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How sustainable is Sony ?

Sony & sustainability


Sony
First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 11 out of 39

Sustainability summary

Sony has achieved the D-label. Sony has started to take sustainability into account. Sony is transparent on its climate and water footprint of own operations, and has reduced its climate emissions in the last years. Sony has also joined multiple initiatives to increase the use of conflict-free minerals in the production chain. Still, a lot more can be done prove that Sony products and operations are fair and green.

Brand owner: Sony Corporation
Head office: Tokyo, Japan
Sector: Electronics
Categories : Smartphone, Laptop, notebook, Tablet, Game console
Free Tags: Gaming console, Playstation, HiFi & Audio, TV & Home cinema, Camera

What's your sustainability news about Sony?

Sony sustainability score report

Last edited: 17 May 2016 by Angela
Last reviewed: 17 May 2016 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

3 out of 6
1. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Sony implements several measures to reduce its climate emissions, such as energy efficiency measures or the use of renewable energy (see link, page 202-235). Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? Sony decreased its climate footprint of own operations (Scope 1&2) from 1.643 million tons of CO2e in FY11 to 1.253 million tons of CO2e in FY14. This represents a decrease of around 23.8% (see link, page 413 & 414). Source
3. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? Sony has set a mid-term target to reduce GHG emissions for its own operations by 30% before 2015, compared to 2000. But, no up to date target reductions are specified (see link, page 185). Source
4. Does the brand (company) publish the annual carbon footprint that also covers the major suppliers, and does the brand have an effective policy in place to reduce these carbon emissions? For FY14, Sony communicates 5.832 million tons of CO2e for purchased goods and services relating to materials and components. Sony has been monitoring climate emissions at its main suppliers’ worksites since 2009, but does not yet specify reporting on measures to effectively decrease those emissions (see link, page 237, 238 & 415). Source
5. Is at least 35% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? For FY14, Sony reports that only around 6% of the total amount of electricity used worldwide was generated by renewable energy (see link, page 219). Source
6. Do all new products of the brand meet energy efficiency requirements such as Energy Star (where applicable)? Sony is not clear about it whether all new consumer products meet the Energy Star requirements. Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

2 out of 19
1. Has the brand (company) eliminated PVC in all new products? While Sony sells multiple products without PVC and BFRs, not all products are free of these substances (see link, page 293-296). Source
2. Has the brand (company) eliminated BFR's in all new products? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least 2 of the 3 groups of suspect chemicals (beryllium, antimony and phthalates) in all its new products already? While Sony tries to restrict the use of at least two of these substances (phthalates and beryllium), all three substances are still being used (see link, page 296-298). Source
4. Has the brand (company) banned the use of benzene and n-hexane in the final assembly of products? Sony does not mention whether benzene and n-hexane is banned in the final assembly of products. Source
5. Has the brand (company) banned the use of benzene and n-hexane in the full production chains? Sony does not mention whether benzene and n-hexane is banned in the full production chain. Source
6. Does the brand (company) publish its annual material footprint, or alternatively material footprints for each sold product, and does the brand have an effective policy in place to reduce the overall environmental impact of material use? Sony implements several measures to improve its annual material footprint, but does not publish its annual material footprint, or alternatively material footprints for each sold product. Sony only publishes a rough material flow / footprint, effective as of August 2015 (see link, page 202 & 407). Source
7. Does the brand offer the charger as optional to the product? Sony does not mention anything about offering the charger as optional to the products. Source
8. Does the brand (company) source at least 10% of its plastics from recycled plastic streams and does the give a timeline to increase this percentage to at least 25% by 2025 ? In the FY14, Sony used more than 19,000 tons of recycled plastic. Sony does not give a clear amount or percentage of plastic used and a timeline to increase the percentage (see link, page 254). Source
9. Does the brand (company) source at least 20% of its plastics from recycled plastic streams? See remark for environmental policy question 8. Source
10. Does the brand have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of packaging, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report on these results? Sony is promoting the development of packaging with less environmental impact by expanding the use of recycled materials and reducing the size of packaging, using returnable containers among others. But, aggregate annual results of packaging materials used are not published (see link, page 252-260). Source
11. Has the brand (company) a take back program and is the take back recyling rate higher than 5% of the weight of the annually products sold? Sony promotes the collection and recycling of end-of-life products, but does not specify its annual take back recycling rate (see link, page 190-193). Source
12. Is the take back recyling rate higher than 10% of the weight of the annually products sold? See remark for environmental policy question 11. Source
13. Has the brand (company) an active policy in place to increase the product life-span of products, such as longer warranty periods or easy repair with easy ordering of spare parts? Sony implements measure to manage its products life-cycle, but no clear best practice examples concerning prolonging its products lifespan are specified (see link, page 174-184). Source
14. Does the brand (company) use replaceable batteries in all portable devices? Sony does not mention if all its portable devices use replaceable batteries. Source
15. Does the brand (company) provide online repair manuals for all products? Online repair manuals for Sony products are provided via iFixit. Source
16. Does the brand (company) guarantee supply of spare parts and software updates for all products, for at least 3 years after end of production? Sony does not mention anything about the availability of spare parts and software updates after end of production (see link, page 155). Source
17. Does the brand (company) give at least a 3 years warranty on all products? Sony states that its products have a 90 day to 1 year warranty, and that consumers have to pay for the extended service plan. A plan for at least 3 years of warranty is not offered by Sony. Source
18. Does the brand (company) publish a water and/or land use footprint and is there a policy to minimize, reduce or compensate this footprint? Sony implements measures to reduce its water use, and reports a total water use of its global operations for FY14, which accounts 10,605,162 m3 (represents a 1,7% decrease from FY13) (see link, page 247-250, 419 & 420). Source
19. Does the brand (company) publish a water and/or land use footprint that also covers its most important suppliers? Sony publishes a water footprint with data from its own operations, but suppliers are not covered in it (see link, page 247-250, 419 & 420). Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

6 out of 14
1. Does the brand (company) regularly publish an updated list of smelters that are identified in the own supply chain? Sony publishes a list of smelters, effective as of December 2014. Source
2. Does the brand (company) have a clear policy to only source from smelters that have passed the conflict-free audits, and has the brand already achieved this for at least one metal/mineral? It is Sony's policy to require its suppliers to source materials from smelters determined to be compliant to the 'Conflict Free Smelters Program', and other programs. It is however not clear if these smelters are indeed compliant already (see link, page 134 & 135). Source
3. Is the brand (company) significantly involved in at least 1 initiative that addresses the urgent appeal to improve the social and environmental conditions of mining metals and minerals; for example tin from endangered tropical islands Bangka and Belitung, conflict minerals from Congo, etc? Sony participates in the 'Public-Private Alliance (PPA) for Responsible Minerals Trade' (see link, page 137). Source
4. Is the brand (company) significantly involved in at least 2 initiatives that addresses the urgent appeal to improve the social and environmental conditions of mining metals and minerals; for example tin from endangered tropical islands Bangka and Belitung, conflict minerals from Congo, etc? Sony is also a member of the 'Conflict-Free Smelter Program' (CFSP) (see link, page 135). Source
5. Is the brand (company) significantly involved in at least 3 initiatives that addresses the urgent appeal to improve the social and environmental conditions of mining metals and minerals; for example tin from endangered tropical islands Bangka and Belitung, conflict minerals from Congo, etc? Sony also supports the 'ITRI Tin Mining Supply Chain Initiative' (iTSCi) (see link, page 137). Source
6. Is the brand (company) significantly involved in at least 4 initiatives that addresses the urgent appeal to improve the social and environmental conditions of mining metals and minerals; for example tin from endangered tropical islands Bangka and Belitung, conflict minerals from Congo, etc? Sony also partners with the 'IDH Bangka Tin Working Group'. Source
7. Does the brand (company) have a Code of Conduct (CoC) for both its own factories and those of its suppliers, which includes the following standards: No forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace? Sony uses the EICC Code of Conduct (CoC) for its suppliers, in which all standards are mentioned (see link). Also in its own operations CoC all these standards are covered (see link, next question). Source
8. Does the brand’s (company’s) CoC include at least 3 of the following workers rights: 1. a formally registered employment relationship 2. a maximum working week of 48 hours with voluntary paid overtime of 12 hours maximum 3. a sufficient living wage 4. form and join labor unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, to develop parallel means? In the EICC CoC: 1. Not mentioned; 2. No, maximum working week is 60 hours, 'except in emergency cases and unusual situations'; 3. No, only legal minimum wage; 4. No, Freedom of association is mentioned, but nothing found about situations in which this right is restricted by law. The standards for its own operations are even weaker. Source
9. Does the brand (company) have a published list of direct suppliers that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? Sony does not publish a list of direct suppliers. Source
10. Is the brand (company) a member of a multi stakeholder initiative (MSI), wherein independent NGO’s or labor unions are represented, that collectively aims to improve labor conditions and that carries out independent audits? Or does the brand (company) significantly purchase its supplies from factories certified by such MSI’s? Sony is a member of the EICC, but civil society organizations do not have a voice in this initiative (see link, page 127 & 128). Source
11. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy? Are more than 95% of final manufacturing stage production facilities monitored for labour conditions? Sony mentions conducting assessments of its suppliers and audits through the EICC's shared audits program, but comprehensive audit results are not published (see link, page 131-133). Source
12. Are at least 25% of final manufacturing stage production facilities in high risk countries compliant to the Code of Conduct? See remark for labor conditions policy question 11. Source
13. Are at least 50% of final manufacturing stage production facilities in high risk countries compliant to the Code of Conduct? See remark for labor conditions policy question 11. Source
14. Are at least 50% of final manufacturing stage production facilities in high risk countries compliant to the Code of Conduct - including a living wage? See remark for labor conditions policy question 11. Source