As a global company, ASICS remains committed to clarifying its social responsibility and improving its initiatives to ensure proper management of its CSR.
Formulating the ASICS CSR Policy
ASICS was witness to several major events in fiscal 2010. We were deeply saddened, however, by the most significant event of the year, the devastating March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck eastern Japan.
We extend our deepest condolences to the many who lost loved ones in this tragedy, and we express our sincere sympathies to those who continue to suffer in the areas that were so heavily damaged. ASICS is committed to assisting in the reconstruction of Tohoku.
About 16 years ago, ASICS was able to successfully recover from the damage caused by the Great Hanshin Earthquake thanks to the support of many dedicated individuals from across Japan and around the world. To repay the kindness of these generous people, ASICS will make the utmost effort to contribute to the reconstruction of the Tohoku region of Japan using the experience we gained from our own reconstruction effort in the Hanshin region of Japan so many years ago.
Looking to our business performance, ASICS acquired HAGLOFS, an outdoor goods manufacturer in Sweden in August 2010. In addition, we acquired a license to undertake sales in Canada and opened our own branded retail stores in Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, the Netherlands, and Spain.
Through these initiatives, we promoted our business interests in 2010 in a manner intended to ensure the competitiveness of the ASICS Group in a global marketplace.
During the fiscal year, the International Organization for Standardization issued ISO 26000 as an international guideline for meeting one’s social responsibility. We have found this guideline to be very important as we have promoted our own management initiatives intended to fulfill our corporate social responsibility (CSR).
In this economic environment, the ASICS Group has redefined the ASICS Spirit* to demonstrate our philosophy and business ideology and to clarify the spiritual foundation that we seek to instill in all ASICS employees. We have also built on this foundation to formulate the ASICS CSR Policy*, which sets forth the direction that ASICS has adopted in managing its CSR.
The ASICS Group has 5,604 employees in 22 countries and regions around the world. Since the ASICS Spirit and ASICS CSR Policy were implemented, these employees have been able to conduct business together in harmony despite the diversity of their cultures and languages.
The Mission of a Sporting Goods Manufacturer
The late Kihachiro Onitsuka founded ASICS as a sporting goods manufacturer in 1949 with the philosophy of nurturing the younger generation by adopting the credo of “a sound mind in a sound body.”
*A detailed description of the ASICS Spirit and the ASICS CSR Policy is provided on pages 5 to 7.
We believe it is our important mission to contribute to the development of society by offering high-quality sporting goods manufactured with our original technology and by providing our customers with relevant services. We also believe that our profits should be used in our business operations to ensure the continuous development of ASICS and the ongoing evolution of society.
One aspect of this mission, for example, is to provide eco-friendly sporting goods.
Since every country has encountered difficulty reducing its carbon dioxide emissions, international negotiations on carbon dioxide reduction have made little progress to date as a result of issues related to the North-South divide. However, in light of the need to protect society and maintain biological diversity, it is critical that we immediately address our global environment challenges.
Because ASICS has grown to become a global corporation, we should be aware of the responsibilities of a global corporate citizen and should manage our business while fulfilling our obligations to present and future society.
At ASICS, we were quick to establish our own standards for eco-friendly products and have been taking steps to continue developing these products while distributing them widely into the marketplace. Going forward, we will continually strive to develop innovative products and will focus on ensuring that eco-friendly products account for an ever-increasing proportion of our merchandise offerings.
It is essential that a sporting goods manufacturer provide its customers with a reliable supply of safe, high-quality products. Consequently, we will provide our employees with ongoing training to ensure consistent quality control of our products.
Another factor that we consider indispensable to management of our CSR is the need to maintain partnerships with a variety of people.
ASICS products are provided to the end user after being handled by various individuals and companies in our supply chain, such as those involved in the stages of planning, development, production, and sales. Eventually, at the end of their service life, these products are discarded and handled by various individuals and companies in the stages of disposal, collection, and recycling.
We must also remember that our stakeholders support all our business operations.
As today’s markets have become globalized, so has our production system. We now maintain subcontractors who manufacture ASICS products in their respective localities in 21 countries and regions around the world.
In light of this reality, the ASICS Group remains dedicated to maintaining good partnerships with its subcontractors and their employees; moreover, we are committed to upholding local laws and regulations in addition to international labor standards, such as the ILO standards, with our subcontractors and even, on occasion, with our competitors. We believe that, in observing the ASICS CSR Policy, it naturally follows that we respect the individual and always act in an ethical manner as we observe these labor standards, laws, and regulations.
We hold regular meetings with four other sporting goods manufacturers as part of our collaboration in the area of product safety and quality assurance. We have also participated in a collaborative conference of Japanese and foreign-affiliated companies to discuss labor issues and human rights. In addition, we exchange opinions with TWARO (see p. 23). Since being installed as chairman of the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry in fiscal 2010 (February 2011), I have been engaged in expanding communication with many more individuals. Through these interactions, I am helping to promote CSR initiatives in the sporting goods industry.
Continuously Demonstrating Our Social Responsibility in order to Maintain Transparency
The 2011 ASICS CSR Report represents the 7th edition of this report.
In this edition, we have incorporated the “7 core subjects” (see p. 8) outlined in ISO 26000 to identify the important themes for ASICS CSR initiatives. Both ISO and ASICS use the same philosophy and ideology to identify the themes of our CSR initiatives. I believe, however, that the ISO standards are very useful when we review our CSR initiatives because they enable us to visualize the strong points and weak points of our initiatives, which helps us to greatly improve our efforts.
Going forward, we will continue to study the international guidelines for CSR initiatives as well as the CSR initiatives adopted by other advanced companies in order to improve our own method of evaluating our CSR initiatives and assist us in issuing CSR reports that are readily understandable.
In order to maintain transparency in explaining our corporation’s social responsibility, such an attitude is indispensable. This approach is also essential in helping us to upgrade our CSR management and to contribute to the ongoing evolution of society.
By building on the ASICS Spirit, all employees of the ASICS Group will cooperate as one harmonious unit to achieve our company’s founding philosophy of “a sound mind in a sound body.”
I look forward to your understanding of our spirit and your willing support of our endeavors.
President and Representative Director