To confirm the status of compliance with the Basic Supply Chain CSR Policy, Marubeni conducts on-site inspections of suppliers who are based in countries designated by the FTSE4Good Global Index as carrying a high risk associated with supply chain labor standards, and who trade in the apparel, agriculture, and other sectors. The person in charge from Marubeni directly visited the manufacturing sites, or production sites, of the suppliers to conduct such inspections. In 2013, we visited two suppliers: a shoe manufacturer and a knitted wear manufacturer.
(1) Pro-well Shoe Co., Ltd. (Dongguan City, China)
An on-site inspection was conducted at a plant of Pro-well Shoe Co., Ltd., a shoe manufacturer in China. An interview with the vice-president and manager of human resources were performed, as well as an inspection of the plant.
The company has included the observance of laws as part of their management philosophy. Their management departments, including the human resources, accounting, and tax affairs departments have cooperated to establish a system that carefully monitors any violations of law. All new employees who are to join the company have been required to sign a written oath, in which they must swear that they observe the applicable laws and regulations. The company has obtained all the licenses and permissions for fire protection and labor health that are necessary for operation of the plant. The company has notified the relevant authorities without fail upon transferring of such qualified person to different department. Exercising appropriate management control has been confirmed.
For labor-management, the company has prohibited discrimination on all grounds. The company also respects its employees’ freedom of association along with the right to unionize and bargain collectively. In addition, for recruitment, official identification is used to check the age of new employees to prevent child labor.
The company has made efforts to create a comfortable and open environment. In this environment, employees could directly send any requests and questions they had to the President by e-mail.
For safety and health, the company has executed due care to ensure the safety and management of their employees. The company required newly hired employees to receive a medical check before joining. Workers who handled chemical materials have received medical checks on an annual basis. In addition, the company has executed an agreement with a local hospital. This agreement ensures that the hospital sends an industrial physician to the plant on a weekly basis to check the workers’ health. Furthermore, the company introduced machinery to the plant capable of preventing workers from getting hurt in the cutting process. The company has also strictly managed hazardous materials.
All employees were well aware of cleanliness in the working environment. The plant was well cleaned, despite the fact that shoemaking factories generate a large volume of fine dust during their cutting and other processes.
(2) Viva Garment Products Limited (Hanoi City, Vietnam)
An on-site inspection was conducted at a Viva Garment Products Limited plant, a sewing manufacturer of various knitted products. The site inspection included an interview with its Compliance Manager.
The plant has an appropriate system in place to check for compliance with local laws and regulations in Vietnam. This includes the checking of laws and regulations related to labor standards. By looking at a bulletin board at the entrance of the plant, all of the plant’s employees can be aware of the plant’s policies at any time. The policies aim for full compliance with the applicable laws and regulations.
For labor-management, when hiring new employees, the plant confirmed the applicants’ official identification documents during in its recruitment process. By doing this, the plant has ensured that it does not employ anyone younger than 15 years old.
The plant has undertaken various working arrangements that are friendly to female employees, who account for 95% of all employees. These arrangements included maternity leave and childcare leave. The plant has organized a labor union that comprises about 1,700 employees. A suggestion box has also been set up within the plant. This suggestion box allows employees to honestly voice any opinions and requests that they might have. Communication between management and employees was thought to be good and adequate.
For safety and health, periodical medical checks have been performed for sewing employees on an annual basis. Personnel who were working at dangerous sites, including personnel who were in charge of boiler management, have received medical checks on a semi-annual basis. The plant has conducted due management for the health of its employees. In addition, the PPE (Protective Protection Equipment) policy was put up on a bulletin board for each production process. This enabled the employees to wear the appropriate protective protection equipment such as masks, hygiene hats, and metal safety gloves when they were doing their tasks.
The plant has been periodically subjected to environmental inspections conducted by the local government. It has successfully obtained inspection certificates from the government, indicating that the plant can operate without any issues. In addition, the company as a whole has made various efforts for the preservation of the environment. These efforts included energy-saving activities, such as letting natural sunlight into the facilities of the plant, and tree plantation activities on the premises.
The result of the inspection showed that the two suppliers were complying correctly with all matters, including those covered by the Basic Supply Chain CSR Policy. We will continue to conduct regular on-site inspections.
The on-site inspection is similar to our own "self-assessment program," but it's more objective. This is also a good opportunity for us to review our compliance system and quality control system. During inspections and meetings about CSR, we have created more ideas and motivation. We hope that these will strengthen our management, prevent non-compliance, and help to continue to maintain our good business practices.