Sony asks suppliers to assess themselves using EICC questionnaires. The assessments are repeated each year for major OEM suppliers with whom Sony does sizable business. Based on the results of these assessments, Sony evaluates the degree to which suppliers are complying with the Sony Supply Chain Code of Conduct and whether violations have occurred at each of the suppliers' factories. As part of its risk assessments, Sony conducts on-site assessments 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's internal procedures provide that 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's internal procedures provide that 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 comply with CSR standards.
In fiscal 2016, Sony completed assessments of 175 suppliers, including document assessments of 106 suppliers. The document assessments identified seven suppliers who were associated with a high risk, all of which received guidance on making improvements. On-site assessments were conducted for three supplier facilities that were identified as being at risk of violating the Code of Conduct. Guidance was provided on how to develop improvement plans related to issues identified in these assessments and follow-up assessments were conducted until which time it was determined that improvements had been completed. Sony found that, in general, suppliers identified to be at risk tend to have issues requiring improvement in the area of occupational health and safety management systems and other organizational infrastructure.