CSR / Environment

Environmental Management

Putting Environmental Sustainability 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 Environmental Sustainability Management

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

The Quality and Environmental Promotion Unit formulates important policies and strategies at the company-wide level regarding environmental sustainability management based on Sharp's management policies and environmental vision. Through the Sharp SER Committee, which comprises senior executives such as heads of Sharp in-house companies and business units, it decides on company-wide environmental measures and confirms their implementation and progress in its role of supporting environmental activities.

Sharp also holds company-wide environmental manager meetings. At these meetings, participants review and discuss environmental solutions and the progress being made on each of the environmental measures being taken at each in-house company, business unit, and other organizational unit. In this way, Sharp is building a system to put environmental sustainability management into practice across its entire organization. For example, at periodic information exchange meetings covering product environmental laws and regulations and chemical substance controls, members confirm that Sharp is in complete compliance. As well, working groups and expert committees work to solve company-wide issues.

System for Promoting Environmental Sustainability Management

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 environmental sustainability management. To this end, since fiscal 2017 the company has been updating its environmental education curriculum and creating a new training program, including basic training, open to all employees.

In fiscal 2018, Sharp held a basic training course called environmental awareness training, which allows all employees to acquire a wide range of environmental knowledge. It also offered specialized training in the form of e-learning on environmental laws and regulations and chemicals management, as well as new classroom training on the practical application of environmental laws and regulations and on chemical substances in products. 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 curriculum.

Environmental awareness training materials

Tour of environmental facilities (Mie Plant) as part of new employee training

Number of Participants in Environmental Training (Fiscal 2018)

Category Course Number of participants
Basic training (2 courses) Environmental awareness (environmental problems), environmental awareness (environmental protection activities) 96
Specialized training (7 courses) Product environmental laws and regulations (introductory), product environmental laws and regulations (practical application), chemical substances in products, practical training in conducting surveys of chemical substances contained in products (using chemSHERPA), others 1,061

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 2018, 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 2018, Sharp's sales and manufacturing bases in ASEAN countries and Europe 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 2018, sales of those products reached 193.5 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 2018

Plasmacluster washing machine/dryer

Plasmacluster ion generator

Humidifying air purifier

High-efficiency power conditioner

Case Study

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, Sharp aims to boost the added value of products by communicating the products' appeal from an environmental perspective.

In fiscal 2018, the site featured the AQUOS sense smartphone, a Plasmacluster refrigerator, the RACTIVE Air cordless canister cyclonic vacuum cleaner, and the Handy Terminal professional-use handheld device.

Development team for the AQUOS sense smartphone

Development team for the Plasmacluster refrigerator

Development team for the RACTIVE Air cordless canister cyclonic vacuum cleaner

Development team for the Handy Terminal professional-use handheld device

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 conducts environmental safety operation audits at its production bases, aimed at ensuring compliance and operational safety in environmental safety work. The company checks the operation of environmental safety work in each field, such as pollution prevention, waste disposal, and emergency response, as well as the status of compliance with environmental laws and regulations. In fiscal 2018, Sharp conducted on-site audits based on in-house audit guidelines that reflect the RBA* Code of Conduct, an international standard for electronics industry supply chains. Sharp is considering switching to audits that also focus on labor and ethics in the future.

  • RBA: Responsible Business Alliance. Founded in 2004 by a group of leading electronics companies including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Dell, the RBA, formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), has a code of conduct covering the social, environmental, and ethical responsibilities in the global supply chain of its members in the electronics and a wide range of other industries.

Environmental safety operation audit (Nara Plant)

Environmental Performance Data Management System

To support environmental sustainability management, Sharp has established a system for managing data on Sharp's environmental performance. With high levels of precision and speed, this system compiles data on the environmental burden caused by Sharp's business activities via energy consumption, waste generation, and water usage, for example. This system is in operation at Sharp bases in Japan and overseas. By collecting this data, Sharp is able to effectively grasp the current state of its environmental sustainability management, identify problems, and formulate measures.