The earthquake that struck North Eastern Japan on 11 March 2011, literally shook the world. With donations of money and goods, we took the initiative to help the people in the disaster area. The Panasonic Group with its subsidiaries and union collected around 3.56 million Euros.
The first thing Panasonic did after the earthquake stuck was to establish an Emergency Response Centre. This was used to help trace if and how people – employees, their families, suppliers, distributors – were affected by the disaster, and to evaluate whether Panasonic facilities had been struck. It thankfully emerged that only a few employees had been slightly injured. The production of some factories was temporarily halted, but our help was all the more necessary elsewhere.
Panasonic soon collected amounts totalling approx. 6.2 million euros to support the victims and help build up the region. Of the grand total, 2.67 million euros consisted of emergency aid and the respectable sum of 3.56 million euros emerged through contributions by our global workforce. Other donations included 10,000 radios, 50,000 flashlights, 500,000 batteries, 125 television sets, 4,000 solar LED lanterns – often items to simply keep the communication going. The company also implemented energy conservation measures to counter the power shortages resulting from the earthquake. Delivering survival kits consisting of portable gas stoves, blankets and plastic water tanks to retail stores as well as offering discounted repair services for Panasonic products that had been damaged during the earthquake were some further activities we focused on during the aftermath of the earthquake.
At the end of March, Panasonic donated a ‘Life Innovation Container’ to Miyagi Prefecture – a full package of our comprehensive energy solutions in ‘creating, storing and saving energy’ into a single, 20-foot container. Being easily transportable by sea, rail and land, the container is expected to provide electricity to power off-grid areas and support disaster-ridden areas as temporary infrastructure. In detail, the Life Innovation Container is equipped with eighteen HIT solar modules, 48 storage batteries and an inverter, which can generate on average 6.7KWh. When fully charged, it can continue providing electricity for three days, even without sunlight.
The donation was agreed in response to a request from Miyagi Prefecture following the extensive damage sustained in the disaster. Accordingly, the Container was installed at the municipal disaster response headquarters in the town of Minami Sanriku, which was almost totally destroyed by the tsunami. There it supplies electricity for communications equipment and computers. In addition, it can be used to charge mobile phones and provide support to those refugees forced to live at the General Gymnasium Bayside Arena, where the local disaster response headquarters is located.
The earthquake has shown how important it is to create an environmentally friendly society that keeps the consequences of natural or man-made catastrophes as low as possible. We aspire to be a Green Innovation Company, which encourages safe, secure and sustainable communities.