To gain the trust of society, we emphasize appropriate earnings through highly ethical conduct.
By training our personnel according to our philosophy of innovation and growth while manifesting our commitment to society and preserving the global environment, we are 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.
The GS Yuasa Group is committed to achieving results without any violations of laws or any unethical behavior. The company ensures that this corporate resolution will continue to be its stance in the future, and reiterate this compliance declaration.
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:
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.
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 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 2021, 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
We established GS Yuasa Group corporate ethics hotline regulations and set up a corporate ethics hotline. Accessible both internally and externally, the hotline enables employees, temporary workers, suppliers and others to provide information anonymously if they become aware of behavior by a Group employee that violates the law or company regulations or is unethical or otherwise inappropriate or any matter that is at risk of becoming a violation. In addition, we ensure that information identifying 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 2021, we received eight reports relating to harassment and other matters. We conduct inquiries and take appropriate action, on these matters, while remaining committed to protecting whistleblowers.
Number of reports to the GS Yuasa Group corporate ethics hotline
|FY||Number of reports|
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.
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.
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. We reinforced these activities during the period from the Fifth to Sixth Mid-Term Management Plans with emphasis on the following three points.
❶Transformation to strategic business
Using the landscape method, we analyze the patents of the Company and other companies, share information on technology trends with development and business divisions, and investigate countermeasures.
❷Division-oriented IP creation and clearance activities
Through personnel exchanges with business divisions and regular intellectual property meetings with development and business divisions, we are building a strategic patent network for promising technologies. In addition, we quickly identify intellectual property rights of other companies that may be an obstacle to our business and take advance measures to avoid them.
❸Elimination of overseas competition
With regard to competition in China and ASEAN countries in particular, we conduct dismantling studies on information regarding the acquisition of patents by competitors and their products in order to secure interests in them. We also actively acquire and utilize rights.
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)
Intellectual property creation activities
The Group conducts meetings on inventions policy with the 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. In recent years, we have been focusing on promoting service-related patent applications to protect and utilize new businesses that make use of AI and IoT from the perspective of patents.
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 (FY2021)
|Number of patent applications||310||156||466|
|Number of patents held||1,945||1,781||3,726|
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 CSR 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.
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 regularly publishes and investor relations column on the PR portal site.
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 (FY2021)
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|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:143 times
Overseas: 28 times
|Small meetings||13 times|
|Technology small meetings||Once||Held jointly with research and development departments regarding initiatives on all-solid-state batteries|
|Individual investors||Briefing for individual investors||3 times||Held online with video and briefing materials posted on the shareholder and investor information site|
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
Fundamental Approach to Anti-corruption
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 2021.Refer here for information on Responsible Procurement.
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, and have also established rules that prohibit practices which could be misinterpreted as collusion (such as extending benefits). We strive to ensure that all our employees are fully aware of these rules.
Moreover, in principle, the Group prohibits political donations, and no such contributions were made in fiscal 2021 either.
The Group is committed to making the utmost efforts to raise employee awareness through meeting-style training programs on anti-corruption topics (such as prevention of intentional misconduct).
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
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.
In accordance with the risk management rules, each department assesses risk using a risk management sheet. The following is an outline of these activities:
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.
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 corporate governance.