In recent years, the environment, human rights and labor issues have been topics of increasing attention, giving rise to questions from various stakeholders about Canon's social responsibility initiatives throughout its supply chain.
According to media reports, concerns about manufacturers with respect to social responsibility stem 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. 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 and Europe, 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, Headquarters divisions, products operations, and audit divisions 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.
Canon Group offices, plants 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 abide by laws and ordinances covering such areas as human rights and labor. In 2018, Canon established the Canon Supplier CSR Guidelines 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 2018 survey of Canon Group companies and suppliers, no problems were found with respect to child labor or forced labor.