Sony announced on Wednesday that it decided to bring forward its deadline for reaching carbon neutrality by a decade, saying it now plans to achieve net-zero emissions across its whole business by 2040.
The decision was made as climate change effects grow increasingly visible and serious worldwide, and the transition to a decarbonized society has become an important problem, according to the company.
Sony stated that it wants its own factories to be carbon neutral by 2030, a decade sooner than its previous goal, and that it expects to achieve this through boosting the use of renewable energy and energy-saving measures.
Sony first unveiled its “Road to Zero” long-term ambition in 2010 to achieve zero environmental footprint by 2050. This plan calls for Sony to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at all levels of its business, from its products to its supply chain and logistics. To meet this goal, Sony is deploying solar power generators through its business, with target to attain 35% renewable energy by 2025.
Furthermore, the company is reducing product power use and investing in carbon removal technology through its Sony Innovation Fund. It also plans to utilize its market leadership to push suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by shifting to renewable energy.
Climate activists applauded the initiative but expressed concern about Sony’s strategy. According to the plan, Sony intends to reduce part of its emissions from products, supply chains, and logistics by investing in carbon removal start-ups carbon projects.
Sony’s declaration is a positive signal that the company is serious about tackling climate change, but these removal methods are unproven, and it’s uncertain if it can contribute to the decarbonization pathway, according to Eri Watanabe, senior finance campaigner at the Japanese climate group 350.org.
She said Sony may influence other Japanese companies to raise their climate commitments but urged the company not to rely on “unproven technologies” to minimize its emissions.
Japan, which is heavily reliant on imported fossil fuels, is the fifth largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world. To curb the climate crisis, the country has pledged to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.