Many companies have concentrated on optimizing their supply chains with suppliers around the world in addition to themselves, in order to stably and rapidly provide products and services to customers with better quality and cost performance.
Against a backdrop of increasing awareness of compliance, human rights, and the environment around the world, in addition to respecting the rights of their own group employees, companies are now expected to responsibly survey the state of labor conditions, compliance with laws and regulations, and environmental measures at their suppliers, and take action if necessary to remedy any shortcomings. A company that continues to conduct business with secondary or even tertiary suppliers discovered to have shortcomings in these areas will be criticized by society, which may impede the company's ability to manufacture products and otherwise conduct business.
Panasonic's Standard Purchase Agreement clearly explains its principles regarding respect for human rights, keeping working environments safe, prohibiting discriminatory behavior, and actions in other areas. Our suppliers, as well as their subcontractors and suppliers, are required to adhere to these principles. Panasonic aims to build a sustainable supply chain with its suppliers by updating and distributing information about the principles it wants its suppliers to observe from a CSR perspective as well.
In order to fulfill its social responsibility in its procurement practices, Panasonic has adopted a basic policy of not using conflict minerals as raw materials, because conflict minerals are a source of funding for organizations that are involved in human rights abuses, environmental destruction, bribery, and other unlawful activities in regions of conflict.
Specifically, Panasonic participated in the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals in Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas project that the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) began in August 2011. In fiscal 2014, Panasonic began investigating its smelters for evidence of conflict minerals in collaboration with the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA).