Panasonic becomes first in Penang to operate net-zero carbon emission plant


Japanese electronics giant Panasonic has announced that its automotive systems factory in Penang, Malaysia is now operating as a net-zero carbon emission plant.

Panasonic Automotive Systems Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a manufacturer of audio and navigation systems for vehicles, achieved net-zero CO2 status earlier this year, making it the first in Penang to declare the achievement.

The ISO 14001-certified plant, covering a land area of 100,700 sqm with a build-up area of 28,430 sqm, has been actively working to reduce emissions across various aspects of its operations. 

Key measures include the replacement of water pumps, lighting, air-conditioning, and cooling systems' equipment with energy-efficient alternatives, the installation of motion sensors, air leak surveys and implementing of corresponding countermeasures. 

(Photo: Panasonic Malaysia)

Takahiro Suzuki, the Managing Director of Panasonic Automotive Systems Malaysia, said that they have maintained ongoing discussions with the Penang State Department of Environment to align with the country's commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. 

He also stressed that continuing to keep the zero-CO2 factory status requires commitment from both staff and management. 

"We have promoted energy saving and adopted sustainable practices, such as installing high-volume, low-speed fans in place of air-conditioning and switching off lights during breaktimes, to cut wastefulness, and we are truly appreciative of the support and participation of our employees. 

"Achieving the 'zero-CO2 factory status' is not an endpoint, albeit a major milestone in our ongoing journey to full environmental sustainability," Suzuki said. 

In October 2018, the company made an investment in renewable energy by installing a small PV system that generates 0.8% of its total electricity consumption.

The company aims to systematically reduce its energy consumption by 3.0% annually.  It hopes to partially achieve this via a bigger PV system, comprising 3,284 solar panels to be installed on its rooftops by March 2024, that will supply the plant with 20% of its electricity consumption.

Norazizi Adinan, the Director of Penang State Department of Environment, stated “This achievement realizes a long-standing vision for sustainable manufacturing in Penang and supports Malaysia’s aim for a carbon-neutral future. Initiatives like those undertaken by Panasonic Automotive Systems demonstrate the feasibility of integrating environmental stewardship into business strategy.”

Mr. Norazizi Adinan (3rd from left) said that the net-zero CO2 status achieved by Panasonic is an important accomplishment for Penang and Malaysia’s broader carbon neutrality aspirations.(Photo: Panasonic Malaysia)

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