Japanese Automaker’s Mazda Wayfor CSR activity

Japanese Automaker’s Mazda Wayfor CSR activity

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There are many companies all over the world engaging themselves in the CSR activities along with their main avocation of achieving growth of the parent body. They adopt different nomanclatures for their identity but here there is an example of a company assimilating with the cause and christing it with their name and fame. It is none other than one of Japan’s automobile manufacturers- Mazda.

Mazda aims to achieve its Corporate Vision through the actions of each individual, based on the Mazda Way. While striving to meet the requests and expectations of all of Mazda’s stakeholders, each employee pursues CSR initiatives in the course of their daily business activities. In this way, Mazda contributes to the development of a sustainable society.

Reaffirming its commitment to the Charter of Corporate Behavior issued by the Japan Business Federation, Mazda evaluates its CSR initiatives in the six areas of Environmental Protection, Customer Satisfaction, Respect for People, Social Contributions, Compliance and Information Disclosure.

Through its interaction with various stakeholders, Mazda has further designated three of these areas as key themes for special action because they are particularly sought by society, and because Mazda is able to make a contribution.

In an innovative move, Mazda company has deployed Hideki Kurokawa Head of CSR and Environment Department to represent the company. His main role is to act as a bridge between the stakeholders and employees and present to the entire world himself as the face of Mazda empire. To be distinct from others, Hideki Kurokawa in his maiden appearance declared “I am in charge of responding to external surveys covering CSR and environmental initiatives. Compiling and disseminating each department’s daily activities to people outside the Company is part of Mazda’s responsibility to its stakeholders.

In addition, we implement in-house CSR education programs designed to deepen employees’ awareness that their day-to-day work is connected with CSR. In the future, I intend to strengthen our group-wide Mazda-unique CSR initiatives, so that all employees can carry out their work with confidence and pride”.

Automobile manufacturing contributes to pollution. Though almost all automakers install anti-pollution devices in their vehicles and contribute substantially to government efforts to keep atmosphere clean, even then pollution engulfs one and all. Mazda has given highest priority to environmental protection because it considers it is a pressing issue for humanity. Stressing that human resource development is the foundation of Mazda’s corporate activities, Hideki Kurokawa stated that their effort is to prove how Mazda is concerned about local communities and how they stand out as a good corporate citizen.

At Mazda, each department carries out its operations based on goals and plans formulated with an understanding of the policies and guidelines determined by the CSR Management Strategy Committee, which the president chairs, and in cooperation with other Group companies.

The committee formulates operational targets and plans for the medium and long term for each fiscal year. Before the formal committee meeting, strategy core group discuss in advance proposals to be made to the CSR Management Strategy Committee and propose guidelines for specific activities based on policies set by the CSR Management Strategy Committee.

The company has framed organizational set up to put in place to pursue CSR activities vigorously. Their organizational charge is a road map for those companies were sincere in CSR activities.

Mazda is not complacent with its own achievement. They strive to improve on the basis of evaluation and surveys conducted by independent agencies.

By analyzing the results, Mazda evaluates its own initiatives. Mazda continuously makes active efforts to disclose information by responding to both domestic and global surveys and evaluations, such as those by socially responsible investment (SRI) rating organizations.

Mazda endeavors to deepen awareness and understanding of CSR among all its employees, and to promote the undertaking of CSR activities in their everyday work.

The following CSR training programs were implemented in FY March 2012:

  • Lecture-style training (approx. 580 participants) for new recruits, mid-career hires, new band 5 (assistant manager level) employees and newly appointed managers
  • Group discussions (approx. 600 participants) for new recruits, newly employed production staff (follow-up training), new band 5 (assistant manager level) employees and newly appointed managers

When asked for their impressions of the training, which was based on group discussions, many participants replied with responses such as, “Group discussions helped deepen my understanding of CSR,” “I wish to consider the activities that make more effective use of Mazda’s strength,” “This training reminded me that CSR activities are underway company-wide,” and “I noticed that CSR efforts can be started now at the individual level.”

Results of Group Discussion Surveys in FY March 2012 (approx. 600 surveyed)

  • Distribution to and circulation within all departments of the Mazda Sustainability Report
  • Communication about CSR efforts and up-to-date information via the Company Intranet and the in-house newsletter My Mazda
  • Holding quarterly quality meetings: Quality meetings provide all employees with regular and continuous opportunities to consider quality and heighten their quality awareness to achieve self-motivated innovations and dramatic quality improvement, thereby enhancing the quality of their actions. The meetings are held four times a year at each workplace, allowing all employees to join and express their opinions.
  • Distribution of “Compliance Communications”
  • President’s Message during Human Rights Week
  • Ensuring company-wide notification of the Organized Crime Exclusion Ordinances

In 2011, Organized Crime Exclusion Ordinances came into effect in all prefectures in Japan, requiring companies to further strengthen and promote measures to eliminate antisocial forces.

Mazda has adopted a resolute attitude towards these forces since before implementation of the ordinances, and in November 2011, the Company redefined its countermeasures against antisocial groups, taking into account social circumstances, and made them known to all employees.

The Mazda Group’s basic approach and initiatives, both in Japan and overseas, are to comply with national and regional regulations, including labour laws such as the prohibition of child labour and forced labour. The Group is engaged in a wide range of initiatives to this end, from practicing compliance to contributing to society, while respecting diverse national and regional cultures, international norms such as the Charter of Corporate Behavior issued by the Japan Business Federation and social perspectives.

Mazda has also issued Mazda Supplier CSR Guidelines and other guidelines, and is promoting regulatory compliance throughout the entire supply chain.

  • Distribution and circulation of the Mazda Sustainability Report
  • Announcement of relevant guidelines to all Group companies and suppliers.

About the author

CSR VISION is India’s ( probably world’s ) first monthly magazine in print devoted to CSR and Sustainable Development for bringing together all stakeholders of SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT at a global and local levels and act as a platform for promoting strategic CSR and sustainable development practices through dissemination of information and knowledge.