This week's announcement of the Carbon Disclosure Project's plan to have big companies report their water usage only served to emphasize the growing importance of tracking precious resources. That's why we're not surprised that Sony revealed its own plan this week, dubbed "Road to Zero," to reach a zero environmental footprint by 2050. According to Sony, that definition extend to CO2 emissions, waste, and use of finite materials like oil-derived plastic.
It's an ambitious plan—one that will require incremental progress over the years. By 2016, Sony hopes to have achieved the following goals, among others:
- 30% reduction in annual energy consumption of products (compared to fiscal 2008)
- 10% reduction in product mass (compared to fiscal 2008)
- 50% absolute reduction in waste generation (compared to fiscal 2000)
- 30% absolute reduction in water consumption (compared to fiscal 2000)
- 14% reduction in total CO2 emissions associated with all transportation and logistics (compared to fiscal 2008)
- 16% reduction in incoming parts packaging waste (compared to fiscal 2008)
So how will Sony do this? It won't be easy. Sony plans to rev up research and development efforts, conduct environmental assessments at offices and factories, move from truck shipping to rail and sea shipping, and produce more easily recyclable items.
Not everyone is convinced that Sony can reach its goals. In an interview with Techeye, Greenpeace campaign coordinator Tom Dowdall expressed his concerns that Sony isn't doing as much as it can—such as setting a time frame to cut toxic chemicals from its products. But at least Sony has lofty goals. Even if they're difficult to reach, Sony should be commended for trying.