- Related ESG :
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Policy and approach
Toyobo group is striving to ensure customer satisfaction and win customers' trust, not only through the safety of our products and services, demonstrating concern for the environment, and maintaining compliance with relevant laws and regulations, but also through high quality standards. In order to achieve this, we have formulated The Toyobo Group’s Basic Policy on Product Safety and Quality Assurance. To safeguard the quality and safety of the products and services that we provide, we have established an appropriate management system, we perform quality inspections using suitable procedures, and we also strive to ensure that data is properly handled.
< The Toyobo Group’s Basic Policy on Product Safety and Quality Assurance >
- Product Safety and Quality Assurance Principle
The Toyobo Group will strive to provide products and services that satisfy and earn the trust of society, consumers, and customers.
- We will ensure all employees have a keen awareness of the need to prioritize quality while keeping the customer’s perspective in mind.
- We will provide products and services that meet the changing needs and expectations of the times, that are useful to society, and that give due consideration to the safety and protection of the environment and information.
- Activity Policy for Product Safety and Quality Assurance
- Comply with all applicable laws and regulations
We will comply with all relevant laws, regulations, standards, and norms in relation to the safety of our products and services.
- Ensure product safety
We will ensure the safety of our products and services not only for their intended use but also against any reasonable, foreseeable misuse.
We will also strive to improve safety by voluntarily setting higher safety standards when necessary.
- Establish a system for promoting product safety
We will promote product safety and quality assurance throughout the product lifecycle, from development, design, manufacturing, sales, use and disposal, as well as throughout the supply chain.
- Protect and provide information appropriately
- Promote education and awareness
We will promote awareness of product safety and quality assurance through education and awareness activities of all employees, including officers.
Our group has established a Quality Assurance Division Conference to oversee product liability (PL) and quality assurance (QA). In this conference, executives overseeing quality, the Quality Assurance Department General Manager in charge of business divisions, and members of the Quality Assurance Management Department meet every month. We also plan to convene the PL/QA Promotion Committee, composed of members at the business division General Manager level, six times a year, and did so in FY2023.
We have established the Quality Assurance Division as one of the measures to prevent recurrence of inappropriate conduct. Under the division, we have placed the Quality Assurance Management Department, and also the Quality Assurance Departments which are in charge of the division. By establishing the independence of the quality assurance related departments, a function which was previously implemented in each business division, we have strengthened its control over the business divisions. In addition, the Quality Assurance Management Department has been given the authority to guide and suspend the development, production, and sales of the company and group companies regarding product safety (PS) and QA of Toyobo group, and we are working to construct an appropriate quality management system and strengthen governance.
QA structure (As of April 2023)
Targets and KPIs
< Targets >
- We will increase customer satisfaction by practicing quality management throughout our entire supply chain, including upstream areas, and ensuring quality that can be trusted.
< KPIs and results >
|0 incidents per year
- Incidents related to products: Defined according to internal standards based on the defintion stipulated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
Employees have shared access to the Quality Assurance Manual, which describes the basic approach and code of conduct for all employees when implementing Toyobo group's development, production and sales activities, and use it as the basic philosophy for Toyobo group manufacturing.
We make use of our Quality Assurance Manual globally, translated into the local languages of countries where we have sites. We also hold study sessions using the digest version to deepen understanding of manufacturing in our group.
We have further set out Quality Assurance Guidelines and are taking action to build systems that can guarantee quality.
From FY2023, we have conducted quality assurance reviews by the head of each division concerning business divisions' quality assurance initiatives, with the aim of strengthening quality assurance systems and quality governance.
We improved QA systems by product and service to ensure quality and product safety at every stage of these. In addition, our Quality Assurance Guidelines undergo repeated checks by business managers, concerned parties inside and outside the company, and specialists, sparing no effort to prevent accidents or disruption in markets.
As a part of quality assurance with participation by all employees, we designate November of every year as Quality Month. During this month in FY2023, we post quality assurance-related messages from the president and the heads of each division, along with Quality Month posters and digital signage at all sites. At individual workplaces, we also held PL/QA seminars and conducted reviews of quality-related misconduct as described in the Compliance Manual.
Overview of QA activities
Product safety promotion activities
For each department and group company, we conduct PL/QA assessments carried out by the Quality Assurance Division, which has been made independent of the business divisions, or by QA personnel from different departments, to verify and improve PS activities. Moreover, we have established criteria for assessing PL and PS risk, and based on these criteria, we carry out inspections at each stage, from product development to sales, striving to reduce risk.
All possible measures are taken to ensure PS, and training drills are also conducted on a regular basis at all business divisions based on PL incident scenarios. PS remains a crucial theme throughout the whole of the group, and we will continue to mitigate risk as much as possible and strive to fulfill our social responsibility.
PL response system
Product safety and quality assurance training
We implement PS and QA training not only for new employees and new managers, but also for other employees at each level.
|Name of seminar
|Number of times held
|Target / purpose
|Seminar on basics of quality assurance
|4 times per year
|Education for new employees and department-specific education
|Packaged into e-learning format
|4 times each in the first half and the second half of the year
|Development of core human resources for quality control and quality assurance, and construction of an in-house human resource network for quality
|Launched in FY2023
|Training in case studies involving quality irregularities
|10 times per year
|Training involving quality irregularities
|Launched in FY2023
- "Qace" is an acronym formed from "Qa_assurance," "Qc_control," and "Qe_ensurance."
|Name of seminar
|Target / purpose
|Theme in FY2023
|Held as a component of quality assurance in which all employees participate
|Basics of TQM and its supporting statistical methods
|Quality management seminar
|Held as an opportunity for top management to consider quality management
|Quality-centered management and prevention of quality irregularities
|Chemical substance management seminar
|Held as a component of professional education
|Latest movements in chemical regulations in China and Taiwan
ISO 9001 Certification Status
Response to the quality-related misconduct incidents
Toyobo group is responding to the quality-related misconduct incidents discovered related to the PLANAC® and other engineering plastics in 2020 by firmly establishing “manufacturing that fulfills our promise to provide safety and security from the customer's perspective” and by fortifying the inspection and quality confirmation mechanisms in the group's risk management system.
Status of the engineering plastics department
Following the quality-related misconduct incidents to PLANAC® and other products, we have been in contact with our customers individually and reacquired certification from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for some of our products.
We also proceeded to investigate the status of all of our product through questionnaires and other methods. Any quality-related matters in the Engineering Plastics Department that were considered serious issues, such as violations of our agreements with customers, were considered priority issues and reported individually to all associated customers.
As the result of our investigations as well as customers' cooperation with checks, we did not confirm any serious defects in product safety or in basic functions. By rebuilding proper quality control systems and enhancing governance, we are making every effort to restore trust in our company.
Strengthening the quality risk management system
The company responded to the quality-related misconduct incidents by adopting a “three lines of defense” structure at the start of fiscal 2022. The multi-layered structure for detecting and preventing quality-related misconduct positions the business divisions as the first line of defense and the Quality Assurance Division and Internal Audit Department as the second and third lines of defense.
The Quality Assurance Division, which is the second line of defense, identified improper inspections and other items as significant quality-related risks, and led and assisted risk assessments at each business unit. The division formulated measures to reduce risk and has begun assisting in the application of the measures.
The Internal Audit Department, the third line of defense, created a Risk Management Audit Team to perform quality audits for the first and second lines of defense. The department collects information on the operation status and current issues of the Quality Assurance Division and the business divisions, and examines the best approach to coordinating audits.
In the second half of fiscal 2022, the Internal Audit Department began a first line audit with the Quality Assurance Division. The department also audited the Quality Assurance Division and had a frank dialogue with the division about expectations for its supervision of each business division.
We also implemented data integrity (DI) measures related to quality, including automating the inspection report processes of each business divion' Quality Assurance Departments to reduce human error, among other initiatives.