In order to quickly and stably supply products and services with a higher quality and a better cost-performance to customers, many businesses have formed a supply chain (a chain of related businesses covering everything from the raw materials until the product or service is delivered to the consumer) with multiple suppliers in regions across the world.
Against a recent background of an increasing awareness concerning international compliance, human rights, and the environment, businesses are required to correctly understand the working environment, legal compliance, and environmental measures of suppliers upstream in the supply chain, and endeavor to take corrective measures as necessary. The number of customers who preferentially select and purchase products produced by a wholesome supply chain is also increasing.
Our suppliers are essential partners who help us to create the value that meets our customers' expectations. In cooperation with such suppliers, we are promoting CSR procurement and working to improve transparency. Items on respect for human rights, safe workplace environments for employees, prohibition of discrimination, and other provisions are set forth in our Standard Purchase Agreement, which we also request the subcontractors and procurement sources of our suppliers to observe.
At the same time, conflict minerals form a source of funds for organizations involved in human rights abuses, environmental destruction, bribery, and other unlawful activities in conflict areas. Panasonic therefore has adopted a basic policy of non-use of conflict minerals as a raw material.
This is one more area in which Panasonic is creating and implementing mechanisms for sustainable manufacturing in partnership with our suppliers around the world.