unicharm

Gentle care for life

 

SustainabilitySustainability Top

Quality

 

Our basic approach and strategy

In keeping with Unicharm's corporate philosophical framework (“Beliefs and Pledges” and Corporate Principles of Action), we always strive for continual improvement with customer-oriented ideas.

Since many of our products come into direct contact with skin, we strive to enhance quality and safety and ensure proper labelling so that customers can use our products with confidence.

Management structure

As quality assurance is aligned to the quality policies in our med-term management plan, Chief Quality Officer who is responsible for the conformity and effectiveness of the company's quality management system is assigned to promote internal and external audits through the CSR Division. While taking corrective and preventive measures, CSR Division periodically reports to the CSR Committee chaired by the president on quality management so that the entire company can carry out quality enhancement activities on an ongoing basis.

All our business offices have obtained ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification, on which our quality management systems (QMS) and environmental management systems (EMS) are based. In 2017, the QMS and EMS were merged in hopes of strengthening the activities that encompass both quality and environmental managements. By integrating the operation of the two management systems, we are now addressing both quality and environmental tasks via a centralized structure.

Outside Japan, in order to keep current with updated regulations in the countries of import and marketing, we are committed to obtaining certification in each country including the international standard of quality management system for medical equipment, namely ISO 13485 in Indonesia and Thailand in 2014, ISO 9001 in India in 2016 and ISO 14001 in Egypt in 2018.

Unicharm group's certification status for ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 13485 (certification unit)
Business officesCertification status
ISO 9001ISO 14001ISO 13485
Unicharm
Unicharm Products
Unicharm Kokko Non-Woven
Cosmotec
Shanghai Factory
Tianjin Factory
Jiangsu Factory
South Korea Factory
Taiwan-Greater China Factory
Thailand Factory
Vietnam Factory
Indonesia Factory
India Factory
Australia Office
Saudi Arabia Factory
Egypt Factory

Safety initiatives

We carry out gate-checks in accordance with the Unicharm Management System Basic Regulations during every process, from materials procurement to product development, manufacturing, sales, and disposal so that customers can use products that directly contact their skin with greater peace of mind.

The Safety Assessment Committee has established a gate function during the stage of product development to conduct risk assessment based on various product uses and disposal. Products for which safety is confirmed receive Safety Assessment Confirmation Sheet.

In addition, we implement product use tests with products that use the safety-checked materials.

  • Safety Assessment Confirmation Sheet

Animal Testing

Unicharm does not conduct experiments involving animals for its safety checks, including outsourced testing, nor will we in the future. (Not applicable in any cases where UC is held accountable toward society for safety issues or is met with demands from local administrations in certain countries.)

Management of chemical substances

We strive to minimize any direct or indirect (environmental) impacts on people from chemical substances contained in raw materials used in manufacturing diapers and sanitary pads by establishing the Unicharm Material Safety Guideline which aims to ultimately eliminate all harmful impacts. To achieve this, we have defined harmful substances, developed a substance list of approximately 3,600 materials and determined target substances for reduction. At the same time, we receive disclosures from each supplier on the complete materials list and conduct toxicity risk assessment. In determining target substances for reduction, we strive to broadly collect the global information on harmful chemical substances and identify and manage the prohibited and restricted substances based on the reference literatures and standards. In addition, with the implementation of a management system for chemical substances contained in products or materials in 2017, we have been able to strengthen our collaboration with material suppliers in more efficiently managing chemical substances.

Chemical Substances Information Management System (Image)

Safety Check Workflow

Safety Check Workflow

Reference Information Example

  • ECHA (European Chemicals Agency)
  • SVHC (Substances of very high concern)
  • RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances)
  • REACH
  • Oeko-Tex standard 100
  • EU DIRECTIVE2015/1221/EC
  • DIRECTIVE 2009/48/EC (safety of toys)
  • Implementation of the Act on the Evaluation of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture
  • POPs: Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
  • Dioxin Regulation Act
  • Montreal Protocol

Global safety activities

Safety-related initiatives are necessary in all locations where Unicharm runs business, so we operate a global safety-check framework. We have been operating a safety-check framework in each country of operation since April 2007. We began activities under this framework in Vietnam in 2017, followed by local subsidiaries in China, Korea, Taiwan-Greater China, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam today.We visit our suppliers, testing partners and government institutions in each country to step up communication in order to deliver safe and reliable products to our customers by holding the general meetings involving all persons in charge of safety, tele-conferences and regular separate meetings.

In addition, starting in FY2018, the Chemical Substances Information Management System mentioned above has been gradually adopted at overseas locations where local staff dedicate themselves to register within each country's regulations and conduct prompt study of substances contained in addressing increased export and import, thereby promoting a system that ensures peace of mind for our customers.

Quality management initiatives for manufacturing

As an initiative for quality management, Unicharm Products uses the Unicharm Total Management Strategic System (UTMSS) at all its plants together with information from consumers relating to problems with products in order to make continuous improvements. Working together as a whole, we work to address customer feedback on problems with products which is essential to improving product quality and safety.

UTMSS is used for goals such as “visual control” and “standardization” that allow us to provide our customers with products that are consistent and of high quality. All plants implement regular UTMSS activities (at least once per month) to continuously improve productivity and quality. As a specific example, by introducing the “workmanship management” framework, we have minimized individual variations in work, thereby realizing stable quality.

UTMSS members at all plants worldwide gather in Japan twice per year for an all-company meeting. At this meeting, UTMSS members report on the results of their improvement activities and the seven plants that had the best results make a presentation to share/implement their efforts. With Japanese plants as a benchmark, plants outside Japan deploy these ideas in their own countries. We also promote a “mother plant system” between factories in Japan and other countries to transfer frameworks and success stories to overseas plants. By implementing UTMSS improvement activities and establishing such frameworks, we promote productivity improvements and quality enhancement at plants outside Japan.

At an all-company UTMSS gathering
At an all-company UTMSS gathering

Initiative for appropriate product labeling

Since 2010, Unicharm has continued to maintain its track record of zero product labelling issues based on its own consumer-oriented labelling code.

In order to provide correct information to customers, our marketing communications (product packaging and advertising) are checked for compliance with applicable laws such as the Law for Ensuring the Quality, Efficacy and Safety of Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices, the Premiums and Representations Act and the Containers and Packaging Recycling Law and for compliance with industry standards set out by the Japan Hygiene Products Industry Association and our own proprietary evidence-based standards. We also confirm compliance from a customer perspective to ensure that the information provided does not invite false assumptions or mistaken use. In accordance with changes in the environment inside and outside the company including diversification of advertising medium, market changes and changes in consumer awareness, Unicharm updates its own standards and works thoroughly to ensure its application by providing trainings to the relevant divisions.

Additionally, at the product design stage, we have established a Communication Guarantee Meeting as a gate-check on labelling that is based on scientific evidence. Members from the Customer Communication Center also participate in the package design to lend a customer-focused perspective so that the company as a whole provides labelling that is optimal and accurate.

Communication Guarantee Meeting
Number of violations of voluntary codes 0
 

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