CSR / Environment
Developing Environmentally Conscious Products and Devices
Developing Green Products
Sharp calls its environmentally conscious products “Green Products (GP)”. The GP Guidelines, which define development and design criteria in line with seven concepts, have been in use at all product design departments since fiscal 1998.
In developing products, Sharp sets specific objectives according to the GP Standard Sheet, which is formulated based on the GP Guidelines. In the trial manufacture and mass production stages, it determines how well the actual product has met these objectives.
The content of the GP Standard Sheet—the benchmark for development objectives—is revised each year in order to constantly improve the environmental performance of Sharp products.
Green Product Concepts
Developing Super Green Products
Since fiscal 2004, Sharp has been certifying products that offer a particularly high level of environmental performance as “Super Green Products (SGP)”. In fiscal 2017, sales of those products reached 164.8 billion yen, with SGP sales accounting for 29% of all GP sales in Japan.
In fiscal 2016, Sharp revised the criteria for this certification. Products are certified if (1) they offer class-leading energy-saving or energy-creating performance, or (2) they offer significantly high environmental performance through the use of unique Sharp technology. This way, Sharp is aggressively pursuing the development of products that consume as little power as possible or that use resources to the least possible extent, as well as developing high-efficiency solar cells.
Examples of Super Green Products for Fiscal 2017
SGP Developer Interviews
Sharp has the website “Going Green Everywhere,” which features interviews with product planning staff, engineers, designers, salespersons, and other staff involved in SGP development. The site conveys their commitment to environmentally conscious manufacturing and the difficulties they have faced. Through this site, Sharps aim to boost the added value of products by communicating the products’ appeal from an environmental perspective.
In fiscal 2017, the site featured Plasmacluster washing machine/dryers and in-vehicle Plasmacluster ion generators.
Developing Green Devices
Sharp calls its environmentally conscious devices Green Devices (GD). To define guidelines for development and design based on seven concepts, Sharp established the GD Guidelines, which it began applying at all device design departments in fiscal 2004.
Sharp sets objectives according to the GD Standard Sheet and assesses how objectives have been met in a similar way to GP standards.
In fiscal 2013, Sharp revamped the GD assessment system by adding new criteria concerning forward-looking initiatives that take customer demands into consideration. The degree to which these criteria are satisfied is represented in points called GD Challenge Points. The assessment criteria are revised every year so that Sharp can continuously raise the environmental performance of its products such as LCD modules and sensors.
Green Device Concepts
Identifying and Reducing Environmental Impacts throughout the Life of Products
Sharp performs a life cycle*1 assessment (LCA) on its products to identify their impact on the environment throughout their service life. Converting this impact into CO2 emissions provides a quantitative measure that Sharp uses in its efforts to reduce environmental impacts.
For example, refrigerators and other consumer electronics have a large impact during use. Thus, by focusing on improving their energy savings, overall environmental impact can be effectively reduced.
- *1 The life of a product from materials and parts procurement to manufacture, distribution, use, disposal, and recycling.
- *2 CO2 emissions during use are calculated using a CO2 emission coefficient (adjusted) announced by Japan’s Electric Power Council for a Low Carbon Society (ELCS).
LCA Data for Refrigerators
Joint Crediting Mechanism Financing Program (JCM Model Project*3) (Thailand)
In June 2017, Sharp signed an agreement to construct rooftop solar power systems for stores and warehouses of Big C*4, one of Thailand’s largest hypermarket retailers, with Thailand-based solar power company Impact Solar Limited*5. The project involves the installation of solar modules totaling 27 MW on the rooftops of 28 Big C stores and warehouses. The initial 16 MW tranche began construction in July 2017, with operation starting in December, and full operation planned by the end of fiscal 2018.
This project has been approved by the Financing Program for JCM Model Projects under the Joint Crediting Mechanism operated by the Ministry of Environment of Japan. With economic growth, energy consumption has risen rapidly in Thailand, and it has become a challenge to diversify energy resources and reduce damage to the environment and to seek alternate sources other than the current fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas. The expected annual generation capacity of this project is approximately 37,000 MWh, which will allow avoided greenhouse gas emissions of about 12,000 tons of CO2 per year.
Sharp is also working on JCM model projects in other countries, helping Japan to meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
- *3 A program for implementing CO2 reduction projects that utilize Japan’s superior technologies in developing countries. The program measures, reports on, and verifies the projects’ greenhouse gas emission reduction effects. Based on the premise that the calculated amount of emission reductions will be counted as a reduction in Japan’s emissions through the joint crediting mechanism, businesses are provided with facility subsidies of up to one-half of the initial investment cost.
- *4 A supermarket chain operated by Big C Supercenter Public Company Limited with over 100 stores in Thailand. Head office: Bangkok, Thailand.
- *5 Head office: Bangkok, Thailand.