Sony established the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct to ensure that suppliers understand Sony's expectations in more detail. Suppliers of products and materials to Sony around the world are required to observe this code.
As part of its effort to ascertain supplier compliance with the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct, Sony conducts assessments worldwide. To this end, Sony uses the concept of risk appraisal to determine risks associated with the country and region in which each supplier is based, as well as risks associated with the scale, status and nature of the supplier's business, and tailors its assessment to the supplier's risk level.
Based on the results of these assessments, Sony evaluates the degree to which suppliers are complying with the Sony Supplier Code of Conduct and whether violations have occurred at each of the suppliers’ factories. As part of its risk appraisals, Sony conducts onsite inspections of suppliers it deems to be subject to risks in order to confirm how their factories are being managed.
For example, if suppliers employ students, Sony directly visits their factories to check whether any workers are younger than the legal age limit in that country, and to confirm whether the health and safety of younger workers are being affected by their jobs due to long working hours, working night shifts, and other factors. Likewise, if suppliers employ foreign workers, Sony confirms whether such workers are subject to forced labor, whether dormitory facilities provided to those workers meet international standards, and whether the working environment is clean and safe. By inspecting factories and providing direction in this way, Sony ensures that suppliers are making every effort to fulfill their social responsibilities.
In fiscal 2014, Sony conducted assessments of all of its new suppliers. Overall, the assessments showed that management systems covering labor, ethics, and other key issues had been established and were making progress toward completion. Sony intends to provide support to these suppliers so that they can continue making improvements.