In a recent news release (opens in new tab) following Sony's Corporate Strategy Meeting for 2022 the company outlined several of its important environmental goals, the main one being "accelerating its goal of achieving carbon neutrality throughout the entire value chain... by ten years from 2050 to 2040."
In the modern era, the environment is at the forefront of everyone's mind, whether they're at the business or consumer end of things. And while the photographic industry norms of making, buying and upgrading cameras every few years certainly can't be good for sustainability, photography manufacturers are all still very keen to reduce their own impact on the environment at the source – and advertise it to us at the same time. Some more cynical customers might call this greenwashing, but Sony has long had the environment in mind when it comes to the lifecycle of its products.
Read more: How to be a more eco-friendly photographer (opens in new tab)
As long ago as 2010, Sony outlined a plan called "Road to Zero," a long-term global initiative that set out to achieve a "zero environmental footprint throughout the life cycle of Sony’s products and business activities by the year 2050." Well now Sony wants to bring forward the aims of this plan by ten years, a tangent to its RE100 initiative to rely on 100% renewable energy by 2030.
The news story was reported on by the popular site Sony Alpha Rumors and some users were a bit more cynical about the motives of the manufacturer, suggesting that if Sony really wanted to reduce their environmental footprint they would make bodies that were upgradeable rather than disposable.
"It's silly to upgrade the entire body each time when they can simply replace individual components like the LCD, or the sensor and board," said one user.
So is this another marketing gimmick? One that's designed to make us think that a major manufacturer is putting more effort into actually reducing their environmental impact than telling us that they're reducing their environmental impact? Only time – ten years, to be precise – will tell.