On March 14, 2005, Toshiba held a stakeholder dialog session based on the theme "What is CSR in Toshiba Group?" We invited five external specialists in areas such as corporate integrity, social contribution, and environment to participate and received valuable opinions from a number of perspectives.
|Theme||CSR of Toshiba Group|
Akiyama:For the principle of corporate social responsibility, it is important to increase integrity in three categories, which are the executive management, the organization, and the employee. I believe the most important of these three is the employee. For Toshiba, a major issue is how to make 160,000 employees throughout the Group understand the concept of CSR. If the transparency of Toshiba's effort to achieve this increases, our trust to Toshiba will be greater.
Takahashi:Toshiba supports employee volunteer activities as one aspect of CSR. I'd like to see Toshiba brings in social contribution activities to employee training and other programs so that these activities serve as a driving force for CSR. Therefore the company itself becomes happy. I think that creating chances for employee to display initiative is necessary. However, volunteer activities are just a one way of deepening employee's understanding of social contribution. It is important that employee realize that Toshiba's main business itself is beneficial to society.
Akiyama:The employees are the main players in implementing CSR. Their role is the contact point between the company and other stakeholders. A company's stance is conveyed through its employees. To remain as a company with integrity, it is important that individual employee can do what he or she ought to do. I think that incorporating integrity, not just business performance, into the evaluation system and making this clear to the employees will be effective in making employees to understand the concept of CSR. By disclosing the understanding of CSR within Toshiba will further convey Toshiba's integrity and earnestness.
Ohyano:Toshiba,s slogan is "Committed to people". I would like to see it reflected in the product creation process and then concretely indicate what has been done. It is important to collaborate with NPOs and consumer organizations to take in various opinions. I hope that Toshiba will define universal design as a major pillar of product creation.
Takahashi:I think that what will be important in the manufacturing of the future is not only customer oriented policy "The customer is the first of all.", but also offering services and products that skillfully enlighten customers about and raise awareness of their responsibilities and developing high-quality customers. Because far more people buy products than read CSR reports, including messages in the products themselves would increase communication power.
Kurasaka:I think a transformation from "selling things" to "selling services" will be necessary from now on. Manufacturers will not be done with products after the sale, but have to provide consulting on how to use their products and handle the recovery of products after use. If we can make the transition to that type of economic framework, it will be possible to frame a vision of reducing environmental impact without reducing customer satisfaction. If we can recycle items in a closed loop, it will be possible to propose to the world more rational environmental measures different from European-style regulations to eliminate toxic substances. I would like to see Toshiba present a sweeping vision and by making long-lasting products and selling services lead the world in the direction of shifting from products to services.
Iida:As society moves in the direction of a services economy, we can see a vision of a society where customer happiness is increased with decreased environmental impact. I would like Toshiba to deliver specific messages along the lines of "By using this product or service you can enjoy the same life of affluence you do now and reduce electric power consumption to one fourth the current level."
Ohyano:In future, another important factor will be charting a course toward a ubiquitous networking society. From the viewpoint of consumers, much about the concept of information ubiquity remains difficult to understand. If companies would refrain from deploying incompatible standards and decide on a single open standard, consumers would come to regard the concept as something more relevant to their lives and beneficial. I'd like Toshiba to indicate in an easy to understand way the role it seeks to play in realizing a ubiquitous networking society and its policies.
Kurasaka:I think the introduction of the Factor T independent standard for measuring eco-efficiency is good from the viewpoint of the ability to measure results, I don't clearly understand how it is different from what other companies are doing. It would be interesting if Toshiba increased transparency by explaining the calculation method on its web site or other means and if Factor T caught on and became an industry standard used even by other companies.
Iida:Although in general, when people think of Toshiba an image of home appliances predominates, in Toshiba's businesses, the public infrastructure and energy sectors are larger than the appliance business, aren't they? In spite of this, I think that appeal of these businesses to society is so weak. In particular, Toshiba can be seen as not being sufficiently accountable for nuclear power generation. In my view, to regard nuclear power generation as an aspect of global warming prevention is out of the question. Therefore Toshiba cannot present a vision of sustainable energy. I would like for Toshiba to pursue sustainability with an open and forthright stance, for instance by creating opportunities for open dialog with NGOs and NPOs.
Ms. One Akiyama
Mr. Testunari Iida
Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies
Ms. Yumiko Ohyano
Universal Design of Citizen Network
Mr. Hidefumi Kurasaka
Associate Professor Department of Policy Studies,
Faculty of Law and Economics Chiba University
Ms. Yoko Takahashi
Japan Philanthropic Association
Toshiba Group generates 44% of its total sales overseas, and nearly 30% of the Group's workforce is located overseas. We plan for these numbers to further increase. Toshiba Group's CSR activities are about Toshiba Group employees all over the world contributing to the countries in which we operate, to local communities, and to environmental preservation and winning the trust of stakeholders on the basis of a common philosophy and shared values. To that end, we seek to at all times adhere to the Management Philosophy and Standards of Conduct on a global basis.
We are engaged in wide-ranging businesses and our stakeholders are highly diverse. Through interchanges and communications with various stakeholders we seek to deepen understanding of our thinking and activities and, by receiving opinions and suggestions, to reform and improve those activities and the corporate culture.
Contents and Job Titles as of March 2005