Responding to People and Society as a Good Corporate Citizen

Why is this important?

Basic Approach

Continually passing on the spirit of “Respect for humanity” that has been a hallmark of Canon since our foundation in 1937, we adopted kyosei as our corporate philosophy in 1988 in line with global development of the business. Kyosei describes an aspiration to create a society in which all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, live and work together for the common good.

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected individual lives and global economic activity, increasing the demands across society for safety and security both at work and at home. In pursuit of the SDGs, companies are expected to contribute to efforts to eliminate discrimination and poverty on a global basis while recognizing diversity and seeking to create a society in which everyone can play an active role.

Besides business activities, Canon’s response to fulfil these societal expectations is to focus on implementing a range of multifaceted corporate citizenship initiatives to help people and society. A core aim in playing our role as a good corporate citizen is to ensure Canon’s continued growth and development as an enterprise, while contributing to achieving the SDGs.


Under “Responding to People and Society as a Good Corporate Citizen,” we have identified the three areas of “Human Rights and Labor,” “Product Responsibility” and “Social Contribution” as the material basis for Canon Group business activities. In addition to our social responsibilities as a manufacturer, we believe it is vital to contribute to the continued development of society in the way we respond, through business activities, to societal changes and trends, as well as the way in which we strive to meet the expectations and demands of stakeholders. Besides such global guidelines as the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” and “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” authored by the United Nations, we evaluate societal demands and expectations based on the views of external experts and on the results of our stakeholder surveys. We consider all these aspects in assessing the suitability of our activities and making revisions where appropriate. Our latest stakeholder survey pointed to high levels of interest in Canon initiatives in the following areas: “Prevention of Discrimination and Harassment,” “Respect for Basic Human Rights,” “Inquiries and Repair/Maintenance support abilities,” “Improving quality and quality control,” and “Utilizing business activities to contribute to social welfare .”

Going forward, Canon will promote good corporate citizenship activities while taking into consideration the changing demands and expectations of society.

Risks and Opportunities

Outlined below for the three fields of Human Rights and Labor, Product Responsibility, and Social Contribution are the risks that could potentially compromise the adequacy of our initiatives in each field and the opportunities created by undertaking them.

Major Risks and Opportunities in Each Field, Impact on Business Activities

  Risks Opportunities
Human Rights
and Labor
  • Damage to public reputation
  • Litigation risk from workplace harassment
  • Difficulty in recruitment/retention of staff
  • Reduced productivity/motivation
  • Production and other impacts due to disasters/ pandemics, etc.
  • Sustained business development
  • Improved diversity and employee productivity
  • Global business development
  • Creation of innovation
  • Transfer of expertise and skills, etc.
  • Damage to brand value
  • Loss of customer trust, etc.
  • Increased trust from customers and public
  • Enhancement of brand power
  • Sustained competitiveness, etc.
  • Shrinking of global market
  • Shortage of next-generation human resources
  • More severe impacts on regional communities due to natural disasters
  • More severe societal impacts due to COVID-19, etc.
  • Ongoing development of local communities
  • Acquisition of next-generation human resources
  • Building trust with local communities
  • Enhancement of brand image
  • Cultural support, sports sponsorship, etc.


  • GRI102-11
  • GRI102-15
  • GRI103-1
  • GRI103-2

Human Rights and Labor

Under increasing global attention to how corporations are operating in relation to human rights, Canon, as a truly global business enterprise, has established the Canon Group Human Rights Policy, and seeks to maintain legal and regulatory compliance in all business activities across every country and region, while promoting initiatives to ensure respect for the human rights of all employees, suppliers and other stakeholders involved in our own business activities and those of our business partners.

Canon believes sustained enterprise growth is a function of improving productivity by maximizing the potential of individual employees through the development of a highly motivated and diverse workforce. To this end, we are promoting various initiatives throughout the Canon Group in areas such as diversity and inclusion, occupational health and safety, health management and HR development, in order to support the creation of workplace conditions that promote high employee motivation.

Product Responsibility

Believing that customers should never encounter any safety-related quality issues, Canon in its production activities takes product safety as an issue of paramount importance. Furthermore, product safety problems can significantly impact business performance by eroding customer trust and the value of the Canon brand. Conversely, our recipe for strong enterprise growth is to supply products that meet customer needs, offer high quality and added value, and are easy to use, while also constantly working to develop innovative technologies suited to our ever-changing world.

Canon’s basic quality concept is to ensure that customers have “no claims, no trouble.” Our quality management system builds on the requirements of international standards using unique concepts and mechanisms. Based on this approach, we strive to improve quality across the entire product lifecycle. With regard to safety, we have instituted in-house product safety technical standards that are stricter than the regulatory requirements in each country and region that we serve to ensure that our customers can use Canon products with peace of mind.

In addition, through the introduction of Universal Design principles and other initiatives, we are working to promote the development of Canon products that customers worldwide can use easily, regardless of age, gender, nationality or ability.

Social Contribution

The spirit of contributing to society has been a part of Canon’s corporate culture since our foundation. We believe in returning profits to local communities by investing in various activities such as support for those affected by disasters; funding for education and academic scholarships; and the sponsorship of cultural, artistic and sporting events. We believe that contributing to solving local issues is an indispensable part of supporting the sustainable development of society, based on enhanced trust in Canon as an enterprise.

Based on this approach, Canon established the Canon Group CSR Activity Policy. Canon seeks to develop its operational sites by engaging in activities tailored to the characteristics and issues of different countries and regions worldwide. In doing so, we draw on various resources in our areas of strength, such as advanced technological capabilities, global business deployment expertise, and diverse, specialized human resources.

Relevant Guidelines

  • UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) International Labour Standards
  • The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
  • Children’s Rights and Business Principles developed by the UN Global Compact
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • ISO 26000
  • Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) Charter of Corporate Behavior

Relationship with SDGs

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