December 16, 2006


JFS English Guided Tours -- Matsushita (Panasonic) Eco & UD House

Report of the Eco Products 2006

Japan's leading manufacturer of household electronics


The Eco & UD House

  • The Eco & UD (universal design) House is a life-size model house that aims to display Matsushita's efforts toward ecology and the principles of universal design. The "real" house is located in Panasonic Center Tokyo, and has been open to the public since January 4, 2006, allowing visitors to the products in the context of a typical home setting.

  • Of course it is filled with Panasonic's products, technologies and ideas, but their stated goal is to offer total home solutions for comfortable living and a new lifestyle in an ecologically sound environment.

  • Self-cleaning air conditioner: This product succeeded in reducing 43% of energy use compared with the former model, leading to a saving of 22,500 yen (US$200) per year. Two innovation s made this possible. One is the better air-flow controlling function. Usually when you try to heat up a room with an air conditioner, the warm air goes to the upper side of the room and it takes some time to heat up the air near the floor. But this air conditioner sends out the air and efficiently circulate the air in the room. The second innovation is the filter-cleaning robot. By cleaning the filter periodically, the air conditioner can keep the highest performance without maintenance.

  • Dish washer and dryer: The latest model can save 18,200 yen (US$150) per year, including the cost of electricity, gas, water, and cleaner, compared with washing by hands.

  • Plasma TV Viera: Panasonic became the first company in the world to achieve the elimination of lead in Plasma Display Panels (PDPs) used as the contral picture component in its Plasma TVs and Plasma Modules. Elimination of lead has been an exception under RoHS directive, due to its technical difficulty. The company will look for ways to eliminate hazardous materials such as mercury, which has been seen as difficult.

  • Question and Answers:

    Q. "With the number of products used in a household increasing, have the total CO2 emissions from the product and resource use by Matsushita been increasing?"

    A. "Even with the increase of Panasonic products in a household, we could succeed in reducing CO2 emissions from our products. We have not increased the total material use, either."

    Q. "What are the future challenges?"

    A. "To find a way to identify and calculate which improvements are truly needed."

  • Food for thoughts: How do you determine the actual Quality of life increase gained by each feature, and where is the cut off point between acceptable QOL gain and unacceptable energy and material use?

Subscribe to JFS Newsletter

Our Supporters

Support JFS
Japan Giving Banner
1% for the Planet Banner