While many companies toot their horns about their sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals, Panasonic is taking on a gutsy strategy as its 100th anniversary in 2018 comes closer. Acknowledging that the 21st century will be defined by a need to transform our energy sources, waste and recycling and the boom in emerging economies, Panasonic is taking on a courageous and risky stand.

Panasonic’s goal is to be the world’s number one green innovation company in the electronics industry. To that end, the environment will be the locus of the company’s business activities and will bring forth innovation. The company joins other organizations like Nike and General Electric that tout their culture of innovation pushed by sustainability. Will it work?

One curious facet of Panasonic’s plan is to hold their employees accountable for this directive. As explained to us Monday morning, the firm’s aspiration is to have its total carbon footprint start a downward trajectory when compared to its 2005 base year levels. Panasonic’s workforce, and especially managers, will be accountable for their business units’ performance. Each department will have a carbon emissions reduction goal to which they must meet or exceed. If they exceed, managers’ salaries will not be affected one way or another. But if a division falls short, that manager faces a pay cut.

A bevy of projects will drive this directive. Appliances that run with even more energy efficiency, a huge investment in solar technology and a massive push towards waste reduction are just a few of the drivers. Will a threat in the cut of managers’ salaries hurt or help Panasonic’s goals, however? We are curious to hear what you think.

Full disclosure: Panasonic fronted the costs of hosting me in Japan.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.