CSR Procurement

Seeking co-prosperity with our partners, based on mutual understanding and cooperation

MIZUNO's Policy of CSR Procurement

MIZUNO' s view of "good manufacturing"

For MIZUNO, "good manufacturing" does not simply mean producing high-quality, safe, and reliable items.
We believe that their manufacturing processes should meet international criteria in terms of respect for human rights, labor conditions, and environmental conservation.

MIZUNO' s ambition is to encourage and inspire people by promoting sports. In addition to sports fans, MIZUNO wants to inspire factory workers creating MIZUNO products to embrace lofty visions and aspirations.

This is because we believe that excellent sporting goods must benefit not only their users, but also their designers, their manufacturing workers, the drivers transporting them, the shop assistants selling them, and all other workers involved in the product lifecycles. Since 2004, MIZUNO has been committed to CSR procurement, an activity to maintain an adequate working environment at our suppliers and Original Equipment Manufacturers, as well as at MIZUNO' s own manufacturing plants. In all those operations, which comprise our supply chain, we conduct CSR audits to check various items, including legal compliance, respect for human rights, safety of the labor environment, and environmental conservation.
When we detect any problem, MIZUNO implements a remedy to address the problem in joint efforts with the operation concerned.

Working together toward achieving our common goal CSR procurement,
based on solid partnership

For MIZUNO, CSR procurement is an essential means toward realizing a sustainable society in line with our CSR Vision, which emphasizes Fair play, Friendship, and a Fighting spirit. At the same time, we believe that CSR procurement benefits our suppliers in various ways. For instance, it helps enhance manufacturing efficiency through improved business management, labor safety and hygiene, and environmental measures. Moreover, maintaining a comfortable working environment is likely to bring about synergies of higher motivation on the part of employees, their higher retention rate and stability of the workforce, and improved product quality and greater competitiveness resulting from the presence of skilled workers.

To bring about such synergies and to achieve co-prosperity with its suppliers and Original Equipment Manufacturers, MIZUNO seeks to resolve various problems in joint efforts with them.

Inspections at major Original Equipment
Manufacturers to improve the labor environment

MIZUNO conducts CSR audits at about 150 plants of our major Original Equipment Manufacturers, so as to inspect the conditions of respective plants in terms of respect for human rights, labor practices, and environmental practices, in line with the MIZUNO Code of Conduct for Suppliers.

The CSR audit is basically performed by two auditors whom MIZUNO dispatch to respective plants. They examine documents and inspect plant sites, taking at least one full day. If they detect any problems, they will consider appropriate remedies to be adopted together with the supplier concerned. Rather than immediately suspending business with a supplier in question, MIZUNO believes it more important to seek an appropriate remedy and improve the situation, based on the partnership.

MIZUNO believes that the CSR audit should play the role of a medical examination, i.e., helping to detect risks and enabling appropriate measures to be taken so as to enhance the soundness of management, and leading to the growth of the plant and the supplier concerned.

Process of CSR Audit

1.Opening meeting

Using the MIZUNO Group CSR Procurement Guidelines, auditors from MIZUNO explain the purpose of the audit and the auditing schedules to the plant manager, the CSR manager, the head of the labor union, etc.

Opening meeting
Opening meeting
2.On-site inspection

The auditors walk around the factory and occasionally ask questions to responsible staff. In addition to manufacturing sites, the auditors also visit a dining hall and a dormitory to check safety, hygiene, and the employees' living environment.

Questioning a manager at the site (left), questioning an operator (center), and confirming valid periodic inspection certificates of elevators (right)
Questioning a manager at the site (left), questioning an operator (center), and confirming valid periodic inspection certificates of elevators (right)
3.Document examination

Auditors check documents to confirm the presence/absence of child labor, working hours and wages, types of social insurance available, documentations about facilities and fire safety measures, and whether or not environmental monitoring is being conducted.

Examining documents
Examining documents
4.Interviews with employees

Auditors ask employees about their working hours, holidays, wages, health examinations, etc. After the interview, auditors crosscheck their answers with statements by the management and the content of documents. The auditors also confirm that the plant is free from sexual harassment, discrimination, or abuse of employees.

Interviewing employees by taking privacy into consideration
Interviewing employees by taking privacy into consideration
5.Closing meeting

At the end of the audit, the auditors inform the results to the factory management, and discuss with them about improvement plans. MIZUNO will send detailed evaluation sheets to the plant at a later date.

Discussions based on audit results
Discussions based on audit results

MIZUNO Code of Conduct for Suppliers and MIZUNO Group CSR Procurement Guidelines

Formulation of the MIZUNO Code of Conduct for Suppliers

MIZUNO has its Original Equipment Manufacturer plants in various parts of Asia and the rest of the world.
To promote our CSR procurement policies, and to gain suppliers' understanding concerning our approach, it is imperative to formulate related rules.

In this context, in 2004 MIZUNO formulated the Guiding Principles for Suppliers to the MIZUNO Corporation, which stipulated adequate labor practices. In January 2011, reflecting the guidance of ISO 26000, MIZUNO revised the Guiding Principles into the MIZUNO Code of Conduct for Suppliers.

MIZUNO Code of Conduct for Suppliers (Excerpt)
Corporate Governance:
Compliance with Applicable Laws and Standards
Human Rights:
Respect for Fundamental Rights at Work
Labor Practices:
Employment and Employment Relationships Conditions of Work and Social Protection Health and Safety at Work
Environmental Practices:
Prevention of Pollution
Sustainable Resource Use
Sustainable Consumption
Fair Business Practices:
Fair Competition
Respect for Property Rights
Community Involvement and Development:
Community Involvement

*The entire script (in Japanese, English, and Chinese) is available on the CSR page of MIZUNO' s website.

Preparation of the MIZUNO Group CSR
Procurement Guidelines

MIZUNO has prepared the MIZUNO Group CSR Procurement Guidelines in three versions: Japanese, English, and Chinese.

The MIZUNO Group CSR Procurement Guidelines, which offer explanations about social background for formulating such guidelines, have been designed t o p romote suppliers' understanding of the MIZUNO Group' s philosophy (Corporate Philosophy, Code of Conduct, MIZUNO Ethical Standards, CSR Basic Philosophy, CSR Vision, etc.). The Guidelines adopt an itemized form so as to improve readability and enable suppliers to use the guidelines as checklists.

Preparation of the MIZUNO Group CSR Procurement Guidelines

Major Initiatives Taken during Fiscal 2013

Main Initiatives in Fiscal 2013

We have continued to carry out CSR procurement activities aimed at safeguarding human rights for workers at subcontracted manufacturing plants, ensuring occupational health and safety, and promoting environmental activities at individual factories, through MIZUNO CSR audit and procurement meetings all the way through to fiscal 2013. To enable us to continue with these activities, it is important that all those involved in production activities fully appreciate MIZUNO's commitment to CSR procurement and work together to push ahead with improvement activities.

In fiscal 2013, we teamed up with Shanghai Mizuno and Mizuno (Taiwan) to organize CSR procurement meetings for local employees involved in production, and suppliers running factories in China, Taiwan and selected areas of Vietnam, at our offices in Shanghai and Taipei. Having responded methodically to the various opinions put forward during these meetings, those present showed a solid understanding of CSR procurement and indicated their willingness to assist with our activities. As a result, we have been able to conduct CSR audits at ten factories supplying Shanghai Mizuno and ten factories supplying Mizuno (Taiwan).

CSR Evaluation Index by Audit Item
Number of audits conducted in fiscal 2013
Japan 16
Chinese 29
Asian countries except for China 23
Total 68
April 2013 - March 2014
Calculation method:
The audit items are classified into three categories: critical, major, and general. Greater weight is added to the auditing items rated as critical, and then to the items rated as major. Regarding the audit of machinery and equipment, audit items vary slightly depending on the factories to be audited. Accordingly, the scores in the table have been calculated by setting aside irrelevant items, and showing the scores for applicable items in percentages (evaluation index).
Target factories:
MIZUNO plans to audit all of the 180 major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in three years.

According to the results of the CSR audits in fiscal 2013, non-Japanese factories marked low scores in the following items: working hours, health and safety (treatment of chemical substances), health and safety (first aid), and environmental practices. For instance, the auditors detected violations of working hour rules, such as long working hours and provision of no holidays throughout a week, along with violations of environmental rules, such as absence/insufficiency of the management of plant effluent.

In Japan, evaluation results were below expectations in a number of categories based on the results of CSR audits carried out in fiscal 2013. These included "Health and safety > First aid", "Health and safety > Fire safety" and "Health and safety > Chemicals". In particular, measures were found to be inadequate in areas such as provision of first aid kits, insufficient first aid measures and training, regular inspection of fire extinguishers, and inadequate fire safety training. We have instructed factories to make immediate improvements and take steps to prevent such issues from reoccurring. We will continue to work with our suppliers to monitor progress and follow up on improvements in the future.

MIZUNO asked factories in question to promptly implement a remedy to prevent recurrence. At the same time, MIZUNO continues to monitor levels of improvement and offer necessary information and advice.

Adding Japanese Factories into the Targets of CSR Audits

Since fiscal 2004, MIZUNO has conducted CSR audits of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) outside Japan. In the latter half of fiscal 2012, MIZUNO also began auditing OEMs in Japan.

By expanding the targets of audits, MIZUNO ensures that workers at Japanese factories, including non-Japanese Technical Intern Trainees, can work in a favorable environment, free from problems related to human rights, health and safety at work, environmental practices, and other issues. The audits are conducted in compliance with the MIZUNO Code of Conduct for Suppliers and applicable laws and standards.

  • Inquiries to managers of the factory with the MIZUNO Group CSR Procurement Guidelines
    Inquiries to managers of the factory with the MIZUNO Group CSR Procurement Guidelines
  • and checking the storage of industrial wastes and on compliance with legal requirements.
    and checking the storage of industrial wastes and on compliance with legal requirements.
  • Checking the expiration dates of medicines in a first-aid kit
    Checking the expiration dates of medicines in a first-aid kit
  • and asking an employee about her working hours, holidays, and wages
    and asking an employee about her working hours, holidays, and wages

During fiscal 2013, MIZUNO conducted 16 audits on apparel factories. The auditors confirmed that there were no cases of infringement of human rights, including those of non-Japanese Technical Intern Trainees. However, a few problems were detected in relation to the health and safety at work, fire safety measures, first aid treatments, and environmental practices. All factories where problems were detected are eagerly committed to implementing remedies. MIZUNO expects that at these factories, the audits will have positive effects on their business management, particularly enhanced satisfaction on the part of employees and improved product quality.

CSR Prior Assessment

Many Japanese manufacturers are establishing new factories in Southeast Asian countries in response to emerging needs to have a second overseas operation in addition to the existing one in China. In this environment, MIZUNO has established a system of CSR Prior Assessment, to be conducted before orders are placed to such new factories in emerging countries, so as to confirm in advance that the factories concerned have no problems in relation to human rights, safety and health at work, environmental practices, etc. After initiating transactions with those factories, MIZUNO will conduct ordinary CSR audits and will implement a remedy if any problem is detected.

Reinforcing cooperation with labor unions and NGOs
Initiatives Taken in Compliance with the Global Framework Agreement

In 2011, MIZUNO Corporation concluded the Global Framework Agreement with the International Textile, Garment & Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF, now known as IndustriALL), the UI ZENSEN (the Japanese Federation of Textile, Chemical, Food, Commercial, Service and General Workers' Unions, renamed as the UA ZENSEN), and the MIZUNO Union. Respecting those organizations as equal partners, MIZUNO Corporation signed the Agreement to cooperate with them in efforts to protect human rights of workers at MIZUNO's OEMs, and to improve their labor conditions.

We have continued to maintain dialog with the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF), in an effort to safeguard the human rights of workers at subcontracted manufacturers and improve working conditions. We sign up to conventions stating that we will treat workers with respect as legitimate partners, and are working to adequately implement the eight fundamental conventions set out by the International Labor Organization (ILO), including freedom of association, the right to organize and the elimination of child labor. Based on these conventions, we provided information and exchanged opinions regarding developments in the wake of the collapse of the Rana Plaza shopping mall and clothing factory in the outskirts of Dhaka (Bangladesh) in April 2013, an accident that claimed the lives of over 1,100 workers.

Although we do not outsource manufacturing to Bangladesh, we intend to pay close attention to safety to ensure that no similar accidents occur in other countries.

Dialog with labor unions

In November 2013, we organized a regular information exchange session in accordance with a global framework agreement at the headquarters of UA ZENSEN in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. During the session, we exchanged information and opinions on subjects including progress with CSR procurement initiatives at MIZUNO, working conditions in Southeast Asian countries and the current status of labor unions.