Sustainability Promotion in the Supply Chain

Driving sustainability activities is not limited within a company or group companies alone, but is to be managed by the entire supply chain including customers/suppliers. We are proactive in responding to sustainability-related requests from customers, driving sustainability activities within the Foster Group, and increasing suppliers’ awareness of responsible procurement activities.

Customer Audit and Questionnaire

We respond to various sustainability-related requests from over 60 corporate customers concerning labor, human rights, safety and health, the environment, ethics, and status of operation of management system related to them. From April 2022 to March 2023, we conducted on-site sustainability audits of our manufacturing sites jointly with a third-party organization upon request from one corporate customer. In addition, we responded to a total of 40 sustainability-related surveys by 22 corporate customers in the past year. We will organize issues identified in this process, make improvements, and improve our sustainability initiatives further.
We would like to continue driving sustainability-based manufacturing to respond sincerely to sustainability-related requests.

Internal Audit on Sustainability

In 2017, we started an audit on sustainability to check the status of our sustainability activities and to maintain a sound framework for driving such activities. We conducted a total of 21 sustainability-related internal audits at target sites during April 2022 to March 2023. The standards and guidelines for these audits were based on local laws, in principle, and we also applied RBA code of conduct, RBA-VAP (Validated Assessment Program), ISO 14001, ISO 45001, SA8000, TISAX, as well as customer standards.

An internal audit of our site in China

Responsible Procurement

In our global expansion, we have developed the “Basic Principles of Procurement” for the supply chain, including ourselves and our suppliers, based on which we build fair and healthy relationships.

Clean Procurement

The Foster Group Code of Conduct for Staff stipulates that we shall comply with laws and internal rules related to entertainment and gifts to and from customers and suppliers, and prohibits us from providing and accepting profits in violation of such laws and rules. Specifically, we have set strict rules on transactions, including the provision and acceptance of money and coupons, acceptance of gifts, provision of goods as gifts, and provision and acceptance of entertainment.

Representatives and Structures

The Procurement Department belongs to the Production Division and performs activities under the head of the division (senior executive officer) as the representative. Each manufacturing site and business division has a procurement department. We are enhancing sustainability activities in cooperation with each manufacturing site and business division. We share basic policies and priority issues, and take appropriate actions at Sustainability Committee Meeting (held monthly), Global Procurement Meeting held by the representatives of the Procurement Department from all sites (held biannually), and the Supplier Procurement Conference, in which suppliers and our president and other directors participate (held once every two years).

Management System

We strive to trade with suppliers who not only provide excellent technologies and quality and steadily meet delivery deadlines, but also implement sustainability initiatives regarding human rights, labor, safety, the environment, compliance, information security, and other matters. We believe the Procurement Department’s promotion of sustainability to be an important business policy and conduct management review on a regular basis. Our suppliers conduct CSR self-assessments for us, and we include CSR requirements in the basic transaction agreements that we enter into with them. Further, we conduct CSR audits of our suppliers and request that they take corrective actions to improve based on the results of the CSR self-assessment and of the regular audits on quality (ISO, VDA, and IATF), the environment (hazardous substance management and ISO 14001), and CSR (status of CSR activities) and other evaluations regarding delivery dates, services, and other aspects of the relationships. We work on responsible minerals sourcing using a method following the OECD Due Diligence Guidance.


The Procurement Department implements an education and training plan covering an extensive choice of programs for acquiring a wide array of necessary skills, including ones on sustainability operations. In 2022, a total of 461 employees received training online in 93 courses, mainly those on overall sustainability matters, legal affairs (contracts and intellectual property), the environment (management of controlled substances, environmental measurement, and ISO 14001), quality (ISO, VDA, IATF), QMS, EMS (auditor training), the Subcontract Act, product technologies, and raw materials and components. These training courses are aimed at improving skills to solve problems at work sites. We provided the training for overseas sites by using a video conferencing system and LMS, thus developing human resources who will fulfill social responsibilities in procurement operations. Further, in 2022, we held an environmental briefing remotely for 300 people from all of our 183 supplier companies and informed them fully of controlled substances and regulatory requirements that have been added, the time when they would come into effect, and other matters.

Sustainable Procurement

To promote sustainable procurement activities, we established the Foster Group Supplier Sustainability Code of Conduct in 2016 and have been driving such activities since then. We first developed related internal rules and documents. In 2018, we started requesting suppliers to sign the agreement with the Foster Group Supplier Sustainability Code of Conduct, perform self-assessment, and take corrective actions. In 2022, we conducted SAQ (Self-Assessment Questionnaire) of approximately 300 suppliers, and where necessary, requested them to take corrective actions and performed on-site audit, in our efforts to build a sound supply chain. Moving forward, we will establish initiatives by working together with suppliers in identifying issues to address.

Overview of Our Supplier Partners

We trade with approximately 300 suppliers, 63% of which are in China. The machined parts industry accounts for 78% of all business sectors. We work on sustainability initiatives throughout the entire supply chain and drive responsible procurement activities with Group companies and suppliers.

Supplier Selection and Evaluation

The Foster Group sets the implementation of sustainability activities as a business condition when selecting suppliers. We ask new suppliers to agree to the Foster Group Supplier Sustainability Code of Conduct and reply to the SAQ (Self-Assessment Questionnaire). We conclude a basic transaction agreement containing CSR requirements with suppliers before starting trade with them. Regarding our existing suppliers, we identify important suppliers who together constitute the top 80% or so in terms of the amount of our purchases in the previous fiscal year, with a focus on those from whom we purchase important raw materials or irreplaceable items, and ask them to reply to the SAQ. Based on the results of the SAQ, we conduct audits, give instructions on corrective and improvement actions, and provide educational activities for them.

Initiatives for Tier-2 and Lower-Tier Suppliers

Through our Tier-1 suppliers, we request that our Tier-2 and lower-tier suppliers comply with the Foster Group Supplier Sustainability Code of Conduct. Specific initiatives include requesting that Tier-1 suppliers distribute the Code of Conduct to their own suppliers and require that they comply with it, in addition to asking Tier-1 suppliers themselves to understand the Code of Conduct, share it internally, and conduct self-assessments to ensure their compliance with it.

CSR Self-Assessments and Supplier Audits

In fiscal 2018, we began having our suppliers conduct CSR self-assessments concerning their initiatives addressing human rights, labor, safety, the environment, compliance, and information security. Based on the results of the self-assessment, we visit suppliers to inspect their work sites and interview them as necessary. In fiscal 2022, we had approximately 300 suppliers conduct self-assessments. While no violations of standards were found, we requested that eight suppliers who were found to have issues and need improvements take corrective actions and audited four of them. We created corrective action plans by sharing specific points needing improvement in the on-site audits and rean quested the suppliers to take corrective actions proactively. We will continue to request that suppliers conduct self-assessments regularly and take corrective action immediately if any problems are identified, in our efforts to build a sound supply chain.

Human Rights Initiatives in the Supply Chain

Based on results of self-assessments, we create opportunities to talk with and request corrective actions from suppliers with concerns regarding human rights risks related to child labor, forced labor and other items that we deem especially important. While no supplier violated standards related to these items in fiscal 2022, we will continue monitoring and make improvements promptly if we identify any issues.

Intra-Industry Collaboration (Engagement)

Since fiscal 2016, we have been a member of the Global Compact Network Japan (GCNJ), a network of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), and have engaged in the activities of the Supply Chain Subcommittee of the GCNJ. In this subcommittee, we have discussed the latest global supply chain trends, beyond the boundaries between industries, and the practical issues regarding sustainable procurement that are faced by each industry and company. We work on tasks such as the creation of deliverables for solving the above practical issues as well as the consideration and revision of CSR self-assessments, among others. In addition, because the numbers of minerals to be managed to ensure responsible minerals sourcing is increasing, we participate in the Outreach Meeting hosted by the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) and explanatory meetings on responsible minerals sourcing hosted by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), to ensure that information is shared regarding the latest trends and to develop intra-industry collaborations that raise awareness in the supply chain and improve the efficiency of investigations into these minerals.

Supply Chain Subcommittee of the GCNJ
CSR Procurement Self-Assessment Tool Set
(The following site is in Japanese)

Connecting with Our Business Partners in Environmental Burden Reduction

We have established the “Green Procurement Standard” for chemical substances contained in the procured parts, and connect with our business partners to reduce environmental burdens.

Responsible Minerals Sourcing

We are addressing risks related to minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, its surrounding conflict-affected areas, other Conflict Affected High-Risk Areas (CAHRAs) and other areas that are stipulated in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in the U.S. In addition to illegally mined minerals and smuggled minerals that are a source of funding for armed forces/groups, the aggravation of human-rights violations such as child labor and poor working conditions and environmental destruction in the minerals supply chain is a significant social problem. We promote responsible minerals sourcing throughout the entire supply chain to ensure the sustainability of our procurement activities.

Our Approach to Due Diligence

We promote responsible minerals sourcing for the entire supply chain by communicating our policies to our business partners. Because responsible minerals sourcing requires cooperation from all the business partners including smelters, we use the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) published by the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) as a standard tool. We also attend the inquiry briefings held by “JEITA Responsible Minerals Trade Working Group” and use investigation manuals/guidance commonly shared with automotive manufacturers and Japan Auto Parts Industries Association.

Investigations into Responsible Minerals Sourcing

In fiscal 2022, we achieved a 99% response rate for investigations responsible minerals sourcing carried out with approximately 300 suppliers. We conducted risk analysis and evaluation from collected CMRT and requested further examination according to the risk levels by each supplier. Among the smelters that we identified, 80% have passed the conformant smelters audits (RMI). Since fiscal 2018, we have conducted investigating cobalt and mica according to the due diligence guidance by OECD. We will continue to conduct investigations for tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold (3TG) because the refinery certification status continues changing for these minerals. If any sourcing of a mineral involving a risk is identified, we will take appropriate actions by working together with the supplier.

Foster Group Policy on Responsible Minerals Sourcing

Quality and Safety Assurance

The Foster Group is promoting and deploying quality assurance activities based on the FOSTER TQM (Total Quality Management).

Our Quality Assurance Policies and Actions

Under our customer-focused philosophy, the Foster Group considers the delivery of safe, ecofriendly products of reliable quality by fulfilling customers’ expectations and social requirements as the basics of our quality assurance.
In addition, under the TQM policy for each fiscal year, which is in place across company together with our management policies, we globally promote comprehensive quality assurance activities to ensure that our products are of high quality.
The safety and reliability of our products and components and the management of environmentally hazardous substances are achieved through processes (product/process design, purchasing, and manufacturing) supported by our high-level technologies.


Our QMS is based on the development of quality assurance and management activities under its customer-focused philosophy since the Company’s foundation.

  • In 1975, we formulated the Total Quality Control (TQC)*2 Regulations, which was upgraded to Total Quality Management (TQM) Regulations in May 2006.
  • Since 1998, all the Group companies have successfully acquired the QS9000 certification (including ISO9001: 1994).
  • In 2004, all the Group companies successfully acquired the ISO/TS 16949 certification,
  • In 2017, we switched to ISO 9001: 2015 and IATF 16949: 2016 standards company-wide and have continued to comply with them.
  • *1 QMS: Quality Management System
  • *2 TQC: Total Quality Control

Global Quality Assurance Structure

The Group has developed global quality assurance systems, connecting the headquarters, overseas factories and sales companies to improve the quality of our products to be supplied worldwide.

Enhancing Quality Awareness and Developing Human Resources in Quality Management

We drive training in a company-wide manner for developing quality specialists in each job class. We have also made November the Quality Month and hold a variety of events by involving overseas sites to improve quality awareness.

Quality-related events held by involving overseas sites

Quality improvement case exhibition

We hold this exhibition online by collecting cases of quality-related improvement and know-how we should share from headquarters and all overseas sites, and summarizing them in documents and videos.

Quality lecture presentation

We invite a speaker from another company, select a quality-related theme which can be told as an attractive story, share our cases and problematic points with the speaker and then have a comparison and discussion of contents and frameworks of activities.

Global QC Circle Convention

More than 100 circle teams are conducting activities at overseas sites under the theme of quality improvement. Among them, teams that won the QC Circle Convention at each factory give presentations of their achievements at the company-wide convention.

Developing quality specialists

We plan training programs on quality-related standard requirements and tools which not only provide knowledge but also includes practical information thus driving the development of quality specialists with skill levels that can be leveraged in practical operations and on site.

Holding the Global Quality Meeting (GQM)

At this meeting, senior management from headquarters and overseas factories and sales companies share priority measures and issues faced by each division and site and determine commitments for the next fiscal year, thus unifying the overall company's direction and awareness regarding quality.

Customer Satisfaction

Foster Group Sales Department


We manufacture and sell products with a focus on acoustic transducers for the Speaker, Mobile Audio and Other Segments. While many of our products are used as components for playing back music, people around the world contact our products in many ways, not limited to uses involving playing back music. Our products serve people in various settings in their lives as micro acoustic components for warning sounds, actuators for haptics and other products. The purposes of use of sounds and vibrations that we offer are expanding daily. Working together with customers around the world, our Sales Department acts every day to widely deliver the value of our products to realize our vision, “To make contributions for future society through acoustics.”


We engage in sales activities through five regional sales offices in Japan, the US, Europe, China and Asian countries and regions other than Japan and China. The value that is required is different in different markets around the world with different business customs, cultures and social situations. We have established a structure for satisfying customers around the world by sharing the value and ideas that only we can provide between regions while responding flexibly to local values. During the last few years, when business travel was restricted significantly, we established a system to enable inter-regional exchange to be more lively than ever before, transcending distance and time differences using new communication tools.


We emphasize making proposals for the future, and of course making sure that we deliver the products that are in demand every day. The things that are required of products change according to ever-changing social and economic situations, widespread environmental awareness, and many other factors impacting the business environment. By proactively proposing the functions that are appropriate for the sustainability of society in the future in addition to performance and prices, we will be a strategic partner that can be involved in development and design from a position that is closer to customers, aiming to achieve high-level customer satisfaction.

Fostex Company


The Fostex Company provides high quality products at appropriate prices to deliver an enriched and comfortable life to customers who purchase those products. In addition, the Company seeks to develop products that lead to the peace of mind and satisfaction of the customers who select and own them. In its after-sales services, the Company also pursues customer satisfaction by always promptly providing services from the customers’ perspective.


We always listen to our customers’ comments and seek what they need today and they will need in the near future. As such, we have established a project promotion structure across our sales and technical units. In addition to the domestic market, we also understand global needs to develop products specific to each region.


We share information with the dealers who are constantly in contact with our customers and also make efforts to listen to as many customers’ voices as possible at exhibitions and trial listening events. As part of our educational activities for audio equipment, we offer speaker craft classes and lectures on working principles of speakers at universities, vocational schools, local junior high schools and in other places.

TH900mk2 (OB), a model commemorating the 50th anniversary of FOSTEX that is offered exclusively outside of Japan

Initiatives to Improve Wellbeing

We respect the diversity of all of the employees working for Foster and value the environment which enables them to choose their workstyles and careers. We aim to enable employees to maintain and improve their physical and mental health while ensuring that their work enables them to develop personally, be satisfied in their jobs and take pride in their contributions to society.
To achieve this, we have set the goal, “Be Happy 80%.” Our goal is to enable all of Foster’s employees to be happy, reflecting not only satisfaction with our company and ourselves but also consideration for others. The 80% happy goal expresses a state of happiness with room left for the consideration of others, which is an ideal we aim to achieve at Foster. In “others,” we include not only our stakeholders and other people but also all matters, such as the environment and living things.
The wellbeing we aim to achieve is based on the assumption that we can continue to achieve “Be Happy 80%” for our employees by improving employee engagement, enabling employees to be motivated and giving them opportunities for personal development.

1.Human Resource Development


Our human resource development is based on "continuous performance by linking various personnel systems with individual development goals determined by mid/long term business strategy and individual personality (strength/ weakness)." We have formulated the Personnel Grand Design by viewing recruitment, development, utilization, assessment, and treatment organically and in an integrated manner from a long-term perspective, built a Personnel Framework that enables every employee to demonstrate their capabilities with pride and job satisfaction, and promote the development of human resources to solidify our human resource foundation for Foster in the next generation.

Ideal for human resource development

  • Personnel who embody our corporate philosophies and corporate creed through their duties and who have a “strong will” and “activity” to work toward their realization.
  • Personnel who do not remain complacent about the current situation but utilize every opportunity to improve their own abilities and grow with ingenious attempts and efforts.
  • Professional personnel who use their expertise to play a key part in strategy formulation and implementation and who can create value continuously.
  • Self-directing personnel who are conscious about their expected and assigned roles and missions and who can take responsibility for their own actions and results.

Main Activities

Initiatives for independent career development

Employees’ voluntary initiatives shaping their careers are essential in the development of human resources. We believe that employees’ thinking about how they want to develop personally and the skills they need to acquire and acting accordingly will form the foundation of our human resource development and be a source of increased added value. We have established a career course system, which permits employees to choose options flexibly in accordance with the career plan and life stage of each, thus encouraging and helping employees to develop themselves independently under the system.

Initiatives for developing next-generation managerial human resources

As part of our continuing strategies for developing managerial personnel, we implement the Global Leadership Development Program (GLDP) to globally foster human resources for the next and future generations.
The GLDP was developed based on a program for fostering managerial human resources that we began to fully implement in 2010. This program was rebuilt and newly systematized into the GLDP in 2019. Intended for personnel who are candidates for key posts, this program is implemented to individually develop the capabilities appropriate for each post.
In addition, in fiscal 2023, we introduced the Start Up Program, a development program that solicits participants from among young employees to develop future managerial human resource candidates.

Initiatives for developing globally competitive human resources

We make use of new employee training, training for newly promoted employees, manager training, lectures by senior management, and other programs to improve inter-cultural communication skills, promote diversity and inclusion, and foster and enhance the global mind of our employees.
We promote various forms of international employee reassignment, including the Global-eye Program, an overseas training program for young employees, and the Overseas Trainee Program intended for mid-career employees, thus promoting the planned and continuous development of the next-generation of global leaders in a group-wide manner.
Further, in fiscal 2023, we will sequentially resume the program for the practical training of young employees at overseas plants, which was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We position practical experience at overseas manufacturing sites as a valuable opportunity to acquire the basics of manufacturing at Foster, including the basics of manufacturing processes, quality control, initiatives for production innovation, and global teamwork beyond national boundaries.

Initiatives for retaining young employees and developing young employees’ work-related skills as early as possible

To reinforce the system for following up on the growth of new employees and young employees in their early years at the company, we have introduced the Escort Runner Program, in which dedicated personnel staff serve as escort runners in the process of their development, in addition to the existing Brother/Sister Program and Mentorship Program by Officers. The staff in charge of these programs work together to meticulously support every young employee.
Further, as a new initiative, we held meetings of officers and young employees sitting in a circle, where young employees and officers are able to freely interact and exchange opinions on equal footing. In fiscal 2022, seven of these meetings were held with a total of 79 participants. The meetings included questions and answers about business strategies and lively exchange of opinions about concerns and recommendations of young employees beyond the boundaries between organizations and job classes.

Initiatives for passing down skills and developing engineers

We have introduced the A La Carte Training as a program for the development of engineers. This permits participants to choose necessary courses from among approx. 45 courses, with a total length of more than 200 hours, in accordance with their needs. We have also built an environment which allows them to watch videos of classes that have been taught in the past.
The greatest features of this program are that the content of the program is optimized for the practical operations at Foster because all the lectures are given by internal staff and the internal lecturers are being developed continuously as the training is being provided to participants.
This initiative is improving our technological capabilities, facilitating the passing down of skills, and serving as the foundation for Foster’s reliable technological capabilities.
Having been introduced in 2011, more than 3,700 people have participated in this training program.

Initiatives for reforming the organizational climate

Based on the results of stress checks and the employee satisfaction/ engagement survey which we conduct every year, we perform an organizational analysis to identify issues. In addition, in fiscal 2022, we introduced the 360° Feedback System which encourages managerial employees to self-reflect and change their behaviors, thus enhancing initiatives to build a better workplace environment.
In addition to the above, we have continued to identify issues based on various requests and recommendations received through labor-management consultations via the “Shinjukai,” an employee organization that is an alternative to a labor union, the results of exit interviews with people leaving the company, the results of employee questionnaire surveys conducted after interviews for providing feedback on personnel evaluations, and other channels, and we ensure personnel measures reflect these issues.

Initiatives for instilling the philosophy and improving engagement

We implement the Foster Rhythm Project globally to instill our corporate philosophy. In this project, we have redefined “the ideal company” for the Foster Group and verbalized our principles and values, with employees themselves thinking on their own and generating ideas. We summarized these into a guidebook and a card and distribute them to our employees around the world. In addition, we continue to hold workshops and implement many training programs in our efforts to develop human resources who can embody our corporate philosophy and to create a lively organizational environment.
Further, the program supporting employees that are taking on challenges (the Foster Incubation Program)* includes the production of short videos, FOSTER STORIES, as an initiative to tell the public about our strengths and appeal. These and other activities for improving engagement continue to spread and evolve.

* An internal initiative launched in 2020.
In this program, employees themselves launch projects to do something exciting or take on challenges leveraging their ideas and skills, and support for these projects is provided to them.

2.Diversity and Inclusion


The co-creation of value with our diverse human resources through global cooperation is essential for our manufacturing.
We are driving the creation of an organizational culture that respects the diversity of various personal qualities, such as age, gender, sexual orientation, physical trait, values, educational background, career, hometown, race, ethnicity, and nationality, and which at the same time permits employees to work vigorously with a peace of mind by catering to diverse needs, including individual circumstances and life events such as childcare and nursing care. We aim to build a Win-Win relationship between the company and its employees and create synergies with the realization of enjoyable personal lives for each employee, the creation of new value, and improvement in the company’s creativity and competitiveness.

With our activities recognized as a company that leads diversity promotion to its management, we were selected as “the New Diversity Management Selections 100 (2017)” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. We will continue to create a working environment that makes the most of the employees’ diversity with various backgrounds.

Activity Promotion Structure

We have established the Diversity Management Section, a special organization dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion, within the Human Resources Department.

Main Measures and Activities (Headquarters)

Educational activities on diversity

We have set up a special website on diversity on our internal intranet, where we provide various information to foster a better understanding of the fact that active participation of diverse human resources will lead to new value creation by the company. On this website, we are also raising awareness of inclusive language, which is aimed at promoting communications with respect for diversity.
We have also introduced online training content as activities for raising awareness of and eliminating unconscious prejudice and preconceptions (unconscious bias). More than 90% of employees have received this training to date.
In 2018, we added “Actions for diversity that have been taken” to the personnel evaluation items. We are working to create a more inclusive, diverse workplace by raising awareness of diversity among all employees and encouraging them to engage in self-driven activities.

Our activities for promoting understanding of LGBTQ+ (sexual minority)

We are carrying out activities to deepen understanding of LGBTQ+ and promoting the number of allies (those who show understanding and support for LGBTQ+ people). We have introduced online training content, including a course for learning about LGBT to turn diversity into an organizational strength and a course for creating a harassment-free workplace. More than 90% of employees have received the training so far.

Promoting women’s empowerment

Having set a goal of increasing the ratio of female managers to 30% by 2025, we are developing female employees in a well-planned manner and supporting their career development. In fiscal 2022, we provided career training for young and mid-career female employees, in the form of lectures given by a female director. This training is aimed at deepening trainees’ understanding of diverse career options, so that they will have a clear picture of their career development, while building a network of female employees. Employees who received this training gave comments, such as “I could discuss career frankly with female employees of my generation, which was a valuable experience” and “It was a highly meaningful opportunity to reconsider my future career.”

Support for employees raising children and providing nursing care

To promote a working environment where employees who are raising young children or providing nursing care can work at ease, we have improved our system to support the balance between work and child care or nursing care. Since April 2018, we have extended the childcare leave period to three years maximum and the nursing care leave period to 183 days maximum. We have also expanded the range of employees eligible for sick/injured childcare leave from the those stipulated by law to all who are raising children who are junior high school students or younger. In addition, we have signed a joint use agreement with company-led childcare centers and introduced preferred benefits such as the right to the early nursery applications. We have also introduced an internal consultation service to provide appropriate advice and information individually. We are also proactive in using the consultation service to deepen our understanding of male employees’ participation in childcare, raise awareness in the overall workplace, and enhance support measures.

Initiatives for global human resource employment

We emphasize diversity in the employment of human resources as well. We are proactive in employing non-Japanese people to promote the globalization of human resources at headquarters, not to mention ensuring fair selection without discrimination. The percentage of overseas human resources among new graduates for the last ten years has been more than 20%. We are also emphasizing globalization in our mid-career hiring. In addition to recruiting human resources through conventional means, we are using diverse recruitment channels, such as establishing a program for employment transfer from overseas Group companies to headquarters in Japan. In doing so, we attract human resources with different nationalities and cultures to our organization, aiming to increase diversity and inclusiveness.

Reform of retirement pension plans

We worked on the reform of our retirement pension plans to expand options in response to the diversification of individuals’ life plans and to build a system that will enable stable pension payment into the future. In July 2022, we unified our retirement pension plans into the defined-contribution pension.
At the same time, we introduced the retirement benefit advance payment plan, which permits employees to receive advance payment of retirement benefits, to respond flexibly to needs associated with life events, such as their children’s education or the purchase of a home. The provision of these options also reflects the consideration we give to employees of non-Japanese nationality, whose future place of residence may not be Japan.

3.Labor (Labor Practices and Decent Work)


We believe it is important to create a worker-friendly environment where emphasis is placed on permitting each employee to achieve personal development through work and to demonstrate their capabilities while finding their job rewarding. We also seek to create an environment where employees with various backgrounds support each other spontaneously through daily communications and give ideas to each other. Under labor-management trust and mutual cooperation, we seek to create an organizational culture and develop various institutions, aiming to create an environment where employees with various lifestyles and aspirations can work in the style that suits their situation.

Activity Promotion Structure

In addition to the activities led by the Diversity Management Section, we have established the innovative working style project with cooperation between labor and management.

Main Activities (Headquarters)

Work-Style Reforms

Since September 2016, we have established the systems and culture that satisfy a variety of work-style to promote diversity and realize a work-life balance. In fiscal 2017, we applied the flex time system to all employees and introduced the work-at-home program. As for the work-at-home program, we introduced it at full scale without limiting the targets, and were selected as one of the “Top 100 Telework Pioneers” by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications for its telework initiatives in 2018. In fiscal 2020, reduce scheduled working hours per day by 15 minutes, to 7 hours and 30 minutes. At the same time, we enabled all employees to work using the flex time system without core time. We have engaged in creating a work environment where employees can work flexibly to suit their lifestyles regardless of "time" or "place" fundamentally overhauling work procedures and utilizing ICT.
In fiscal 2021, we eliminated distance constraints to give employees more freedom to choose their place of residence This has enabled us to respond flexibly to cases where an employee moves to a distant place due to the job relocation of their spouse. We will continue to work on work-style reform to become a company that can offer a more desirable work environment and fulfilling career.

Initiatives to enhance the leave system and the leave of absence system

We are taking initiatives to enhance the leave system and the leave of absence system, aiming to promote the diversity of work styles, respond to diverse lifestyles, and improve working conditions.
We offer various leave systems, including the volunteer leave system, systems that grant a leave of absence to employees desiring to pursue further education and those who desire to accompany their spouses on overseas assignment. In October 2020, we officially introduced an hourly paid leave system. This system utilizes unused paid leave. We have also increased the maximum number of days of such unused paid leave from 20 to 22 and increased the purposes for which use of the hourly paid leave is permitted, so that it can be used for nursing care of families as well.

Removal of ban on second jobs

On September 1, 2020, we introduced a second job system. This reflects our belief that a wide variety of experience gained outside the company will increase opportunities to demonstrate one’s capabilities in new domains and achieve personal development, thus helping to increase the breadth and depth of career development of individuals. At present, more than ten employees are utilizing the second job system. They are broadening their perspective by doing work that they cannot experience in their primary jobs, thus acquiring diverse skills and expertise.

Health Enhancement

Mental and physical health is essential for employees to feel job satisfaction and have a fulfilling career. We position employees’ health as an important management issue and are taking various initiatives.
We have expanded the scope of employees who should be interviewed by industrial doctors individually, follow up the conditions of new employees after they join the company, and have enhanced health counseling services by industrial health nurses, in our efforts to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, detect them early, and prevent them from becoming severe.
In addition, to raise employees’ health awareness, we implement the Health Point System. In this system, we give points to employees when they have received health examinations or comprehensive medical examinations, participated in health-related seminars, and received training related to mental health, for example, and provide them with health incentives. Each year, we run a number of online seminars on health issues. We have also built an environment which permits employees to view videos of the seminars. We have also introduced online training content for acquiring basic knowledge about mental health, and more than 90% of employees have received this training so far.
Our initiatives for improving employee health were evaluated and we received a “Certification of Excellent Company in Health: Gold Accreditation” from the Tokyo Promotion Council for Healthy Company Declaration in December 2018. (This certification was renewed on January 1, 2023.) In addition, in March 2023, we received recognition for a certified “Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organization (Large Enterprise Category)” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

4.Health and Safety


Foster Electric has established a rule to prioritize health and safety, and endeavors to create a safe and healthy working environment. Based on this rule, we are advancing redressing activities, which are carried out mainly by the Health and Safety Committee that governs health and safety, and the health and safety management organizations at respective sites.

Abstract from the “Code of Conduct”

  1. Understand laws and orders concerning work-related health, safety and emergency and comply with them. And minimize and prevent a recurrence of an accident in a reliable manner.
  2. Employee exposure to potential safety hazards is to be controlled through the proper design, engineering and administrative controls, preventative maintenance and safe work procedures.
  3. Procedures and systems are to be in place to prevent, manage, track and report occupational injury and illness.
  4. Employee exposure to chemical, biological and physical agents is to be identified, evaluated, and controlled.
  5. Employee exposure to the hazards of physically demanding tasks is to be identified, evaluated and controlled.
  6. Production and other machinery is to be evaluated for safety hazards.
  7. Employees are to be provided with ready access to clean toilet facilities, canteen with suitable drinking and eating environment.

Activity Promotion Structure

The health and safety activities are operated by the Health and Safety Committee at headquarters in cooperation with industrial doctors, under the supervision of its upper-level organization, the Risk and Crisis Management Committee. By sharing information among the health and safety management organizations at each site, the Group is working as one to create an appropriate working environment.

Main Activities

Every year, we implement health and safety education, which is the basis of occupational activities. Further we tackle “group-wide issues” based around the Risk and Crisis Management Committee at headquarters. As part of the activities based on the “Health and Safety Management Regulations”, the health and safety management organization, which consists of representative workers and management, discusses site specific issues, legal inspection, risk assessment, and so on at each site to prevent accidents and eliminate risks.
With regard to the group-wide issues, we take initiatives to resolve occupational health and safety issues for all employees by following “the Occupational Health and Safety Management Program Procedure Manual,” which is based on the “Foster Group Corporate Action Guidelines” and the “Foster Group Code of Conduct for Staff”. In fiscal 2022, to continue to deal with the threat of COVID-19, which was in its third year, we globally implemented infection control measures with the Health and Safety Committee through risk and crisis management. Because the number of infections subsequently decreased in a number of countries, we returned to normal operation in 2023. At headquarters, we worked to “drive the development of infrastructure and systems to reduce risks by assuming the occurrence of a disaster,” which is the policy of the Health and Safety Committee, and focused our efforts on addressing various risks. We also developed an accommodation environment for people who might have difficulty returning home and clarified the solution to the toilet problem that will occur in the event of a water outage and the process of treating human waste. We will continue to address every possible problem that might be assumed.

Initiatives at headquarters

  • Activities related to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Provision of instructions on a healthy diet in the form of e-learning, which is aimed at managing employees’ health
  • Remote self-defense fire-fighting training provided using content offered by the Tokyo Fire Department
  • Remote traffic safety exercise with the participation of police officers from the local precinct
  • Continuation of initiatives to start reducing volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the development phase
  • Activities to enhance the health of all employees

Measures to tackle COVID-19

At manufacturing sites, the number of COVID-19 infections decreased, and we began to return to normal operation in line with ease of restrictions by the government of each country. Our development facilities, including headquarters, also saw an easing of restrictions by the government. In response, we decided to stop taking measures to prevent COVID-19 infections at headquarters. Regarding health management at normal times, we continue to encourage each employee to be aware of infection control in their activities via the Health and Safety Committee.

Main examples of measures that we stopped taking at headquarters

  • Wear a face mask
  • Social distancing
  • Partitions set up in areas for eating and drinking, etc.
  • Operation of meeting rooms and reception rooms
  • Recording behaviors and reporting infections
  • Restrictions on events to be held internally or externally and on participation in such events
  • Treating an absence for vaccination as attendance

We will maintain a safe, secure system globally by taking health management measures thoroughly.

Bicycle safety

In recognition of our employees’ safe use of bicycles and our traffic accident prevention activities, we were certified by the Japan Traffic Management Technology Association as a Model Company for National Bicycle Safety in February 2017, with our activities being seen as making us a role model. The certification was again renewed this year in recognition of our continuing activities. This year, the use of bicycle helmets began to be recommended, so we made it mandatory to wear a helmet when using a company-owned bicycle for work. We will continue striving to ensure employees’ safety.

Model Company for Bicycle Safety certification

Initiatives at warehouses in Japan

We improve matters related to occupational health and safety, and fire /disaster prevention through internal and external audits.
At Iga Logistics Center, a disaster prevention audit was conducted by an external insurance institution, and we carried out improvement activities based on potential risks that were identified in the audit. We undertake disaster control measures by improving facility operation and equipment.

Initiatives at overseas sites

We seek to improve areas related to health and safety at overseas plants and other overseas sites, either on our own or through externally certified management systems. We minimize the occurrence of work-related injuries and diseases with safe, hygienic work environments, in an effort to ensure high quality products and services and uniformity of manufacturing, retain workers, and increase their motivation to work. We also share information with employees and provide them with ongoing training, so as to identify and solve health and safety problems in workplaces.
Certification under the ISO 45001 international standard for occupational health and safety was obtained by the Bac Ninh Plant (Vietnam), the Panyu and Heyuan Plants (China) in 2019 and by the Binh Duong Plant (Vietnam) in 2022.
In addition, the ESTec Group, our subsidiary in South Korea, has also obtained this certification at its Binh Duong Plant (Vietnam), Phu Tho Plant (Vietnam), Jiaxing Plant (China), and the headquarters plant (South Korea).
Among the 15 manufacturing sites of the Foster Group, the above eight sites have obtained the ISO 45001 certification and have continued to renew the certification every year.
At sites that have yet to obtain the ISO 45001 certification for occupational health and safety, we have stipulated that specific actions shall be taken by following “6.1.4 Planning Action” shown in the standard. We aim for appropriate operation based on the structure of each site.