At a time when sustainability is at the forefront of global conversation, Sony Europe UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) remains committed to utilising creativity and technology to reduce their impact on the environment.
Through the roll-out of ‘green’ initiatives developed specifically with product development and business protocols in mind, the Pencoed-based, award-winning facility plans to achieve a zero environmental footprint by 2050, as part of Sony Group’s global ‘Road to Zero’ environmental plan.
The global plan, which launched in 2010, sets medium-term targets to serve as milestones, and the latest ‘GM2025’ (Green Management 2025), includes targets such as a decrease in annual energy consumption per product unit by 5% (baseline year FY2018) and looks to achieve the target across the lifecycle of products.
Other measures include eliminating plastic packaging from newly-designed small products and 10% reduction of plastic packaging used per product for other product sizes, a 10% reduction of virgin plastic used per product and a 5% reduction of energy consumption per product (all average reduction rates compared to the FY2018 level).
Through creativity and innovation to improve the resource efficiency of products, expanding the use of renewable energy and materials and enhancing engagement through the supply chain, globally, Sony Group aims to reach their zero environmental footprint goal.
As part of the ‘Road to Zero’ environmental plan, Sony Group is globally on the journey towards achieving improvement in energy efficiency, but also a reduction in waste, chemical substances such as volatile organic compounds (VOC) and water usage, as well as increasing awareness around the impact of single use plastics on biodiversity.
Since 2017, Pencoed-based UK TEC has been successful in achieving several targets in a bid to make company operations as green as possible. The use of single use plastics and specifically, chemical substances including VOCs were reduced by 99%, a 69% reduction in water usage was attained, as well as a continued accomplishment of zero waste to landfill since 2015. It is also worth noting that despite a 139% increase in production rates, decreasing energy consumption continues to be one of UK TEC’s KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and has reduced by 17%.
And this is not with focus only on product development, UK TEC also participates in environmental awareness projects internally, including the development of the UK TEC Environmental Centre, designed to provide a resource for local primary schools to take part in environmental field trips, and also serving as an outdoor space for Team Players (UK TEC employees) to take part in team-building and wellbeing activities. Since its opening in 2003, the lodge, constructed from renewable timber by the Day Services Centre for adults with learning difficulties, accommodates around 25 Primary Schools a year and has hosted 10,000 children to date. Team Players have played an active role in developing the space, from garden maintenance to building allotments, which will continue to evolve as part of UK TEC’s sustainability project throughout 2021.
"The Environmental Centre’s main aim is to support schools in delivering ‘Learning outside the Classroom’, through providing pupils with a really good balance of active learning and practical experience of the natural environment and building on previous knowledge."
- Ian Prescott, Environmental, Health & Safety Manager, Sony Europe UK TEC
To follow their internal theme of ‘Growing Together’, the next 12 months will see the continuation of site allotment development, including the planting of sunflowers seeds, and of particular relevance on ‘World Bee Day’ week, the installation of beehives to increase biodiversity in the area.
Sony Europe UK TEC Director of Professional Services, Gerald Kelly, emphasised: "At UK TEC, we believe it is our duty, more than ever, to continue to evaluate the impact of our business processes and the development of technology on the local and global environment, as well as to our employees, stakeholders and customers. We will therefore continue to implement initiatives that pursue sustainability whilst supporting and enhancing the environment.
"We remain committed to achieving our zero environmental footprint goal by 2050, as part of the Sony Group, led by our Group headquarters , who have been recognised by the Ethisphere Institute as one of the ‘World's Most Ethical Companies’ for the 3rd consecutive year. UK TEC’s sustainability initiatives are in full swing in alignment with Sony Group’s global direction."