Panasonic’s basic stance on responsible minerals procurement

Panasonic had taken a basic stance on conflict minerals in 2012, and reviewed it in April 2018 based on recent social trends in regard to responsible minerals procurement.

Panasonic recognizes that the procurement of certain minerals (notably tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold and cobalt) from states in conflict areas and other high-risk areas carries with it a risk of funding organizations that are involved in all kinds of illegal or unethical activities including human rights abuses such as child labor, harsh working conditions, environmental destruction and corruption. This is a matter of grave social concern.
In order to fulfill our corporate social responsibility, Panasonic promotes responsible procurement of minerals in the global supply chain.

However, at the same time, there are companies and individuals in such areas who are conducting business activities with no connection to any illegal activities.
Panasonic is therefore mindful of our obligation to avoid using minerals that are associated with illegal or unethical behavior, while striving to ensure that legitimate companies’ and individuals’ business activities and livelihoods are not harmed by such efforts.
To this end, Panasonic needs to work in cooperation with a wide range of stakeholders, including countries, companies, and non-profit organizations (NPOs) that are taking measures to build fair supply chains of minerals in such affected locations.

As a foundation to this position, Panasonic is conducting its activities continuously based on the "Due Diligence Guidance" of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), and is building management processes which conform to global standards, with the aim of contributing to the international efforts being made to address these issues.

To effectively promote the responsible procurement of such minerals, a number of due diligence efforts throughout the supply chain are required. Examples of such work include; developing the ‘conflict free’ system of upstream companies (through to mines) and ‘conflict free’ certification of refining / smelting companies (including refiner / smelter information transmission downstream).
To help achieve this, Panasonic is requiring all related suppliers to provide relevant information through the supply chain, and promotes procurement from suppliers who are working to the same ends.

Panasonic is also continuing to support the international contribution towards responsible minerals procurement while actively considering our future role in such global efforts.

Panasonic's Systems for Responsible Minerals Procurement

Panasonic is making efforts toward responsible minerals procurement by building company-wide systems, with ultimate responsibility residing with the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO). In partnership with each of its Companies, Panasonic strives to build systems and carry out investigations based on the characteristics of their respective businesses.

Due Diligence Efforts

Panasonic communicates its policies to its suppliers and partners with them, in order to meet its social responsibilities, to promote responsible minerals procurement throughout the entire supply chain.
The investigations of conflict minerals, in which Panasonic has long been involved, require the cooperation of all suppliers, and all the refineries/smelters they work with. To reduce the burden on suppliers, and to enhance the efficiency of such investigations, we have found it effective to use common investigating tools and explanatory materials. Based on this realization, Panasonic uses, as an investigative tool, the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) issued by the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI).We are also active participants at investigative briefings held by JEITA (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association's) Responsible Minerals Trade Working Group, where we work as a presenter. We make active use of manuals and other handbooks jointly prepared by Japanese automobile makers and the Japan Auto Parts Industries Association for conducting investigations.

Status of Investigations

In fiscal 2018, the Panasonic Group as a whole surveyed around 1,700 suppliers on conflict materials and had responses from 99% of those (as of the end of February 2018). Based on the data from the CMRTs that we have collected, we have already conducted a risk analysis and assessment, and have requested further investigations from suppliers according to risks.
A total of 322 smelters have been identified by the Panasonic Group for all the minerals. Among these, 80% of all smelters have been certified as CFS.
At the present time, we have not confirmed any minerals that have served to finance military power either directly or indirectly for the metals that have been reported in the survey as being sourced from covered countries, but we will continue our work of closely examining and identifying smelter information.
Furthermore, through our industry activities, we have urged smelters to acquire CFS certification. Our suppliers continue to perform due diligence, but in the rare event minerals are discovered to have been supportive of conflict, we are asking that these suppliers strive to change their suppliers, or take other steps toward non-use.

Cobalt Investigations

As part of its efforts to promote responsible minerals procurement, Panasonic pursues initiatives that follow the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) “Due Diligence Guidance” and creates management processes that conform with global standards. Specifically, the Company continually conducts cobalt supply chain investigations, identifies and investigates refineries, and carries out other related initiatives.
Panasonic will continue conducting appropriate cobalt surveys and procurement while watching industry trends.

Participation in Forums on Implementing Due Diligence for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains

Beginning in 2011, Panasonic has been participating in OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas projects (currently, the Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains). At the forum in November 2013, we learned about ongoing efforts toward conflict-free minerals procurement, including mines, exchanges, and traceability systems for responsible minerals procurement, in Rwanda, and ways to identify mines through analysis of mineral composition and generation. We attended the forums held in Paris in 2016 and 2017, and continued discussions with our stakeholders in regard to effective approaches to addressing issues of conflict minerals.

Industry Cooperation Initiatives

Investigations of conflict minerals require the cooperation of all suppliers in the supply chain. Accordingly, Panasonic has been working with JEITA (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association) as co-chair and co-leader of the Responsible Minerals Trade Working Group, engaging in educational activities and efforts to make the investigative process more efficient through industry cooperation.

More specifically, we have been working with industry groups both inside and outside Japan and holding seminars and briefings about investigations to promote correct efforts regarding conflict minerals. We have checked information on smelters / refiners, and helped plan the IPC-1755 standards for the sharing of U.S. data on conflict minerals. In November 2013, JEITA's Responsible Minerals Trade Working Group teamed up with Japanese automakers to create the Conflict-Free Sourcing Working Group, in order to engage in dialog with the smelting industry and to accelerate efforts to verify information about smelters / refiners. Panasonic was also a participant in this activity.
Since January 2016, along with other corporate members of JEITA’s Responsible Minerals Trade Working Group, we have begun working toward getting smelters that have not yet received CFS certification to do so.
Furthermore, Panasonic joined the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) in July 2017, with the aims of learning the latest industry trends and promoting appropriate procurement activities. Panasonic will continue the responsible procurement of minerals while watching industry trends.

Support for Sustainable Development of the Covered Countries

As part of Panasonic's corporate citizenship activities in this region, in 2010, we launched the Panasonic NPO Support Fund for Africa, as a means of supporting and strengthening the public relations foundation for NPOs / NGOs working to resolve issues in African nations. Through this fund, we have supported organizations working to resolve issues in African nations.This is our way of supporting organizations working to resolve issues in African nations. Included among the organizations that Panasonic has supported so far are the NPO Terra Renaissance (2011 to 2013), which works on issues including landmines, small arms, and child soldiers in countries including Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Reborn Kyoto (2014 to 2016), an NPO that provides opportunities for women in Rwanda to take part in vocational training in order to support their economic independence. In March 2016, Panasonic donated roughly 500 of its solar lanterns to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which offers humanitarian assistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In March 2017, Panasonic donated its 900 solar lanterns to the Democratic Republic of the Congo through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to be used at vocational training facilities to help former child soldiers, internally displaced people, and repatriated refugees. Furthermore, in September 2017, Panasonic donated its 342 solar lanterns to a Healthcare Center in Rwanda through the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to be used for healthcare activities for internally displaced persons (IDPs).