Since the publication of the Green Procurement Standards in 1999, we have been promoting the manufacture of ecoconscious products in partnership with our suppliers. Furthermore, in the Green Procurement Standards, we set out the establishment of a group of suppliers who support our Environmental Policy in supplying products and goods in order to materialize the targets in supplier collaboration in our Green Plan 2018. In addition to cooperation in “reducing environmental impact in supplier business operations" and “sharing achievements through collaboration," we are asking our suppliers to “seek the cooperation of upstream business partners" to expand the scope of activities of reducing environmental impact throughout the entire supply chain.
Also, based on the Green Procurement Standards, we have been conducting the Green Procurement Survey, where we monitor the implementation status of our suppliers regarding our requests, to promote environmental impact reduction activities more effectively with our suppliers. In fiscal 2013, we conducted a trial survey targeted at our major global suppliers. We received responses from 415 companies, and were able to confirm the level of activity in areas such as environmental management system development, thorough implementation of chemical substance management, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, promotion of resource recycling, and biodiversity conservation. From fiscal 2014, we have replaced surveys conducted on a group-wide scale with surveys at a site level as a means of communication with our suppliers.
In China, seminars on our CSR Procurement Policy and Chinese environmental regulations were held in September 2016 for more than 400 suppliers in Guangzhou, Dalian, and Shanghai. By calling for exhaustive implementation of CSR through the supply chain by using the CSR self-assessment checklist as well as sharing China's latest environmental regulations, we are making efforts to grasp the risks and reduce environmental impacts across the supply chain. In fiscal 2018, self inspection using the CSR self-assessment checklists was expanded to other Asian countries besides China to gain a wider understanding of environmental impact from our business activities.
In response to the enhancement of regulations such as EU RoHS Directive, we have been engaging in continual environmental quality assurance audits of our suppliers since 2005 to improve the management level throughout the entire supply chain. In fiscal 2019, we assessed the environmental quality assurance systems of some 1,200 suppliers and have supported their efforts to upgrade their management levels.