In 2003, Sharp launched a stringent evaluation system for its factories worldwide and consciously subjected them to a strict internal inspection process. Points are awarded by meeting a range of stringent environmental practices, ranging from recycling rainwater to avoidance of landfill waste. The aim is to achieve Super Green Factory status, for which an extremely high points score is required. In 2009, all the Sharp factories in Japan were awarded Super Green Factory status, with Sharp’s high-tech factory in Kameyama coming out top. Kameyama generates most of the energy it needs for production purposes itself from one of Asia’s largest on-roof PV systems with capacity of 5.2 MW. Furthermore, the factory’s remaining energy needs are met by a cutting edge gas-fired heat and power plant, and the waste water is not only used to heat water but also to provide air conditioning.
In Europe, three out of four Sharp factories currently qualify as Super Green Factories. The Sharp factory in Alsace, France, which manufactures more than one million standard and multifunctional printers a year, achieved this status in July 2006. One of the factory’s core eco-strengths is its stringent approach to sorting waste. Since 2004, all waste materials – batteries, plastic, neon strips, paper, glass or wooden pallets – have been collected and separated., The factory has also made progress in its supply chain and logistics.By switching to a new kind of cardboard, it has reduced the volume of its packaging by half and the weight by about a third, which in turn reduces transport capacity requirements and fuel consumption. Sharp’s environmental efforts at its factory in Wrexham, North Wales, have also made the headlines. In 2008, the factory was presented with the Wales Business and Sustainability Award in recognition of the solar power and microwave factory’s ambitious steps towards an eco-friendly and sustainable future. The new production processes introduced at the factory focus on the efficient use of resources as well as taking back and recycling old products. From 2006–2007, the factory reduced its landfill waste by 24 %, the energy used in manufacturing by nearly 23 % and its water consumption by 48 % – achievements that put this ISO 14001-certified factory ahead of all of its competitors.