Third Party Opinion
Head of ESG Research Center
The Japan Research Institute, Limited
The first point I noted about this report is its opening statement: "Fuji Xerox and its affiliates are closely observing the current trends in legal regulations that encompass the disclosure of nonfinancial information, with European countries leading the way, and we are preparing a system as well as ways of using the system to properly disclose nonfinancial information. This includes not only our results, but also the transparency of our decision-making processes and the soundness of our plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle, while also increasing our compliance with international reporting standards such as those in the Global Reporting Initiative." As I see it, this three-pronged approach, consisting of (1) an emphasis on global standards, (2) full explanation of the decision-making process, and (3) disclosure of information on how the PDCA is running, forms the framework of the distinguishing features that can be seen in this report.
In the Top Commitment article, Mr. Yamamoto recognizes candidly that, as Fuji Xerox globalizes at a rapid pace, it may encounter unforeseen business risks such as differences in business customs and labor laws and practices from one country to another, or inadvertently becoming involved, through the actions of an overseas supplier, in destruction of the environment or human rights violations. He also says that "Providing customers with outstanding products and services is an essential requirement for any business. No less important is the question of how to accomplish this," a statement that carries the weight of conviction. Viewed in that light, the Highlights article "Toward Sustainable Paper Procurement" can be seen as an integral part of a consistent approach.
In the disclosures on Engagement with Stakeholders from page 27 onward, the way each section is laid out under the headings "Our Ideal," "Features of Fuji Xerox Activities," "Fiscal 2013 Performance," and "Fiscal 2014 Initiatives" seems to me well organized for clarity. I would like to commend Fuji Xerox for its outstanding performance in reducing CO2 emissions throughout product lifecycles and in increasing the ratio of women executives and managers, to name just two areas. Further, the information on monitoring and review to improve CSR performance from page 43 onward is a very useful guide to how the PDCA is functioning.
That said, in future Sustainability Reports I would urge Fuji Xerox to discuss in depth, both internally and with outsiders, exactly what is meant by the message "Operating at all times on the principle that ‘CSR is synonymous with corporate management,’ we aim to help our customers create value by ensuring unity of words and deeds." This year’s report contains several statements that can be taken to mean that achieving value creation for the client constitutes CSR, a tendency that suggests that the emphasis is being placed on providing value to society through customers.
If this idea is to be explored further, however, I feel that Fuji Xerox should carry out, and report on, a wide-ranging and thorough discussion of exactly how the company’s and its affiliates’ work in document services and communications generates value for society through their customers, beyond the single example of support for community medical care introduced in the Highlightss. I also felt a need to clarify the significance of activities that create value for society directly, as social contribution activities do.
The Mission Statement says "Ultimate purpose of Fuji Xerox for existence is to contribute to the advancement of the global community by continuously fostering mutual trust and enriching diverse cultures." After perusing the report, I found myself wondering whether mutual trust around the globe has in fact been changing for the better in the last few years. I would have liked to know how Fuji Xerox perceives the current situation. Although I understand the idea that mutual trust can be fostered by creating an environment conducive to the customer’s creation and utilization of knowledge, I would also have liked to know what they think about other ways they could directly impact factors that detract from mutual trust in the global community.
If I may say so without fear of being misunderstood, I look to Fuji Xerox for a proactive message about what the better society they envision will be like. They have a track record of practical CSR initiatives geared toward a better society, in such forms as new work styles, resource recycling, and ethical procurement. I look forward to their carrying on this track record and further improving their distinctive, farsighted CSR initiatives and information disclosure.
The comments above make no statements regarding whether the data have been accurately measured and calculated in accordance with generally accepted standards for preparing environmental reports or whether all important matters have been reported.