Sustainable Procurement

Epson's Policy on Conflict Minerals

Epson's procurement policies are aimed at developing mutually beneficial trusting relationships with its business partners around the world based on the concepts of fairness, coexistence, transparency, and co-prosperity. Epson has committed itself to maintaining high ethical standards and a social conscience, and has declared that it will conduct procurement in strict compliance with both the letter and the spirit of laws and regulations in every country and region in which it operates.

Epson considers the conflict mineral issue to be important in terms of socially responsible procurement. Consequently, we do not use conflict minerals, as they are tied to human rights abuses, environmental destruction, and the funding of armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries.

Epson will be taking the following actions to exclude conflict minerals from Epson products.

  1. We ask our suppliers to understand and follow the Procurement Guidelines and the Epson Supplier Code of Conduct. We take various opportunities to explain and gain their understanding with regard to actions we take to ensure that our products do not contain conflict minerals.
  2. Epson is not required to report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission about the use of conflict minerals, as defined in the final rules of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank Act"). However, we do survey our supply chain using the tool provided by the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI), a group that is working with enterprises to promote responsible mineral procurement. If, in the future, a more effective means of carrying out due diligence on conflict minerals is established, we will adopt it and ask our suppliers to do so as well.
  3. Epson requests the suppliers throughout its supply chain to produce evidence of compliance that minerals are procured only from smelters and refiners that have been found to be compliant with the Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS) Program of the CFSI.

Main Initiatives to Date

FY2012

Epson asked its suppliers to understand and abide by a clause concerning responsible mineral procurement that Epson added to the Epson Supplier Code of Conduct, which is found in the Epson Group Procurement Guidelines.

FY2013

Epson set up a cross-organizational Conflict Minerals Review Committee*1 made up of personnel from all Epson's operations divisions and from the procurement departments of Epson group companies. Organization and administrative oversight is provided by the Seiko Epson Head Office department that supervises sustainable procurement. Under the direction of the Committee, Epson has switched from a passive to a proactive approach to conflict mineral surveys. Epson conducted conflict mineral surveys using the CFSI reporting template for the main products in every business of every business segment.

FY2014 - FY2015

Epson expanded the conflict mineral surveys to include all production materials Epson procured and received questionnaires back from 1,600 companies. After analyzing survey answers and performing due diligence, Epson was unable to conclude whether the minerals it had procured were from sources not engaged in conflict.

FY2016

Epson held six sustainable procurement briefings for suppliers in Japan and China. The events brought together 624 suppliers. Epson explained its sustainable procurement initiatives and asked suppliers to work to improve the accuracy of their answers to the conflict mineral surveys. Epson received responses back from 561 of the 593 suppliers surveyed (response rate 95%). The results enabled us to identify smelters as below.

(Units: companies)

  Gold Tantalum Tin Tungsten Total
Number of identified smelters 135 48 84 47 314
Number of CFS-certified smelters 94 43 67 39 243
Percentage CFS-certified 70% 90% 80% 83% 77%

*1 The Conflict Minerals Review Committee was renamed the Sustainable Procurement Committee in FY2016, expanding its function to oversee sustainable procurement generally.

Initiatives in FY2017 and Beyond

Based on our analysis of the survey results, Epson is stepping up our ability to check suppliers' answers to ensure we meet our stated target of identifying the smelters of all components that contain minerals by March 2018. Epson also aims for more exacting communications and collaboration with suppliers to boost the accuracy of survey answers and increase the smelter identification rate while continuing to enhance supply chain transparency. In addition, in FY2017 Epson joined the Responsible Minerals Trade Working Group of the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). As such, Epson is taking part in an industry collaboration to improve supply chain conflict mineral surveys.