Sustainability Management

Sharp’s Sustainability Policy

Basic Philosophy on Sustainability

It has been Sharp’s business philosophy since its founding to “contribute to the culture, benefits and welfare of people throughout the world” and to understand that “our future prosperity is directly linked to the prosperity of our customers, dealers and shareholders.” Based on this business philosophy Sharp has continued to meet the expectations and requirements of society and its stakeholders, and these aspirations for sustained mutual growth of the company and society are maintained as Sharp’s basic philosophy on sustainability.

Sharp Group Charter of Corporate Behavior and the Sharp Code of Conduct

To concretize its business philosophy and business creed, the company has set out the Sharp Group Charter of Corporate Behavior to serve as the principles of behavior for Sharp Group companies, and the Sharp Code of Conduct to serve as a standard for all directors and employees. Sharp works to ensure that these guidelines permeate the Group as fundamental sustainability policies, and that the Group takes appropriate and sincere action in all of its business endeavors with a high ethical standard and full compliance with the law.

Resolutions regarding the adoption of the Sharp Group Charter of Corporate Behavior and the Sharp Code of Conduct are issued by the boards of directors of Sharp Corporation and its main subsidiaries and affiliate companies in Japan and overseas. At overseas subsidiaries and affiliates, these documents are translated into local languages so that employees can fully understand and comply with them.

The content of the Sharp Group Charter of Corporate Behavior and the Sharp Code of Conduct is reviewed each year to determine if revisions need to be made.

System for Sustainability Policy

Ensuring Adherence to the Sharp Code of Conduct

To deepen understanding of the Sharp Code of Conduct and ensure that all executives and employees act in accordance with it, compliance-related training based on the Sharp Code of Conduct is held every year in Japan.

In fiscal 2022, Sharp carried out Sharp Code of Conduct compliance e-learning for eligible employees at Sharp Corporation and affiliate companies in Japan, as well as eligible labor union members. This e-learning saw participation by about 18,000 employees. The training covered a range of areas and how to deal with issues related to them: conducting business activities in line with the Sharp Code of Conduct; raising awareness of the whistleblowing system; labor and human rights issues such as working hours, pay, and benefits; compliance matters such as abidance with the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, insider trading rules, and preventing fraudulent accounting; information security and confidential information management; and the furthering of ESG.

We also spread knowledge about the Sharp Code of Conduct at overseas bases. This included distributing e-learning materials as part of efforts to ensure understanding globally at Sharp.

The compliance training will continue to be held and expanded in content with the goal of ensuring that employees have a better understanding of compliance and fostering awareness for potential problems and ways to prevent them. The training is held as an in-house measure based on the Basic Policy for Internal Control. Training results are reported to the Internal Control Committee, which is chaired by the president & CEO, and to the Board of Directors.

Sustainability Strategy and Implementation System

In line with Sharp’s basic philosophy towards sustainability, Sharp has positioned its role to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—adopted by the UN in September 2015 with major expectations placed on corporations—in its medium-to long-term vision, and is moving forward with those efforts.

In fiscal 2018, Sharp accelerated its efforts towards this medium-to long-term vision through a two-pronged approach: creating solutions to social problems through business and technological innovation, and reducing social and environmental impact through sustainable business activities. Sharp is making efforts through a fundamental strategy of proceeding with sustainable management aimed at the achievement of the SDGs.

Under our policy of ESG-focused management, which we announced in fiscal 2022, we are concentrating on three goals—improving technological strength, fostering global awareness, and making the most of our people—as we accelerate the creation of new businesses.

Through these efforts, we are contributing to solving the social issues facing us today: realizing a low-carbon world, solving medical and nursing care problems, eliminating labor shortages, and realizing a diverse range of lifestyles. These contributions will ensure that we are always there for people and society and that Sharp more quickly achieves recognition as a company with a strong brand that continuously provides new value.

To execute these strategies and manage them in a PDCA cycle, the company launched the Sustainability Committee, which is chaired by the president & CEO of Sharp and comprises members of top management, Head Office divisions such as environment, personnel, and procurement, business units, and subsidiaries. The committee engrains policies and visions into the Sharp Group, discusses crucial measures, and shares the latest trends in social issues. In addition, the committee reports important policies and decisions to the Board of Directors.

Sharp will continue to step up its efforts in the SDGs and ESG and improve its ESG rating, while at the same time building a solid management foundation to support sustainable growth and contributing to the realization of a sustainable society.

Fundamental Strategy of Sustainable Management

Organization for Sustainability Management (as of August 2023)

Participating in Various Initiatives

As a member of the global community, Sharp conducts business in way that respects international guidelines and norms.

United Nations Global Compact

We became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact in September 2009. The Global Compact is a voluntary initiative that involves using a global framework to achieve sustainable growth. We carry out measures in line with the Global Compact’s 10 principles in the four areas of human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption.

RBA (Responsible Business Alliance)

In December 2021, we joined the RBA, an alliance of companies that pursues social responsibility across the global supply chain. We endorse the RBA vision and mission.

RMI (Responsible Minerals Initiatives)

Since December 2021, we have been a member of the RMI, an international initiative for the responsible sourcing of minerals. We actively pursue due diligence in our procurement of minerals.

TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures)

In August 2022, we declared our support for the TCFD recommendations. We are expanding and improving the disclosure of information related to climate change, in accordance with the framework set by the TCFD.

SBTi (Science Based Targets Initiative)

In January 2020, we were certified for SBT WB2°C. This was a recognition that our targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are based in science and conform with the Paris Agreement.

GX League

In April 2023, we joined the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s GX League. The GX League is a forum that brings together corporations, government, and academic institutions. Through collaborations, the League seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while building a society that can grow in measurable ways—the aim is to achieve a virtuous cycle encompassing the economy, environment, and society.

Other groups Sharp is a member of:

  • JEMA (Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association)
  • JEITA (Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association)
  • JBMIA (Japan Business Machine and Information System Industries Association)
  • JMC (Japan Machinery Center for Trade and Investment)
  • JaCer (Japan Center for Engagement and Remedy on Business and Human Rights)

Material Issues

Identifying and Monitoring Material Issues

A succession of international long-term goals that seek solutions for social issues at the global level, such as the SDGs and the Paris Agreement*, have been announced, and there is a growing interest in human rights issues such as forced labor in global supply chains. As such, expectations continue to grow for companies to put forth an effort to address these goals and issues.

Against this backdrop, Sharp is identifying material issues for the sake of sustainable management with a view to solving global-level social issues and achieving medium-to long-term growth for the Sharp Group.

In identifying the material issues, we reviewed management policy, business strategy, and international guidelines and principles such as the UN Global Compact, the SDGs, and the RBA vision and mission. We also considered the opinions and expectations of various stakeholders, the effect of Sharp’s business activities on those stakeholders, and the results of assessments by ESG research and rating institutions.

The material issues identified were mapped along the two axes of “level of stakeholder expectations” and “level of importance to the Sharp Group” and these were translated into sustainability measures to be taken in order of priority company-wide.

For each of the sustainability measures, business units and subsidiaries set their own targets, goals, KPIs, and action plans. The implementation and results of these are reviewed by the Sustainability Committee, which convenes twice a year.

  • An international framework for the prevention of global warming agreed on at the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), held in Paris in 2015. The agreement was to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

Process for Identifying Material Issues

Fiscal 2023 Company-wide Sustainability Measures

Sustainability measures Related SDGs
Make products energy saving
Reduce amount of virgin plastic in products and their packaging
Create sustainable products
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with business activities
Reduce waste associated with business activities
Reduce ESG-related risks at Sharp factories in and outside Japan
Reduce ESG-related risks across the supply chain

Risk Evaluation in Line with International Standards

Sharp believes that to ensure global business expansion is accompanied by the creation of a sustainable society, it is extremely important to conform to international standards.

Since fiscal 2015, the Sharp Group has been using the Sharp Supply-Chain CSR Deployment Guidebook, which was created in line with the RBA Code of Conduct (an international standard), as the guideline for its activities. It has been carrying out ongoing self-assessment surveys of Sharp production sites in Japan and overseas

These surveys are carried out based on the RBA’s Self-Assessment Questionnaire and serve as a review and assessment of the status of activities at Sharp’s production sites. Sharp uses the survey as a means of facilitating better understanding of international standards among local managers.

In fiscal 2022, the survey was carried out at 28 plants in Japan and overseas. Following the survey, each plant was given feedback in the form of an overall and area-specific evaluation in three levels—low risk, moderate risk, and high risk—based on RBA criteria.

Survey responses from the bases are reviewed by head office functional divisions. If it is determined that a base’s efforts are inadequate or latent risks exist, the base in question is interviewed and provided with guidance for undertaking necessary improvement activities.

As a result, the average score for all factories in fiscal 2022 was 91.2 (up from 90.6 the previous year), showing continued generally favorable assessments. Sites that got a “low risk” overall evaluation score comprised 93% of the total. No problems have been identified that pose an immediate, large risk for the Sharp Group as a whole.

In fiscal 2023, as part of efforts to respond to customer requests and comply with product certification standards, certain factories in Japan and overseas will take RBA’s VAP* audit to improve the objectivity and transparency of risk assessments.

In addition to continuing to conduct surveys and audits, Sharp will use the RBA’s risk assessment mechanism and tools to keep improving activities.

  • Validated Assessment Program. A VAP audit is a local audit performed by a third-party auditing service certified by the RBA.

Overall Assessment Ranking Ratio

Area-Specific Assessment Ranking Distribution

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder Engagement

In order to ensure that, “Our future prosperity is directly linked to the prosperity of our customers, dealers and shareholders,” as stated in the company’s Business Philosophy, Sharp suitably discloses information to the diversity of stakeholders that it serves, including customers, suppliers, and local communities.

Also, amidst the increasing focus on ESG-related investment, we strive to improve our ESG level by creating a range of opportunities for dialogue with shareholders and investors.

We will continue to reflect stakeholder opinions in our corporate activities with the goals of helping society solve problems and achieving sustainable growth for Sharp.