Lighting rural communities in Africa and Asia with solar lanterns
As one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world, with 270,000 employees worldwide, Panasonic manufactures and sells wide range of products such as electronics components, home appliances, audio visual appliances, factory appliances and information equipment.
The company is eager to reach new markets and support many off-the-grid and low-income communities in Africa and Asia, especially where people are predominately using kerosene lamps for lighting, and spend as much as US$0.30/day for energy. By using solar lanterns, many low-income families spending will be reduced and their disposable income is expected to be increased since solar lanterns don't require additional cost other than initial investment.
By end 2018 fiscal year, Panasonic plans to sell total of 1 million solar lanterns, and improve quality of life of low-income families in Africa and Asia. Panasonic also aims to contribute to the improvement of the healthcare of those people by providing solar lanterns for use in medical institutions in the area.
The company is also working to improve global environment by reducing over 30,000 CO2t of greenhouse gas emission between 2014 and 2018, by replacing kerosene lamps with solar lanterns.
The lanterns also provide small business opportunities such as mobile phone charge business, as well as support women and children to engage in activities like studying or production of handicrafts for additional earnings at night.
Genichiro Shimada, Panasonic, interview at BCtA Forum 2014 .