Founded in 1918, Panasonic was incorporated in 1935 and is headquartered in Japan. Panasonic has a diverse range of products and services, including household appliances and consumer electronics. The company has a global presence with over 500 subsidiaries.
Panasonic’s Light Up the Future programme donates solar lanterns, which have a battery charger for phones, to people in non-electrified areas across Asia and Africa, enabling them to access the internet. Further, Panasonic facilitates accessibility for people with disabilities by integrating accessibility principles in its product design processes. It also has a wide range of products that accommodate users with disabilities, such as a doorbell with light that notifies people with hearing difficulties through sound and flashing lights. It also demonstrates efforts to creating an inclusive workplace for its employees with disabilities, for instance, through the use of sign language, flat floors without steps, using brighter lighting and introducing a free desk system.
KWN (Kid Witness News) is a global video education programme supported by Panasonic. The company lends video production equipment to elementary and secondary schools for student video productions. KWN is available in 35 countries and 185,000 students have participated in the programme.
The company has a product security incident response team and publicly available information security management certificates. It also reports its data breaches and publicly commits to safeguard data privacy.
Panasonic demonstrates support for the tech start-up ecosystem by making venture capital investments. It also contributes to sustainability-related innovation by developing products to reduce environmental impacts. Moreover, Panasonic recently disclosed the ethical AI principles it follows and established an AI ethics committee.
Panasonic has an opportunity to contribute to digital opportunities for women and girls. The company can also enhance transparency by disclosing how the economic value it generates is distributed among its stakeholders as well as the taxes it pays and employment in its main markets of operation.
Panasonic commits to respecting human rights. It also commits to upholding the ILO core labour rights and places similar expectations on its business relationships. While the company’s grievance mechanism for raising human rights concerns and complaints is accessible to workers, it is not accessible to external stakeholders. Additionally, it does not disclose a process to identify, assess and act on salient human rights risks in its own operations and in its business relationships. The company also does not disclose which stakeholders it engages with on human rights risks and how it engages with them.
Panasonic publicly commits to respecting worker health and safety, and it places health and safety expectations on its business relationships and monitors their performance. However, the company does not disclose a policy commitment stating that it does not require workers to work more than regular and overtime hours, and it does not explicitly state that it requires its business relationships make this commitment. Panasonic does not have a public commitment on gender equality and women’s empowerment and has not set time-bound targets on the topic. The company also does not provide a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by diversity indicators such as age group and gender.
Panasonic has policies prohibiting bribery and corruption, and it includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in its business relationship contracts. Furthermore, the company has a grievance mechanism for stakeholders to raise concerns and complaints on the topic. Panasonic does provide a publicly available tax strategy, but its scope is limited to the company’s UK operations and does not cover its global operations. Panasonic also does not disclose its income tax payments in all the jurisdictions where it operates. The company does not disclose its approach to lobbying and political engagement. Specifically, it has no public statement indicating that it does not make political contributions, and it does not disclose its lobbying expenditures.