Brother Group's CSR
Third-party Opinion on Brother Group's CSR Activities in FY 2015
The statement below is based on (i) descriptions on Brother Industries' website about the group's CSR efforts and (ii) interviews with the company's staff in charge of the environment, purchasing, quality and customer satisfaction, personnel, corporate communication and CSR.
The group is clearly committed to a broad range of CSR activities via a proper management cycle across the world, including in Japan. Examples include publishing information positively in multiple languages inside and outside the company, and enhancing the diversity of human resources that underpin the global management.
Highly evaluated points
CEO of IIHOE (International Institute for Human, Organization and the Earth) and editor and publisher of SOCIO MANAGEMENT
Hideto DeDe Kawakita
- Sharing the the Brother Group Global Charter (the Global Charter): The Global Charter, which serves as Brother's guiding principle in CSR, has been translated into 27 languages. To promote the Global Charter, about 580 of the Global Charter promotional leaders have been appointed and acting around the world. The president and top management commit to practice the Global Charter. Seven facilities in China jointly hold "Cross-functional meeting for the Global Charter promotional leaders in China." In Vietnam, "Commitment Card" that helps employees consider their daily in light of the corporate philosophy and the code of conduct is prepared and always carried by all of them. In China, in particular, picture-card show style tools that can be introduced to factory workers during morning assemblies are created on the initiative of locals to share the Global Charter among them. These ongoing practices of sharing the Global Charter among regions and departments at a high level are equivalent to global benchmarks. Brother should set challenging action assignments for 2020s and continue to globally share the activities and unique ideas that are mainly promoted by promotional leaders along with the Brother Group Basic Principles of Social Responsibility .
Especially on human rights and environmental impact reduction, Brother is strongly and continuously expected to share them not only in respective regions and divisions but also throughout the value chain including business partners.
- Increase in diversity and utilization of human resources : Through seminars based on the development plan for executive and managerial positions (facility succession plan) and so on, in China where Brother's main facilities are located, more than half of executive and managerial positions are occupied by locals. Seminars have also been conducted at group companies in Vietnam and Philippines. Further enhancement of the bases for global development and utilization of human resources is expected according to mid- to long-term global human asset portfolio strategies. Regarding the employment of the disables , the employment rate reaches 2.11%. Brother is strongly and continuously expected to make relations and environments that enable the disabled, and non-Japanese employees working in Japan to interact and consult with employees of same attribution each other.
- Involvement of suppliers : Brother requested suppliers to self-evaluate their own activities by "CSR Tools" consisting of 80 questions regarding the environment, human rights, labor, health & safety, fair trade, corporate ethics, information security, and social contributions, and received answers from 428 suppliers. Brother then gave superior cases "CSR Award" and introduced the award-winning companies while requesting some low score suppliers to take corrective actions. These are highly evaluated. With a view to ISO 20400 that will be issued soon, Brother is expected to address to secondary suppliers and promote to accurately grasp suppliers' progress of activities in a quantitative way on safety, the environment and human rights and to persuade suppliers to take improvement measures referring to the feedback of the survey results either by type or scale of business.
Efforts that have shown progress but require more commitment
- Reduction of environmental impact: Following twos, (i) the efforts to cut greenhouse gas total emissions in the manufacturing facilities and sales companies in and outside of Japan and (ii) the implementation of heat insulations in Japan that will lead to the enhancement of employees' satisfaction by restricting the influence of external temperature by windows and paints are recognized. Along with making efforts to achieve long-term objectives with an eye to the future beyond 2030, just-in-time energy consumption by the collaboration of whole production sites including facilities administration departments and, for addressing Scope 3 also, encouraging the use of universal design fonts, reducing environmental impact during use such as defaulting toner saving and 2 in 1 printing for shipping are strongly and continuously expected.
- Improving quality control and customer satisfaction : Circumstances are assessed with Brother's unique index, product returns and servicing rate, and systematic efforts have been made from responses to defects to prevention of quality problems. These activities are highly valued. Brother is expected to analyze factors of defects and to strive for optimization of the quality of products when used by customers through communication with them.
- Creation of workplaces where employees can easily continue to work : A nursing care seminar has been held 50 times up to now; the number of attendees of the seminars has reached 45% of employees at age 40 or over; support tools for making care plan were provided; and a comprehensive care center for a community was invited. These activities are particularly noteworthy. Respective workplaces should identify and resolve issues to increase the system utilization rate of leave, leave of absence, and short-time working for child care, family care, and nursing care (8.93% at Brother Industries including those who are still on leave). In terms of the general consultation desk to help employees cope with their anxieties and problems, while the enhancement of the activities by the counterparty of labor union is recognized, further activities to facilitate use of consultation, such as introducing more case examples relevant to family-related problems, are expected.
- Business continuity plan (BCP) : Stipulating "local contribution" in the basic principle of business continuity that places the security of human life first and conducting evacuation drills with a neighboring nursery school are recognized. Promoting the cooperation for the security of employees' family members is expected.
- Social contribution activities : More than 20,000 employees (over half of Brother Group's global workforce) have joined the Brother eco point program to reduce environmental impact on a day-to-day basis. Brother employees also have voluntarily involved in activities based on local needs. These efforts, which reflect Brother's spirit and involve its business operations, are highly evaluated. Brother should continue to systematically promote these activities as part of social investment under a global vision.
Efforts that Brother is expected to promote as a global company
- Communications with diverse stakeholders : The top management including the president and officers keep employees informed in multiple languages, which should be highly evaluated. Brother is strongly and continuously expected to actively provide opportunities for communicating with NGOs and other external stakeholders in Europe in particular, identify social issues to work on next, and seize opportunities for collaboration. For the opportunity to publish superior activities inside and outside Brother, the foundation of evaluation and commendation system that evaluates from the perspective of "At your side." is also strongly and continuously expected.
- Commitment and response to biological diversity : and water resource issues : Considering the fact that only 5 years are left to the meeting in which the progress of "Aichi Targets" will be confirmed, Brother is expected to increase its understanding and sharing knowledge about the impact of producing paper (indispensable for printing) and textiles (indispensable for sewing with machines) on the ecosystem furthermore, and enhance its conservation efforts including human resource development in association with Brother Earth .
- Founded in 1994 "for balanced and democratic development for all the Lives on the Earth" IIHOE has been providing management support to nonprofits and social entrepreneurs, and also CSR support to many corporations.