Corporate Social Responsibility
CSR Initiatives for Supply Chain Management
The Sumitomo Corporation Group has established the CSR Action Guidelines for Supply Chain Management. Through the implementation of these guidelines, we are aiming to realize a sustainable society by working together with our suppliers and business partners to achieve responsible value chain management. The Company provides numerous opportunities to promote the understanding and entrenchment of these guidelines, including training for new employees and locally hired employees, meetings within business units and domestic and overseas regional organizations, and pre-departure briefings with employees being sent on overseas assignments.
In the event that we find violations of these guidelines in our supply chains, we will urge the suppliers, business partners or contractors, etc. to remedy and improve the situation, while providing support to them as needed. However, if there are no improvements to the situation by them, we will consider carefully whether to continue our business with them or not.
The Sumitomo Corporation Group CSR Action Guidelines for Supply Chain Management
Established in November 2009
Revised in November 2013
The Sumitomo Corporation Group aims to be a global organization that, by constantly staying a step ahead in dealing with change, creating new value, and contributing broadly to society, strives to achieve prosperity and realize the dreams of all our stakeholders through sound business activities in strict adherence to our Corporate Mission Statement, and the management style principle contained therein, wherein prime importance is given to integrity and sound management with the utmost respect being paid to the individual.
In order to promote sustainability and social wellbeing in accordance with our mission, the Sumitomo Corporation Group hereby sets down these CSR Action Guidelines for Supply Chain Management. With a view to further strengthening the global relations which form one of the foundations of our core competence of integrated corporate strength, we request our suppliers and business partners to kindly accept, understand, and practice these guidelines so that together we can achieve responsible value chain management.
Our suppliers and business partners are expected to:
- Respect human rights and not to be complicit in human rights abuses
- Prevent forced labor, child labor and the payment of unfairly low wages
- Not engage in discriminatory employment practices
- Respect the rights of employees to associate freely in order to ensure open and fair negotiations between labor and management
- Provide employees with safe and healthy work environments
- Protect the global environment and give due consideration to biodiversity
- Ensure the quality and safety of products and services
- Ensure fair business transactions, to abide by all applicable laws, rules and regulations, and to prevent extortion, bribery and all other forms of corrupt business practices
- Ensure appropriate information security
- Cooperate with members of local host communities and contribute to sustainable regional development
- Disclose information regarding the above in a manner both timely and appropriate.
Respect for Human Rights
As a global organization contributing broadly to society, the Sumitomo Corporation Group employs Management Principles that place prime importance on integrity and sound management with utmost respect for the individual. We think that sustainability means growing with society constantly by addressing social issues sincerely through our business activities. We will not only address social issues through our business activities but will also fulfill our corporate social responsibilities, including co-existence with local communities, respect for human rights, environmental preservation, and compliance.
Based on these ideas, the Sumitomo Corporation Group complies with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the United Nations adopted “as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations” in 1948, and in 2009 signed the UN Global Compact in its support of the Ten Principles that are derived from the declaration. We are also raising employee awareness with respect to the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN in 2011. In continuing global operations in a wide range of fields, we will actively support and work on these international standards.
Compliance with labor-related global standards and laws
The Sumitomo Corporation Group is addressing human rights issues. While complying with laws and regulations in our countries of operation, we support and respect the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact, as well as the International Labour Organization’s core labor standards of eight conventions in four areas: freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor, effective abolition of child labor, and elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation. With regard to the elimination of discrimination in particular, we have clearly stated that no person should be discriminated against due to human race, nationality, gender, religion, creed, age, origin, physical or mental disability, or other reasons that are not related to business operations. We are also complying with minimum wage requirements based on the labor standards and labor conventions of each country.
Respect for the rights of children
As the world population is mostly made up of children and younger generations, the Sumitomo Corporation Group is aware that its corporate activities have an impact on the lives of children both directly and indirectly. For companies, children are family members of employees, as well as important stakeholders who will play future roles in the sustainable development of society. Based on this recognition, we signed the United Nations Global Compact in its support of the Ten Principles, and respect Children’s Rights and Business Principles. We are committed to preventing the violation of children’s rights through our business and social contribution activities.
Respect for the rights of indigenous peoples
As part of its commitment to respect human rights, the Sumitomo Corporation Group respects global standards pertaining to the rights of indigenous peoples, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the principle of “free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).” In business operations in areas where indigenous peoples reside, we recognize their unique culture and history and comply with applicable laws and regulations of each country or region.
Concept concerning the use of security companies
In the operation of its business in countries around the globe, the Sumitomo Corporation Group uses security companies to protect the safety and security of its employees. When necessary, we may use armed security personnel, recognizing the human rights risks involved and complying with laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate. We select security companies in accordance with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.
Initiatives for Human Rights Issues
Sumitomo Corporation Group Statement for UK Modern Slavery Act 2015
We set out the steps Sumitomo Corporation Group has taken to help ensure that modern slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in SC Group's business or supply chains. The statement is approved by the board of directors of Sumitomo Corporation as the parent company of Sumitomo Corporation Group.
Training on human rights issues
The issue of human rights abuses is becoming increasingly serious in the international community. As the Sumitomo Corporation Group conducts its business on a global scale, operating in numerous countries, regions, and industries, we established the CSR Action Guidelines for Supply Chain Management to offer guidance on various issues including those related to human rights. We believe we need to promote CSR not only within our own Group, but also throughout our entire supply chain, encompassing our suppliers and other business partners.
Sumitomo Corporation invites external experts to host a variety of training programs. In fiscal 2014, we held a seminar on human rights issues that warrant particular attention in our business. The seminar, which was attended by 131 employees of the Company, covered a variety of topics with regard to the relationship between business activities and human rights. Specific topics included examples of incidents in which human rights abuses have led to the materialization of reputation risks as well as methods of evaluating the impact of a particular activity on human rights. After participating in the seminar, one employee expressed the view that it would be helpful for such educational activities to be conducted on an ongoing basis in order to raise human rights awareness and instill the concepts into the minds of employees. Moreover, he contended that these efforts were particularly necessary given the diverse and global nature of the Group's business.
In response, we have since fiscal 2015 been hosting a workshop where hands-on training is provided to teach participants how to assess the risks of being involved in human rights abuses in the supply chain. Attended by a cumulative total of 136 employees of the Company, the workshop consists of a lecture on such topics as the relevance of human rights to corporations and case studies of corporate human rights abuses, followed by hands-on group training composed of four steps: (1) business analysis, (2) identification of relevant human rights issues, (3) analysis of risks faced by type of human rights issue, and (4) exploration of countermeasures. We received such feedback from participants as: "The workshop gave me an opportunity to become aware of the human rights risks faced in business," and "It was fruitful to learn some beneficial ways to assess human rights risks."
Basic Concept of Responsibility for Customers
The Sumitomo Corporation Group operates TV shopping, food supermarket, and other businesses that handle consumer products and services, but will not handle products that seriously negatively impact society and run counter to corporate social responsibility, including: any product that has not been confirmed as safe and therefore is socially questionable; any product that may impair human rights, dignity or reputation; any product that defames or disparages another company; and any product that infringes on intellectual property, including patents, utility model rights, design rights, trademarks and copyrights, or other rights of third parties. We also comply with laws and regulations on product and service safety and quality standards. If any product or service we provide has a quality problem, we will take prompt actions to prevent related damage from spreading, and make efforts to investigate the cause of the problem and prevent a recurrence.
Responsible advertising and marketing
In lifestyle, retail, and other business areas that deliver products directly to consumers, we are fully aware of the significance of the impact that advertising expressions have on consumers. Placing first priority on safety and security, we carry out advertising and marketing activities with due consideration of our social responsibilities. Taking into account the position of consumers and using factual expressions in principle, we will not use misleading expressions describing the characteristics or quality of our products and services.
Access to better nutrition and medicine
Demand for medicine is rapidly increasing in emerging and developing countries due to growing populations and economic development. In many of these countries, however, access to healthcare services and medicine is not fully secured for many people due to underdeveloped social infrastructure and healthcare environments as well as to economic reasons. In Japan, as its super aging society faces increasing expenditures for nursing care and healthcare, curbing social security cost is a pressing issue.
With focus on providing comprehensive support to players in the pharmaceutical industry, from upstream to downstream, taking advantage of the unique global structure as a general trading company, and on disseminating medicine in emerging countries, the Sumitomo Corporation Group is making great contributions to improving people’s quality of life. We are also participating in the healthcare-related service business, and are involved in the operation of pharmaceutical-dispensing drug stores. By promoting use of home healthcare and nursing care, we will contribute to achieving better access to nutrition and medeicine.
Activities as a Member of Society
Participation in Industry Initiatives on Responsibility for Customers
Sumitomo Corporation Group’s members delivering products directly to consumers (i.e., Jupiter Shop Channel operating the “Shop Channel” for TV shopping, the food supermarket chain Summit, and Tomod’s operating pharmaceutical-dispensing drug stores) are participating in the following industry initiatives (as of January 2018).
Japan Direct Marketing Association (JADMA)
JADMA is the official representative body of the direct marketing industry specified in Article 30 of the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions. Through cooperation with consumer organizations and public offices’ consumer contact points, JADMA promotes thorough after-sales care, proper advertising expressions, and its consultation service to earn consumers’ trust and facilitate healthy development of the industry, with the goal of making mail order sales enjoyable and convenient.
Japan Supermarkets Association (JSA)
JSA was established in 1999 to plan, propose, and promote food distribution policies together with local communities.
Japan Chain Stores Association (JCA)
JCA was established in 1967 to rationalize distribution systems, facilitate their modernization, and contribute to people’s lives by improving retailing management through the promotion of healthy development and expansion of chain stores.
Nippon Pharmacy Association (NPhA)
The main purposes of this association are as follows, based on three key words of safety, convenience and economy which are to clarify the roles of national insurance pharmacies to prioritize the profit of Japanese people. It also aims to contribute to realize health insurance pharmacies that can be truly trusted and satisfied by Japanese people through activities such as fostering health insurance pharmacies with people's viewpoint, providing relevant information and streamlining pharmacy operation and establishing various infrastructures to do so.
Tomod’s discontinued tobacco sales at all of its stores at the end of July 2017 to help customers achieve a healthy and affluent life. Even before this, Tomod’s has supported efforts to quit smoking, introducing customers to medical institutions that provide smoking cessation outpatient service in the neighborhood, as well as products that help them to quit smoking, and providing nutritional guidance from national registered dietitians before and after smoking cessation. Additionally, to encourage its employees to work together with customers in quitting smoking, Tomod’s introduced a welfare program for employees that supports the smoking cessation program. In recognition of these activities, the Japan Society for Tobacco Control recently offered a letter of appreciation to Tomod’s.
Creating local employment
The Sumitomo Corporation Group operates large-scale resource development, infrastructure development, manufacturing, processing and sales businesses in countries around the world, and therefore the impact of its business activities on the economies and lifestyles of these countries and regions is significant. Recognizing that we have a responsibility to pay attention to the history of the country or region and care about local residents as we carry out our business activities, we contribute to the development of local communities not only by creating and promoting local employment but also by working on skills advancement for sustainable development, support for self-reliance, and protection of the local culture and the environment.
Initiatives in the mining business
“Social license to operate” is a term that means to gain approval from society to carry out business activities. The mining business in particular requires initiatives to reduce environmental impact arising from development and to facilitate sustainable development of local society. In conducting the mining business, the Sumitomo Corporation Group values compliance with laws and regulations, as well as the concept of a social license to operate, and works on rehabilitation at all mining sites where it operates to minimize its impact on the ecosystem and contribute to environmental restoration.
Eventually the production at the mine will come to an end. It is therefore important to support economic independence and minimize environmental impact after the operation shuts down so that the local community can achieve sustainable development. When participating in a mining project, the Sumitomo Corporation always develops a business plan that covers the costs required to restore the site to its original state after closure, according to the life of the mine. When actually closing a mine, we take appropriate steps in accordance with local laws and regulations.
Initiatives in the media business and digital business
The Sumitomo Corporation Group respects personal information provided by customers and pays the utmost attention to data privacy. We recognize their importance particularly in the media business and the digital business, which require strict and proper management, and accordingly ensure compliance with laws and regulations on the handling of personal information, guidelines set forth by administrative bodies, and other standards. For example, Jupiter Shop Channel, as an operator of the “Shop Channel” for TV shopping; SCSK as an IT services provider; and T-Gaia as a mobile phone retailer, are certified as handling personal information properly in compliance with Japanese Industrial Standards JIS-Q 15001 personal information protection management systems—requirements, making them eligible to use the privacy mark.
In operating the media business, including the multichannel programming distribution, we are making efforts to meet society’s trust by observing freedom of speech and expression, following the spirit of democracy, respecting basic human rights and public opinion, and protecting law and order.
Work Health and Safety
The Sumitomo Corporation Group offers a safe, hygienic and healthy working environment for its employees. The Group positions physical and mental health management as the foundation of work-life management, and encourages employees to work efficiently to create sufficient time for their private lives. The aim is to promote a work style that allows employees to maintain and enhance their health while being highly productive.
“To achieve prosperity and realize dreams through sound business activities” is a management principle upheld by Sumitomo Corporation. The Company believes that its corporate mission is to deliver financial and emotional enrichment to people around the world including its employees, shareholders, business partners and local community members, and realize their dreams. Maintaining and enhancing employee health is one of the most critical factors that underpin this pursuit. Sumitomo Corporation will continue with its diverse health management initiatives.
In recognition of these initiatives, Sumitomo Corporation has been certified, for two consecutive years since 2017, as an Excellent Enterprise of Health and Productivity Management―White 500 by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) for its superior management practices that focus on promoting employee health.
Measures against global health problems
Currently, many countries around the world are struggling with serious health issues, including HIV (AIDS), tuberculosis and malaria. The Sumitomo Corporation Group is determined to take active measures against these global health problems.
In order to ensure that officers and employees of our Group have accurate information about and protect themselves from these infectious diseases, the Company provides health checkups in advance for officers and employees who are assigned overseas and, when necessary, encourages them to be vaccinated against infectious diseases. We also provide a variety of training before their assignments.
Moreover, we started organizing e-learning and seminars on safety measures in FY2017 in response to requests by employees about to go on their first overseas business trip as well as those looking for the latest information on infectious diseases. These programs aim to enhance awareness of crisis management and disseminate accurate and up-to-date information. We make these programs available to officers and employees not only of Sumitomo Corporation but also of the entire Group within and outside Japan.
Through these activities, we support employees’ health and safety while they are overseas.
Sumitomo Corporation holds a monthly health and safety committee meeting, which is attended by labor union officials on behalf of employees, to discuss health promotion for employees and a better work environment. A roundtable conference on work styles is also held twice a year by management and the union, where participants exchange opinions with a view to improving work styles qualitatively and quantitatively in terms of working hours for union members.
Report on work-related accidents
Sumitomo Corporation strives to prevent work-related accidents. When an accident does occur, we have a system that ensures prompt reporting to the Employee Relations & Compensation Department.
The following summarizes the number of work-related accidents in the last three years among Sumitomo Corporation employees on a nonconsolidated basis.
(Number of work-related accidents)
FY2014: 4 / FY2015: 3 / FY2016: 1
None of these accidents was fatal.
Crisis management system
Sumitomo Corporation has 22 offices in Japan and 111 offices overseas (in 65 countries and regions) (as of March 31, 2019). On a consolidated basis, the Company employs around 73,000 workers around the world. In order to prepare for the incidents, accidents and disasters that will inevitably continue to occur within and outside Japan, each employee needs to be aware of crises and proper safety measures on a day-to-day basis. Meanwhile, each organization also needs to develop infrastructure for safety measures to prepare for an emergency. Also, in the event of an emergency, we need to understand the situation with speed as it is critical to build a support system and promptly resume business operations.
We have therefore centralized reports on all emergency cases, within and outside Japan, within the Safety Promotion Division and ensure speedy reporting to the president by appointing the vice president as its general manager. This system also enables provision of necessary support in a timely and unified manner.
The Sumitomo Corporation Group is engaged in a wide range of business categories , including plants, construction sites, mining sites and offices. Therefore, to provide secure and safe work environments, we carry out safety and health activities in accordance with the characteristics of each business category. Here, we introduce an initiative for HSSE (health, safety, security & environment) of steel tubular products that we provide globally.
Achieving a stable supply of tubular products thorough HSSE management
As the largest supplier of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) in the United States, and operating a wide range of OCGT related businesses globally, we have established a global HSSE management system under the basic policy of placing first priority on legal compliance and HSSE in all our businesses.
We upheld the slogan, "Zero Harm," to reduce labor and environmental accidents to zero, and established our globally shared HSSE management system based on PDCA cycle-based continuous improvement. We have also employed specialists with knowledge of the OHSAS 18001 at our major overseas bases to build a global HSSE network in the four regions of the world (the three aforementioned and Japan), where we are enhancing HSSE management in consideration of the features of the local business.
”HSSE Policy,” which the General Manager of the Tubular Products Division disseminates to all employees of the Global Tubular Products Group every year, states its commitment to provide an environment that places first priority on the safety and health not only of our employees but also of customers, contractors, suppliers and local communities.
Risk management, as one of the 12 elements comprising the HSSE management system, specifies that we identify, analyze and evaluate the different HSSE risks posed to individual sites due to their operation and equipment condition, which helps in the planning of effective onsite controls and counter measures.
We have also developed our own ICT tools to share reports on accidents, information about activities in each region, risk assessment results, examples of successful cases and know-how, as well as to provide e-Learning education and training to further improve HSSE management.
While the number of accidents within our Group has been steadily decreasing since the introduction of the global HSSE management system, we upheld the new slogan of "Beyond Zero Harm" in 2014 to establish and entrench HSSE management as part of its corporate culture, thereby becoming a company for which "Zero Harm" is no longer a goal but a regular routine standard. Based on this principle of "Zero Harm," we will continue to fulfill our social responsibility as the top supplier of tubular products by ensuring their stable supply.
Education on crisis management
Sumitomo Corporation provides a series of seminars on safety measures in order to encourage each employee to become more aware of crises and to learn how to ensure their own safety. We organize over 90 seminars a year, dividing the programs into 4 grades and 6 courses according to the participants’ experience and learning levels.
Also, each office has prepared its own manual on safety measures, which is shared with the Safety Promotion Division, in order to ensure a prompt and effective initial response when a contingency occurs. We have built a system to provide prompt and effective relief and support through cooperation within and outside the country in times of emergency.
We also develop safety net systems as part of our regular practice. For example, we have a system that obtains real-time information on troubles around the world (e.g., terrorism, major accidents, severe weather, natural disasters, etc.) and forwards it to employees who are working on assignment in or taking a business trip to various places. Another example is a system to provide support when emergency medical care is needed.
Sumitomo Corporation has set up an in-house clinic (internal medicine and dentistry) to support employees’ health management on a day-to-day basis. The internal medicine department is open five days a week for outpatients, with specialists in lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia, infectious diseases, and the liver, kidney and respiratory organs. The department also provides employees at high risk of developing lifestyle diseases with ongoing support, including nutrition counseling by registered dietitians and collaboration between specialists in diabetes and nurses, as well as regular blood tests. At the dentistry department, checkups are provided twice a year in addition to regular treatment. Dental and oral hygiene education is also offered on an individual basis as needed.
We provide training on mental health several times a year, including self-care education and training for managers. Through these comprehensive programs taught by external instructors, trainees learn key points about their own mental health and that of others. About 450 employees (including those from Group companies), mainly young employees and managers, take this training in the form of 10 sessions per year. We have also set up a counseling center “for everything, with confidentiality totally protected,” which is used by a total of over 1,200 employees annually. In addition, we conduct an annual stress checkup, which is extended to employees working overseas. The health consultation office within the in-house clinic, also covering mental health, is also available to employees working abroad. To prevent the progression of mental illness and help employees return to work, the in-house clinic also has a specialist in psychosomatic medicine available three days a week.
Financial support for health checkups and comprehensive medical examinations
Financial support for health checkups and comprehensive medical examinations
At Sumitomo Corporation, employees younger than age 35 are required to undertake a regular health checkup at the in-house clinic, while those aged 35 and older are required to take a comprehensive medical examination at an external medical institution. For the checkups and examinations at an external medical institution, employees can receive financial support (up to 10,000 yen for a regular checkup and 60,000 yen for a comprehensive medical examination) from the Health Insurance Society.