Our business activities give us a large sphere of influence when it comes to social accountability, so it is crucial for the many companies and individuals along our supply chain to help the Ricoh Group avoid or minimize unintended negative effects. To that end, we make sure not only our employees, but also the employees of our suppliers, always act ethically. We spotlight this concern in our international guidelines on human rights, labor, the environment and more, and are working continuously to raise our initiatives to the next level.
Since procurement is integral to the Ricoh strategies of "intensive production" and "local production for local consumption," we have implemented a global online procurement system that optimizes costs, suppliers and other factors. Our environmentally and socially responsible methods of procurement are given further support by the strong, cooperative ties we have with our suppliers.
The Ricoh Group, along with suppliers, aims to discharge its social responsibility in the supply chain, by conducting purchase activities on the basis of the following policy: 1) Coexistence and co-prosperity with suppliers by establishing long-term reliable relationships and cooperation, 2) Fairness of transactions (comprehensive evaluation of suppliers based on their participation in corporate social responsibility activities on the basis of economic rationality), 3) Establishment of an environmental management system and reduction of environmental impact through purchasing environment-friendly products, 4) Compliance with the law and 5) Respect for social ethics.
In January 2006, the Ricoh Group established the Ricoh Group Supplier Code of Conduct for our suppliers to make efforts to aim at a better society and global environment and sustainable development of society. All of our suppliers are required to comply with this code of conduct. The Supplier Code of Conduct includes clauses on human rights such as prevention of child labor and environmental conservation.
The Ricoh Group purchases materials and parts used to manufacture products in line with Green Procurement Standards. As part of our efforts to help suppliers promote environmental protection, we have developed Environmental Management System (EMS) Guidelines and Chemical Substance Management System (CMS) Guidelines to help the suppliers establish their own EMS and CMS Guidelines in line with those of the Ricoh Group. These guidelines are used to provide suppliers with training and education as well as support in operating the management systems.
The Ricoh Group Supplier Code of Conduct contains CSR-related standards, including environmental conservation and regulations regarding human rights such as the prohibition of child labor. We request suppliers to comply with these standards in their business activities. We have developed the Supplier Code of Conduct Guidebook and distribute it to suppliers to help them better understand the necessity of compliance with the Code of Conduct. In 2009, we held an explanatory meeting on the Ricoh Group's CSR activities, inviting all major suppliers in Japan to attend, with the aim of raising their awareness of the importance of making efforts in the CSR area and improving their understanding of the Code of Conduct in order to share our values.
Also in 2009, a CSR Self-Assessment System for monitoring the level of compliance with the Supplier Code of Conduct was introduced. Implementation of the system was initiated in Japan and has gradually been expanded to other countries. Based on assessment results reported to the Ricoh Group, activities needing to be improved are identified, results are fed back to the suppliers and advice and support necessary to further improve their activities are provided. The CSR Self-Assessment System has been applied to local suppliers in China since 2010 and was introduced to Thailand in 2013. The system helps suppliers to implement the PDCA cycle by themselves, and this will eventually enable them to meet society's needs and requests.
In conflict-affected areas and high-risk areas, e.g., the Democratic Republic of the Congo located in central Africa, etc., companies relating to mining industry have the potential to generate income, growth and prosperity, sustain livelihoods and foster local development. In such situations, companies may also be at risk of contributing to or being associated with significant adverse impacts, including serious human rights abuses and conflict.
With regard to the responsible supply chain management of minerals from conflict-affected areas and high-risk areas, in order that companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral sourcing practices, it is expected to cultivate transparent mineral supply chains and sustainable corporate engagement in the mineral sector with a view to enabling countries to benefit from their natural mineral resources and preventing the extraction and trade of minerals from becoming a source of conflict, human rights abuses, and insecurity.
The Ricoh Group views the issues that the minerals mining or trading in conflict-affected and high-risk areas finances armed groups and fosters conflicts, or closely related to human rights abuses, labor issues or environmental destruction, etc. as an important CSR issue, and continues to secure transparency in the supply chain together with its business partners, also ensures responsible mineral sourcing practices.
From 2012 the Ricoh Group started to study in-house system approaching conflict minerals issues, and established a cross functional task force in charge of dealing with conflict minerals issues, which consists of representatives from relevant departments within the Ricoh Group companies, and began considering what actions to be taken for the issues.
In addition, Ricoh, as a member company of the "Responsible Minerals Trade Working Group", launched in May 2012 by JEITA*1, is participating in a Working Group for the entire global supply chain, and studying activities unified in the electronics industry.
From June to July 2013 the Ricoh Group held briefing sessions of conflict minerals survey for the first-tier suppliers in major production sites of the Ricoh Group, such as Japan, China, Thailand, and distributed the guidance manual for the survey. In the session, the Ricoh Group explained the background of conflict minerals issues and the basic idea of the Group, and asked the suppliers for their understanding and cooperation in the survey.
As to the survey of usage of conflict mineral (Columbite-tantalite, cassiterite, gold, wolframite, or tantalum, tin, tungsten as their derivatives), the Ricoh Group promoted collaboration with JEITA, the Japanese automakers and JAPIA. The Ricoh Group has adopted the EICC*3/GeSI*4 forms of electronic industry standard for the efficient and effective survey, and asked the suppliers to identify smelters.
The Ricoh Group identified as many parts and materials as possible which were used in the products manufactured at own factories in 2013 or used in case manufacturing was contracted to the third party in the same year, and conducted a survey of the first-tier suppliers from which the Ricoh Group procured them. The Ricoh Group requested more than 1,400 of suppliers worldwide to cooperate with the common survey, and received the responses from more than 90% of suppliers.
The Ricoh Group addresses this conflict minerals issues referring to the "OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas". The Group built a management system that the existing in-house database was customized for the efficient survey, and prepared relevant information for risk analysis.
After analyzing the response information from the first-tier suppliers, it was confirmed that there was a possibility that a certain number of products contain the parts or materials which originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country, accordingly the Ricoh Group conducted due diligence on the relevant first-tier suppliers. The comparison between the smelters and refiners which are certified by the Conflict-Free Smelter program ("CFS program") as CFSI*5 published and the smelters and refiners identified through the 2013 survey was completed.
In the survey of 2013, the Ricoh Group identified 200 companies as smelters that CFSI recognized. 69 companies out of the 200 companies have acquired the certification of CFS program. On the other hand, there were a large number of cases that did not lead to the identification of smelters and mines in the upstream of the supply chain, and it was not possible to determine whether or not Ricoh products are conflict-free according to the results of the due diligence.
The Ricoh Group have collected a lot of names of smelters, but some of them could not be identified whether they are really smelters or not in light of publicly accessible Web information. In these circumstances, the Ricoh Group is working to confirm type of the firms in cooperation with other electronic information equipment manufacturers and automobile manufacturers.
In addition, the Ricoh Group participates in the Japan Conflict-Free Sourcing Working Group (CFS-WG) established by automakers and member companies of the "Responsible Minerals Trade Working Group", and cooperate them to improve the accuracy of smelter list, e.g., by providing the provision of information on smelters to CFSI, and ask the conflict minerals smelters related organizations in Japan to make inquiries about smelters and promote participation to the CFS program.
The Ricoh Group will;
Child labor is one of the priority issues of the Ricoh Group's TRM (total risk management) efforts, and relevant departments have been engaged in various projects to address child labor issues. The Ricoh Group has already surveyed the compliance with laws that prohibit child labor by manufacturing sites in Japan and abroad. The survey results have confirmed that there have been no violations. The self-assessment results from supplier companies have also confirmed that there have been no reports of child labor violations. We will continue to monitor child labor.
In 2001, the Ricoh Group launched RaVenderNET, a network for sharing information on production and environmental impact caused by raw materials and parts. RaVenderNET was expanded in 2005 to include overseas vendors. The network, which is maintained jointly with our suppliers, has streamlined the process of confirming the compliance of purchase orders with Ricoh standards from two or three days to just half a day, substantially shortening production lead times. The system has also been used to share information on socially responsible procurement since 2010.