Unicharm's efforts to promote sustainable supply chains
～ Addressing human rights issues and improving work environments using Sedex ～
Unicharm Corporation (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President & CEO: Takahisa Takahara) is addressing human rights issues and improving work environments to promote sustainable supply chains using Sedex.
Sedex is a global membership organization, leading in responsible sourcing practices. Sedex provides companies with technology, insights, practical tools, services and a community network to help them improve their responsible and sustainable business practices and source responsibly. Sedex has over 60,000 members in 180 countries, across 35 industry sectors.
Unicharm's effort to promote sustainable supply chains using Sedex
Unicharm is trying to promote sustainable supply chains based on the "Unicharm Group Policy on Human Rights" (established in 2017) and the "Sustainable Procurement Guidelines" (established in 2009 and revised in 2017).
As a part of the attempt to promote sustainable supply chains, factories of Unicharm Group in Japan, China, Taiwan-Greater China, Thailand, Indonesia, India and Saudi Arabia joined Sedex as B members (supplier members) in 2019, and the entire Unicharm Group engaged in Sedex as an AB member (buyer/supplier member) in July 2020.
Unicharm, as an AB member, makes use of the Sedex platform mainly in the following two key areas: (1) factories within Unicharm Group, and (2) raw material suppliers and OEM manufacturers. Among them, we put the first priority as (1) factories within Unicharm Group.
First, regarding the factories within Unicharm Group, we started registering site information of 18 sites in Japan and 22 sites outside Japan (40 sites in total) from July 2020. By the end of December 2020, all sites filled in the Sedex SAQ (Self-Assessment Questionnaire). In 2021, we are updating the SAQ answers for all sites and these will be completed by the end of this year. Unicharm’s Governance Group, ESG Department, ESG Division, reviews answers from all sites and asks managing directors, factory managers or other managing staff of subsidiaries for improvement if ambiguous or otherwise inappropriate answers are identified.
On the other hand, Unicharm, taking the coronavirus pandemic into account, gives up a plan to conduct SMETA audits* in 2021 on companies within Unicharm Group. From now on, we will find measures to cope with the current situation by considering remote auditing etc. and attempt to find non-compliances as early as possible by third party audits and take corrective actions.
Second, regarding how we promote sustainable supply chains with raw material suppliers and OEM manufacturers, Unicharm is asking them to join Sedex and accept relationships with us on the Sedex platform (so that we can view their information on the platform). We are going to establish relationships with 50% of our raw material suppliers and OEM manufacturers by the end of December 2021.
Unicharm will continuously and further promote sustainable supply chains using the Sedex platform and in collaboration with raw material suppliers and OEM manufacturers.
* SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit) is a social auditing methodology developed by Sedex. It enables businesses to assess their sites and suppliers to understand working conditions in their supply chain across the areas of labor standards, health and safety, the environment and business ethics.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) toward which Unicharm contributes with Sedex through a sustainable supply chain
Unicharm considers that these activities contribute to the achievement of the following 7 goals in the 17 SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015:
3 – Good health and well-being; 7 – Affordable and clean energy; 8 – Decent work and economic growth; 9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure; 10 – Reduced inequality; 12 – Responsible consumption and production; and 17 – Partnership for the goals.
Unicharm is aiming at contributing to achievement of the SDGs through the business activities such as supply of products and services. Going forward as well, we will contribute to safeguarding the global environment and solving social issues through our business activities.
For inquiries, please contact:
Public Relations Office, Corporate Planning Division, Unicharm Corporation