Foster Group Sustainability

Message from the sustainability officer

Since our founding in 1949, we have been working under the corporate creed of “Sincerity,” our vision of “To make contributions for future society through acoustics", and our mission “Through acoustic products or its solutions, a total commitment to help create a comfortable life and pleasure of communication around the world. A truly global enterprise our future society counts on." We have consistently aimed to become a sustainable company that is indispensable to society and that continues to develop.

In March 2021, we established our ESG Management Statement along with the formulation of medium-term business plan, thus announcing Foster’s commitment to management focused on E (environment), S (social), and G (governance) initiatives, both internally and externally. In April 2022, we reorganized the ESG Promotion Department into the Sustainability Promotion Department and enhanced its ability to push forward with ESG management to pursue the medium- to long-term sustainability of Foster and society (medium- to long-term sustainability). Further, we support the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and refer to the Ten Principles of the UNGC and the ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and other standards in the promotion and management of our sustainability activities.

Above all, we position the realization of a decarbonized society as one of the most important business challenges we face and engage in initiatives accordingly. Specifically, we have set a new long-term goal, aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. We have also revised our medium-term goal from the previous "reduce total Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2 emissions 30% by 2030 from a 2018 base-year" to reduce absolute CO2 emissions 50%, following a decision to accelerate initiatives. We will strive to build a sustainable society with all of the technological capabilities of the Foster Group, improving our promotion of ESG management from our previous "social responsibilities to be fulfilled by a company" to the "source of a differentiating competitive advantage."

Further, in addition to “Environment”, there have been growing social concerns about and requirements related to “Human Rights”, for the realization of a sustainable society. In 2017, the Foster Group joined the United Nations Global Compact, which supports and respects human rights protection with its Ten Principles in four areas. The Foster Group operates globally in Japan, the rest of Asia, the Americas, and Europe. Therefore, we advance initiatives to increase the respect for human rights within the Group and its supply chain, aiming to provide and build workplaces and a society where people with diverse attributes, such as age, gender, nationality, and creed, respect and accept each other as they are.

Moving forward, we will continue to push forward with corporate activities with “Sincerity,” our corporate creed that we set based on ESG management, by leveraging non-financial capital such as (1) intellectual capital, (2) human capital, (3) manufactured capital, (4) social and relationship capital, and (5) natural capital, and (6) financial capital, which are the sources of our strengths. By appropriately addressing the expectations and needs of our stakeholders through the above, we will continue to enhance our corporate value and contribute to the sustainability of not only ourselves but also society (medium- to long-term sustainability).

ESG Management Statement

In March 2021, we established the Foster Group ESG Management Statement. It expresses in specific term our commitment to working on ESG management in medium to long term and what we want to be like, toward the realization of the sustainability of both the Group and society, by positioning “Be happy 80%” for our employees at the root of all corporate activities and by improving their well-being.

Foster Group ESG Management Statement

Our ESG initiatives stem from our corporate creed of “Sincerity”. The “Sincerity”, is defined in Foster Rhythm* as “Always tell the truth, be kind to others as well as the planet, and serve with all your heart”.
At Foster, employees play the central role in ESG activities. A company cannot promote ESG if it cannot make its employees, who are at the root of all corporate activities, happy. Based on this idea, we have positioned “Be Happy 80%” for employees as the base point of our ESG activities. We would like to contribute to a future society to fulfill the expectations of all the stakeholders We believe that 80%, not 100%, is the benchmark for happiness. We have left room to consider the satisfaction of other stakeholders as well as that of our company and ourselves.

* Foster Rhythm:Corporate philosophies including the corporate creed of “Sincerity” which were expressed in plain words by our employees, so they will be understood by our global employees

Foster is strongly committed to ESG and aims to achieve the following from a long-term perspective.
  • 1. Initiatives to promote “Decarbonized Society”, “Resource Recycling”, and “Harmony with Nature” and tireless efforts to achieve “Zero Emissions”
  • 2. Exciting, unrestricted work styles appropriate for each life stage and goal in life
  • 3. A society where people with diverse attributes, such as age, gender, nationality, and creed, respect each other and accept each other as they are
  • 4. A true expert trusted by customers and business partners
  • 5. Having “Zero Defects” established in various aspects, including product quality and business quality
  • 6. Improving the quality of people’s lives by providing solutions through sound and vibration technologies
  • 7. Implementing strict risk management and enhancing the compliance structure, which contributes to strengthening corporate governance
  • → Enriching people’s lives with the power of sound and vibration and delivering happiness and sustainable future to all stakeholders -- this is what we desire to do at Foster.

The Foster Group's Promotion of Sustainability

The Foster Group issued the first version of its CSR Charter*1) in 2006, and updated it to pursue global versatility and universality in 2010, by incorporating the EICC*2) Code of Conduct, the CSR standards established by U.S. Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, as our basic policy. Items originally set out by the Company have also been added to the Code for reinforcement of the Group’s ESG management. In addition to these efforts, we also promote sustainability by referring to the United Nations Global Compact and the ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 standards, among other global guidelines.

  • *1) Revised to Sustainability Charter in March 2022
  • *2) Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (renamed Responsible Business Alliance in 2017)

Sustainability Promotion Structure

At its headquarters, the Foster Group has established the Sustainability Committee chaired by the president. The core members of the committee are representatives of related sections. The Sustainability Committee, including the sustainability representatives and staff from the headquarters and each site, meets every month with the sustainability officer who is the executive chairman of the committee in attendance. They monitor the activities of the Group as a whole for the promotion of sustainability and engage in collaborative activities. Important matters about which the Sustainability Committee is consulted are deliberated and approved during Board of Directors meetings which are attended by directors and outside directors.

Foster Group Sustainability Charter

In March 2022, we established the Sustainability Charter as a revision of the CSR Charter to clearly state that we will pursue sustainability of both the Group and society, in addition to continuing to work on corporate social responsibility (CSR). The Charter is aimed at making it known that all officers and employees regard corporate sustainability (mediumto long-term sustainability including ESG elements) to be an important issue and ensuring that they will be conscious of and achieve sustainability in their daily activities. In this Charter and its supplemental rules, we stipulate the sustainability activities and ESG management that are appropriate for the Foster Group as an entity operating businesses globally. We also state that we will engage in corporate activities in accordance with the corporate creed of “Sincerity.”

Materiality (Priority Issues)

We issued the revised Materiality in March 2021. In identifying Materiality, we conducted backcasting from our ESG Management Statement and medium- to long-term goals under the mid-term business plan and listed the issues that should be addressed first by reflecting expectations of our stakeholders, including customers and external rating companies. Further, the ESG Promotion Task Force, consisting of staff and managers in each ESG field, held discussions, and material items were determined and approved by the Sustainability Committee and the Board of Directors. We will revise Materiality as necessary by continuing to evaluate and analyze its impact on our stakeholders and its importance to them, in accordance with the direction of our business.

Our Approach to Materiality (Priority Issues)

For the material items, which are set from the perspective of ESG, the department with the primary responsibility for each item sets annual targets and KPIs and pushes forward with initiatives to achieve them. Progress and results are deliberated at Sustainability Committee meetings, which are attended by officers and representatives of related sections, and revisions are made and improvement measures are taken.
In addition, importance has been attached to human rights in recent years, reflecting the globally increasing concerns regarding human rights. Against this background, we are working to prevent infringements of human rights by ensuring that employees observe human rights, increasing their awareness of human rights, conducting human rights assessments and responsible minerals surveys in the supply chain, and implementing governance measures, such as compliance with labor laws, as part of the Materiality initiatives related to human rights. Through these initiatives, we understand the importance of human rights in the implementation of our corporate activities and we promote initiatives accordingly.

Materiality Target (KPI) Achievements
until FY2022
Decarbonized Society ・Absolute Scope 1, 2 emissions ・FY2025 Target: Reduce by 30% from a FY2018 base-year
・FY2030 Target: Reduce by 50% from a FY2018 base-year
42% reduction from a FY2018 base-year
・Absolute Scope 3 emissions ・FY2025 Target: Reduce by 3% from a FY2018 base-year
・FY2030 Target: Reduce by 15% from a FY2018 base-year
Resource Recycling ・Weight reduction: Develop element technologies to achieve further weight reduction from conventional car speakers. FY2025 target: Productize developed products incorporating elemental technologies for speakers weighing less than 100 g.

2022 target
・Weight reduction to less than 115 g
・Achieve development of a product developed on our own that incorporates a technology for weight reduction
Completed production of a product developed on our own that incorporates the frame and CFRTP*1 diaphragm material as a technology for reducing the weight of the product to less than 115 g.
・Increase the ratio of environmentally responsible speakers*2 Increase the ratio of environmentally responsible speakers*2
→ The ratio of environmentally responsible car speakers (per sales): FY2025 target: 22%

FY2022: 16%
Harmony with Nature ・Reduce the use of VOCs*3 The ratio of toluene-free new mobile audio products: FY2024 target: 100%

FY2022: 77.7%
Social (S) Product Quality and Safety ・The number of failures with a serious social impact (human life, property, environment and so on) Maintain 0 failures 0 failures
Supply Chain Management Percent of suppliers submitting CSR self-assessments ・Percent of important suppliers*4 who conduct CSR self-assessments: 100% 100%
Percent of important suppliers who conform to our CSR standards:*5 90% or higher 91%
Percent of suppliers that responded to the responsible minerals survey ・Existing suppliers: 99% or higher 99%
・New suppliers: 100% 100%
Creation of Exciting Workplace ・Deviation value of engagement survey (headquarters) 52.0 or more 51.8
・Total working hours per employee (headquarters) Monthly average of 153 hours or less 155.8 hours
・Rate of specific health guidance taken (headquarters) 80% 83%
(Percentage including people who received a post-health checkup interview: 84.6%)
・Rate of periodic health examinations taken (headquarters) Maintain 100% Maintain 100%
・Displaced worker due to nursing care (headquarters) Maintain 0% Maintain 0%
Diversity and Inclusion ・Female manager ratio (headquarters) FY2025: 30% 12.6%
(As of March 31, 2023)
(As of April 1, 2023)
・Ratio of overseas human resources (headquarters) FY2025: 30% 11.0%
(As of March 31, 2023)
(Including Officers)
・Employment rate of persons with disabilities (headquarters) More than 2.3% of the legal employment rate 2.1% (FY2022 average)
・Ratio of males taking leave for spouse’s childbirth and childcare leave (headquarters) 100% Ratio of males taking leave for spouse’s childbirth: 85.7%
Ratio of male employees taking childcare leave 62.5%
・Provide training to encourage the development of an orga-nization where diverse people can demonstrate their capabil-ities (headquarters). Provide training to eliminate unconscious biases which hamper the active participation of women and foreigners, and deepen understanding of SOGI and LGBT issues (1) Basic skills training to improve mental toughness (FY2022 participation rate: 91%)
(2) Training for creating a workplace free of harassment (FY2022 participation rate: 96%)
(3) Career training for young, mid-career, and female employees given by a female director
Gover-nance (G) Governance Enhancement Enhancement of corporate governance Compliance with the revised Corporate Governance Code: 100% 100%
Reinforcement of compliance ・Maintain a response rate of 100% to the compliance test and the compliance survey. 100%
・Percentage of employees informed of the internal whistleblowing system: 100% 100%
Provide compliance training and maintain the satisfaction level at 4 or higher out of 5. Maintained 4 or higher on average
Enhancement of risk and crisis management ・Improve the system and operation of risk and crisis management based on risk assessment. 100%
・Completion rate of measures for key items*6 within the fiscal year, which are identified through the monitoring of the items 100%

*1 CFRTP: Carbon Fiber Reinforced Thermo Plastics
*2 Environmentally responsible speaker: A speaker with any environmentally friendly element, such as light weight, reduced applications of VOC or solder, and application of dry process
*3 VOC: Volatile organic compounds
*4 Important suppliers: Approx. 50 corporate suppliers who together constitute the top 80% or so in terms of the amount of our purchases
*5 Rate of conformity to our CSR standards: Suppliers who have achieved CSR self-assessment scores of 66% or higher are deemed to conform to our CSR standards (those with 65% or lower are deemed non-conforming).
*6 1. Examination and global expansion of the BCP structure 2. Management of the overall Group’s fire protection framework 3. Enhancement of information security management system measures 4. Management of suppliers’ business continuity 5. Response to logistics disruptions 6. Other risks predicted based on events which occur during the fiscal year

Initiatives to ensure respect for human rights

Guided by the corporate creed of “Sincerity,” we position respect for human rights as an important task for society and take initiatives to ensure that human rights are respected throughout the processes in our entire value chain. In January 2017, we joined the United Nations Global Compact and expressed our commitment to the Ten Principles including respect for human rights and protection of labor-related human rights. We are promoting activities accordingly.

Governance related to human rights

In 2003, we established the Foster Group Corporate Action Guidelines and the Foster Group Code of Conduct for Staff. They define our respect for human rights in compliance with all laws and regulations, international rules, and their spirit and intent, regarding aspects such as forced labor, child labor, discrimination, harassment, the protection of personal information, safety and health and responsible minerals sourcing. We have also established the Foster Group Supplier Sustainability Code of Conduct, under which we ensure respect for human rights throughout the entire supply chain with cooperation from suppliers.

Foster Group Corporate Action Guidelines
Foster Group Code of Conduct for Staff
Foster Group Supplier Sustainability Code of Conduct

Respect for employees’ human rights and increasing employees’ awareness

We value employees’ well-being and work to ensure that their human rights are respected, from the perspectives of respect for employees’ human rights, the prohibition of discrimination, the prevention of harassment, the protection of personal information and privacy, workplace safety and health, compliance with labor laws, and other perspectives. Further, we provide harassment training for all employees, which is aimed at increasing their awareness of the issue, and provide e-learning programs to enable them to increase their understanding of LGBTQ+ issues as part of our activities promoting diversity. We inform employees of our internal whistleblowing system using a compliance questionnaire, and the percentage of employees informed of the internal whistleblowing system has been kept at 100%.

Respecting human rights throughout the supply chain

We have our suppliers sign a letter of intent to comply with the Foster Group Supplier Sustainability Code of Conduct, conduct surveys on the status of initiatives taken including items related to human rights infringements (CSR self-assessments), and request that our suppliers take corrective actions as necessary. Further, in the sourcing of minerals, we conduct due diligence (a survey on responsible minerals sourcing) to confirm that the minerals we procure do not provide funding to armed forces/groups engaging in serious human rights violations, and procure minerals only from certified smelters.

Responsible Procurement

Consultation Contacts / Hotline

We have established contacts for consultation and reporting such as the Compliance Hotline and the Harassment Helpline, our internal whistleblowing system and advise various stakeholders (including employees and officers of the Foster Group, their families, and employees of our business associates). When a vigorous investigation confirms a violation of human rights, we take corrective and punitive actions ensuring that the whistleblower will not be retaliated against or treated disadvantageously.

Compliance Structure