|Date||February 18, 2014|
|Place||Toshiba Information Equipment (Philippines), Inc., Manila, the Philippines|
|Theme||CSR activities in general|
Toshiba Information Equipment (Philippines), Inc. (TIP), Toshiba’s hard disk drive (HHD) manufacturing base, has approximately 8,000 employees. It has been proactive in CSR activities as demonstrated by the fact that it became Asia’s first electronics company to acquire SA8000 certification, in 2002.
A dialogue took place between Corazon Bunag, Vice President of TIP, and Jeremy Prepscius, Asia Director at Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) regarding CSR activities.
Corazon: TIP’s important stakeholders are its employees, its supply chain, its customers, its shareholders, local communities, and mediating and global stakeholders.
We identified the concerns and interests of the respective stakeholders covering three focus areas: Economic, Ecology, and Equity. As a strategy, our CSR Activities should improve the context of our competitiveness and address relevant social issues; that is to say, they must contribute to value chain activities and must seek the potential to create new business.
Our guiding principle as a company with integrity has lead us to acquire SA8000, ISO14001, OHSAS18001, and other global certifications. Social Accountability (SA) 8000 is a set of international standards for labor and human rights; and TIP became the Philippines’ first electronics appliance manufacturer to acquire SA8000 certification. Maintaining this certification requires ongoing efforts and is time-consuming, but such efforts lead to having a competitive edge in business. Therefore, we are proactively working to do so.
Jeremy: I was impressed to hear that through their CSR activities in various regions of the Philippines, such as support for restoring devastated areas, donating products, and providing educational programs, TIP has many opportunities to share the same issues and concerns that local communities face, and their network of contacts is expanding. Engaging in such activities may provide many hints on opening new markets; and by working closely with the marketing and sales units, it is possible to build new business models that suit the circumstances of local communities.
Corazon: TIP sees that targeted economic engagement—particularly in the affected areas—as the means of achieving poverty reduction and longer term development through initiatives that provide these people with socially beneficial products and services that directly improve the quality of their lives or where they are directly involved as producer .
TIP aims to support the development of social enterprises that are driven by a strong social purpose to enable the marginalized population to integrate into the mainstream economy. TIP aims to participate in an environment for business interactions that create value.
We also believe that supplier audits should lead to clarifying the fundamental causes of problems and measures for improving. Ideally, the relationship between customers and suppliers should be one that encourages both parties to grow as partners through such activities as the top managers of both parties discussing how their mutual business ought to be carried out.
Jeremy: One way of coping with problems that individual companies cannot easily resolve alone is to resolve them through industry cooperation. There are several examples of successes among the projects BSR is advancing—including the HER Project, which educates female workers in emerging economies in health care and hygiene maintenance, and the Clean Cargo Project, which helps the transport industry to reduce its CO2 emissions.