CSR / Environment
Basic Policy on CSR
It has been Sharp’s business philosophy since its founding to ”contribute to the culture, benefits and welfare of people throughout the world” and to understand that ”our future prosperity is directly linked to the prosperity of our customers, dealers and shareholders.” Based on this business philosophy Sharp has continued to meet the expectations of society and its stakeholders, and these aspirations for sustained mutual growth of the company and society are maintained as its basic philosophy behind Sharp’s CSR (corporate social responsibility).
Sharp Group Charter of Corporate Behavior and the Sharp Code of Conduct
To concretize its business philosophy and business creed, the company has set out the Sharp Group Charter of Corporate Behavior to serve as the principles of behavior for Sharp Group companies, and the Sharp Code of Conduct to serve as a standard for all directors and employees. Sharp works to ensure that these guidelines permeate the Group as fundamental CSR policies, and that the Group takes appropriate and sincere action in all of its business endeavors with a high ethical standard and full compliance with the law.
Making Everyone Aware of the Sharp Group Charter of Corporate Behavior and the Sharp Code of Conduct
Resolutions and revisions regarding the adoption of the Sharp Group Charter of Corporate Behavior and the Sharp Code of Conduct are issued by the boards of directors of Sharp Corporation and its main subsidiaries and affiliate companies in Japan and overseas.
These documents have been periodically reviewed and revised* to accommodate changes in the business environment, including changes in stakeholder expectations as well as the establishment of new laws and revisions to existing ones. In addition, internal notices are circulated and annual training sessions are held to ensure that employees are fully aware of these documents. At overseas subsidiaries and affiliate companies that have adopted the Sharp Group Charter of Corporate Behavior and the Sharp Code of Conduct, Sharp translates these documents into the local languages to ensure the entire Group becomes fully aware of them.
In fiscal 2019, Sharp used e-learning to carry out a compliance workshop based on the Sharp Code of Conduct for eligible employees at Sharp Corporation, 14 consolidated and non-consolidated subsidiaries in Japan, and six affiliate companies as well as eligible labor union members. This online workshop saw participation by 19,576 employees.
This training aimed to engrain a mindset in participants to prevent problems from occurring. It covered the importance of conducting business activities thoroughly in line with the Sharp Code of Conduct. It also covered a wide range of themes, including the whistleblowing system, labor and human rights issues such as work hours management, competition laws, eliminating bribery and corruption, protection of personal information, and information security.
- * Revisions: April 2003; May 2005; April 2010; January 2015
Sustainability Policy and Implementation System
In line with Sharp’s basic philosophy and policy towards CSR and amidst its CSR efforts spanning a broad scope, Sharp defined the topics considered particularly important in mitigating impacts on society and the environment as its SER (Social and Environmental Responsibility) and formulated its SER Policy in August 2016.
- Value the rights of employees and ensure their health and safety.
- Fulfill environmental responsibilities in business activities and manufacturing processes.
- Build and operate an SER management system based on international standards, regulations, and client requests.
Furthermore, beginning in fiscal 2018, Sharp has positioned its role to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—adopted by the UN in September 2015 with major expectations placed on corporations—in its medium- to long-term vision, and is moving forward with those efforts.
Beginning in fiscal 2019, Sharp is accelerating its efforts towards this medium- to long-term vision through a two-pronged approach of creating solutions to social problems through business and technological innovation, and reducing the social and environmental toll of its business activities through the promotion of actionable SER measures in line with the SER Policy. Sharp is stepping up efforts through a fundamental strategy of proceeding with sustainable management aimed at contributing to the achievement of the SDGs while also continuing to respond to ESG* investments.
- * Environment, Social, Governance
To execute these policies and manage them in a PDCA cycle, in 2016 the company launched the Sharp Global SER Committee (SGSC) comprising members of top management, Head Office divisions such as environment, personnel, and procurement, in-house companies, and business units. The SGSC engrains policies and visions into the Sharp Group, discusses crucial measures, and shares the latest worldwide trends in social issues.
In recent years, there has been a spate of international long-term goals announced that seek solutions for social issues at the global level, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement*1. Expectations continue to grow for companies to put forth an effort towards these goals.
Against this backdrop, Sharp, in its aim to contribute to achieving these goals to solve global-level social issues, is identifying material issues for the Sharp Group from a medium- to long-term perspective and is carrying out initiatives for sustainable management.
In identifying the material issues, the more crucial issues were selected after reviewing management policy, business strategy, the SDGs, and international guidelines such as the UN Global Compact, as well as the opinions and expectations of various stakeholders, the effect of Sharp’s business activities on stakeholders, and the results of various surveys by ESG*2 survey institutions. The major CSR themes selected were mapped along the two axes of ”importance to society (level of stakeholder expectations)” and ”level of importance to the Sharp Group,” and the issues to be prioritized were identified.
Moreover, Sharp is positioning the strengthening of governance as the basis for all of its corporate activities. It is organizing the identified material issues along the two perspectives of offering solutions to social issues through innovation and reducing the social and environmental impact of its business activities.
|Solutions to social issues through innovation|
|Reducing the social and environmental impact of Sharp's business activities|
|Corporate governance, risk management, compliance, information security, others|
- *1 An international framework for the prevention of global warming agreed on at the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), held in Paris in 2015. The agreement was to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
- *2 Environmental, social, governance
- *3 RBA: Responsible Business Alliance. Founded in 2004 by a group of leading electronics companies including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Dell, the RBA, formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), has a code of conduct covering the social, environmental, and ethical responsibilities in the global supply chain of its members in the electronics and a wide range of other industries.
- *4 AIoT is a word coined by Sharp, combining the words AI (artificial intelligence) and IoT (Internet of things). “AIoT” is registered trademark of Sharp Corporation.
Monitoring Material Issues
Sharp is monitoring the integration of identified material issues at the level of specific and measurable actionable policies.
Regarding solutions to social issues through innovation, Sharp has established a medium- to long-term vision for each in-house company and business unit to contribute to achieving the SDGs. Progress on this vision is reported and confirmed.
For the reduction of the social and environmental impact of Sharp’s business activities, each year Sharp formulates company-wide SER priority policy guidelines. Each in-house company and business unit selects priority measures that are crucial to their operations, sets SER measures (including goals, KPIs, scope, and action plans), makes efforts to achieve them, and conducts self-assessments each quarter.
The Sharp Global SER Committee performs ongoing follow-ups on the progress of implementation of the SER measures for each in-house company and business unit. Company-wide progress is shared and evaluated. The fiscal 2019 SER measures progressed largely as planned in all in-house companies and business units. However, the topics with remaining issues and the measures to be taken for improvement are being reviewed.
Moreover, regarding the strengthening of governance, in addition to confirming the status of efforts at company-wide meetings for each of the topics, the responsible divisions for each topic sets and pushes forward with annual goals. The goals and achievements are disclosed on the relevant pages of the “Governance” section of the Sharp Sustainability Report.
Fiscal 2019 Company-Wide SER Priority Policy Guidelines
|SER Measures||Scope||Related SDGs|
|Restrict long working hours that can lead to health problems||All employees in Japan||
|Prevent harassment||All employees in Japan||
|Respect for human rights at overseas bases||All employees at overseas bases||
|Comply with and efficiently respond to relevant Japanese and overseas laws related to conflict minerals||Applicable business units||
|Carry out SER performance survey/audit at Sharp plants based on international SER standards (RBA*1 Code of Conduct)||All production sites and consolidated production subsidiaries in Japan||
|Restructure supplier SER management system||Suppliers|
|Reduce and recycle waste||All production sites||
|Suppress greenhouse gas emissions associated with business activities
(Improve energy use efficiency)
|All production sites||
|Suppress greenhouse gas emissions associated with product use
(Make products more energy-efficient)
|Product-related business units||
|Comply with EU RoHS Directive*2, WEEE Directive*3, and REACH*4||All business units||
- *1 RBA: Responsible Business Alliance. Founded in 2004 by a group of leading electronics companies including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Dell, the RBA, formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), has a code of conduct covering the social, environmental, and ethical responsibilities in the global supply chain of its members in the electronics and a wide range of other industries.
- *2 RoHS: Restriction of Hazardous Substances. An EU directive on the restriction on the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.
- *3 WEEE: Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment. An EU directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment.
- *4 REACH: Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals. A set of EU regulations on the registration, evaluation, authorization, and restriction of chemicals.
CSR Risk Evaluation in Line with International Standards
Sharp believes that to ensure global business expansion is accompanied by the creation of a sustainable society, it is extremely important to conform to international CSR standards.
Since fiscal 2015, the Sharp Group has been using the Sharp Supply-Chain CSR Deployment Guidebook, which was created in line with the RBA* Code of Conduct (CSR-related international standard), as the guideline for CSR activities. It has been carrying out ongoing CSR self-assessment surveys of Sharp production sites in Japan and overseas.
These surveys are carried out based on the RBA’s Self-Assessment Questionnaire and serve as a review and assessment of the status of SER-related activities at Sharp’s production sites. In fiscal 2019, the survey was carried out at 28 plants in Japan and overseas.
Following the survey, the answers to each question about activity status are scored (on a 100-point scale) according to Sharp’s independent criteria, and the level of activity in each area is ranked from A to D. Feedback is then provided to each site, and a summary of the assessment results are reported at company-wide meetings.
In the fiscal 2019 self-assessment surveys, with the goal of boosting understanding of international CSR standards among local managers through survey responses, guidance was added to the self-assessment questionnaire on things like the purpose of each question and the implementation level of desirable management measures.
As a result, the average score for all factories in fiscal 2019 was 90.9 (A rank), a point higher than last year’s survey.
The assessment scores of fiscal 2019 are shown in the graph at right (by area), with almost all sites scoring well with 70 points or more (B rank). No problems have been identified that pose an immediate, large CSR risk for the Sharp Group as a whole.
Survey responses from the bases are reviewed by relevant head office divisions. If it is determined that efforts are inadequate or latent risks exist, individual interviews are conducted with the bases in question in order to instill them with a thorough understanding of international CSR standards and have them carry out the necessary improvement activities.
Surveys were again conducted in fiscal 2020 for the sake of ongoing improvement in the level of CSR activities.
- * RBA: Responsible Business Alliance. Founded in 2004 by a group of leading electronics companies including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Dell, the RBA, formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), has a code of conduct covering the social, environmental, and ethical responsibilities in the global supply chain of its members in the electronics and a wide range of other industries.
In order to ensure that, “Our future prosperity is directly linked to the prosperity of our customers, dealers and shareholders,” as stated in the company's Business Philosophy, Sharp suitably discloses information, verifies that it is responding to the needs and expectations of shareholders by opening various channels of communication, and makes use of the feedback it receives in its corporate activities.
Sharp will continue to incorporate the voices of its stakeholders in the improvements made to its corporate activities.