Living Up to Our Corporate Social Responsibilities as a Member of Society
As several scandals involving companies have been revealed recently, corporate social responsibilities (CSR) have recently begun to be regarded as a highly important issue. Now duties incumbent upon companies have begun to include reviewing how the corporate ethics within a company should be in order to institutionalize and systematize compliance with laws and regulations, corporate governance, and risk management, as well as environment preservation activities and social contribution.

The Nichicon Group began addressing CSR in October 2002 when we started to organize our compliance with laws and regulations, measures to prevent antisocial behaviors, and other matters of concern for formulating these basic tenets as our “group code of conduct.” In June 2003, we set up the “CSR Office,” a division dedicated to CSR, and established a framework for exercising comprehensive control over our group-wide environmental preservation activities and the operations of environmental management systems, compliance with laws and regulations, corporate governance, risk management, social contribution, and other activities.

The purpose of this framework is to enable Nichicon to live up to its CSR on behalf of all its stakeholders, including customers, business partners, employees, shareholders, investors, financial institutions, and local communities. The Nichicon Group believes that such activities will eventually lead to stronger competitiveness, sustained and sound development, and improved corporate value.

These activities in the Nichicon Group can be traced back to the establishment of the “Nichicon Group’s Environment Charter” in December 1997. The Charter laid down the policy goals that all employees should acknowledge environment preservation as one of the important pillars of our corporate activities, and that Nichicon should work toward a complete phase-out of using controlled chemicals, as well as toward saving resources and energy, and achieving zero emissions in our development of technology and products, and production activities. At that time, the concept of CSR had yet to become widespread in Japan, and this Charter was significantly ahead of its time in that it clearly stated that not only environment preservation, but also a positive contribution to local communities and compliance with laws and regulations should be given high priority.

Based on this Charter, the Nichicon Group has managed to achieve diverse results in the field of environment preservation. For example, we have stopped using PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which may generate dioxins when incinerated, for the coated tubes in our aluminum electrolytic capacitors. We have also completely shifted to the production of film capacitors that are free of lead (Pb).

Society’s demand for CSR is expected to become increasingly stronger. When considering current trends regarding environmental problems, the European Union (EU) enforced "the RoHS Directive (Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment)” in July 2006. Several other directives have also been put into effect, including “the ELV (End of Life Vehicle)” Directive that prohibits the use of hazardous substances in automobiles, and “the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment)” Directive that mandates the recycling of substances used in electric and electronic appliances. Moreover, regarding compliance with laws and regulations, it is essential for Nichicon to comply with any and all laws and regulations in each country and region where the Nichicon Group conducts business. In addition to the issues mentioned here, there are many more issues to deal with – too many to mention here – in order to fulfill our CSR, including efforts to improve risk management and our social contribution. Rest assured that the Nichicon Group will continue its group-wide efforts to better fulfill its CSR in the future as well.

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