Panasonic’s basic stance on responsible minerals procurement

Panasonic recognizes that the procurement of tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold and cobalt from states in conflict areas and other high-risk areas, may inadvertently fund organizations involved in bribery and other unlawful activities, which is a socially grave concern. Additionally, we are deeply concerned about human rights abuses such as child labor, harsh working conditions and environmental destructions.
In order to fulfill our corporate social responsibility, Panasonic promotes responsible procurement of minerals in the global supply chain.

There are corporations and people who are conducting business activities legally. Panasonic must tackle with the problems by promoting the non-use activity of the illegal minerals while paying enough attention to the business activities of such corporations and life of their workers.
Panasonic needs to work in cooperation with various stakeholders who are building sound minerals supply chains such as states, companies and NPOs, etc.,

Panasonic will conduct the activities based on the "due diligence guidance" of “Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)” and build management process which conforming to the global standards, and implement continuous efforts.

To promote the responsible minerals procurement, due diligence efforts throughout the supply chain are needed such as developing the conflict free system of upstream companies, mines, conflict free certification of refining / smelting companies and refiner / smelter information transmission between downstream companies.
Panasonic will ask all related suppliers to provide information through the supply chain and will promote the procurement from refiners without problems

Panasonic continues to promote the international contribution toward the responsible minerals procurement while considering our future role in the global efforts.

Panasonic's Systems for Dealing with Conflict Minerals

Panasonic is making efforts to build company-wide systems, with ultimate responsibility residing with the executive officer in charge of procurement. With the start of the four-company system in April 2013, we designated a person at each company to be in charge of investigating and reporting on conflict minerals. Under the aegis of these individuals, each company is making efforts to build systems and carry out investigations based on the characteristics of its own business.

Due Diligence Efforts

In addition to communicating Panasonic's policies to our suppliers, we also ask them to put reasonable efforts toward being DRC conflict free and procure materials from conflict-free smelters (CFS) to the extent possible.
Investigations of conflict minerals require the cooperation of all suppliers, and all the refiners / 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 Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI). We are also active participants at investigative briefings held by JEITA's (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association) 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 2017, the Panasonic Group as a whole surveyed around 1,800 supplier companies on conflict materials and had responses from 95% of those (as of the end of January 2017). Based on 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 313 smelters have been identified by the Panasonic Group for the four specified minerals.
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.

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 also participated in the forum in Paris in May 2015, where we were able to exchange views with other interested persons and learn about effective approaches to the problem 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.
We have also visited smelters in Japan and conducted information exchanges on the conditions and issues surrounding conflict minerals, and have considered what sensible ways of dealing with conflict minerals should look like.

Support for Efforts in Democratic Republic of Congo and Neighboring Countries

Panasonic has engaged in due diligence initiatives to fulfill its social responsibilities as a downstream company, but we think the most important development towards resolving the problem of conflict minerals would be the establishment of mechanisms for responsible procurement of minerals in the covered countries.
Based on this thinking, we participated, with industry groups, the U.S. government, and citizen groups, in the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA).(From March 2013 to August 2017)
The PPA supports efforts to create mechanisms and develop capabilities for certification and traceability of minerals transactions that are unrelated to any conflict in the Africa’s Great Lakes region. At the same time, it creates a platform for dialog and cooperation between participating organizations, in the interest of realizing sustainable, responsible minerals trade in the region.

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Support for Sustainable Development of the Covered Countries

As Panasonic's corporate citizenship activity in this region, in 2010 we began 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. 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.

Dialog with NGOs

We are engaged in dialog with NGOs regarding handling of conflict minerals. In March 2015, we participated in an "ethical mobile phone campaign" seminar promoted by the international environmental NGO A Seed Japan, sharing our views on our handling of conflict minerals with representatives of corporations and NGOs. We also exchanged views regarding the importance of sector-cooperative efforts on the handling of conflict minerals. Going forward, we plan to continue this kind of dialog and cooperation.