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Sony plans to power global operations with renewables by 2040

Wind turbines in Minamiizu, Shizuoka Prefecture (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Sony Corp. said Monday it plans to power all of its global operations with renewable energy by 2040, as it takes part in a worldwide business initiative embracing a switch to clean power.

Sony is joining more global companies, including Apple Inc. and Google Inc., to use renewables such as solar and wind power for their business activities. Such efforts have also spread among firms in Japan amid growing calls to decarbonize in the wake of the 2015 Paris climate change accord.

The electronics giant is already running on 100 percent renewables in its units in Europe. However, the company's power consumption is heavily concentrated in Japan due to its seven semiconductor plants, while the rate of its use of such energy in the country remains low amid higher generation costs of renewable energy.

Sony aims to gradually increase use of such green energy, lifting the rate to 30 percent in fiscal 2030 from 5 percent in fiscal 2017 through March.

As one of the measures, Sony said it plans to install solar panels on production facilities in Japan and Thailand. Costs were undisclosed.

"Switching to green energy will temporarily raise costs, but it will add more value to our business," said Corporate Executive Officer Shiro Kambe at a press conference in Tokyo.

In line with its goal on renewable power, Sony joined the RE100, a global corporate leadership initiative on 100 percent renewable electricity led by The Climate Group, which has 140 companies as members including 11 Japanese firms.

"We would like to work on lowering the costs (for renewable energy generation) with our RE100 partners," Kambe said.

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