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Responsible Sourcing

Environmental, Labor, Human Rights and Conflict Issues in the Procurement of Raw Materials

(Updated on August 12, 2013)

Stakeholders are displaying increasing concern regarding such issues as biodiversity and violations of human rights related to, among others, the sourcing of raw materials essential in the manufacture of electronics products. Sony is working with its suppliers to address issues related to human rights, labor conditions, health and safety, and environmental protection at the production sites of our partners and parts suppliers, as well as in our procurement of minerals and other raw materials.

Conflict Minerals and Sony's Policy

(Updated on August 12, 2013)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the adjacent countries are currently mired in conflict with armed groups perpetuating human rights abuses in that region. These armed groups have been trading in certain minerals commonly found in that region to finance their activities. These four minerals - columbite-tantalite also known as coltan (tantalum), cassiterite (tin), gold and wolframite (tungsten) - are commonly found in many products, ranging from jewelry to electronics to airplane components. To the extent these minerals are found to be financing armed activities, these four minerals are commonly referred to as "conflict minerals." To address the "conflict minerals" situation, in January 2013 the United States enacted Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which beginning in 2014 for the calendar year 2013, requires companies covered under the Act, including Sony, to publicly disclose certain information regarding any use of conflict minerals in their products.

It is Sony's policy to refrain from knowingly purchasing any products, components or materials that contain conflict minerals so that it can avoid contributing to conflict through its sourcing practices. To help ensure compliance with this policy, Sony has exercised due diligence since August 2011 for selected product categories, and in 2013, overall across the Sony Group to determine the country of origin and chain of custody for minerals in its supply chain in accordance with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas or other internationally recognized framework. It is also Sony's policy to require its suppliers to source materials from smelters determined to be compliant with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) / Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) Program(*) protocols, or other smelters that have been determined to be conflict-free smelters or determined to be conflict-free under other trusted traceability projects.
CFS Program: A voluntary program in which an independent third party evaluates a smelter's procurement activities and determines if the smelter has demonstrated that all the materials it processed originated from conflict-free sources
Please refer to the EICC/GeSI's Smelter List, which includes smelters confirmed as conflict-free through Sony's traceability program.

Sony's Activities

(Updated on February 24, 2014)

Participation in Industry Groups and the Public-Private Alliance
Sony actively cooperates with and provides support for industry organizations and alliances whose objectives and activities are focused on preventing and reducing the harmful impact of minerals mining in high-risk regions. Sony is an active participant in the programs of the EICC, which was founded with the objective of improving the situation regarding social and environmental issues in the electronics supply chain, and is involved in a valuable process whereby companies undertake research on the situation in mineral-producing countries. In 2011, the EICC launched the CFS Program to provide leadership to the industry in this area. Sony utilizes the frameworks developed by the EICC and other alliances as part of its efforts to ensure responsible sourcing of the four identified minerals.

Sony supports and contributes to such industry initiatives as the traceability project for tin launched in 2010 by ITRI, a tin industry organization, to validate that the metals used in its products are not contributing to conflict and come from sustainable sources. Sony also participates in the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), a joint effort of government, industry and civil society organizations led by the U.S. government to support responsible mineral trade from the Great Lakes region of Central Africa. Since its establishment, the PPA has supported the creation of a pilot supply chain management system that includes certifying conflict-free mines, that is, mines that engage in responsible trade practices. The PPA also provides a platform for coordination amongst government, industry and civil society actors seeking to support conflict-free sourcing and self-sustaining trade from the DRC and the Great Lakes Region, and serves as a resource for companies seeking information regarding how to source responsibly.

Moreover, as part of our overall effort to achieve conflict-free supply chains, Sony promotes active, on-going dialogue with civil society organizations, industry groups and other external stakeholders for further improvement of conflict-free sourcing practices. For example, EICC/GeSI holds workshops for discussions periodically with NGOs, socially responsible investors, local government representatives and other stakeholders with whom Sony participates. Such workshops have been held on more than 10 occasions in various countries and regions, including Europe and North America. In addition to EICC participation, Sony is promoting the industry initiatives of the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). Sony has taken a leading role in the establishment of JEITA's workgroup program and in the EICC's activities.
Assessment of Sony's businesses

Sony assesses each of its businesses if any of the four identified minerals are found in our products. To the extent such assessment determines that any such minerals are used to manufacture such products, all relevant suppliers are required to adhere to the following guidelines:
Expectations for Sony Suppliers of Four Identified Minerals
Sony requires that suppliers to commit to its conflict minerals policy and respond to our due diligence survey regarding sourcing the four identified minerals. In addition, to ensure that products, components or materials delivered to Sony do not contain any conflict minerals, Sony expects suppliers to have in place pertinent policies, a due diligence framework and a management system consistent with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.
Risk mitigation plan
In the event that Sony confirms that any of our products, components or materials may contain conflict minerals, Sony, in collaboration with our relevant suppliers, shall take actions reasonably necessary to eliminate such minerals from such products, components or materials and shall request that the suppliers makes necessary improvement to its sourcing practices. Further, in the event that Sony confirms that a supplier has failed to cooperate sufficiently with a due-diligence investigation, fails to follow Sony requests for remediation or has otherwise violated this policy, Sony shall take necessary actions, including without limitation, termination of business with such supplier by stopping new orders.

Sony has established a hotline to allow any interested party to voice concerns regarding the circumstances of mineral extraction, trade, handling and/or export in conflict-affected and other high-risk areas. In addition to our internal risk assessments, the hotline will help to allow us to be alerted to risks in our supply chain.

Initiatives Related to Paper Procurement

(Updated on August 12, 2013)

Sony recognizes that paper resources are limited and strives to reduce the amount of office paper used at sites and limit the number of pages in its product manuals.
Sony also recognizes the impact of illegal logging on biodiversity and considers responsible procurement of lumber and paper products. Sony takes environmental conservation into consideration when purchasing paper materials by adhering to the Sony Group Paper/Printed Material Purchasing Policy.
Sony sources paper from forests certified as responsibly managed and works not only to ensure that the paper it purchases has been produced from forests that are managed in accordance with legal requirements but also to promote the use of paper products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which audits forests based on a range of criteria, including sustainability and uses FSC-certified paper in its corporate printed materials, including its annual report, calendars and business cards.

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