The Yamaha Group is focused on ensuring better communication with all stakeholders in order to respond to various CSR-related issues globally. This year, Ms. Makiko Akabane shares her opinion on Yamaha’s CSR activities and the Yamaha CSR Report 2014 in order to make improvements going forward.
CSR Asia Tokyo Office
I am pleased to be giving a third party opinion in continuation to last year. I feel that this year’s CSR report shows exceptional progress from 2013. In addition to a more detailed content, the report has been designed with a structure in line with the core subjects of ISO 26000 “Social responsibility.” The broad range of Yamaha’s CSR activities has been fully compiled, and I think that Yamaha is demonstrating magnificent efforts to convey information to diverse stakeholders.
The Message from the President refers to initiatives concerning rare woods, supplier labor practices, and conflict minerals, which could be a future risk as a result of the globalization of procurement. Yamaha has a history extending over 125 years. In order for the company to continue to grow for the next 125 years, it must assertively come to grips with sustainability risk in relation to the products that form the core of the corporation’s activities. This is a trend common to all international corporations. The recognition and response to such sustainability-related risks have been declared to be the foundation to business management in the Message from the President. Such a stance by the president communicates the intention of the company to be a global pioneer in the sound and music market.
There are factors that I would very much like to see the company work on in order to develop its global business, as it accelerates the expansion of its sales network in China and emerging nations as detailed in the medium-term management plan, and globalizes procurement as I mentioned above. These include setting goals in areas of CSR other than the environment, and constructing and applying mechanisms for their achievement. In other words, elements of CSR need to be incorporated into the area of responsibility of each employee and mechanisms created by which everyone can be proactively involved in implementing CSR management across the company. Although it may not be simple to incorporate such elements into the work of the relevant departments, it is important that the CSR mechanisms are embedded into the practice of business in order to respond swiftly and flexibly to diverse CSR issues throughout the world.
In last year’s third-party opinion, I touched on stakeholder engagement. I feel that this year’s report has improved a great deal in this respect. The fact that the item “Dialogue with employees” has been added from this year warrants special mention. Still, with regards to these employees, who are important stakeholders for Yamaha, the ratio of overseas to Japanese employees stands at 2:1. There are many overseas employees, of which the China and Asia-Pacific region alone makes up around 60% of the total workforce. Initiatives to prevent industrial accidents and promote health and safety overseas are mentioned in the report, but when a comparison is made with descriptions of the company’s interactions with employees in Japan, interactions between the company and employees overseas seem to be lower in terms of both quality and quantity. The medium-term management plan states that the employment of local human resources is indispensable for the accelerated expansion of the sales network in China and emerging nations. I look forward to further initiatives to develop the relationship between the company and employees overseas in order that Yamaha employees around the world may better demonstrate their abilities and contribute to the growth of the company.
Response to Third-Party Opinion
Director and Managing Executive Officer
Following on from last year, we received feedback from Ms. Makiko Akabane, Director, Japan, CSR Asia Tokyo Office, a think tank with the largest network in Asia specializing in CSR and sustainability, on our CSR activities and CSR report. We are indeed grateful to Ms. Akabane for her opinion.
Ms. Akabane gave us high marks for having made exceptional progress in our CSR reporting, while also giving reassuring encouragement concerning our stance for future CSR initiatives. With regards to setting goals and creating mechanisms for areas of CSR other than the environment pointed out by Ms. Akabane, we were able to verify the status of company’s activities and management concerning each aspect of CSR through inspections using ISO 26000.Moving forward, we would like to incorporate these into the operations of sections in charge, and set goals and conduct reviews from a CSR perspective.
With regards to the relationship between employees and the company, we will focus our efforts on mechanisms for dialogue and creating a corporate climate for day-to-day communication. We believe our ongoing promotion of diversity to be important points in accepting various ways of thinking and value systems, and activating dialogue. Based on Ms. Akabane’s point on the necessity of engaging with employees overseas and the scarcity of disclosure in this regard, we will implement measures across the Group to rectify this moving forward. Having earnestly taken on board Ms. Akabane’s comments, the Yamaha Group aims to be a global leader in the sound and music market, and will continue to contribute to the building of a sustainable society through our business activities.