Corporate Environmental Strategy and Management
Internal Environmental Management Structure
Environmental management framework
Globally managing environmental issues throughout the group, led by the Environmental Committee
The Brother Group promotes global environmental management according to the Brother Group Environmental Policy . Specifically, the officer in charge of environmental affairs instructs respective departments at head office as well as divisions and function centers through the Environmental Committee (the supreme committee responsible for promoting environmental management) to determine policies and implement measures.
Brother Group environmental management framework
The Environmental Committee is the decision-making body for environmental affairs. It is chaired by the officer in charge of environmental affairs and other executive officers responsible for function centers, new business, IT, and general affairs. Committee meetings are held four times a year.
EMS (environmental management system ) Committee (secretariat: Law, Environment & General Affairs Dept.)
This committee has control over the EMS subcommittees set up in head office and manufacturing facilities in Japan. The committee monitors ISO 14001 operations at these facilities and compliance with laws and regulations in Japan, while constantly following up improvement activities.
Respective business sites and major group companies
These entities have dedicated staff responsible for environmental management activities. The staff identify and report (i) progress in fulfilling specific policies and targets set by the Environmental Committee and (ii) compliance with rules for environmental management.
Environmental Issues Review Committee (secretariat: Law, Environment & General Affairs Dept.)
This committee draws up and reviews specific policies and measures relating to products' eco-compliance, companywide projects, and global environment-related regulations.
Working Groups (WGs)
The following working groups in Japan serve as task forces responsible for their respective themes.
- Product Design WG: Reviews and determines various standards for eco-friendly product design.
- Chemical Substances in Products WG: Ensures compliance with regulations on chemical substances contained in products, primarily the RoHS Directive .
- Environmental Operation Process WG: Addresses the establishment of environmental eco-compliance operation and environmental information systems for the entire group.
Environmental communication promotion framework
The Brother Group established "working on activities to enhance the environmental brand image under the environmental slogan 'Brother Earth '" as the basic policy for environmental communication in the Brother Group Environmental Action Plan 2018 (2016-2018). The CSR & Corporate Communication Dept. takes the initiative to promote environmental activities at facilities around the world.
Environmental management system
Practicing the PDCA (Plan - Do - Check - Act) cycle in line with ISO 14001
Under our mid-term management plan, the Brother Group creates the Brother Group Mid-term Environmental Action Plan every three to five years, based on which Brother Industries, Ltd. (BIL) and manufacturing and sales facilities in respective countries set annual plans and carry out environmental activities as part of their business operations. The progress and performance (results) of plans are checked based on reports and internal audits from each facility, and the findings are then reflected when planning for the following year.
In operating the environmental management system for environmental protection activities, compliance with laws, regulations, and standards is ensured, and the ISO 14001-based PDCA (Plan - Do - Check - Act) cycle is practiced.
ISO 14001 certification has been obtained by all group manufacturing facilities*, with Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd. being the first to be certified in 1996. Brother U.K. Ltd., a sales facility in U.K., obtained certification in 2005, followed by other many sales facilities.
- *: When a new business site is established, activities are implemented in compliance with ISO 14001 upon commencement of operations, and ISO 14001 certification is immediately obtained.
The Brother Group annually conducts internal audits of environmental issues to confirm that manufacturing facilities in and outside Japan effectively follow the environmental management system in conformance with ISO 14001. The Brother Group is also subject to external environmental review for ISO 14001 (environmental management system) certification.
For facilities in Japan, internal audits are conducted by the Law, Environment & General Affairs Dept. of BIL. For overseas facilities, internal audits are conducted by departments in charge of environmental affairs at the respective facilities to check compliance with relevant laws and regulations, the progress of annual plans, the effectiveness of the environmental management system, and consistency with ISO standards. Corrective measures are implemented immediately when any nonconformance is found, and the effectiveness of such corrective measures is checked by follow-up audits.
Audit results in Japan, together with the status of legal compliance and performance (results), are presented to the Environmental Committee. In the annual environmental audit, it is confirmed that the PDCA cycle is properly practiced and there are no serious accidents or problems to report.
In the external review, BIL won the Gold Prize of the 2014 Aichi Environmental Award,* thereby achieving the "strong point" evaluation by the ISO certification body.
- *: The social contribution and accomplishments in environmental management (e.g. manufacturing technologies to reduce environmental impact including the Low Energy Standby technology that significantly reduces standby power consumption of products; and establishment of a proprietary environmental information system to meet the management standards in line with regulations in respective countries) of BIL were highly evaluated.
Environmental training for employees
The Brother Group's ISO 14001-certified facilities offer environmental training programs for all employees as well as job specific training related to specific tasks and functions.
Essential environmental training is provided every year to raise eco-awareness and facilitate operations. Examples include environmental training programs for all new recruits joining Brother; e-learning -based training programs for all employees; training programs for production and procurement staff at manufacturing facilities in and outside of Japan, for example, the management of chemical substances contained in products, process control guidance and auditing at suppliers.