GOVERNANCE Risk Management
Our third medium-term plan, Field Expansion 2024, commits us to tweaking existing businesses and expanding into new business fields. We must therefore detect risks that could disrupt these efforts and then actively develop measures to address these risks. To that end, we are enhancing our risk sensitivity and developing a risk management program involving both management and frontline staff.
Risk Management Promotion Structure
We have established the Risk Management Committee as a committee to advise the President. The purpose of this committee is to promote risk management to appropriately control (avoid, reduce, transfer and accept) the impact on management by comprehensively grasping and evaluating various risks involved in corporate group management. In February 2023, we established the Risk Management Division to bolster risk management across KOKUYO Group.
As the nexus of risk management, the Risk Management Committee coordinates efforts between management and frontline workplaces to minimize the risk of an unforeseen corporate scandal or the risk of an employee perpetrating or getting embroiled in malpractice.
In non-emergency times, the committee holds regular quarterly meetings to provide unified management of risks that have occurred in KOKUYO Group and to undertake a PDCA cycle in which it monitors corrective/preventive action and risk response planning. The committee has subcommittees devoted to risk categories that pose a particular concern: cybersecurity risk and labor risk. For cybersecurity risk, the committee analyzes cyber vulnerabilities. For labor risk, it analyzes responses in employee surveys to identify occupational issues in group companies. In these ways, the committee contributes to a more effective and efficient system of risk management for KOKUYO Group.
< Risk management process >
Business Continuity Planning
We have developed a business continuity plan, which we continually review and revise as part of a business continuity planning lifecycle. The plan includes measures for maintaining a stable supply of goods when an emergency disrupts operations in our plants or offices. Mindful of how severely businesses can be affected by the increasingly prevalent catastrophic events such as earthquakes, extreme storms, flooding, fires, major power outages, and infectious disease, we have reaffirmed the importance of getting the initial responses right and minimizing the damage from such calamities. We use emergency manuals, emergency drills, and similar means to ensure that every employee will act swiftly and safely in an emergency to safeguard human life. In view of the rising concern for sustainability (ESG, SDGs), our emergency power sources include batteries charged by a solar energy system.
Initiatives Regarding Management of Intellectual Property Rights
As one of the strategies to differentiate ourselves from competitors, the KOKUYO Group promotes the following initiatives to encourage the acquisition of intellectual property rights, and at the same time, to respect intellectual property rights of others.
- Management and Operational Structure of Intellectual Property Rights
Our legal department has a unit devoted to managing intellectual property (IP) for our subsidiaries in Japan and overseas. The unit works to standardize and unify the use of, and strategies concerning, intellectual property across KOKUYO Group. The unit’s duties include managing procedures for obtaining protections for our IP (inventions, designs, and trademarks), conducting preliminary surveys to ensure that we avoid violating the IP rights of others, and monitoring rival products to check for potential violations of our own IP rights. Should a dispute occur, the unit will coordinate with the management to enable a swift and satisfactory resolution.
- Protection and Legal Compliance of Intellectual Property Rights
The KOKUYO Group Code of Conduct stipulates that we respect the intellectual property rights of others while the intellectual property unit establishes and operates the system for research, analysis, and close investigation to prevent and avoid the violation of rights held by others. In addition, awareness-raising activities for respecting the intellectual property rights of others and improving awareness of legal compliance are conducted for development departments through training as the necessity arises and as part of daily work.
- Promotion of Creation and Utilization of Intellectual Property Rights
The intellectual property unit and development departments work closely from the early stage of development to increase the superiority of the products in the market and focus on creating and discovering inventions that contribute to differentiation from competitors’ products. We also aim to adhere to Sec. 35 of the Patents Act and establish an incentive system for employee invention as an internal rule, with the aim of increasing customer satisfaction and encouraging inventions that strengthen the Group’s development.
Initiatives Regarding Information Security
The KOKUYO Group undertakes the establishment of an information security management system, adherence with relevant laws and regulations, and safety management of confidential information (customer information, personal information, etc.) in our possession obtained as part of our business.
- Laws and ordinances regarding information security and other standards are adhered to.
- Personal information is managed according to the Personal Information Protection Policy defined by the KOKUYO Group.
- Appropriate safety measures are taken in order to prevent unauthorized access to information assets, as well as loss, falsification and leakage, etc. of information assets.
- Regulations and rules regarding the management and use of information assets are formulated and revised, and education is continually conducted to employees about these regulations and rules.
- Inspections and improvements are continually conducted on the management system and initiatives related to information security.
Initiatives in 2022
Workshop on Business Continuity Planning 2022 for Stationery Businesses
Employees involved in the stationery business attend an annual workshop on business continuity planning. The workshop is organized by the BCP Promotion Committee, which has members from eight business units under the Stationery Business Division. The 2022 workshop provided training to 35 attendees, spanning organizational boundaries. The committee members were joined at the event by employees from the General Affairs Department, who attended as observers. The event had three parts. In the first part, the participants were informed about BCP and about BCP incidents that had occurred in the past year. In the second part, attendees heard reports about the outcomes of initiating business continuity protocols. The third part consisted of a workshop on the theme of substitute delivery. Substitute delivery means that, if the delivery functions of a distribution warehouse stop, a warehouse at another base will substitute for those functions. The workshop emphasized the need to specify roles and responsibilities in substitute delivery procedures so that everyone knows who does what. With this focus, the attendees sharpened their knowledge about what procedures to take during a crisis, and attendee discussions resulted in an update to the BCP.