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 2012

Results of the CSR audits up to scal 2012

From the inauguration of the CSR procurement in 2004 to the end of fiscal 2012, MIZUNO conducted CSR audits some 300 times. The audit items, common throughout the world, have been determined in accordance with ISO26000 guidance. To improve the effectiveness of its audits, MIZUNO constantly reviews the audit items. As part of such efforts, the company has determined the priority of the audit items and reinforced environment-related audits. Moreover, this year MIZUNO included subcontract factories in Japan as targets of CSR audits.

CSR Evaluation Index by Audit Item
Number of audits conducted in fiscal 2012
Japan 10
Chinese 26
Asian countries except for China 15
Total 51
April 2012 - March 2013
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 2012, 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.

Japanese factories marked low scores in the following items in the CSR audits in fiscal 2012: health and safety (first aid), health and safety (machinery and equipment), and health and safety (treatment of chemical substances). For instance, the auditors detected violations of first aid standards, such as absence/insufficiency of first aid kits or first aid drills, along with violations of facility-related rules, including the absence of periodic facility inspections.

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.

Health and safety (fire safety)

Several cases of violations of the Fire Defense Law were detected, including the blocking of escape routes by packages and products in process, locking of emergency exits, presence of obstacles around fire extinguishers and fire hydrants, and insufficient pressure in fire extinguishers.

Remedies have been applied swiftly, by removing obstacles, unlocking emergency exits, and taking other measures.

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 2012, MIZUNO conducted 12 audits, including two MIZUNO subsidiaries (one apparel and one shoe factory). 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.

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.

With the ITGLWF, MIZUNO has thus far held several talks regarding the protection of human rights of workers at OEMs and ways to improve workers' labor conditions. Based on the Global Framework Agreement, MIZUNO respects the signatories of the agreement as its partners, and is committed to meeting the requirements set forth in eight core Conventions of the International Labour Organization (including ILO conventions on Freedom of Association, Right to Organize, and Worst Forms of Child Labor).

Pursuant to this Agreement, during fiscal 2012, MIZUNO worked to radically raise the minimum wage in Indonesia, and to resolve labor disputes regarding labor rationalization at its supplier, by holding close contact and exchanging information among the four parties concerned.

Future Tasks Related to the CSR Procurement

During this fiscal year, MIZUNO has reinforced the CSR procurement operations in compliance with the MIZUNO Code of Conduct for Suppliers, and expanded the targets of CSR audits to include Japanese factories. In coming years, we will focus our efforts in the following tasks: continuing to promote suppliers' understanding of our CSR procurement, improving the follow-up system to promote remedies, and reinforcing partnerships with external organizations, such as NGOs and NPOs.

Further tasks and issues to study
1.Reinforcing plant management systems
Effectively using the supplier information database, and reinforcing a follow-up system through use of Corrective Action Plan and Report
2.Promoting understanding of CSR procurement
Continuing to organize briefing meetings on CSR procurement
3.Promoting communication and sharing of information with suppliers and other related organizations
Reinforcing cooperation with external organizations, such as NGOs, NPOs, and labor unions
To further develop CSR procurement

Three years have passed since the establishment of the MIZUNO Code of Conduct for Suppliers. Based on the review of the past three years, MIZUNO has identified items that require further studies, as well as tasks to be fulfilled.
For instance, we have found the need to reinforce our in-house system to offer practical advice about remedies, in addition to warnings; to expand the scope of the plants to be audited; and to seek collaboration with NGOs, NPOs, and other related organizations. Seeking cooperation from many organizations, we will develop the CSR procurement system so as to ensure that the audit benefits all parties concerned.