With Business Partners

Promoting CSR Procurement

Promoting CSR Procurement with Suppliers

Publishing "Procurement Policy" and "CSR Procurement Standards"

The Brother Group puts its "Procurement Policy" and "CSR Procurement Standards" on the website to share its CSR procurement concept with parts and materials suppliers. In addition to green procurement practices which give priority to purchasing environmentally friendly parts and materials, these policy and standards also cover a wide range of fields, from human rights and labor, employees' safety and health, fair trade and ethics, product quality and safety, information security, to social contribution.
The Brother Group remains committed to promoting CSR activities together with its suppliers.

Procurement policy

  • The Brother Group acts fairly with all suppliers.
  • The Brother Group respects the rules and spirit of laws in all countries and regions where we operate, and builds strong, respectful working relationships with suppliers for mutual growth.
  • The Brother Group promotes environmentally friendly "green procurement," and reduces impact on the environment through the lifecycle of its products.
  • The Brother Group places our customers first everywhere, every time, while remaining committed to delivering high quality products and services at reasonable costs.
  • The Brother Group considers issues concerning conflict minerals* as very important matters, and will take proactive approaches toward responsible procurement of minerals.
  • *:   Conflict minerals are minerals unrightfully mined in a conflict zone. Trading of conflict minerals helps finance armed groups and results in human right violations, labor maltreatment, environmental destructions, etc. in the areas, which has been plagued by regional conflict.

CSR procurement standards

The Brother Group procures products and services from business partners that:

  • respect fundamental human rights of all people, and do not enforce unfair labor practices and illegal labor of children.
  • ensure the safety and health of employees and act to create a safe and comfortable working environment.
  • take proactive measures to protect the global environment.
  • respect the rules and spirit of laws, and act fairly with the highest integrity.
  • work on building a framework for delivering safe, high quality products to customers.
  • have a framework for managing information in place, and keep personal information and confidential information secure.
  • make efforts to become a good corporate citizen, sharing our social, economic and cultural resources in all the communities.
  • try to avoid using unrightfully mined minerals from conflict zones as raw materials.

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Working with Suppliers to Raise their CSR Levels

Requesting improvements and making on-site inspections based on a CSR questionnaire

In FY2012, the Brother Group started a CSR questionnaire survey with the suppliers from which it purchases parts and materials in order to improve the standards of their CSR activities.

This questionnaire survey is conducted once every three years. The second survey carried out in FY2015 underwent revision to cover quantitative information, such as "the achievement ratio of energy-saving activities," "the number of misconduct reports," and "the age of the youngest employee" as a question relevant to the prohibition of child labor, while it retained the same about 80 items as the first survey, which were rated on a five-point scale and included "labor hours," "safety measures for mechanical equipment," and "the management conditions of chemical substances used in manufacturing processes." This revised survey, conducted with more than 500 companies, was able to gain more concrete information on their activities compared to the first survey.

The first survey gave only limited feedback, such as a request for the suppliers who had been found to have problems to formulate an improvement plan. However, this second survey provided about 500 suppliers out of all respondents with the information obtained by the summary and analysis of the questionnaire, including standards and trends by region and the levels of their activities, in order for these suppliers to utilize such information for their future activities.

The questionnaire results were visualized in a graph and provided to suppliers.
The questionnaire results were visualized in a graph and provided to suppliers.

During 2017, the Brother Group will make on-site inspections to confirm the progress of improvement plans formulated by the suppliers, aiming to work with them to make improvements that suit the realities of each supplier and to deepen their activities.

The Brother Group will continue to make efforts to build a mutually trusting relationship with its business partners and grow with them with the purpose of speedily delivering superior value to customers.

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Commending excellent CSR approaches by suppliers to promote their CSR activities

Selecting the best CSR company and three outstanding CSR companies

In 2015, Brother's three factories producing industrial sewing machines and other products for the Machinery business, including Kariya Factory, Brother Machinery Xian Co., Ltd., and Brother Machinery Vietnam Co., Ltd., launched an awards program to recognize excellent CSR activities with the aim of further promoting CSR activities among their suppliers.

Awards ceremony at Aiden Vietnam Ltd.
Awards ceremony at Aiden Vietnam Ltd.

This awards program involves investigation over two years. In the first year, it conducts a questionnaire survey and an on-site inspection of suppliers on seven categories, such as compliance, environment-friendliness, and safety. In the second year, it invites these suppliers to present their CSR activities, and then recognizes excellent suppliers among them.
This time, the program received entries from more than 30 companies. Among these entries, the most excellent CSR company and three excellent CSR companies were chosen after the evaluation by the representatives of the three Brother factories, from various perspectives, such as environment-friendliness, safety, and continuity.

The awards ceremonies were held in March 2017, at Aiden Vietnam Ltd., the company that won the best CSR award, and at the social event for suppliers held in China for the companies which received CSR excellence awards. Brother also presented testimonials to all suppliers who joined this program.

This CSR awards program helped Brother know its suppliers' stances toward CSR and their activities, receiving many reports on CSR activities addressed by respective suppliers, including the improvement of working environment, the reduction of waste, and the acquisition of the ISO 14001 certificate and efforts made based on it. The factories intend to continue this program, which reportedly contributed to increasing motivation among the employees of some suppliers by giving them recognition.
The three Brother factories will promote expanding and enhancing its suppliers' CSR awareness and their activities through this awards program.

The Brother Group will strive to foster relations of mutual trust with its business partners and grow together in order to speedily deliver superior value to customers.

Comment from the winner of the best CSR award

Aiden Vietnam Ltd. Mr. Masatoshi Ueki

Aiden Vietnam Ltd.
Mr. Masatoshi Ueki

We are truly honored to be able to act in line with the CSR philosophy of the Brother Group. At Aiden Vietnam Ltd., we consider it is essential to contribute to the development of local communities and the international community. We, together with all of our employees, aim to deepen and continue our CSR activities, bearing "the contribution to local communities and society" and "friendly to people including employees and the environment" in mind.

Comments from the winners of CSR excellence awards

Ningbo Beilun Wonip Mechanical Co., Ltd. Mr. Peiguo Chen

Ningbo Beilun Wonip Mechanical Co., Ltd.
Mr. Peiguo Chen

I believe it is the conscience and responsibility of entrepreneurs to remember the origin of their success and to repay kindness when they become wealthy. We can create a peaceful atmosphere by giving love to society. Placing importance on "rewarding employees and contributing to society," Ningbo Beilun Wonip Mechanical Co., Ltd. strengthens its awareness of social contribution and its social responsibility and continues charity activities for the public interest.

Ningbo Xiangrui Machinery Co., Ltd. Mr. Dexing Li

Ningbo Xiangrui Machinery Co., Ltd.
Mr. Dexing Li

We are really proud of having been recognized for our CSR activity at the FY2016 gathering of business partners. We deeply appreciate Brother's long-term guidance and support provided to us. Considering this award-winning experience a good opportunity, we will promote and improve employee welfare, environmental protection, social responsibility, and workforce training.

Shin Tech Engineering, Ltd. Mr. Yueyong Xu

Shin Tech Engineering, Ltd.
Mr. Yueyong Xu

We are delighted to receive the CSR excellence award from Brother. We deeply appreciate it.
Our company focuses on providing a working environment which can support the health and growth of all employees and people in the local community. We will continuously strive to become a people-oriented, clean company that can bring employees happiness, impress customers, and survive.