Panasonic Corporation of North America Celebrates
First Year in Newark
Company reflects on business transformation milestones, looks ahead with confidence;
Newly LEED-certified headquarters part of larger plan to be a leader in green innovation by 100th anniversary in 2018
NEWARK, NJ (AUGUST 21, 2014) – This month marks the one-year anniversary of Panasonic Corporation of North America’s move to Two Riverfront Plaza in Newark, into a state-of-the-art, newly LEED-certified office tower, and headquarters for the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation. The company has organized a “Celebrate Newark Day” for employees to enable them to learn more about Newark by exploring the city’s attractions.
Two Riverfront Plaza is the center of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. “We are thrilled to be in Newark, in a gorgeous building in a city where an exciting revitalization is going on,” said Panasonic Corporation of North America Chairman and CEO Joseph M. Taylor.
"Congratulations to Panasonic for its strong first year in Newark. I am delighted that the company has had such a great experience since moving here. I hope more companies will be inspired by Panasonic's example and understand it makes good business sense to move to Newark's high-tech hub," said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.
Panasonic is commemorating its first year in Newark by providing employees time off during work hours today to explore the area—with tours of the Newark Museum, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Greater Newark Conservancy and volunteering time for Wynona’s House, a nonprofit for children. Later in the day, employees will be treated to a barbecue with food from local favorites, as well as music from Newark’s Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens. Panasonic has invited Newark officials to tour the building and join the barbecue.
Panasonic’s impact is being felt. In its first year in Newark, the company spent over $1.9 million on area hotels, restaurants and events. For Panasonic employees, volunteering is a company tradition, one that continues in Newark. Panasonic participates in “Slam Dunk the Junk,” an annual initiative to promote recycling and prevent littering.
Working with students and academic institutions is another hallmark. Kid Witness News is a global video competition celebrating its 25th year and in which Newark’s East Side High School was a 2014 winner. Other longstanding outreach initiatives include Creative Design Challenge, an event for N.J. high school students to test their engineering skills as well as internship programs with New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, Seton Hall University and Essex County Community College.
LEED CERTIFCATION, SHRINKING CARBON FOOTPRINT
Designed by architecture firm Gensler, with interior architectural design by HLW and jointly developed by SJP Properties and Matrix Development Group, Panasonic’s headquarters is the first office tower in Newark to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for new construction. LEED Platinum certification for the building’s interior workplace is expected this year. Panasonic’s technology center in neighboring Harrison received LEED Silver certification in June. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system is the premier, global certification program recognizing environmental performance and energy efficiency.
"Two Riverfront Plaza is a great example of our organization's approach to smart growth development in urban centers,” said Steven J. Pozycki, CEO of SJP Properties. "Panasonic has positioned itself for long-term success by occupying a modern, green building in a transit hub that elevates the quality of work life for its employees, reduces energy consumption, and facilitates more efficient use of space. We are also very pleased to reach for the highest possible LEED Platinum standard for the building.”
“Newark’s strength as a transit-oriented, urban business destination is further enhanced by the addition of Two Riverfront Plaza, which is a model for high-performance, sustainable office development that promotes a healthy and productive workplace environment,” commented Joseph S. Taylor, CEO of Matrix Development Group. “Building on the success of our neighboring tower at One Riverfront Plaza, Panasonic Corporation of North America’s headquarters is a continuation of our company’s proud legacy of investing in the Brick City’s downtown district.”
In its first 11 months in Newark, Panasonic reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 56% compared to a similar period in its former Secaucus, N.J. headquarters. The workplace uses abundant natural light and dimming controls to reduce light power when sufficient daylight is present. During the first five months of 2014, the headquarters’ operation reduced its water consumption by 49%, compared to a similar period in Secaucus, thanks in part to low-flow fixtures. In addition, the following achievements led to its LEED certification:
- Access to public transportation: The tower is adjacent to Newark Penn Station transit hub. As a result of its location and a Panasonic employee transportation subsidy, about 57% of employees commute via public transportation vs. less than 5% before the move. Panasonic estimates the change has halved employee vehicle miles traveled, and contributed to an annual reduction of more than 1,600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Renewable energy: Panasonic’s HIT solar panels on the roof supplement conventional building energy. Panasonic has a contract to purchase at least 8 kilowatt hours per square foot per year from renewable electricity sources.
- Sustainable materials: 50% of the wood in the building and furniture is Forest Stewardship Council certified.
ONE-YEAR BUSINESS RETROSPECTIVE
Panasonic’s first year in Newark was marked by an aggressive business transformation strategy to capture emerging opportunities in the enterprise market, strategic announcements and high-profile projects. “We are one year into an exciting chapter at Panasonic, highlighted by our Newark tower, which embodies the Panasonic brand and vision. We’ve worked to transform our business to meet growing opportunities in the enterprise market and attain a high level of operational excellence. We’re off to a great start and look forward to sustaining the momentum,” said Mr. Taylor.
A major shift occurred in April, when Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company was formed to focus on the development, sales and implementation of large-scale Audio/Visual projects in the growing enterprise market and Eco Solutions targeting commercial, industrial and municipality customers. The organization quickly made an impact in sports and entertainment, delivering to Texas Motor Speedway the world’s “largest high-definition television LED screen” as certified by the Guinness World Records; the world’s largest 4K ultra high-definition LED video board at Churchill Downs, and state-of-the-art digital signage at the Philadelphia Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field.
TODAY’S OUTLOOK ON TOMORROW’S VISION
Panasonic’s refurbished Innovation Center – Panasonic’s first showcase of its kind outside Japan – offers insight into the future of technology, the connectivity of things and Panasonic’s goal to be the number one Green Innovation company by 2018, its 100th anniversary. It incorporates “experiential zones” such as automotive, avionics and eco on the capabilities of its business-to-business, consumer, 4K, lithium ion batteries for Tesla and other technologies. Its “Future Room” shows projects in the works.
About Panasonic Corporation of North America
Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and solutions for consumer, business and industrial use. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. In Interbrand’s 2014 annual “Best Global Green Brands” report, Panasonic ranked number five overall and the top electronics brand in the report. As part of continuing sustainability efforts, Panasonic Corporation of North America relocated its headquarters to a new facility, built to meet LEED certification standards, adjacent to Newark Penn Station in Newark, NJ. Learn more about Panasonic’s news & views at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.
Connect with Panasonic:
Jim Reilly (Panasonic) 201-392-6067 firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg Sherry (Gibbs & Soell) 212-697-2600 ext. 1296 email@example.com