Sony Uses Renewable Energy For Its Movies and More

Movie poster for Sony's The Taking of Pelham 123
The Taking of Pelham 123, made with biodiesel!
Sony Pictures

Even companies not in the energy business can contribute to the environmental revolution. Take Sony for instance.

Best known as an entertainment company — movies, music, consumer electronics, and games — Sony has also been working hard to reduce its carbon footprint, increase energy efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As part of this effort, Sony is actively promoting the use of renewable energy at its major facilities.

By implementing initiatives such as the Green Power Certification System and the introduction of solar power generation systems, Sony reduced its global CO2 emissions by approximately 100,000 tons in 2008.

Sony Europe has achieved independent certification that every facility with over 100 employees is powered by 100% renewable energy amounting to 190 million kWh or approximately 55,000 tons worth of CO2 emissions. Through ongoing energy efficiency efforts, Sony’s European operations have reduced CO2 emissions by approximately 90% between 2000 and 2008.

Sony Group companies in the U.S. purchased 42 million kWh of renewable energy in 2008. This equates to a 25,000 ton reduction in CO2 from renewable energy usage. In April 2009, Sony DADC, a leading producer of optical disc media, announced that it is purchasing more than 83 million kilowatt-hours of green power in the U.S. annually — enough to meet 44% of the organization’s purchased electricity use.

Also in the U.S., continuous enhancements are being made to Sony Pictures Entertainment’s facilities and operations to increase efficiency and make greater use of renewable energy sources. For example, Sony Pictures is using 100% renewable energy for its Arizona data center and has installed solar photovoltaic cells on the roof of an existing building at its Culver City, California headquarters as part of a pilot solar energy program. The studio is also experimenting with other renewable energy sources, such as biodiesel, in film production. According to researchers from Cornell University, the use of biodiesel fuel in production generators on the set of Columbia Pictures’ recent film, “The Taking of Pelham 123,” demonstrated the potential for a significant decrease in carbon monoxide emissions, an element that makes up smog.

While renewable energy is less accessible in Japan, Sony today purchased Green Power Certificates equivalent to approximately 50% of the electricity to be used at Sony City (Sony’s Headquarters building in Tokyo) beginning October 1, 2009. This represents the entire daytime electricity usage at the building, and is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of approximately 4,400 homes. This is the first time that green energy has been introduced at Sony City, and is expected to result in an annual greenhouse gas emission reduction of approximately 6,800 tons. In fiscal year 2008, the Sony Group in Japan purchased a total of 55.49 million kWh in renewable energy through the Green Power Certificate System. With their most recent purchase pushing this total up to 70.94 million kWh, Sony remains the largest purchaser of green energy in Japan.

Sony executives are determined their company will continue to promote the use of renewable energy and implement various measures across its sites and operations to ensure ongoing energy conservation and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. They see all of these initiatives as part of Sony’s broader commitment to the environment, which extends from research and development of energy-efficient products, to responsible materials re-use and recycling.

Read Fundamentals of Renewable Energy Processes from Amazon.