Communications & Training

Communication with Suppliers

Procurement Policy Orientation

Epson considers suppliers to be indispensable business partners, and we believe that it is our responsibility to not only deliver quality products but also to ensure that all suppliers in the supply chain respect human rights, provide a safe working environment, and remain environmentally conscientious.

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 asks suppliers to 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 supplier conference for CSR (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, Philippines, Indonesia, and other area.

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 cooperate 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.

Supplier Participation

  Area Total number of attended companies
Japan China Philippines Indonesia Others1
FY2020 764 77 17 17 23 898
FY2021 550 22 86 145 11 814
FY2022 969 80 81 30 35 1,195 

1 "Others" includes Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia, where Epson manufacturing sites are located.

Seminars for Suppliers

In addition to explaining social demands and Responsible Business Alliance (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.

Epson believes that it is important for suppliers to understand the need for CSR programs and to take the initiative to launch their own. 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 SAQ1 briefing
FY2022 Human rights seminar, SAQ briefing, conflict minerals survey conference
FY2023 (plan) Human rights seminar, Environment seminar, SAQ briefing, responsible mineral sourcing conference

1 SAQ: Self-Assessment Questionnaire

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 of domestic Japanese Epson Group companies: Link
  • For suppliers of Epson Group companies outside Japan: Use the reporting channel of that company. Link (PDF,380kb)
    You may also use a comments/opinions box located in the Epson facility.

Internal Training

The Epson Group’s Management Philosophy champions teamwork and respect for the individual. 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 has thus created a multi-level program to provide employees and partners with training.

Mandatory Internal Training (Japan)

Epson provides a basic online course for all employees, as well as courses tailored to the needs of procurement staff.

Procurement Compliance Seminar

Course Description For  Fiscal year 2020 2021 2022
Procurement compliance seminar Seminar completion rate 75% 82% 96%
Basic online course
  1. CSR/SDGs/RBA and procurement
  2. Code of conduct for procurement
  3. Laws and regulations
  4. Procurement rules
  5. Procurement rules violation case studies
New procurement staff Target
Persons 600 400 903
Persons 533 522 903
Procurement compliance seminar (updated)
  1. CSR/SDGs and procurement
  2. Code of conduct for procurement
  3. Laws and regulations
  4. Procurement rules violation case studies
  5. Important rules changes
Procurement staff, every 5 years Target
Persons 3,149 2,470 3,468
Persons 2,272 1,840 3,299

Basic online course

Description For  Fiscal year 2020 2021 2022
  1. Ethical conduct
  2. Subcontract Act & procurement management

                  (Laws & regulations, case studies)
All domestic Epson Group company employees & partners Target completion rate 92% 90% 90%
Actual completion rate 95% 91% 88%

*Ethical conduct and Subcontract Act are covered in alternate years.

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 standard, 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 General overview of 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 systems
Workshop for RBA (VAP) audits Workshop training for implementing RBA requirements and preparing for RBA (VAP) audits
CSR auditor training for supplier audits Internal auditor training for supplier on-site audits
Worker interview training for supplier audits Internal auditor training for supplier on-site audits

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