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December 4, 2007
As part of its mid-term Group environmental targets, Sony is engaged in various efforts to enhance resource conservation, for example by improving the Group's reused/recycled materials utilization rate1. In order to further accelerate the measures being carried out within each business group, as of March this year Sony initiated "Earth Project", a cross-functional, Group-wide system was designed.
In terms of specific measures, Sony is developing recovery routes and applying its recycling technologies to enable the effective utilization of reusable/recyclable materials2 used by Sony Group companies, such as product parts and packaging, as well as waste materials from external sources.
Recycled/reused materials and material waste acquired from outside the Sony Group are also subject to Sony's existing "Green Partner Environmental Quality Approval Program", ensuring that Sony is able to regulate the substances used in the materials it acquires from external sources. It is generally considered difficult to secure the requisite quantity and quality of recycled/reused materials such as recycled paper and plastics. However, through these activities Sony is aiming to establish a framework for ensuring a steady supply of high quality yet competitively priced recycled/reused materials, while maintaining strict control of quality standards.
Sony first began its use of recycled plastics in the early 1990s, and in fiscal 2006 used an industry-high3 16,000 tons of recycled plastics (mainly recycled polystyrene). This contributed a CO2 reduction of 18,000 tons. Sony's target is to double its use of recycled polystyrene by fiscal 2010 (relative to fiscal 2006), further increasing its reused/recycled materials utilization ratio.
Recycled Polystyrene: Sony will begin incorporating recycled/reused materials generated within the Sony Group in its BRAVIA LCD TVs from the 2008 lineup onwards. Sony will also use polystyrene waste acquired from outside the company, such as material used in polystyrene food utensils and cups, and enhance its durability and flame resistance to enable its use in Sony products. This material has already been incorporated in rear panel casing for TVs, Home Theater systems, audio and other products.
Recycled Polycarbonate: Polycarbonate CDs disposed of by optical disc manufacturer Sony Music Manufacturing Inc. are converted into recycled polycarbonate of quality equivalent to new materials, using a proprietary method developed by the Sony Group that removes the surface coating through crushing and chemical cleaning. Sony has incorporated this material in product casing such as the front panel of its 2007 model "HandyCam" digital video cameras, optical blocks for "BRAVIA" rear-projection TVs and the top panel of "Location Free Home HD" casing. Sony will extend its application to many more products in the future.
Sony has also implemented a proprietary flame-retardant additive which delivers improved heat and impact resistance compared to conventional substances, as well as a reduced margin of fluctuation. Adding this substance to recycled polycarbonate enables it to be used in products requiring advanced heat resistance or precise finishing. The optical block for "BRAVIA" rear-projection TVs is one such example.
Effective November 1st Sony established a "Resource Conservation Office" within its Procurement Center, the entity which oversees material procurement for the overall Sony Group. Its aim is to further accelerate and expand Sony's "Earth Project" initiatives. The Resource Conservation Office will focus on the development of Sony's resource conservation system, while maintaining uniformity across Sony's global resource procurement operations.