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 2018, Sharp used e-learning to carry out a compliance workshop based on the Sharp Code of Conduct for eligible employees at Sharp Corporation, 12 consolidated and non-consolidated subsidiaries in Japan, and seven affiliate companies as well as eligible labor union members.
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, prohibitions on child labor, protection of young/student workers, competition laws, eliminating bribery and corruption, protection of personal information, and information security.
- * Revisions: April 2003; May 2005; April 2010; January 2015
Sustainability Policy, Vision, and Strategy
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.
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's fundamental strategy remains contributing to the achievement of the SDGs while also continuing to respond to ESG* investments.
- * Environmental, social, governance
CSR Management Promotion Framework
In 2016, Sharp created and is currently running the Sharp Global SER* Committee to integrate the SER Policy to the level of actionable measures and manage them along a PDCA cycle.
The Sharp Global SER Committee is chaired by Sharp Corporation's executive vice president and is vice-chaired by the environmental manager and personnel manager. Moreover, all in-house company presidents and business unit general managers serve as committee members, and the related divisions of the Sharp Head Office participate as the support team.
The convening body of the Sharp Global SER Committee, the SER Conference, meets biannually to engrain SER policies and visions into the Sharp Group, discuss crucial measures, confirm and review the progress of business activities and SER measures aimed at achieving the SDGs in each in-house company and business unit, and share the latest global trends in social issues. Also, the content of the SER Conference is reported, as needed, to the company's board members, and the Conference manages efforts towards solutions to social issues through business activities of the Sharp Group while coordinating management and business policies from a medium- to long-term perspective.
In the in-house companies and business units, SER Committee Offices and SER Promotion Teams have been established under the supervision of the in-house company president or business unit general manager. These organizations promote business that contributes to achieving the SDGs, select annually formulated important SER measures closely linked to business, and determine key performance indicators in their work towards solutions for social issues.
- * Social and environmental responsibility
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 and making efforts on material issues for the Sharp Group from a medium- to long-term perspective.
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
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, in addition to monitoring progress using financial indicators as has been previously given in the Medium-Term Management Plan, Sharp has established a medium- to long-term vision for each in-house company and business unit to contribute to achieving the SDGs. Sharp has begun to report and confirm this progress at the SER Conference.
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 at the SER Conference, the convening body of the SER Committee.
The fiscal 2018 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 at the SER Conference.
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 2018 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.
SER 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 SER international 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 (an SER-related international standard), as the guideline for SER activities. It has been carrying out ongoing SER 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 2018, the survey was carried out at 31 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 the SER Conference.
The assessment scores of fiscal 2018 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 SER risk for the Sharp Group as a whole.
Moreover, for some plants, interviews regarding response content are being conducted through site visits and teleconferences by representatives from the relevant head office divisions.
Constant improvement is being encouraged for inadequate efforts and latent risks that have been identified through interviews.
- * 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.
Examples of latent risks identified through site visits/interviews
- Education and training regarding ethics not being given to workers regularly (ASEAN production base)
- Inadequate framework to determine supplier SER efforts and evaluate risks (Europe production base)
- Facility BCP (business continuity plan) not being regularly reviewed (domestic production base)
In fiscal 2019, Sharp will make improvements, such as adding governance documentation to self-assessment survey forms, with the goal of promoting further understanding of the SER international standards of site personnel through responses to surveys. It will work towards increasing continuous efforts in line with international standards while mitigating SER risks throughout the entire Group.
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.