Developing Fair, Transparent and Sound Business and Anti-Corruption

To gain the trust of society, we emphasize appropriate earnings through highly ethical conduct.

Compliance with Laws, etc.

Basic Philosophy on Promoting Compliance

By training our personnel according to our philosophy of innovation and growth while manifesting our commitment to society and preserving the global environment, the GS Yuasa Group is ensuring that all employees are guided in their behavior focusing on compliance with laws, company regulations and ethical standards.

The Compliance Declaration made by the President states that success must never be achieved through legal and moral infringements and that “establishing rules and structure” and “developing a strong sense of commitment to realize compliance” are essential to becoming a corporate leader in compliance. Based on these guidelines, multifaceted compliance promotion activities are developed at every employee level, and each employee is encouraged to incorporate self-directed and proactive actions to yield an effective improvement in compliance awareness.

Policy on Compliance (Excerpts from Our CSR Policy)

The GS Yuasa Group conducts a transparent business policy which aims to earn the trust of customers, business partners, shareholders, and of local communities as a top priority. And to adhere to laws and regulations of each country and region. Furthermore, we address to prevent any kind of corruption, will not tolerate any illegal political contribution, bribery of public officials, and will not have relationships with personnel or organizations of organized crime.

Refer here for the full text of the Compliance Declaration

Compliance Risk Management Structure

image:Compliance Risk Management Structure

Permeation of Compliance Awareness

The CSR Manual, which delineates our corporate philosophy and rules for adherence by every corporate Group member, is distributed to all employees to facilitate compliance awareness.

The manual clarifies Group CSR policy and outlines behavioral standards which each employee must follow during business activities. To facilitate its usage as a tool for employees in gauging behavioral standards, the manual delineates following items:

  • Concrete examples of compliance operations and the occurrence of compliance risks (explanations using a question and answer format and columns)
  • Diagnostic checklist to help employees assess their own adherence to corporate behavioral standards.

The manual further details how to use the internal whistleblower system for simple risk detection and introduces an emergency contact system for use in a crisis to realize quick responses to compliance infringements.

Workplace Meetings on Sustainability

To ensure that awareness of sustainability based on our corporate philosophy and CSR Policy reaches each and every employee, the GS Yuasa Group conducts training programs on sustainability issues in the form of meetings at each workplace.

These training programs target employees (including fixed-term and dispatched employees) at all workplaces (380 workplaces) of the major business company (GS Yuasa International Ltd.) and Group companies in Japan (21 companies). Also, the educational materials used in the meetings have been made by the division in charge for each topic and include content related to the circumstances of the Group. Vigorous debates took place at many of the meetings held in fiscal 2022, and 96% of the workplaces rated them as meaningful. We intend to continue running these meetings and upgrading the content to ensure that it is both up-to-date and educational.

Examples of themes of Sustainability workplace meetings

  • Contribution to the SDGs through “Innovation and Growth”
  • Diversity
  • Preventing intentional wrongdoing
  • Handling confidential information
  • Subcontracting laws
  • Personal information protection
  • Security trade controls
  • Sexual/power harassment
  • Management of working hours
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Product safety
  • Specific facility reports
  • Global warming and corporate responsibility
  • Promotion of supply-chain CSR activities

Internal Whistleblower Program

We established an internal whistleblower system (GS Yuasa Group corporate ethics hotline) that allows Group directors, employees (including part-time and short-term employees), advisors, temporary workers, workers who provide work to the Group under worker dispatch or subcontracting agreements, and the directors and employees of business partners to anonymously report if they discover any violations of laws and regulations or company rules, other improper or inappropriate conduct by Group employees, and other matters that may constitute such violations or improper conduct.

The system includes internal and external whistleblower contacts* that make it possible to submit reports 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by email and other means. A management division (Corporate Office) that is independent from management and business divisions rigorously investigates the particulars of reports and responds promptly and appropriately according to the severity and urgency of the matter. In addition, we ensure that information relating to whistleblowers is managed rigorously and that whistleblowers are protected in accordance with the Whistleblower Protection Act so that they are not subject to disadvantageous treatment as a result of making a report.

In fiscal 2022, we received nine reports relating to harassment and other matters. We conduct inquiries and take appropriate action, on these matters, while remaining committed to protecting whistleblowers.

In addition, we survey all employees of domestic Group companies about compliance once each year to raise awareness of compliance with the aim of detecting any compliance violations at an early stage and preventing violations. If any improper or inappropriate conduct (including circumstances relating to compliance risks that may arise in the future) are identified as a result of the survey, we make any necessary improvements.

There are limits on operating days and hours for some reporting methods (such as telephone and face-to-face interview).

Operating Structure of the Internal Whistleblower System (GS Yuasa Group corporate ethics hotline)

Image: Operating Structure of the Internal Whistleblower System (GS Yuasa Group corporate ethics hotline)

Number of reports to the GS Yuasa Group Internal Whistleblower System (GS Yuasa Group corporate ethics hotline)

FYNumber of reports

Elimination of Antisocial Forces

The Group believes that, in order to fulfill its corporate social responsibility, it is imperative that business be conducted in accordance with the law without yielding to antisocial forces or ever providing any form of benefit to any person or company associated with antisocial forces.

The Group’s CSR Policy and Code of Conduct clearly stipulate specific guidelines that “we will not provide any form of benefit in excess of the normal shareholder’s right to any person or company associated with organized crime,” and “will cut off business or any other relationships with individuals and organizations having an indication of support for organized crime.” This policy and the Code of Conduct have been shared with all Group employees. In addition, we have stipulated clauses related to the elimination of antisocial forces in our contracts with business partners. Also, we have established a system that ensures prompt cooperation with the police and lawyers in the event of any unreasonable demands from antisocial forces.

Information Security

Efforts to Ensure Information Security

Our Group places importance on global efforts to ensure information security. In addition to preventing malware infection of endpoints including PCs, we are strengthening our countermeasures by introducing tools that can quickly detect and respond if infection or intrusion is allowed to occur. In addition, through the regular monitoring of communications by an outside security service, the introduction of an illegal connection detection system and other measures, we endeavor to prevent illegal access to our in-house network and forestall damage. We promote awareness-raising activities so that our employees follow our “procedures for the management of information system usage.“ To prevent the outflow of confidential information, we conduct the encryption of personal computer data taken outside the company, the distribution of an information security handbook, the implementation of e-learning, and so on. Furthermore, based on domestic security standards, we conduct surveys of security measures in overseas Group companies and give guidance to address vulnerabilities.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property strategy

The Group’s intellectual property activities are based on the PDCA cycle of identifying patent strength, identifying and avoiding risks, and acquiring rights with an awareness of how to link these activities to the growth of GS Yuasa’s business. During the period from the Fifth to Sixth Mid-Term Management Plans, we emphasized transformation to strategic business, creation of intellectual property that is closely related to business units, clearance activities, and elimination of foreign competition and produced a certain degree of results. In the Sixth Mid-Term Management Plan, we will focus on the three points described below with the objectives of ensuring the growth of existing businesses as well as new fields by using intellectual property rights and acquiring and capitalizing on intellectual property rights that other companies need from the perspectives of both goods and services.

Under the Sixth Mid-Term Management Plan, we will focus on the three points described below with the objectives of ensuring the growth of existing businesses as well as new fields by using intellectual property rights and acquiring and capitalizing on intellectual property rights that other companies need from the perspectives of both goods and services to encourage activities that will lead to growth by the Group.

Calculation of patent scores and patent inventory

The Group uses a patent power analysis tool to analyze our own patents and those of other companies, calculate patent scores to measure the degree of contribution from intellectual property activities to the Company’s medium- to long-term growth and expansion of profits, and build a patent portfolio. Through these measures, we can visualize our patent power and enhance the value of intellectual property.

Reforming the rights acquisition process by using specialized and intellectual property information

Until now, we have been filing patent applications based on a patent application plan formulated at the invention policy meeting held with development divisions at the beginning of each fiscal year. Since fiscal 2023, we have been considering how important technologies in particular will affect business plans, selecting technologies that are consistent with business plans, and committing the maximum amount of resources to patent applications related to those technologies, thereby building an even stronger patent network.

Acquisition of patent rights in new business fields

To achieve our long-term vision, the Group is focusing on the provision of koto (solutions and services) in addition to the provision of mono (products). To achieve this, we have started measures to identify patents related to such provision of koto (solutions and services) at an early stage. These activities will lead to the development of patent assets that will be necessary not only for conducting business independently, but also collaborating with other companies.

Image of the Group’s intellectual property activities


Communication with management

At the beginning of each fiscal year, we hold a business policy meeting to discuss activity policies with management as well as quarterly management meetings to report on these policies, new issues, and the status of disputes.

Issues investigated (partial list)

  • Information on the patents of the Company and other companies relating to all-solid-state batteries
  • Survey of patent trends relating to reuse of lithium-ion batteries

Intellectual property creation activities

The Group aim of sharing information with the development division on important invention themes for the current fiscal year. It also ascertains which themes need to be addressed, establishes suitable mechanisms for building patent networks, and then prepares invention plans accordingly. Plan progress is reviewed, revisions are made at regular meetings, and measures are taken to achieve targets. In addition, to enhance the incentives for invention, we have an annual award system that encourages inventions throughout the Company including the Outstanding Invention Award for the patent that has contributed the most to business and the Best Inventor Award for those who have created inventions that are outstanding both in quality and quantity.

Global activities

In addition to applying for foreign patents for most domestic patent applications, the Group is also focusing on business defense through patent rights in order to curb competition from emerging companies overseas. In the area of trademarks, the Group has been curbing counterfeiters in China, ASEAN countries, and other countries by exposing them and suing for injunctive relief and has publicized major results on its own websites and the websites of overseas affiliates to curtail them.

Number of patent applications and patents held (FY2022)

Number of patent applications 277 107 384
Number of patents held 1,977 1,771 3,748

Transparent Information Disclosure

Good Communication with Society

We believe that for the GS Yuasa Group to achieve sustainable growth and increase corporate value, it is necessary that we undertake business activities while gaining understanding through positive dialogue with various stakeholders.

In recent years, the asset investment of shareholders and investors has become increasingly diversified and strong interest in the environmental initiatives and stakeholder relationships of investment targets has developed. The GS Yuasa Group appropriately discloses not just financial information, but also material information relating to sustainability and works to enhance the transparency of management.

Through our disclosures on this Sustainability website, we seek to deepen mutual understanding and build trusting relationships through communications with a wide range of stakeholders by publicly disclosing accurate, understandable, and highly useful information regarding the Group’s material impacts on society and the environment.

Communication with stakeholders

We endeavors to communicate with shareholders, investors, and other stakeholders through various channels.

As investor relations activities, in addition to quarterly financial results briefings for institutional investors and analysts, we regularly hold individual interviews, conferences sponsored by securities companies, briefings for individual investors, and other events. Furthermore, we make use of investor relations sites to actively transmit information.

In addition, as a means of disseminating information internally, the director responsible for investor relations provides video presentations of financial results to managers on a half-year basis and we implement various measures including briefings on our Long-Term Vision and the Mid-Term Management Plan, distribution of pamphlets on our Long-Term Vision, regularly publishes and investor relations column on the PR portal site, and in-house training programs to disseminate investor relations information.

In the future, we plan to use in-house training programs to disseminate investor relations information. We endeavor to regularly share opinions obtained through these activities with management including the Board of Directors and reflect them in our management and business activities.

Record of main IR activities (FY 2022)

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TargetActivity contentFrequencyRemarks
Shareholders Shareholders’ Meeting Once
Institutional investors and analysts Financial result briefing 4 times Audio data (Japanese only) for the first and third quarters is available on the shareholder and investor information site
Video clips (Japanese and English versions) for the second and fourth quarters are posted on the shareholder and investor information site
Specific interviews Japan:170 times
Overseas: 51 times
Overseas roadshows Once Conducted online
Conferences 4 times
Small meetings 3 times
Plant tours 3 times
Business briefings Once A briefing session providing an overview of and strategies for the industrial battery and power supplies business was conducted.
Individual investors Briefing 4 times One in-person briefing and three online briefings
The videos and briefing materials are posted on the investor relations site


Approach to Anti-corruption

Extending money or corporate hospitality, exchanging gifts or offering other benefits and favors to public officials, and acts of receiving goods or corporate hospitality from business partners that exceeds socially accepted norms (referred to as “corrupt acts”) restrain economic growth and distorts competition, posing serious legal risks*1 and reputational risks*2.

The Group’s CSR Policy and the CSR Code of Conduct, which embodies this policy, prohibit corrupt practices. A manual (the CSR Manual) which explains the Group’s fundamental approach to anti-corruption in an easy-to-understand manner is distributed to all employees, ensuring that they are fully cognizant of the Group’s anti-corruption policy.

*1Risks to the company of incurring losses due to violation of laws and regulations, breach of contract, infringement of rights of third parties, etc.

*2Risks to the company of losses incurred due to a drop in corporate credibility and brand value arising from the spread of negative valuation of the company

Anti-Corruption Policy (excerpts from the CSR Policy and CSR Code of Conduct)

  1. Developing Fair, Transparent, and Sound Business, and Anti-Corruption

    GS YUASA conducts a transparent business policy which aims to earn the trust of customers, business partners, shareholders, and of local communities as a top priority. And to adhere to laws and regulations of each country and region. Furthermore, we address to prevent any kind of corruption, will not tolerate any illegal political contribution, bribery of public officials, and will not have relationships with personnel or organizations of organized crime.

    1. 1-8. Legal compliance for political funds control

      We will not contribute for political funds, requesting some business advantage in return, such as acquisition or maintenance of trading, or access to nondisclosure information. Also, we will comply with the conditions stipulated by the laws and regulations of each country and region in which we operate before making political contributions.

    2. 1-9. Prohibition to offer entertainment or gifts to public employees

      We will not offer money, entertainment, gifts, or other economic benefits, nor provide advantages to public employees or equivalent persons perceived as a conflict of interest.

    3. 1-10. Sound relationship with business partners

      We will endeavor to maintain sound business relationships with our business partners; therefore we will not receive money, gift or entertainment offered from business partners exceeding commonly accepted limits.

 In this Policy, corruption refers to abuse of one’s power or position to secure undue benefit and includes bribery,*1malfeasance,*2 and conflicts of interest.*3

1In this Policy, bribery refers to a promise to provide or the provision of improper benefit or gain to public employees and equivalent persons (public officials, etc.) in order to secure improper business benefit. This includes facilitation payments whereby small amounts of money that otherwise need not be paid are paid to public officials in order to facilitate or accelerate normal operations.

2In this Policy, malfeasance refers to a promise to provide or the provision of improper benefit or gain to persons other than public officials, etc. (business partners and others) in order to secure improper business benefit. This includes obtaining business through improper means.

3In this Policy, conflict of interests refers to a situation where there is a conflict between corporate responsibilities and the interests of an individual. This includes situations where directors or employees attempt to influence the Company’s decision-making for personal gain and situations where a relationship with a business partner or family member impedes objective decision-making.

Fundamental Approach to Anti-corruption

  • The company does not engage in offering, receiving or extending corporate hospitality, exchange of gifts or other favors with customers, suppliers, or business partners, in excess of socially accepted norms.
  • We enforce thorough legal compliance with laws and regulations, including strictly prohibiting any offering or receiving of corporate hospitality, exchanging of gifts, or other economic benefits to public officials in Japan or overseas.
  • We do not engage in offering or receiving of corporate hospitality, exchange of gifts, financial benefits, or other similar benefits to government officials other than public officials (i.e., those working for organizations equivalent to the government) for the purpose of preferential treatment or for any benefit that may be regarded as such.
  • Political contributions are prohibited, in principle.

Managing Corruption Risks

The Group is committed to the promotion of activities (risk identification, analysis, evaluation, and countermeasures, among other things) to prevent the actualization of business risks related to corruption as part of a company-wide system for managing business risks for the entire Group. In addition, in preparation for situations where business risks, including corruption, may materialize, we have established an emergency contact network to quickly take stock of crisis events and a system to minimize company losses in the event of a serious crisis.

The Group has established and enforces rules regarding the offering and receiving of corporate hospitality, exchanges of gifts, financial benefits and other similar benefits in business activities so as to prevent the acquisition of any unfair business gains and undue convenience related to business operations. In addition, in order to prevent the provision of unlawful gains including payment of bribes through third parties (agents, etc.), we ensure that transaction contracts are concluded with select business partners (agencies, etc.) who do not engage in inappropriate financial demands.

In order to prevent any form of complicity in corrupt practices, we require that our suppliers comply with our Responsible Procurement Guidelines, which stipulate the formulation of policies and procedures prohibiting all forms of corruption in the Group’s supply chain. Further, we regularly check the status of the countermeasures against corruption enforced by our suppliers and request operational improvements as necessary.

The Group has also established a whistleblower system that is accessible internally and externally and allows employees, dispatched employees, and suppliers to anonymously consult and report on issues related to general corporate ethics. A system has also been established to ensure that, in the event of any report of a corrupt practice, appropriate measures are adopted while taking care that the informant is protected.

There were no incidents of corruption in the Group in fiscal 2022.

Refer here for information on Responsible Procurement.
Refer here for the internal whistleblower system (Corporate Ethics Hotline).

Responsible Political Participation

The Group believes that building appropriate relationships with political and administrative authorities is important for maintaining fair operating practices. In particular, as a Group that operates globally, we ensure thorough compliance with laws and regulations related to political funding in Japan and overseas. Moreover, Group policy prohibits political donations in principle, and no contributions were made in fiscal 2022 either.

Education on Anti-corruption

The Group is committed to making the utmost efforts to raise employee awareness on anti-corruption topics (such as prevention of intentional misconduct) through meeting-style training programs using educational materials and other means.

Risk Management

Basic Approach

The GS Yuasa Group believes that risk management is essential for the lasting growth of the company. As our basic approach, the Group thinks that the following two points are important so that crises stemming from the escalation of risks do not exert a serious impact on the Group or on society. First, by predicting and understanding risks and adopting appropriate preliminary measures, the escalation of risks (outbreak of crises) can be prevented. Second, effective measures can be taken beforehand so that even if a crisis does occur, the loss is kept to a minimum. Based on this approach, to properly promote risk management, our Group has formulated risk management rules that stipulate the responsibilities of employees and our risk management promotion setup.

The structure and functions of risk management

image:The structure and functions of risk management

Risk Management under the Group Risk Management Committee

The Group Risk Management Committee, headed by the president and consisting of the chairs of departmental Risk Management Committees, holds semiannual meetings to promote group-wide risk management and to encourage the sharing of key information related to risk management. In addition to making decisions on measures to promote risk management, the Risk Management Committee confirms that the appropriate risk management measures have been implemented, and the committee chairs report on progress in this area. We also actively exchange opinions and share information on the different styles of risk management and so on.

Risk Management Based on Risk Management Sheets

In accordance with the risk management rules, each department assesses risk using a risk management sheet. The following is an outline of these activities:

  • Step 1: Identification of risks by departments and employees
  • Step 2: Determination of risks that need to be intensively managed through risk management activities and determination of preventive measures
  • Step 3: Monthly confirmation by each department of the status of implementation of related measures

The department also fills in the details of any critical events that occurred, measures are taken for early resolution and normalization of operations and efforts are made to strengthen management by identifying root causes, implementing and expanding preventive measures, and confirming their status each month using a risk management sheet.

The risk management sheets produced by departments are compiled on the divisional level with the director in charge of the division and the corporate auditor verifying and assessing the status of responses through the Risk Management Committee. The deliberations by the committees are summarized and then fed back to each department as required, to enhance the effectiveness of risk management.

System for Dealing with Crises

To prepare for the possibility that a risk materializes, we have established a system that includes an emergency contact network to swiftly implement crisis management. If a serious crisis occurs, members from the Group Risk Management Committee will be appointed to organize a crisis management headquarters, under the president, to minimize corporate losses, and an effective response will be implemented swiftly and with appropriate care.

Refer here for a summary of the Group’s risk information