Sony Corporation has announced the launch of the One Blue Ocean Project, an initiative to reduce pollution by ocean plastics. The Project will promote efforts to reduce plastic usage worldwide, while also contributing to Sony’s own commitment to reducing its environmental footprint to zero by 2050. While promoting reduced use of plastics, the project will also encourage the collection and cleanup of litter from rivers, beaches and other locations around the world.
The annual production of plastics has grown to around 20 times the level it was 50 years ago,*1 but the rate of plastic recycling remains low, at only about 9%*2. This and other factors have made the problem of ocean plastic pollution more serious in recent years. The international community is beginning to make a greater effort to counteract the pollution of oceans with plastic waste. For example, the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth in June 2019, adopted a joint declaration that included the establishment of an international framework designed to curtail ocean plastic waste.
Along with the One Blue Ocean Project, Sony will accelerate its own efforts to reduce its environmental footprint to zero by the year 2050, a goal set forth in Sony’s “Road to Zero” long-term environmental plan, which was formulated in 2010. These efforts to resolve the issue of pollution by marine plastics are also part of Sony’s commitment to contribute to Sustainable Development Goals 12, “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns,” and 14, “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”
- *1Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2016). “The new plastics economy: rethinking the future of plastics.” World Economic Forum.
- *2Geyer, Roland, Jambeck, Jenna, & Lavender Law, Kara L. (2017). Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. American Association for the Advancement of Science.
1.Accelerating Progress toward “Green Management 2020” Environmental Mid-Term Targets
Based on its “Road to Zero” long-term environmental plan, Sony has formulated “Green Management 2020” (GM 2020) environmental mid-term targets and has been working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at Sony sites and products’ power consumption. The One Blue Ocean Project will accelerate the achievement of these targets.
Reducing Plastic Used in Products and Product Packaging, and Proactively Using Recycled Materials
- Targets under GM 2020:・Reduce amount of virgin oil-based plastics per product unit by 10% (compared with fiscal 2013 levels)
・Aim to minimize resource inputs
- Principal efforts and results to date:・Development of original Sony flame-retardant recycled plastic SORPLAS™*3 and introduction of it in various products
・Use of felt comprised of 50% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles in packaging for aibo*4
Reducing Plastics Used in Manufacturing
- Targets under GM 2020:・Reduce absolute waste generated by 5% (compared with fiscal 2015 levels)
- Principal efforts and results to date (fiscal 2018):・18.8% reduction of waste generated in fiscal 2018 (compared with fiscal 2015 levels)
・Approximately 1,080-ton reduction of plastic waste generation in one year’s time during fiscal 2018
- *3A flame-retardant recycled plastic that is durable and heat-resistant, with a high degree of recycled material content.For details
- *4An autonomous entertainment robot.For details
2.Reducing or Discontinuing Single-Use Plastics in Conference Rooms, Reception Rooms, In-Company Shops and Cafes
By fiscal 2020, the use of single-use plastics such as plastic bottles,*5 straws and cups provided by Sony in conference rooms and reception rooms will be discontinued. Furthermore, at in-company shops and cafes, shopping bags*6 will no longer be provided, and the use of single-use plastic forks, spoons, straws and cups will be reduced and gradually phased out.Sony is working to cultivate awareness among employees about the use of reusable bags and personal cups to facilitate efforts like these.
- *5Approximately 210,000 bottles were used during fiscal 2018 in conference rooms at Sony headquarters.
- *6Approximately 2 million plastic bags were used during fiscal 2018 at in-company shops at Sony headquarters.
3.Expanding Cleanup Activities at Rivers, Shorelines and Other Locales around the World
Certain Sony sites and group companies have already been engaged in cleanup activities at rivers, beaches and other locations around the world. These efforts will be expanded steadily to other Sony Group sites. Sony will also work to foster awareness among employees on its fight against ocean plastic pollution on occasions such as when recruiting volunteers and providing orientation on the days that cleanups take place. The volume of waste collected in these cleanups across the whole Sony Group will be announced, as well.
- Principal efforts and results to date:・In Japan, beach cleanup activities are regularly carried out by the Kunisaki Satellite of the Oita Technology Center of Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation. Recognized for its long-standing regional contributions and environmental activities, the site received the Green Social Contribution Award in Japan in 2018, held by the Organization for Landscape and Urban Green Infrastructure.
・Internationally, Sony Digital Products (Wuxi) Co., Ltd. (SDPW), based in the Chinese city of Wuxi, conducted 33 cleanup activities in one year with the involvement of a total of about 1,000 people, collecting a total of about 1,300 kg of waste within the city.
Sony engages in management from a long-term perspective, endeavoring to create sustainable social value and a high level of profit. Working toward attainment of the GM 2020 targets and the realization of its long-term goal of a zero environmental footprint, Sony is working hard not only to reduce the use of plastics at all Group sites but also to carry out plastic recovery and waste cleanup activities. In all these efforts, Sony aims to ensure that its business is helping to build a better, more sustainable world.