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Lighting rural communities in Africa and Asia with solar lanterns
One of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world, with 270,000 employees worldwide, Panasonic has joined the Business Call to Action with a commitment to sell 1 million solar lanterns by 2018 and improve quality of life for low-income families in Africa and Asia. Panasonic plans to contribute to improved healthcare for those families by providing solar lanterns to medical institutions in their communities. By replacing kerosene lamps with solar lanterns, Panasonic also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 30,000 tons of CO2 between 2014 and 2018.
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 predominately use kerosene lamps for lighting and spend as much as US$0.30/day for energy. As solar lanterns only require an initial investment and no further costs, thousands of low-income families will save on costs and supplement their disposable income. Solar lanterns also provide small business opportunities such as mobile phone charge stations and support women and children by providing light after dark for activities like studying or producing handicrafts for additional earnings.
Genichiro Shimada, Panasonic, interview at BCtA Forum 2014 .