Updated on August 29, 2019

Reducing the Environmental Impact of Logistics

Sony is reducing energy consumption from transport and packaging materials in all aspects of logistics, from international freight transport to the movement of goods at business sites. Discussed here are just a few of the ways in which Sony is reducing the environmental impact of logistics.

Promoting Modal Shift

As a part of its efforts to reduce environmental impact from the transport of finished goods, Sony promotes modal shift, switching the modes of transport it uses from air to sea and from truck to railroad.

Modal Shift Outside Japan

Sony's efforts to advance modal shift also include transport in markets outside Japan. In Brazil, Sony has been switching from air and truck transport to marine transport for freight destined for Sao Paulo shipped out of the Manaus Plant of Sony Brasil Ltda. Since fiscal 2015, nearly all freight over this route has been shipped by marine transport, significantly reducing CO2 emissions from transport.

Modal shift to marine transport in Brazil

Sony Electronics Inc. (SEL) in the United States has optimized the use of rail transport for product shipments from the West Coast to reduce CO2 emissions generated during transport. In addition, SEL has participated in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program and has used environmentally responsible logistic partners.

Modal shift to rail transport in the United States

Modal Shift in Japan

In Japan, Sony has promoted modal shift from truck to rail transport. For large-sized products such as BRAVIA™ LCD TVs or Blu-ray Disc™/DVD recorders, in particular, Sony proactively uses railroad, which accounts for more than 15% of all long-distance (500km or more) domestic transport. These efforts have gained recognition. Sony has been certified by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as a certified company in the "Eco Rail Mark" system since 2011, while BRAVIA™ LCD TVs and Blu-ray Disc™/DVD recorders have earned product certification. Sony also promotes domestic sea transport. In fiscal 2018, CO2 emissions attributable to the transport of products in Japan were approximately 348 tons lower than would have been the case if products had been transported by truck.

Logo indicating Eco Rail Mark certification for businesses

Improving Transport Efficiency with Joint Delivery and Milk Runs

Efficient transport realized by maximizing loading volume per truck reduces environmental impact. Sony seeks to improve transport efficiency by utilizing joint delivery with other companies and milk runs.*1
Sony has been using joint delivery by truck in some regions of Japan. In China, Sony has been improving transport efficiency, which helps to reduce CO2 emissions, using a combination of transport solutions such as milk runs* and round trips.

  • *1In a milk run, a truck follows a route to collect parts from several suppliers, thereby improving transport efficiency compared with the routing method of separate runs to each supplier.
Sony trucks run loaded round-trip to increase transportation

Raising Transport Efficiency by Improving Shipping Boxes

At Sony DADC US Inc., warehousing, packaging, returns processing and distribution of assorted media had previously used regulation size boxes. Space inside the boxes was often left unused depending on the shipment size and number of orders. Cushioning material was also needed inside the empty spaces to protect the goods during transport, which resulted in additional expenditures for materials. In response to these circumstances, the Bolingbrook Distribution Center improved the boxes by redesigning them into a shape optimally suited for the size and amount of products to be shipped. Ultimately, the Distribution Center eliminated the wasted space in the boxes, increased the rate of products shipped, and substantially improved transport efficiency. The initiative also helped to reduce the amount of cushioning material used.

The shape of the shipping boxes was changed to optimally suit the
products being shipped

Promoting the Use of Reusable Bands for Products and Parts Transport in Manufacturing Sites and Warehouses

To keep stacked cartons from collapsing during transport of products and parts in manufacturing sites and warehouses, Sony employs reusable bands as one of packaging materials. This has contributed to the reduction of use and disposal of packaging materials such as stretch films.

A reusable band in use
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