Jan 31, 2024

Generating Sustainable Impacts / Feature Story


Panasonic CES 2024 Exhibition Space Offers Visitors Sneak Preview into a Sustainable Tomorrow

Photo: CES2024 Panasonic booth

The Panasonic Group was at CES 2024, marking a 56th consecutive year exhibiting at one of the world’s most influential consumer electronics events. Organizers reported that CES 2024, held from January 9–12 in Las Vegas, was host to more than 135,000 visitors and 4,300 exhibitors from more than 150 countries and regions.

Panasonic Group’s booth occupied 1,412 square meters of floor space within the Las Vegas Convention Center and was organized into areas focusing on Sustainable Energy, Circular Economy, Resource Optimization, Eat Well, Feel Well, Connect Well, and Move Well. Building on the environmental message delivered during the Group’s opening press conference on January 8, the booth highlighted the Group’s efforts to contribute to addressing and resolving global environmental issues under the concept of “Create Today. Enrich Tomorrow.”

Environmental activities were communicated on the Main Stage, and this year the Group partnered with Lennnie, a popular avatar, to deepen visitors’ understanding of the Group’s environmental efforts. The booth itself was also tasked with delivering a message of sustainability by doing away with carpeting, using components made of kinari—Panasonic Group’s proprietary sustainable resin—in place of plastic for some displays, and opting for nature-friendly fabrics in collaboration with Around the World in 80 Fabrics

Photo: Visitors interacting with Lennnie on the Main Stage

Visitors interact with Lennnie on the Main Stage

“Sustainability was woven into every aspect of the booth, creating a more curated story arc that visitors could follow to discover just how committed we are to Panasonic GREEN IMPACT,” said Mike King, Director, Brand Marketing & Creative Services, PEXNA Marketing & Communications. “From consumer lifestyle products to resource optimization to the kinari clips being used to hold together the display tables, we focused on the different ways that we’re contributing to reducing carbon emissions, protecting our resources, and preserving the environment.

Sustainable energy solutions support zero-CO₂ society

Photo: Entrance of the booth

Entering the booth visitors were introduced to Panasonic products and solutions that are helping to move homes, businesses, and society away from a reliance on fossil fuels and toward a decarbonized tomorrow based on sustainable energy.

Panasonic air-to-water heat pumps, which collect and exchange heat from ambient air, are environmentally friendly heating systems that reduce CO2 emissions compared to combustion-type units running on fossil fuels. In May 2023, Panasonic became the first Japanese manufacturer to introduce products to the European market that use the environmentally friendly natural refrigerant, R290.

Panasonic is a leader in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, but the Group also offers a wide range of in-vehicle device solutions that contribute to the adoption of EVs. The exhibit helped visitors to understand how Panasonic’s products and technologies are being used throughout the vehicle to realize a comfortable, safe, and secure cabin environment.

Photo: Exhibits of EV devices and solutions

Visitors were also able to check out Panasonic’s vehicle-to-home (V2H) storage battery system—the first in the industry to support simultaneous charging/discharging of EVs and storage batteries. Integration with the AiSEG2 Home Energy Management System (HEMS) supports automatic charging of EVs and storage batteries based on the weather, and industry-leading self-sustaining output during power outages, to support a near-normal lifestyle.

Solar power installations are typically restricted to large, flat horizontal spaces such as rooftops; Panasonic’s perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are a groundbreaking advancement that will allow customers to integrate solar power generation into vertical spaces like windows and walls. Their unique material and industrial inkjet coating technology results in versatile glass-integrated PSCs that can be adapted to customer needs. PSCs have the potential to redefine the seamless integration of renewable energy into private and commercial structures.

For more than two decades, Panasonic has been pursuing the practical application of hydrogen as a source of sustainable, clean energy. The exhibit at CES 2024 introduced visitors to two innovative new developments that can make this dream reality.

The first is high-performance electrodes for the water electrolysis systems used in green hydrogen production. Featuring a high-activity catalyst material made of nickel-iron layered double hydroxide (Ni-Fe LDH), these electrodes deliver high performance without using precious metals, significantly enhancing the performance of water electrolysis systems while substantially reducing the cost of producing green hydrogen.

The second is Panasonic’s RE100 renewable energy solution that combines 5-kW pure hydrogen fuel cell generators with photovoltaic generators and storage batteries to enable highly integrated control of power generation, allowing customers to manage power supply in accordance with fluctuations in demand and renewable energy output. Panasonic plans to start proof of concept demonstrations of the RE100 solution at its facilities in the UK and Germany in FY2025.

Panasonic’s Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS) manages the generation and provision of locally sourced green energy to customers at their locations while addressing the inherent instability of renewable energy output by enhancing energy storage and delivery capabilities. Monitoring and rapid detection of cyber-attacks also ensures robust protection for customers.

Circular Economy initiatives minimize resource consumption, maximize product lives

PGI has two main pillars. One is decarbonization—becoming carbon neutral—and the other is circular economy, or CE, and both contribute to resolving global environmental challenges,” said Markus Reichling, General Manager for Green Transformation (GX), who is in charge of global Circular Economy promotion at Panasonic.

Photo: The second area within the booth
Photo: The second area within the booth

In recognition of the contribution that resource efficiency can make to decarbonization, together with the need to reduce consumption of the planet’s finite natural resources, Panasonic introduced a Group-wide “Circular Economy (CE) Policy.” Under this policy, the Group is taking a three-pronged approach to CE: maximizing product lifetimes through innovative design, extended servicing, and enhanced recycling; minimizing the use of materials while extending the useful life of recycled and renewable materials; and collaborating with customers and partners to establish circular business operations.

The second area within the booth focused on the systems and services that Panasonic Group is introducing to promote the most efficient use of material resources along the product lifecycle as it transitions toward a circular business model. Exhibits were organized under three themes: Plastic Reduction, Resources Recrafted, and Resources Recycled. 

Plastic Reduction introduced the Group’s efforts to reduce the use of new plastic materials in home appliances—from washing machines using components made from recycled plastic to the MultiShape modular personal care system that reduces resource consumption by 60 percent.

Resources Recrafted demonstrated how Panasonic Group is taking back TVs and washing machines with initial failure in Japan and using a rigorous refurbishment process to give them a second life and promote responsible reuse of products that would normally become waste.

Resources Recycled explained Panasonic Group’s closed-loop model for plastic recycling, which recovers plastics from end-of-life appliances, uses a proprietary process to refine them, and then transforms them into tech-grade polypropylene (PP) plastic pellets that can be reused in new appliances. The area also introduced the role being played by AI-guided robots in the disassembly and recycling of old air conditioners—a technology that can be applied to the recycling of every appliance in the near future.

“At CES and our Panasonic booth, we wanted to use the products and solutions we offer to tell a compelling story about what Panasonic is doing so that visitors would be able to see how seriously we take decarbonization and carbon neutrality—how it’s just not talk, and that we are actively promoting this transformation process right now,” said Markus. Panasonic has been leveraging its product design expertise to develop products that reflect society’s shift away from a “throw-away culture” to what the Group refers to as a “use forever culture.” 

Panasonic also demonstrated how it is applying its manufacturing expertise and strict quality assurance capability to the recycling of electronic devices to establish a product circulation scheme. Panasonic is building a system that closes the resource loop, from manufacturing to refurbishment and recycling of materials, based on the concept of “From Product to Product.”

“The booth displayed practical examples demonstrating how we are changing our business, and what we mean by ‘Create Today. Enrich Tomorrow.’ I think visitors were able to clearly grasp Panasonic’s transformation process, the solutions we are offering, and how these changes have the potential to make their lives more sustainable,” said Markus.

Unlocking new value propositions through resource optimization

Photo: The third area within the booth

The third area within the booth was dedicated to resource optimization, highlighting Group-wide initiatives to mitigate the impact of carbon dioxide and to unlock new value from waste materials. The exhibits included Bio CO2 Transformation, a proprietary biochemical process that transforms atmospheric CO2 into plant growth-promoting biomolecules via the photo synthesis of cyanobacteria, and kinari, a versatile, cellulose-based alternative to plastic with the potential to make manufacturing more sustainable while helping to realize a circular society.

From field to plate, all aspects of food production typically involve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but discarded food is also a significant source of GHG. In cooperation with local governments, Panasonic is helping to turn food waste into nutrient-rich compost that can be used as valuable input for hyper-local and nutritious produce. This exhibit explained how the company will provide a food sharing service platform and subsidize the lending of kitchen waste disposal equipment to communities to make progress toward a greener planet.

Promoting authentic, sustainable well-being for people and society

“We hope that visitors to the Panasonic booth had fun, and that they engaged with some of the technologies in the activations,” said Mike. “The main message was to understand what we’re doing, to appreciate the value of what we’re contributing, and to join us on our mission. The commitment to enhancing the well-being of people and society is something that has been part of Panasonic’s mission since the very beginning, but now we’re doing it with new technologies and in new ways.”

Said Markus: “I hope visitors came away with the impression that Panasonic is changing from a linear, off-the-shelf business to one that can deliver solutions that aligned with their lifestyles, promoting their well-being in a way that feels authentic to them.”

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