Risk management

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 the Mitsubishi Electric Group’s sites 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.

diagram: Mitsubishi Electric Group’s disaster prevention framework

Mitsubishi Electric Group’s disaster prevention framework

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 2020, simulation of the initial response of the Emergency Response Center was performed by the parties involved, assuming a shutdown of important infrastructure, including electricity, communication and transportation, in the event of a large-scale disaster.

For fiscal 2021, the Committee considers that in order to maintain the effectiveness of the BCPs, it is crucial to continue conducting reviews that are in step with the changes in external environments, and will focus on reviewing BCPs toward increasing their viability in times of emergency as a Group-wide priority.

Initiatives for Business Continuity and Disaster Response

Business continuity plan (BCP) formulation and regular (annual) review

To fulfill our responsibility as a product supplier, we had all Mitsubishi Electric 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

At Mitsubishi Electric, we pursue 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

photo: BCP training at a Mitsubishi Electric site in Japan

BCP training at a Mitsubishi Electric site in Japan

photo: Joint disaster prevention drill with a local fire department at a Mitsubishi Electric site (High Frequency & Optical Device Works)

Joint disaster prevention drill with a local fire department at a Mitsubishi Electric site (High Frequency & Optical Device Works)

Each office and affiliated company of the Mitsubishi Electric Group possesses a disaster response manual that is used to implement preliminary measures (disaster mitigation measures) and disaster prevention drills. For example, every year, the Mitsubishi Electric Corporate IT Strategy Division, which has two separate data centers in Tokyo and the Kansai region, carries out a drill for switching between data centers in the event of an emergency.

In fiscal 2020’s drill, the target time for recovery of all enterprise systems was successfully achieved.

We have also instructed affiliated companies to establish the same level of disaster countermeasures as those implemented by Mitsubishi Electric to strengthen their emergency preparedness through disaster-prevention drills at each site.

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 the Mitsubishi Electric Group’s businesses, 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 there is a high probability of an outbreak of a new strain of influenza, we provide direction for formulating a BCP that assumes such an outbreak and to otherwise implement countermeasures that are suitable for the situation in each country.

In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we have established the COVID-19 Crisis Center to ensure the stable supply of products and provide necessary services as well as support health care workers as social contribution activities.
Going forward, we remain committed to preventing the spread of infection in light of guidance, requests, and the like from government agencies (as of May 2020).

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 2020, in response to the increasing number of overseas assignments to dangerous regions, we organized overseas safety seminars for employees scheduled to take up such assignments or business trips to dangerous regions. In addition, our overseas sites with high risk of warfare, terrorism, civil unrest, general crime, traffic dangers and environmental disasters have developed a crisis management manual to clarify the guidelines for action in normal times and times of emergency.

At the outbreak of COVID-19, we sent masks from Japan to employees at Chinese, Korean and European sites where the infection was spreading to support their safety and health, and brought back some employees and their families to Japan temporarily and restricted overseas business trips from Japan, depending on the region (as of March 2020).

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.