NEWARK, N.J., April 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of Earth Day, Panasonic Corporation of North America announced plans to boost employee use of public transportation by renewing its employee-commuting subsidy for those working at the company's Newark headquarters and Harrison, NJ Technical Center. The move is hoped to increase employee use of public transit to 75% to further reduce fossil fuel use and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
About 57% of Panasonic employees working in Newark and Harrison now commute by public transit, according to a 2014 study by NJ TRANSIT. That's up from 4% in 2012. The shift means that already about 430 cars have been removed from roads during peak drive time every day, saving approximately 144,250 gallons of gas and reducing traffic congestion. In all, employees are preventing about 1,678 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from being discharged into the air, annually.
In 2013, Panasonic moved its headquarters from a corporate campus in Secaucus to Newark one block from Newark Penn Station, one of the nation's busiest transit hubs with rail, light rail and bus service. To encourage employees to see for themselves the advantages of mass transit, van or carpool, Panasonic announced a 24-month employee subsidy program, covering half the monthly cost of employees' public transportation costs.
The company has decided to extend the commuting subsidy for an additional year to encourage even greater use of public transit. "Panasonic puts a high priority on achieving a sustainable future and we're delighted our employees are increasingly choosing to use eco-responsible public transit which is so readily accessible to us in Newark," said Panasonic Corporation of North America Chairman and CEO Joseph M. Taylor. "NJ TRANSIT tells us we already have the highest employee use of public transit among large companies in the city of Newark and Essex County. Now we are aiming to be able to make that claim for the entire state of New Jersey."
In addition to its commute subsidy, Panasonic offers bicycle parking and changing rooms. In 2014, Panasonic's headquarters became the first newly built office tower in Newark to earn both Platinum and Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications. Its 48,500-square-foot Harrison Tech Center earned LEED Silver Certification in 2014--Harrison's first.
Growing national trend: Panasonic employees' increasing use of public transportation is part of a larger trend. Americans took 10.8 billion trips on public transportation in 2014--the highest annual ridership number in 58 years, according to the American Public Transportation Association. Last year in Newark, commuter rail ridership increased by 5.4%; light rail ridership increased by 3.4%, according to the association.
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, adjacent to Newark Penn Station in Newark, NJ. It is the first newly constructed office tower in Newark to earn both LEED Platinum and Gold certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council. Learn more about Panasonic at us.panasonic.com/news.
SOURCE Panasonic Corporation of North America