|DATE||March 13, 2007|
|THEME||CSR Practices in China TOSHIBA Group|
Dialogue with government officials from the State Council and Ministry of Commerce, academics, and representatives of NGOs and the mass media.
The dialogue was an excellent opportunity to obtain a clear understanding of expectations regarding what a global enterprise should do to contribute to the realization of the sustainable development of China. Following an presentation of Toshiba's 30-year business history in China, we obtained opinions from the participants.
The government representatives expressed the opinion that the environmental activities of global companies throughout product life cycles, especially with respect to energy conservation, and reduction in resource consumption and emissions, should serve as a highly valuable reference for Chinese companies and should be widely implemented in China.
In laptop computer manufacturing, more than 100 Toshiba suppliers in China implement environmental impact reduction measures and comply with the RoHS Directive. The participants anticipate expansion of this activity to all companies with which Toshiba does business in China and eventually to industry as a whole.
Toshiba was highly rated for its social contributions as indicated by the comments: "Toshiba has furthered education by establishing the Hope Elementary Schools and Toshiba Scholarships" and "Toshiba engages in tree planting, afforestation, and many other public service undertakings, and we recognize these to be significant CSR activities." One participant expressed the opinion, "I would like Toshiba to engage more fully with personnel development and move forward with further localization for the benefit of the employees, who are important stakeholders."
To ensure the sustainable development of China, the transformation of China into a resource-saving society is necessary. Apart from the government, the organizations that have the greatest influence on achieving this are companies. The role of global corporations is especially important, and Japanese companies are renowned for their environmental activities in the areas of energy conservation, consumption reduction, and emissions reduction.
The rules governing competition among companies are changing. I feel that Toshiba and some other global corporations are redirecting their energies from "hard" competition in the areas of product prices and performance to "soft" competition centered on the environment and other aspects of CSR.
I think companies should take the lead in reducing energy consumption, reducing emissions of substances that affect the environment, and mitigating environmental destruction. Toshiba's activities, which show consideration for environmental protection and resource conservation throughout the entire product lifecycle from design to disposal, are important initiatives that should serve as a valuable reference for Chinese companies and should be extensively implemented in China.
I think that localization of management is extremely important and will become a standard for measuring global corporations' social responsibility and level of contribution to the development of China as a harmonious society. Localization will make an important contribution to the sustainable development and quality of China's economy.
CSR in China on the part of global corporations should, of course, be in line with head office management policy, but it should also be linked to circumstances in China and localized.
Although during the economic growth process of the past thirty years global corporations have been teachers to Chinese companies, currently it is Chinese companies who are the teachers with respect to CSR.
In regard to CSR at Toshiba, I was deeply impressed with Toshiba's effort to clearly explain its relations with stakeholders, with Toshiba's management philosophy, especially President Nishida's "Global Enterprise" concept, and the production of eco-friendly products, construction of eco-friendly production systems, and formation of an eco-friendly supply chain.
That global corporations are in the vanguard of implementing the principles of CSR, whether with respect to contributions to society or participation in environmental protection activities, is an expression of a human-centric harmonious society.
I expect that collaboration with various organizations in China will be further advanced through dialogues such as this.
In the dialogue I once again experienced the magnitude of people's expectations of Toshiba as a global enterprise. We will continue to reinforce local personnel development to engage in business activities rooted in local communities and will contribute to the development of China by means of Toshiba's energy conservation and environmental technologies.
Contents and Job Titles as of March 2007