CSR – Disaster Countermeasures

Development of a response framework for large-scale disasters

Engaging in business on a global scale entails the risk of being affected by disasters, including earthquakes, regional conflicts, terrorism, and outbreaks of infectious diseases. The Mitsubishi Electric Group is strengthening its response framework, reexamining its disaster prevention system and disaster countermeasures, to prepare for emergencies.

Emergency disaster prevention framework

In the event that any of our company workplaces suffer or are at risk of suffering serious damage as the result of a large-scale disaster, we have a framework in place that is centered on the Mitsubishi Electric Emergency Response Center headed by our president, to enable the entire Mitsubishi Electric Group to respond to the emergency situation.

In addition to verifying the (personal and physical) disaster situation, the Emergency Response Center promptly examines and executes policies in response to business continuity initiatives and requests from society (support for affected areas, donations, etc.). Particularly with regard to overseas sites and affiliated companies overseas, it works closely with each regional response headquarters to ensure employee safety (safety confirmation, livelihood support, etc.) and provide support for business restoration.

Disaster prevention framework

Our response to the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake

The Kumamoto earthquake of April 14, 2016 caused severe damage to our Power Device Works (Koshi city, Kumamoto pref.) and LCD Division, including Melco Display Technology Inc. (Kikuchi city, Kumamoto pref.).

We immediately established the Mitsubishi Electric Emergency Response Center on the night of the earthquake and commenced the task of confirming the safety of all relevant people and devising business recovery measures. Both sites restored their original production capacities by the end of June, owing to the dedicated effort and cooperation of construction companies, facility and equipment manufacturers, and everyone else concerned. The Mitsubishi Electric Group prays for the speediest possible recovery of the affected regions, and intends to apply the lessons learned from the experience to benefit future initiatives.

Framework for ordinary times (creation of a PDCA cycle for disaster response)

In ordinary times, we take steps to ensure that the disaster prevention initiatives we have so far taken continue to be valid, by establishing a Company-wide Disaster Prevention and Safety Committee headed by the executive officer in charge of general affairs, and by implementing continuous improvement activities through a PDCA cycle to make improvements based on periodic examinations and reviews of the disaster response measures of the Mitsubishi Electric Group (at least once a year) and the results of emergency drills.

In fiscal 2017, the Company-wide Disaster Prevention and Safety Committee defined as priority issues a review of BCP in the event of a large-scale power outage and the strengthening of interdepartmental cooperation during BCP invocation, and brought these issues to the Group. In light of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, a special meeting of the Disaster Prevention and Safety Committee was convened in July after completion of recovery efforts at the two sites, to review what could have been done better in the wake of the earthquake and what needs to be improved.

In fiscal 2018, the Committee identified measures and implementation of disaster prevention and BCP training, promotion of seismic retrofitting and disaster mitigation measures, and promotion of BCP among suppliers as priority issues, and disseminated these issues within the Group.

BCP: Business Continuity Plan
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Initiatives for business continuity and disaster response

BCP formulation and regular (annual) review

To fulfill our responsibility as a product supplier, we had all of our offices formulate a BCP assuming the possible outbreak of a new strain of influenza in fiscal 2011 and a BCP assuming the risk of a large-scale earthquake in fiscal 2013.

In fiscal 2014, we began an examination of continuing business at an alternative site and urged major affiliated companies in Japan and overseas to formulate a BCP. To ensure the BCP that is formulated in each office and affiliated company in Japan and overseas remains valid, the BCP is reviewed and countermeasures are upgraded every year.

Business continuity in the supply chain

We are pursuing initiatives to avoid situations in which a large-scale disaster or other unavoidable circumstance imposes serious damage on suppliers, severs the supply of materials, or obstructs our production activities.

  • Evaluation of BCP risks among suppliers

    From fiscal 2015, we have begun an evaluation of BCP risks among our suppliers in Japan using a company-wide unified index, and are bringing visibility to suppliers with high risks.
  • Activities for mitigating supplier risks

    To mitigate the risks that have come to light through the BCP risk evaluation of suppliers, we recommend multi-company purchasing, and request our suppliers to multi-site their production centers. We also organize BCP seminars for suppliers, to strengthen awareness and provide support for disaster prevention measures.
  • Activities for ensuring prompt initial response at times of disaster

    To ensure prompt initial response at times of disaster, we have created and actively utilize a map search system that allows us to search on a map the locations of suppliers in the vicinity of a disaster point.

Hereafter, we will also promote multi-company purchasing and multi-siting of production centers by suppliers overseas, to ensure stable procurement activities in our overseas production centers.

Strengthening disaster responses

Each office and affiliated company of the Mitsubishi Electric Group has a disaster response manual, by which it implements preliminary measures (disaster mitigation measures) and disaster prevention drills.

At Shizuoka Works, a BCP drill was held with an anticipated upcoming Nankai Trough earthquake in mind. It included simulations of collecting, analyzing and organizing disaster information, and activities for bringing the situation to a prompt conclusion and allowing business to continue. Issues that had not been envisioned in advance but surfaced during the drill have been incorporated into the BCP review.

Affiliated companies are also instructed to establish the same level of disaster countermeasures as those implemented by Mitsubishi Electric to strengthen emergency preparedness through disaster prevention drills at each site.

Disaster prevention drill at an overseas Mitsubishi Electric site (China)

Pandemic countermeasures

The development of various modes of transportation and transportation networks, and the globalization of the economy have increased not only the movement of people, but also the risk of pandemic diseases such as the Ebola virus disease and new strains of influenza.

Amid the advancing globalization of business, in Japan we commenced initiatives to fulfill our corporate social responsibilities to (1) ensure people's safety, (2) sustain businesses that serve societal functions, and (3) minimize economic impact on our company in the event of an outbreak of a new strain of influenza (through BCP formulation, keeping tabs on the dynamics of business travelers and expatriates, stockpiling masks, etc.).

Overseas, and particularly in countries where the probability of an outbreak of a new strain of influenza is high, we provide direction to formulate a BCP that assumes such an outbreak and to otherwise implement countermeasures that are suitable for the situation in each country.

Ensuring safety overseas

The Mitsubishi Electric Group's Overseas Safety Response Center, under the Corporate Human Resources Division, works closely with overseas sites (overseas offices and affiliated companies of Mitsubishi Electric and affiliates in Japan) to grasp the dynamics and confirm the safety of overseas business travelers, convey various information (travel restrictions, etc. based on information gathered from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and specialized agencies), and provide employee education.

In fiscal 2017, we organized overseas safety seminars for employees scheduled to take up an overseas assignment or business trip, including to affiliates, and visited 14 sites in 10 countries to survey security situations and provide advice on medical and health environments and educational and living conditions. We also participated in the public-private overseas safety cooperation conference sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and exchanged information and views with other companies and organizations. The results of the conference have been incorporated into the risk management activities of our company and overseas sites.

VOICE (In charge of disaster prevention and BCP)

Applying the lessons learned from the earthquake

My responsibility at Power Device Works (Kumamoto) is to ensure disaster prevention and BCP. In particular, I am in charge of operating the system for verifying the safety of our employees and managing our emergency stockpile. The Kumamoto earthquake of April 2016 clarified both the benefits and inadequacies of the disaster prevention and BCP initiatives we have taken to date. Our plant was fortunately able to resume operations at an early stage, owing to the generous cooperation of people in and outside the company, but based on this experience, we have strengthened our resolve to reinforce our measures for disaster mitigation.

Tomohiro Uchida
Kumamoto Administration and Human Affairs Dept.
Corporate Administration Div.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

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