Panasonic Has Now Donated More Than 50,000 Solar Lanterns under Its “100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project”
Panasonic Corporation’s “100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project” has passed its halfway mark with the cumulative number of solar lanterns donated exceeding 50,000 on March 10, 2016. This project began in February 2013 with a donation of 3,000 units to Myanmar, followed by donations to other areas in Asia and Africa without access to electricity. The number of solar lanterns donated was 10,000 for 3 countries in FY2013, 14,114 for 10 countries in FY2014 and 20,364 for 11 countries in FY2015. And in FY2016, Panasonic continued to donate solar lanterns, and on March 10, 2016, 702 units were donated to Yen Bai province in Vietnam. With this, the sum total of solar lanterns donated exceeded 50,000. After this, in mid-March 2016, Panasonic donated 2,400 units to Cambodia and 760 units to Bangladesh. Furthermore, donations to Indonesia, India, and the Democratic Republic of Congo will be made by the end of March 2016, bringing the sum total to more than 60,000 units.
The “100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project” is one of Panasonic’s corporate citizenship activities (social contribution activities) that utilize “products” it manufactures. More than 1.2 billion people* worldwide still live without access to electricity. Lack of electric lighting severely impacts health, education, income-generation and safety at nighttime. Panasonic hopes to help alleviate the social challenges people in developing and emerging countries living off-grid are facing, and to bring positive change to their lives by donating small lighting devices powered by solar energy. Panasonic has also donated solar lanterns to give relief to communities stricken by large-scale natural disasters or by epidemics.
Panasonic aims to donate 100,000 solar lanterns under this project by 2018, the 100th anniversary of the company’s founding. In principle, recipients are non-profit, non-governmental, humanitarian and international organizations. So far, 80 organizations in 16 countries have received these solar lanterns.Reports from these organizations have indicated that these solar lanterns have been put to effective use for various activities including children’s studies, literacy education for adults, safer child delivery and medical treatment, and income-generation, and have helped improve the quality of life of people living in rural, off-grid areas.
Panasonic will further accelerate its efforts under the 100 Thousand Solar Lanterns Project so that it may successfully donate 100,000 units by 2018, its 100th anniversary, and strengthen efforts to contribute to the achievement of “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” adopted by world leaders at the United Nations in September 2015.