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 opinions on Yamaha's CSR activities and the Yamaha CSR Report 2015 to help us make improvements going forward.
CSR Asia Tokyo Office
This is the third consecutive year I've had the honor of giving a third-party opinion on the Yamaha Group CSR Report. Over this period, the Group has made significant progress in CSR. In fiscal 2013, Yamaha reviewed its status in line with the core subjects of ISO 26000, providing guidance on social responsibility and confirming outstanding tasks that need to be completed to achieve its goals. In fiscal 2014, the Company embarked on building a system that will enable it to meet its CSR aspirations based on the tasks confirmed. Even though Yamaha had formulated a CSR policy, it felt a sense of crisis regarding structural shortcomings that compromised its CSR goals. Accordingly, a system for CSR management was quickly established. Furthermore, each related division presented CSR tasks that need to be carried out as initiatives from fiscal 2015 onwards. These tasks are to be incorporated in the mid-term management plan, so that the newly established CSR system will take root and function throughout the Group. Owing to an extraordinary Group-wide effort, the CSR management system was constructed in a short period of time by utilizing input from all divisions.
In 2014, the Yamaha Philosophy was established following extensive discussions among management and other employees in Japan and overseas. This process exemplified “stakeholder engagement,” where management and other employees collaborated to decide corporate policies. I admire the management's commitment to adopt this approach. Many other companies have been hesitant to follow suit. I have been told that the Yamaha Philosophy has already been translated into 10 languages; this being done on a voluntary basis, with the employees of overseas affiliates translating it into their native languages. I believe that this stems from the Yamaha approach of engaging all employees, and generating a sense of happiness and pride of being part of the Yamaha Group.
Considerable progress has also been made in the area of CSR procurement, including the establishment of the Yamaha Supplier CSR Code of Conduct in fiscal 2014. I fully understand how difficult it is to have uniform standards for the Group, which often has to deal with different situations on a case-by-case basis. Managing a broad range of products in the sound and music market requires dealing with all kinds of suppliers. That being said, Yamaha was determined to establish the Code of Conduct to demonstrate its sense of obligation to conduct responsible global procurement. CSR procurement, along with climate change, is one of the most important CSR themes. To realize CSR procurement, it is essential that all divisions and departments concerned collaborate together. I would like Yamaha to be flexible in its ongoing efforts in CSR procurement because it is such a vital activity for the Yamaha brand.
Lastly, I would very much like Yamaha—with a history as a global leader in the sound and music market for more than 125 years—to consider one thing: the establishment of a system that enables all Group companies in Japan and overseas to share CSR initiatives. Over the last three years, the Yamaha Group has achieved exceptional progress in CSR, with the Japan head office playing a pivotal role in building the foundation of the Group's CSR management. However, I would like to see CSR promotion bases expanded overseas as well. Circumstances overseas are likely to be very different from those in Japan, and difficult for the Japan head office alone to deal with. Overseas bases have their own experiences and knowledge that the Yamaha Group needs to increasingly tap into. I sincerely hope to see Yamaha, with its rich and extensive history, continue to achieve further growth on the global stage.
Response to Third-Party Opinion
Senior Executive Officer
Operations Group Manager
As was done in the two previous years, we received feedback on our CSR activities and CSR report from Ms. Makiko Akabane, Director, Japan, CSR Asia Tokyo Office—a think tank with the largest network in Asia specializing in CSR and sustainability. We are most grateful to her for her efforts.
This CSR report explains the Yamaha Philosophy, and Ms. Akabane has evaluated us highly for establishing it as an expression of the value we place on engaging with our stakeholders. I am most pleased that the significance of Yamaha's aim in establishing the Philosophy is evident and appreciated.
Ms. Akabane showed a deep understanding of the nature of our business, giving us some supportive feedback and high marks for progress in CSR procurement, which we have been reinforcing. With main support originating from the Procurement Division, we are determined to continue our CSR procurement initiatives.
As Ms. Akabane pointed out on the issue of setting up CSR bases overseas, we agree. Understanding CSR initiatives, policy decision-making, and the implementation of measures, the work cannot be done without establishing systems in Japan and overseas if we are to develop global business successfully. We have been working closely with each overseas base, but will clarify the framework of our global activities and further upgrade our CSR activities as a unified Group.
Lastly, I must mention the high marks given to us by Ms. Akabane on our greatly advanced CSR. These marks are a function of her spot-on suggestions over past three years, and I would like to thank her again. As a global leader in the sound and music market, the Yamaha Group has earnestly adopted the points she made, and will continue to contribute to the development of a sustainable society through its business activities.