In recent years, the environment, human rights and labor issues have been topics of increasing attention, and various stakeholders are calling into question the scope of our social responsibility initiatives across our supply chain. According to news reports, their concerns about manufacturers with respect to social responsibility likely stems from large numbers of manufacturing companies in such industries as sports, apparel and electronic products outsourcing their sewing, assembly and manufacturing operations to outside factories. Furthermore, the social responsibility expected of manufacturers has expanded in scope to encompass large, medium and small size suppliers that provide parts and materials to factories.
Canon places great importance on manufacturing, engaging in product assembly as well as the production of certain components, parts and materials at its own plants, factories and Canon Group manufacturing companies that bear the Canon name and are owned by Canon Inc. directly or indirectly. The manufacturing companies in the Canon Group are located in such countries and regions as Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, the United States, Europe and so on, and supply Canon products to Canon Inc. and companies including Canon Group marketing subsidiaries and affiliates. These manufacturing companies directly employ considerable numbers of employees and are administrated by Canon Inc., which acts as the head of the Canon Group.
Canon Group manufacturing companies conduct business while adhering to Group policies regarding such matters as human rights, labor, the environment, legal compliance, procurement and security, including the “Canon Group CSR Basic Statement,” the “Canon Group Code of Conduct” and the “Canon Group Environmental Charter.” When necessary, each administrative office, product operation headquarters and auditing office at Canon Inc. verify the situation at Group companies as a whole, be they in Japan or overseas, from the standpoints of internal controls and risk management.
The Canon Group offices, factories and manufacturing companies are engaged in partnerships with several thousand suppliers unaffiliated with the Canon Group, from whom they purchase considerable numbers of such components as electronic parts, mechanical parts, units and materials. Procurement divisions at Canon Inc. headquarters and Group manufacturing companies periodically review and evaluate the social responsibility of these suppliers. In particular, Canon may choose to terminate business with suppliers if they fail to meet established standards of laws and ordinances including human rights. In 2018, Canon established the “Canon Supplier CSR Guidelines” in order to clarify the social responsibility standards suppliers must adhere to. Canon also requires that these companies urge their own upstream suppliers to do the same.
Among aspects of social responsibility, child labor and forced labor in particular are areas of growing concern. Within the scope of our 2017 survey of Canon Group companies and suppliers, no problems were found with respect to child labor or forced labor.