Panasonic: Working Hand-in-Hand with Consumers and Professionals to Foster Sustainability
Article in partnership with Panasonic.
There’s a common Italian expression dating back to Nero’s time — when the Roman courtier, Petronius, wrote “manus manum lavat” in Satyricon. Loosely translated, it means that when one hand washes another the outcome (and the process) is far superior. In modern times, we’ve added “and together they wash the face” to signify the importance of taking a holistic and team-based approach to any barrier you encounter. This may ring a bell, as its English cousin concept is “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”
Now, at this point, you may be wondering why I’m starting an article on corporate sustainability with an idiom about handwashing. Well, in my view, working as a team — i.e., joining hands for the sake of a common cause — generates results that are far superior to that of any individual.
On a deeper level, I was reminded of this sentiment while I was reading Panasonic’s recent survey of over a thousand business professionals in Germany and the United Kingdom, which gauged their awareness of sustainability measures and corporate priorities. In particular, I was struck by how evenly opinions were distributed on two fronts, namely:
- Reduced emissions of its own value chain (Scope 1, 2 and 3)
- Help avoid CO2 emissions through existing and new technologies and businesses
If we were to view each of these commitments as a single hand, then the logical conclusion would be that if we end up doing both, we can do much more.
To perform a “two-handed” job, each manufacturing company — in addition to reducing emissions that are tied to its value chain — should evaluate how its business purpose can add value with regard to avoiding emissions. In other words, how it can help others to become more sustainable and reduce the amount of energy they consume during everyday activities and tasks.
While all of this sounds nice in theory, transforming the operating model of a major corporation is no small feat. However, with the right strategy, vision, and investments, it can become far more feasible. If you need further motivation, it’s worth emphasizing that, in the same study, 80% of the interviewees claimed that “environmental sustainability plays an important role in purchase decisions and the procurement process.” In other words, there is a…