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.
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.
Mitsubishi Electric Group’s disaster prevention framework
In response to COVID-19, we have set up the COVID-19 Headquarters to cooperate in preventing the spread of the infection, review the way employees work including the wider adoption of remote work, supply products steadily, and provide necessary services. We have also provided aid for medical professionals as part of social contribution activities.
As there is no end in sight to COVID-19, while placing our highest priority on the health and safety of customers and business partners as well as employees and their families in light of guidance and requests from government agencies, we continue to work to fulfill its social responsibilities by maintaining necessary businesses, including by delivering stable supplies of products and necessary services (as of May 2021).
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.
For fiscal 2022, 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 make full use of insights and know-how that we acquired by responding to COVID-19 in fiscal 2021 and focus on reviewing BCPs toward increasing their viability in times of emergency as a Group-wide priority.
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 and urged major affiliated companies in Japan and overseas to formulate a BCP. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic that broke out in fiscal 2021, we are taking action to prevent further spread and continue our operations by leveraging our existing BCP. Going forward, we will make full use of insights acquired by responding to COVID-19 in order to review the BCP and upgrade countermeasures at each office and affiliated company in Japan and overseas every year.
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.
Hereafter, we will also strengthen measures to ensure stable procurement activities in our domestic and overseas production centers, thereby mitigating procurement risks as much as possible.
BCP training at a Mitsubishi Electric site in Japan
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, Mitsubishi Electric carries out an emergency drill and safety confirmation training that involves the use of a safety confirmation system at each site. For IT continuity, we have two separate data centers in Tokyo and the Kansai region and carry out an annual drill for switching between data centers in the event of an emergency.
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.
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.
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 2021, in order to cope with COVID-19 that spread globally, we implemented measures, such as urging employees on assignment in areas where the standard of medical care is low and the infection is seriously widespread to return home temporarily and prohibiting overseas business trips as a general rule. At overseas sites, we compiled infection prevention manuals and developed a protocol to respond to infection in order to prevent infection at sites and facilitate initial response to infection. At the moment, the situation is gradually returning to pre-COVID-19 days; employees that returned home temporarily have been assigned overseas again and business trips to some overseas regions are conditionally permitted. However, if the situation deteriorates, we will respond flexibly to changes.
In addition, due to the deterioration of public security in Myanmar, our expatriate workers and business travelers have returned to their home countries as a safety precaution. (As of March 2021)
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.