CSR / Environment

Environmental Management

Putting Sustainable Management into Practice

In accordance with internal environmental conservation guidelines established in line with Sharp’s Basic Environmental Philosophy, the Sharp Group Charter of Corporate Behavior, and the Sharp Code of Conduct, Sharp is pursuing environmental consciousness across all of its business activities.

Toward realizing a sustainable global environment, Sharp has formulated SHARP Eco Vision 2050, a long-term environmental vision with 2050 as the target year. Under this vision, Sharp is striving to solve social problems and continuously raise corporate value through the development of technologies and the provision of products and services.

Promoting Sustainable Management

Sharp Corporation has set up the Quality and Environmental Promotion Unit as an organization to formulate and carry out the company-wide policies, goals, and environmental vision and strengthen company-wide environmental governance.

The Quality and Environmental Promotion Unit formulates important environmental policies and strategies at the corporate level regarding sustainable management based on Sharp’s management policies and environmental vision. Other roles of the organization include establishing the Sharp Global SER Committee, which comprises senior executives such as heads of Sharp in-house companies and business units, decide on Sharp’s environmental measures, formulating Sharp’s environmental goals and guidelines, confirming progress toward environmental goals, implementing the PDCA cycle toward them, and supporting environmental activities.

Sharp also organizes the meetings of the Quality and Environmental Strategy Promotion Council , where participants review and discuss environmental measures being taken by different teams of Sharp, such as in-house companies and business units, to manage their progress and resolve the issues they face. This is Sharp’s approach to build a system to put sustainable management into practice throughout the organization. In the area of product environmental laws and regulations and chemical substance controls, we periodically hold information exchange meetings to ensure compliance with applicable requirements. Working groups and expert committees are also established as required to address environmental issues that call for cross-functional efforts.

System for Promoting Sustainable Management in the Environmental Area

Environmental Education

In accordance with the basic strategy of its management policy—foster and strengthen human resources—Sharp strives to step up the cultivation of human resources as the foundation of its sustainable management. To this end, since fiscal 2017 the company has been updating its environmental education curriculum and creating new training programs, including basic training open to all employees.

In fiscal 2019, Sharp continued basic e-learning courses called environmental awareness training, which allow all employees to acquire a wide range of environmental knowledge. We also offered an introductory online training course on environmental laws and regulations, which was mandatory to third-year employees.

Classroom training on environmental laws and regulations

Classroom training was also conducted, including a specialized training course on the practical application of environmental laws and regulations and a CMS* auditor training course. With the aim of fostering human resources who will contribute to the company in stepping up compliance and achieving its environmental vision, Sharp will continue to improve and expand its environmental education curricula by adjusting them to different duties and roles.

  • Chemical Management of Supplier

Number of Participants in Environmental Training (Fiscal 2019)

Category Course Number of participants
Basic training (2 courses) Environmental awareness (environmental problems), environmental awareness (environmental protection activities) 34
Specialized training (7 courses) Product environmental laws and regulations (introductory), product environmental laws and regulations (practical application), CMS auditor training, others 499

Promoting an Environmental Management System

Since 1995, Sharp has been operating an ISO 14001-based environmental management system and has acquired ISO 14001 certification for all worldwide production bases. The purpose of this system is to strengthen environmental sustainability management and improve the environmental awareness of employees.

ISO 14001 was revised in fiscal 2015. It now requires companies to further their efforts with a more strategic perspective—for example, by integrating their environmental activities with business activities. In response to the revision, Sharp is operating a more effective environmental management system that matches the particular needs of each base.

Legal Violations, Accidents

In fiscal 2019, Sharp was not subject to any lawsuits or fines related to environmentally related legal violations. There were also no major environmentally related accidents.

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.

In addition, compliance systems are strengthened on an ongoing basis in response to changing product environmental laws and regulations in each country. In fiscal 2019, Sharp’s sales and manufacturing bases in ASEAN countries, Europe, and the Middle East collaborated to form a new organizational structure to deal with such laws and regulations.

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 2019, sales of those products reached 170.9 billion yen, with SGP sales accounting for 34% 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 2019

Plasmacluster washing machine/dryer

SH-M13 (AQUOS zero2)

Humidifying air purifier

High-efficiency monocrystalline solar module

Case Study

SGP Developer Interviews

Sharp has the website “Going Green Everywhere,” website, 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, Sharp aims to boost the added value of products by communicating the products’ appeal from an environmental perspective.

In fiscal 2019, the site featured a front-loading washer/dryer and the AQUOS sense3 smartphone.

Development team of the front-loading washer/dryer

Development team of the AQUOS sense3 smartphone

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

Product Environmental Assessment System

Sharp operates a product environmental assessment system to ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations as well as to promote environmentally conscious product design. This system allows Sharp to keep a database of the development know-how and design data that all Sharp design and development bases possess on environmentally conscious products and devices. The database is used to raise design standards and to promote in-house standardization of life cycle assessments (LCA). This way, the system is contributing to the creation of environmentally conscious Sharp products and devices. Since fiscal 2016, Sharp has been strengthening the function for checking products’ compliance with environmental laws and regulations.

System Flow

Product and Plant Audits

Sharp regularly carries out a Green Product/Green Device Audit aimed mainly at ensuring compliance in product development. The company checks compliance with the environmental laws and regulations of each country and the reflection of environmentally friendly design in products, such as energy efficiency, resource savings, and recyclability.

Sharp also reviews and evaluates environmental activities at its production bases as part of the CSR self-assessment survey.To strengthen governance and reduce risks, our survey in fiscal 2019 was focused on interviews at sites that have just joined the Sharp Group through M&A or other partnerships.

A yellow line drawn to visualize the allowable stacking height of containers in a hazardous material storage area

Examples of latent risks identified through site interviews and remedied

  • Insufficient capacity of the drain pan in a hazardous material storage area (Chinese production base)
  • Unclear stacking height limit for containers in a hazardous material storage area (ASEAN production base)
  • Incomplete calculation of data on the amount of PRTR-listed substances used (ASEAN production base)
  • Incomplete calculation of data on fuel use (ASEAN production base)

Environmental Performance Data Collection and Management

To support sustainable management, Sharp has established a system for efficiently collecting and managing data on Sharp’s environmental performance, including energy consumption, waste generation, water usage, and chemical substances handled in Sharp’s business activities. This system is in operation at Sharp bases in Japan and overseas. Collecting and analyzing such data helps Sharp grasp the current state of its sustainable management, identify problems, and formulate measures.