenhouse gas emission cuts target early
Sony is beating its own target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and will
begin promoting a sustainable lifestyle to consumers through its products, its
chief executive said Friday.
"Sony alone has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 9 percent to date,
exceeding our original target of a 7 percent reduction by 2010," said Howard
Stringer, chairman and CEO of Sony, at the World Wide Fund for Nature's (WWF)
Climate Savers conference in Tokyo. The conference was held at Sony's new headquarters
in Tokyo, which itself has helped the company to achieve its goal. Greenhouse
gas emissions from the building are 40 percent lower than at equivalent conventional
Sony is one of 12 companies that has joined the WWF's Climate Savers initiative,
under which they pledge to an aggressive cut in greenhouse gas emissions. Tech
companies Hewlett-Packard and Nokia are also members as are Allianz, Catalyst,
Collins Companies, Nike, Novo Nordisk, Sagawa Express, Spitsbergen Travel, Tetra
Pak and Xanterra Parks and Resorts.
At the conference the companies signed a
declaration that recommitted themselves to action and expanded their work
to include partnering with business partners to further cut emissions, the promotion
of a low-carbon lifestyle to their customers and greater transparency of their
carbon footprint and environmental activities.
"For Sony this means we will proactively look to expand our emissions
reductions beyond our sites to include logistics and other parts of our business,"
said Stringer. "We must also continue to improve the energy efficiency
of our products, particularly televisions which consume the most energy of all
our home electronics products. Yet while the trend is towards larger screens
and more sophisticated functions that inevitably consume more power Sony's televisions
are already among the industry leaders in terms of energy efficiency."
Stringer said Sony expects the operating power of electronics products to be
reduced to half their existing levels in a few years.
"I am confident that our engineers can meet these expectations,"
And just as the company has created products like the Walkman Stringer said
Sony will now look to promote and help people adopt sustainable lifestyles through
For companies like Sony one of the greatest inefficiencies in their products
comes from the standby power that is consumed continuously when the device is
not in use. It's not a great deal of power per product but the number of such
devices has multiplied in recent years so the total amount of energy used in
this way is now becoming quite large.
"Standby power is a huge and growing share of electricity use because
those things are plugged in 24/7 but nobody when they buy a computer buys it
based on its efficiency in using standby power," said James Leape , director
general of WWF International, at a Tokyo news conference. "You're thinking
about a hundred other things when you buy your computer and so the market doesn't
work. And so standards are crucial and the industry can lead on that by defining
norms but its a place where government action can be quite important."
Many of the largest PC makers have joined together under the banner of the
computing initiative and have pledged to reduce power consumption of computers
by 50 percent by 2010. The companies plan to highlight some of their advances
and technologies at the Cebit exhibition that will take place in Germany in
Energy use by IT equipment is growing fast. The recently published report,
Inefficient Truth," found about 10 percent of energy consumption in
the U.K. is by IT equipment -- equivalent to the output of four nuclear power