Panasonic Spotlights Environmental Initiatives at CES2023 Press Conference

Jan 31, 2023

Generating Sustainable Impacts / Feature Story


Panasonic Spotlights Environmental Initiatives at CES2023 Press Conference

For the first time in three years, Panasonic returned to CES, among the world’s most influential consumer electronics events, to promote its environmental initiatives, business activities, and goals to global audiences and further strengthen their understanding of the Group’s green strategy. Sustainability was the featured topic at CES 2023 and Panasonic was among the leading global companies demonstrating how they are contributing to the fight against climate change at this year’s event, which took place January 5–8 in Las Vegas, hosting more than 3,200 exhibitors from 173 countries and regions and attracting more than 4,700 media.

Taking Direct Action to Counteract the Effects of Climate Change

Photo: Panasonic CES 2023 Press Conference

Panasonic’s activity at CES2023 kicked off with a press conference on January 4. Hosted by actor, author, academic lecturer, and former White House staff member Kal Penn, the press conference was not simply a chance for media to get first look the latest advances from some the industry’s best designers and engineers using technology to bring better experiences to the world, but it also explained how sustainable innovation is the natural evolution in Panasonic’s longstanding mission to make positive contributions to our world.

To explain exactly how Panasonic is taking direct action to counteract the effects of climate change on the planet and restore the promise of a fulfilling life for future generations, Tatsuo Ogawa, Group Chief Technology Officer of Panasonic, and Megan Lee, Chairwoman and CEO of Panasonic North America, took the stage to explain the long-term goals of Panasonic GREEN IMPACT, near-term targets under GREEN IMPACT PLAN 2024 and—critically—the progress being made on both initiatives.

CES2023: Unpacking Panasonic’s Commitment to Sustainability

Introducing Initiatives That Have Emissions Reduction IMPACT

Introducing the concept of OWN IMPACT, which relates to reducing emissions across Panasonic’s value chain, Lee described Panasonic’s efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of its production processes. As an example, she announced that Panasonic would be expanding its ongoing collaboration with Redwood Materials, moving beyond the recycling of scrap material from the electric vehicle battery plant in Nevada to include the use of recycled copper foil to manufacture new EV batteries from 2024, and the use of recycled cathode active materials at Panasonic’s new EV battery factory in Kansas starting in 2025. 

Photo: Panasonic CES 2023 Press Conference

Ogawa explained that the Group’s ultimate goal is to make an impact that extends beyond its own businesses and contributes to reducing emissions in society. This CONTRIBUTION IMPACT is generated when businesses and consumers replace carbon-intensive technology with new, more efficient technologies such as batteries for electric vehicles, air-to-water heat pumps, and pure hydrogen fuel cells. The emissions saved are known as “avoided emissions,” a growing area of innovation across many industries. Ogawa then introduced “H2 KIBOU FIELD,” a facility within Panasonic’s Kusatsu factory that’s completely powered by alternative fuel sources, and how it reflects the organization’s commitment look beyond simply achieving net-zero for its own operations and help reduce emissions across society.

Collaborating with Champions for Sustainability

Panasonic isn’t walking the road to sustainability by itself. Three-time World Champion figure skater and Beijing Olympic Winter Games gold medalist Nathan Chen is also a member of Team Panasonic, an elite group of Olympic and Paralympic athletes who share a vision to move the world forward through progress and purposeful action. Nathan was present to explain that one of the missions of Team Panasonic is to challenge and inspire the company to be its best and to help change the world for the better. He introduced a message from himself and fellow brand ambassadors to share more about Panasonic’s commitment to making a positive impact in the fight to tackle climate change as “Champions for Sustainability.”

Unlocking the Electricity Revolution with Batteries

One of the ways in which the company is demonstrating its contribution to helping change the world for the better is in the mobility space. Allan Swan, President of Panasonic Energy of North America, took the stage to explain how increasing battery supply is where Panasonic sees a huge opportunity to make a difference and unlock the electric revolution. Addressing a critical roadblock—the supply of batteries—Swan described how Panasonic is facing up to the challenge of meeting customer demand with a new production facility in De Soto, Kansas that will increase Panasonic’s global production capacity by about 60%. With seven billion batteries produced to date at its Nevada facility, Panasonic believes that the opportunity for a positive impact in electrifying more of those cars is “off the charts.”

Photo: Panasonic CES 2023 Press Conference

But mobility isn’t just about the power plant. Andrew Poliak, Chief Technology Officer of Panasonic Automotive Systems of America, explained that as a key partner of the world’s auto manufacturers, Panasonic empowers automakers to transition to a sustainable future while improving the in-car experience for drivers—whether it’s through collaborating on the perfect car audio system, refreshing the cabin air, or developing a better way for customers to bring their voice assistants along for the ride (with help from Amazon). 

Photo: Panasonic CES 2023 Press Conference

Using car audio as an example, Poliak discussed the challenge of finding a way to decrease the audio system’s power draw and weight as a way to extend driving range. Panasonic’s EV audio system not only delivers amazing sound with optimized total harmonic distortion, but it also uses up to 67% less power—preserving the EV battery’s charge for an extended driving range. This EV audio system represents the best of energy efficiency plus pure audio performance, and as part of its effort to help reduce emissions across society, Panasonic is making its innovative acoustic designs available to a broad range of the EV market with the launch of an audio system designed specifically for electric vehicles.

Building Sustainability into Consumer Products

Panasonic products serve millions of families in homes all over the world. Michelle Esgar, Director of Marketing and Experience at Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, joined the press conference to speak to some of Panasonic’s latest advancements in engineering, design and sustainability for consumer products as part of its commitment to enhancing people’s lives while protecting the environment.

Explaining that part of the solution is to cut down the number of devices people use, Esgar introduced MultiShape—a sleek, travel-ready grooming device with one rechargeable battery, one motor, one adapter, and multiple heads. The modular design saves about 60% in resources compared to conventional personal care products and means less waste heading to a landfill. Esgar also announced a new takeback program to save consumer electronics from landfills and promote circularity in the industry; known as Take Back for Tomorrow, the program offers a discount on the MultiShape when consumers send in their used electric razors or trimmers. Panasonic will be working with Redwood Materials to recycle the old devices with the ultimate goal of using recycled materials from consumer electronics as Panasonic batteries powering electric cars.

Digging Deeper with Tech Talks

The CES2023 press conference was broad in scope and featured a variety of topics and speakers, so Panasonic produced a series of live and pre-recorded Tech Talks that allowing onsite and virtual visitors to dig deeper into the environmental initiatives, business activities, and goals that pique their interest. Organized by topic—PARK, TOWN, MOBILITY, and HOME—these discussions range from trends in corporate renewable energy procurement, the future of auto mobility, and improving indoor air quality to advances in photographic autofocus, microwaved lobster, and the fascinating world of soft circuit materials.  

A Promise Backed by Action

Panasonic understands the importance of pairing words with measurable action. CES 2023 provided a valuable opportunity to quantify the Group’s commitment to sustainability by showcasing current and future technologies that can and do minimize the impact Panasonic and its customers have on the planet as together we strive towards the goal of achieving net-zero by 2030.

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