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Responsible Sourcing

Responsible Sourcing and CSR in Supply Chain Management

(Updated on August 12, 2013)
Sony is committed to conducting its operations in a socially and environmentally responsible manner and to sourcing from suppliers that share its values. Accordingly, in order to enable positive change in its supply chain, Sony works closely with its suppliers and subcontractors to address human rights, labor, health and safety, and environmental protection issues related to the procurement of raw materials and components.
  • Basic Structure of the Supply Chain
    Basic Structure of the Supply Chain

Policy for CSR in the Supply Chain

(Updated on August 12, 2013)

Compliance with “Sony Group Code of Conduct” in Business
In May 2003, Sony adopted the Sony Group Code of Conduct, which stipulates the basic standards to be maintained by all directors, officers and employees of the Sony Group in order to emphasize and further strengthen corporate governance, business ethics and compliance systems throughout the Sony Group. The code includes basic policies concerning dealings with suppliers, categorized under such headings as “Fair Procurement” and “Gifts and Entertainment,” with which all personnel in the Sony Group are required to comply.

Managing Chemical Substances in Procurement
Given the global nature of its suppliers, Sony has led the industry by introducing its own global standards for management of certain chemical substances contained in products or parts, called Management Regulations for Environment-related Substances to be Controlled which are Included in Parts and Materials (SS-00259). To implement this standard, Sony has established the Green Partner Environmental Quality Approval Program for supplier qualification. Only suppliers that comply with Sony’s standards for management of chemical substances qualify for certification as “Green Partners.” By procuring parts and products only from certified suppliers, Sony realizes consistent chemical substance management globally.

<< Please refer to the following page for information on other procurement activities: >>
Participation in the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC)
Supply chains overlap considerably in the electronics industry, with multiple manufacturers of finished products sharing the same subcontractors and parts suppliers. Accordingly, there are fears that the introduction of independent, company-specific standards for socially responsible management will cause confusion and constitute a significant burden on companies in the supply chain. With the aim of improving processes in the electronics industry supply chain, Sony, as one of the member companies, participated in the establishment of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) in 2004. The EICC formulated a basic code of conduct based on industry best practices and is working to develop the tools and Web-based system, as well as the skills development programs for suppliers, necessary to create a framework for ensuring the code is upheld. As of March 2013, the EICC consisted of 81 participating companies from Europe, the Americas and Asia, and members include manufacturers and OEM companies. In cooperation with the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) Supply Chain Working Group, consisting mainly of the European telecoms sector and other electronics industry organizations, the EICC is currently promoting social responsibility across the global supply chain. The EICC continues to address a number of crucial issues. As part of this effort, Sony is participating in the Environmental Sustainability working group of the coalition that promotes the awareness and reporting of CO2 emissions.

  • Formulation and revision of the EICC Code of Conduct
  • Development of common implementation tools
  • Risk assessment tool (a tool designed to help companies identify areas of risk and prioritize activities)
  • Supplier self-assessment questionnaire (a self-administered survey for suppliers to provide information on their CSR efforts and management systems)
  • Audits
  • Standardization of audit procedures
  • Identification of qualified third-party firms to conduct audits
  • Development and administration of a Web-based system
  • A Web-based information system for collecting, managing and analyzing CSR data provided by individual suppliers
  • Education and training
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Working groups related to particular subjects
  • Environmental Sustainability working group
  • Extractive working group
  • Asia Program
  • EICC Framework

Adoption of and Compliance with the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct
In recent years, stakeholders have become increasingly concerned about manufacturers' general responsibilities in relation to products, including issues related to human rights, labor conditions, health and safety, and environmental protection at the production sites of outsourcing partners and parts suppliers. From the perspective that partner firms are involved in the production of Sony products, and in recognition of the importance of addressing various issues in conformance with a framework that would meet Sony's own standards, in 2005 Sony established the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct, based on industry best practices as highlighted in the EICC Code of Conduct.

Sony's basic procurement contract with material suppliers lays down observing related laws and regulations and the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct. Sony requests all potential new suppliers to comply with the Code, as well as to conduct assessments as a part of requirements of a preliminary examination.

It is Sony's basic policy to reconsider its business relationship with the supplier in the event that an existing supplier is confirmed to have committed a major violation of the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct, or not exhibit an appropriate level of cooperation with studies and audits. In the event that a violation of the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct is reported by a third party and a violation is confirmed, Sony will ask the supplier to take corrective actions and report back on the progress. If the violation has been committed by a secondary supplier, Sony will work in cooperation with the relevant primary supplier to urge corrective action.

Sony Corporation has also installed a hotline for suppliers to report compliance violations on the part of Sony Group company employees or executives. Appropriate actions are taken in response to such reports once veracity has been confirmed.
  • Sony Supplier Code of Conduct

Sony's Structure for Promoting Supply Chain Management

(Updated on August 12, 2013)

Sony's head office divisions - centering on the CSR procurement and manufacturing groups - take the lead in promoting responsible sourcing activities in cooperation with other related head office divisions, business groups and relevant functions at manufacturing sites. The CSR group keeps abreast of external trends and communicates with stakeholders, drawing on both to formulate Companywide basic supply chain management policies. The procurement group is responsible for overall implementation of responsible sourcing policies by ensuring that suppliers comply with the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct and conducting necessary studies and audits of suppliers, analyzing the results thereof and implementing necessary measures.

Monitoring Activities and Follow-up Measures to Ensure Compliance with the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct

(Updated on August 12, 2013)


Sony established the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct to ensure that suppliers understand Sony's expectations in more detail and that the code is observed by suppliers of products and materials around the world.

As part of its effort to assess supplier compliance with the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct, Sony has introduced assessment questionnaires and explanatory meetings for its approximately 1,200* suppliers worldwide. Sony continues to support efforts for suppliers to conduct their business in a socially responsible manner by conducting assessments and further inquiries of follow-up measures.

As of March 31, 2011, assessments had been conducted in all but a few areas where Sony has suppliers and Sony had received the results of assessments from almost all of its suppliers worldwide. The results of these assessments indicate several overall trends, including that organizational development, i.e., the establishment of labor and ethical management systems, remains at a transitional stage. Sony will continue to support the efforts of suppliers to improve their activities.

Corporate group unit (As of June 2012)

Third-party EICC Audits

The EICC has also established a framework for third-party supplier audits based on the EICC Code of Conduct. This framework encompasses the certification of third-party auditors, as well as the provision of necessary auditing tools, including manuals and audit checklists. These audits focused on suppliers in regions where member companies consider the risk of violation to be high. Sony's suppliers have also undergone audits based on EICC standards through the EICC's shared audit program. The results of these audits identified a comparatively substantial number of non-conformance issues in the categories of labor and ethical management systems, health and safety, and labor.

In cases where violations of the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct are reported via external sources, such as NGO or media reports, Sony cooperates with the supplier in question to confirm the facts of the case expeditiously and objectively. Specifically, Sony may request that the supplier's manufacturing site undergo a third-party EICC audit. If the originally reported facts are confirmed, Sony carries out measures to ensure remedial action is taken. This may include making a request that the supplier present a remedial plan and report on progress in its implementation. In cases where violations are reported at secondary suppliers, Sony cooperates with the primary supplier to ensure that remedial action is carried out.

Stakeholder Engagement

(Updated on August 12, 2013)

With the aim of developing a basic framework for promoting effective supply chain management, the EICC holds discussions periodically with NGOs, socially responsible investors and other stakeholders. Sony participates in these discussions and takes into account the views of a diverse range of stakeholders. Such discussions are held regularly in Mexico, the United States, Switzerland, China (mainland) and the Netherlands.

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