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Business Call to Action, Panasonic to Provide One Million Solar Lanterns by 2018

bcta25 June 2014: The Panasonic Corporation is joining the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to provide one million solar lanterns for those living without electricity by the end of the 2018 fiscal year. The solar lanterns will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and enhance energy access in Africa and Asia.

According to BCtA, Panasonic has developed a high-quality and affordable solar lantern with a 3.5-watt solar panel, which: provides light for up to 90 hours; allows children to study after dark; charges cell phones using a USB port; enables people to generate income by charging other people's phones; was launched in Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand in early 2014; and will soon be available in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Kenya and Malaysia.

Replacing kerosene lamps with solar lanterns can: reduce household spending on kerosene, which can cost up to US$100 per year; and contribute to eliminating pulmonary sickness caused by kerosene lamps. For those living in remote areas with no retail stores, Panasonic is establishing solar lantern distribution networks in collaboration with local community groups. The solar lanterns are expected to reduce emissions by over 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide between 2014 and 2018, and bring US$50 million in revenues, which Pansonic plans to use to enter into emerging markets in and strengthen product development for Africa and Asia.

BCtA is a global initiative that challenges companies to develop business models that offer the potential for both development impact and commercial success. Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis. [BCtA Press Release] [BCtA Website]