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Panasonic Digital Document Company Builds Upon Environmental Efforts of Parent Company

Submitted by: Panasonic Digital Document Company

Categories: Environment

Posted: Oct 15, 2001 – 12:00 AM EST

 

Office products and computer peripherals unit continues ten-year initiative to develop and market products that are high quality and environment-friendly

Oct. 15 /CSRwire/ - Panasonic Digital Document Company (PDDC) has been a strong advocate of Panasonic's landmark environmental charter, which the company established in 1991.

Many eco-friendly initiatives have been launched as a result of the charter, through which PDDC and the other affiliated companies of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. have consistently been committed to the responsible use of the earth's resources and to protecting the natural environment.

According to William Kopp, president of PDDC, the charter's tenth anniversary is a perfect time to review the company's efforts in sustaining the earth's resources. "We certainly cannot rest on our achievements," Kopp said. "Rather, our progress only encourages us to forge ahead with new developments and improvements that fulfill our obligation to maintain the planet's ecosystem, while we continue to carry out our corporate mission of producing high-quality, affordable products."

As an important part of its mission, Panasonic markets a broad line of computer peripherals and office system products. These include digital copiers, multifunction devices, electronic whiteboards, CD-ROM and rewritable drives, DVD drives, fax and Internet fax devices, color laser printers, impact forms printers and scanners.

A Decade of Success

Since the environmental charter was created in 1991, PDDC, along with the other Panasonic companies and units, have recorded several groundbreaking and award-winning milestones. One such achievement is the total elimination of specified ozone-depleting chemicals (CFCs) in the manufacturing process, which earned an award of excellence from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1993-94.

In addition, in 1994, Panasonic played a leading role in establishing the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), now recognized as a model recycling program in both the U.S. and Canada.

In 1999, the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy presented its prestigious Energy Star award to Panasonic in recognition of the company's extensive lineup of energy-saving products. Additional Energy Star awards followed in 2000 and 2001, marking Panasonic as a clear industry leader in electronic products that safeguard the environment.

Current Efforts

Today a number of Panasonic products are manufactured using lead-free solder. In fact, just since the end of fiscal year 1998, a total of 6 million Panasonic product units have been manufactured using lead-free solder. Panasonic plans to expand the program to cover the remaining products in its lineup.

Panasonic is also a worldwide leader in clean, reduced-emissions factories. Each of the company's nearly 250 manufacturing facilities, including those that manufacture computer peripherals and office products, is ISO 14001-certified. In addition, in August 2000 Panasonic announced two ambitious environmental targets for all its manufacturing plants in Japan.

By 2004, Panasonic has set a goal of reducing use and discharge of chemical substances by 50% from 1998 levels. And by 2010, the company intends to counter the serious industry-wide trend of increased CO2 emissions and consumption by achieving a seven percent decrease in CO2 emissions/ consumption from levels recorded in 1990.

Panasonic's commitment to developing environmentally conscious products is reflected in its digital copier systems, which are designed and manufactured to minimize particulate and ozone emissions in the workplace. Panasonic also plans to eliminate copper zinc ferrite in its mid-volume copier systems, and its toner products are free of the heavy metals that have traditionally been used as a charge control agent.

In addition to reducing ozone -emissions in the electrostatic photographic process, Panasonic is also working on noise abatement in its copier systems.

Panasonic's Printer Product Group is introducing a line of monochrome printers that features duplex, i.e. two-sided, printing, which conserves paper. The same product group prints its marketing literature with vegetable soy ink on 40% recycled paper.

Looking to the Future

Panasonic is moving quickly to incorporate previously used material into its products. The company has created two specific product assessment processes to analyze all these criteria in great detail. Many Panasonic engineers are evaluating everything from raw materials to finished product to assess levels of environmental friendliness.

Already there have been many positive results, including products with no embedded screws and easily removable labels that facilitate recycling.

"In the decade ahead, Panasonic will strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible," Kopp said. "Our overall goal is to provide products and services that meet the needs of our customers without being detrimental to the environment."

About Panasonic Digital Document Company

In the United States, PDDC, a unit of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, markets a broad line of computer peripherals and office system products. Headquartered in Secaucus, NJ, Matsushita Electric Corporation of America is the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (MEI) (NYSE:MC) of Osaka, Japan. For more information, visit www.panasonic.com.

For more information, please contact:

Chris Florentz Panasonic Digital Document Company
Phone: (215) 592-8601

 

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