Communication and Training

Communications with Suppliers

Annual Supplier Conference

In addition to its commitment to delivering quality products, Epson believes that maintaining human rights, labor standards, and environmental conservation throughout its entire supply chain is an important part of its corporate responsibility. Epson therefore considers all suppliers to be important business partners.

Epson engages its suppliers throughout the year in many forms and at many different levels. An annual supplier conference is held in Japan as a top-level event at which we explain our procurement policies. We provide suppliers with an overview of our operations and share with them our important policies.

Epson's president and executive officers explain the company's policies and the business policies. The executive in charge of procurement requests that suppliers practice socially responsible procurement, take steps to cope with challenges in procuring chips and other electronic parts, and strengthen their business continuity management. Many suppliers attend this event every year.

Since 2021, the conference has been held online due to Covid-19, but prior to that it served as a valuable opportunity for meeting and speaking with suppliers directly.

Supplier Conference for CSR

At an annual socially responsible procurement supplier conference (held since 2016), we talk about CSR trends and our socially responsible procurement activities. We also ask our suppliers to engage with us in our efforts. Suppliers attend the conferences held at Epson manufacturing sites in Japan, China, and Indonesia.

At the conference, we ask suppliers to comply with our Sustainable Procurement Policy and the Epson Supplier Guidelines. We provide guidance for completing self-assessment questionnaires (SAQ) used to evaluate suppliers' CSR efforts and emergency response capabilities. We also ask suppliers to cooperation in conflict mineral surveys. Furthermore, due to the impact of natural disasters and infectious diseases on procurement and logistics in recent years, we remind suppliers of the importance of business continuity management.

  Area Total number of attended companies
Japan China Indonesia Others
FY2019 510 58 193 63 824
FY2020 764 77 17 40 898
FY2021 550 22 145 97 814

Human Rights Seminar for Suppliers

In addition to explaining social demands and RBA requirements at supplier conferences for CSR, we also hold seminars and conferences to provide further detail and ask for cooperation. Many suppliers attend these events every year.

Epson believes that it is important for suppliers to take the initiative in launching their own CSR programs based on a solid understanding of the reasons for them. We see human rights as a priority issue-and one in which the expectations of society are rapidly evolving. We therefore hold seminars taught by outside consultants to provide suppliers with expert information.

FY2021 Human rights seminar and SAQ briefing
FY2022 (plan) Human rights seminar, SAQ briefing, conflict minerals survey conference

Whistleblowing System for Suppliers

Epson has established compliance hotlines as grievance mechanisms that suppliers can use to report or discuss violations or potential violations of legislative requirements and the Epson Group Supplier Guideline. These hotlines are being used to further promote ethical corporate conduct, so we encourage their use. Reports may be made anonymously, and whistleblowers shall be protected, including by strictly handling their personal data and prohibiting any form of retaliation in accordance with applicable laws and Epson's internal regulations.

Suppliers can use the hotlines to report:

  • real or suspected misconduct or legal, regulatory, or ethical violations relating to Epson's operations or involving Epson officers or employees;
  • ideas or complaints relating to health and safety; and
  • concerns relating to conflict minerals

How to report:

  • For suppliers in Japan: Link
  • For suppliers of Epson group companies outside Japan: Use the comments/opinions box located in the facility or refer to the facility's supplier guidelines to learn about other reporting channels.

Internal Training

The Epson Group's Management Philosophy champions respect for the individual and teamwork. Principles of Corporate Behavior, meanwhile, outlines conduct for creating a corporate culture by fostering employee independence and confidence through professional development. We believe it is particularly important to understand legal and other requirements to ensure compliance and sustainability in procurement. Epson thus provides general procurement training for all employees, as well as courses tailored to the needs of procurement staff.

Procurement Compliance Seminar (Japan domestic)

Procurement Compliance Seminar

Course Description For   FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
Procurement compliance seminar Achieved rate by persons 71% 75% 82%
Procurement compliance seminar
  1. CSR/SDGs and procurement
  2. Code of conduct for procurement
  3. Laws and regulations
  4. Operation process
  5. Case studies
New procurement staff Target
Persons 830 600 400
Persons 719 533 522
Procurement compliance seminar (updated)
  1. CSR/SDGs and procurement
  2. Law and regulations
  3. Case studies
Procurement staff, every 5 years Target
Persons 2,700 3,149 2,470
Persons 1,783 2,272 1,840

Basic online course

Description For   FY2019 FY2020 FY2021
  1. Code of conduct
  2. Laws and regulation, case studies
All Epson personnel, staffing agency employees, and other partners Achieved rate by persons      
Target 90% 92% 90%
Result 96% 95% 91%

RBA (Supply Chain CSR) Professional Training (Worldwide)

Epson provides professional training for procurement staff to manage supplier CSR. These programs are based on the RBA Code of Conduct and RBA (VAP) audit standards, including A. Labor, B. Health and Safety, C. Environment, D. Ethics, and E. Management Systems. Some programs are conducted by outside consultants.

Course Description
RBA seminar (101) General training course regarding the RBA Code of Conduct and RBA system
RBA seminar (Advanced) Professional training course regarding the RBA Code of Conduct and detailed requirements concerning labor, health and safety, environment, ethics and management system
Workshop for RBA (VAP) audit Workshop training for implementing RBA requirements and preparing for an RBA (VAP) audit
CSR auditor training for supplier audit Internal auditor training for supplier onsite audit
Worker interview training for supplier audit Internal auditor training for supplier onsite audit

RBA Fundamentals (online course)

General training in the RBA Code of Conduct and RBA system (for all Epson group employees including procurement staff)

Responsible sourcing of minerals training

General training course regarding responsible sourcing of minerals (requirements of D7 in the RBA Code of Conduct) and expert training focused on surveys.

For more information: RBA Code of Conducts    RBA (VAP) audit