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CSR at Sony

CSR at Sony

"It is the core corporate responsibility of Sony Group to the society to pursue its corporate value enhancement through innovation and sound business practice."
(Sony Group Code of Conduct, adopted in May 2003)
  • Key CSR Agenda of the Sony Group
Sony's corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities reflect its philosophy of implementing sound business practices; innovating to realize products, services and content that inspire and excite; assisting the communities in which we operate; and helping to shape a better, more sustainable society. Sony believes that these activities both benefit society and enhance corporate value.

Verifying Key CSR Agenda and Determining Materiality

Objective of Conducting Materiality Assessment
Sony currently promotes CSR initiatives in line with its CSR agenda, which sets seven key areas of focus - corporate governance, compliance, human resources, responsible sourcing, quality and services, environment and community engagement - with the aim of strengthening its operating foundation and continuously enhancing its corporate value. Stakeholder input on CSR-related issues and suggestions are fed back to management and to pertinent Sony departments (e.g., legal, compliance, environment, product quality, procurement and human resources), to be incorporated into key actions, including the formulation of Sony Group policies. Sony's CSR section is tasked with monitoring the progress of initiatives and disclosing information about Sony's efforts by preparing CSR reports and promoting dialogue with stakeholders.
To align and respond effectively to evolving social imperatives and changes in the business environment, Sony recently conducted a CSR materiality assessment with BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), an independent organization with expertise in global CSR trends and international standards, with the aim of validating its CSR agenda by incorporating the perspectives of stakeholders and to identify emerging CSR topics relevant to new business areas.
CSR Materiality Assessment Process
The Sony Group is a global organization with a broad business portfolio. Sony is engaged in the development, design, manufacture, and sale of various kinds of electronic equipment and devices for consumer and professional markets as well as game consoles and software. Sony is also engaged in the production and distribution of motion pictures, television programs, music, and digital networks. Further, Sony is also engaged in various financial services businesses through its Japanese insurance subsidiaries and banking operations through a Japanese Internet-based banking subsidiary. Given the diversity of the Group's operations, the expectations of its stakeholders regarding its CSR initiatives also vary. Sony views CSR materiality assessment as a process for understanding issues of importance to multi-stakeholders as well as business and validating its CSR agenda which will help us prioritize our CSR initiatives.

In conducting the CSR materiality analysis, we first identified global CSR issues of particular relevance to Sony. We then looked at issues that are most significant today as well as emerging issues to its external stakeholders, which include nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), customers, and socially responsible investors, as well as at stakeholders' views regarding the changes in roles and responsibilities of corporations. Sony then assessed those issues likely to have the most importance to business and identified topics that are material from both a stakeholder and a business perspective.
Key Findings
Sony's materiality assessment reaffirmed the importance of the seven key areas of its CSR agenda, so Sony will continue to focus on these areas. The assessment also showed a cluster of topics related to Sony's electronics business, including managing its operations' social and environmental impact and improving transparency across the supply chain, as being of particular concern to stakeholders. In addition, the assessment identified emerging topics such as those concerning the management of content and information with the growth of Sony's network and entertainment businesses. The assessment also identified topics over which Sony has limited influence or which have already been addressed through ongoing programs. At the same time, the assessment showed that stakeholders have high expectations regarding innovation in developing sustainable products and services and creating value for society.

Going forward, Sony pledges to continue working to better understand the expectations of its stakeholders and to address the challenges and opportunities identified through the materiality assessment.
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