Radhika Kalia, head Corporate Public Relations & CSR, Panasonic, on the company’s sustainable initiatives in India.
Towards A Sustainable Future: The scenario
In a world with rising temperatures, soaring prices of energy and food supplies, and increasing water scarcity, businesses today understand the growing need of building a sustainable environment encapsulating all the aspects of a business. Being successful or running a profitable business alone cannot guarantee a better life and a better world. Instead, relevant and timely efforts aimed at bringing about a change in the way we live and conduct our business activities will reap the desired results. Sustainability, in all aspects, is very important for an organization as it requires corporations to pursue societal goals, specifically those relating to sustainable development — environmental protection, social justice and equality, and economic development.
Keeping this in mind, Panasonic India being an environment conscious and a responsible corporate citizen, has undertaken numerous initiatives aimed at the development of society by the way of its sustainable business practices. Society and environment is at the center of Panasonic’s activities and the company is committed at establishing a harmonious environment and strive to achieve a zero waste practice across all business activities. The company is continuously innovating to develop preventive measures and compliance with law, and promote continuous implementation. Effective use and conservation of natural resources by creating a recycling-based society has been our constant endeavor.
The year 2013 saw us engage in a number of activities to further strengthen our sustainability initiatives. One such project is our 100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project. With so many people in its rural areas off the grid, India has the highest number of people without access to electricity in the world. In order to improve living conditions around the world, including India, Panasonic India is bringing light through its 100 Thousand Solar Lights Project. Under this project, we will contribute a total of 100,000 solar LED lights to people in regions in the world without electricity by 2018, which also marks the 100th anniversary of the company. In the first phase of the project, Panasonic has contributed a total of 5,000 units of solar lanterns in India to people residing in offgrid areas in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. The project been launched in collaboration with four leading NGOs (non-profit organizations) and SEs (Social Enterprises). In addition to solar lights, medical care services at night will also be extended to promote healthcare for people with little or no access to such services. One of the other initiatives is the Panasonic Ecoskool program where we recognized and awarded bright young minds for their impressive thinking on creating a greener and better tomorrow. These young bright students were felicitated as the winners of Panasonic Ecoskool Program, in addition to Kids Witness News and Eco Picture Diary programs. Working with our philosophy of contributing to the betterment and upliftment of the society we operate in, we announced our roadmap for development of the community in and around the area of the Panasonic Technopark in Jhajjar.
Positioned in line with the Millennium Development Goals, Panasonic’s sustainability roadmap offers a holistic development program targeted at benefiting the community we work in which helps us develop a mutual trust and cordial relationship with community members.
Panasonic is a globally renowned electronics corporation, committed to bring the best of the world for its consumer. As India takes the lead in being environmentally sustainable, it means not only developing energy-efficient state-of-the-art products, but also continuously relooking internally at our operations to make it more efficient and sustainable while maximizing our productivity, and our benefits to the society. Although we have a long history in India, we are beginning to accelerate our sustainability efforts. We are working to increase the transparency in our operations and improve our social and environmental performance. We are developing and structuring formal policies in each of the core functions designated in the National Voluntary Guidelines: supply chain, product responsibility, environment, corporate governance, stakeholder engagement, and employee engagement. Panasonic India is conscious of its role as a responsible corporate citizen and will continue to contribute to the society through inclusive and sustainable community development programmes focusing on areas of education, vocational training, health, women empowerment and environment. Our overall goal is to contribute to the Indian society with a focus on inclusive growth throughout the nation.