Table Speech


How My Firm Engaged with CSR

February 2nd,2005

Director and Manager of the CSR Department of Shiseido Ltd.
Ms. Kimie Iwata

There are many definitions of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) but the best is ‘CSR management is that in which corporate and social development is attained by harmonizing on a high dimension the profits of the corporation and social with the interest of various stakeholders in mind’.

Our company established in 1882 and is a cosmetics maker with 133 years of history. We first of all must manufacture merchandise which receives the support of our customers, but recently we feel that the company must receive the support and trust of our stakeholders. When one speaks of a corporation’s social responsibility, it is profitability, paying dividends and taxes. There are persons who say that employment is a corporation’s social responsibility.

Unfortunately, there have been a number of cases of corporate misbehavior and some persons say that compliance is the nucleus of corporate responsibility.
This is all true, but only applies to one facet of corporate responsibility.
I believe that corporate responsibility li : in management principles that heighten the quality of a business which contributes to the satisfaction of stakeholders and their trust.

We divide the concept of CSR into two: basic CSR and strategic CSR. Basic CSR is that in which one would be forced to leave the field if not engaged in, such as providing high quality goods and services, maintaining a partnership with customers and employees, gaining profits and paying dividends, taxes and offering employment.

Strategic CSR is to heighten corporate value by protecting environment, disclosure, protection of human rights and individual information, compliance with the law, mecenat and philanthropy, displaying new values, and market creation.

Basic CSR safeguards corporate values, and strategic CSR plays a social and environmental role in heightening our corporate value.

I believe that CSR is also a way to strengthen our relations with our stakeholders.

We must provide them corporate information while at the same time receive information from them.

When I was appointed to run the CSR Department, I first studied our founder’s principles in establishing this company. In 1921, this was formulated as the “5 Basic Principles of Shiseido”. They were – Co-prosperity, Consumer, Quality, Reliability and Virtue.

Therefore in the early years of our company it announced its Corporate Social Responsibility.

Today, we base our actions on the “Shiseido Way” composed in 1997. It is founded on the corporate principle of “Creating a beautiful life culture”.

In order to carry this out, the Shiseido Code was made in 1997 and revised in 2003. In this code, instead of saying ‘…should out’, or ‘will adhere to’ it gives a guideline for each individual employee in their daily actions.

In order to see that the Shiseido Code is carried out, each Department has a Code Leader, and separately 600 members of all ranks are working under the Corporate Ethics Committee.

Basically, the CSR area is one of high priority, and all are involved. However strategic CSR differs from company to company and each are free to do as they please to show their company colors. To give you an example, in the field of therapy makeup we have a foundation called ‘Perfect Cover’ which conceals traces of injuries and such on the face. Cosmetics are not for decoration only but to affirm one’s self.

70% of our employees are females and so are almost all of our customers.

In thinking about the future of our company I believe that it is necessary that we gain the support of female as a firm that has empathy with them, and I want to have our female staff take a more active part in the company.

The greatest problem we have is mid-career baby and infant care. Enabling a mother to look after her infant without leaving the firm is an issue.
There are an insufficient number of day care homes in Tokyo. Last September, we opened a Kangaroo Room in Shiodome are sharing its use with other firms.
In the field of Shiseido Way, our company alone may be unable to solve the many issues before us, but it is important that we use the resources we have as an aid to their resolution.

We have been conducting a series of lectures called ‘Improving Personal Appearance’ since 1949, with our staff visiting homes for the aged to show them how to make-up.

When our staff shows the aged the way to make-up, their expressions become lively and they become lively and they become revitalized.

Last April, A CSR Department was formed in our company, with our company President in charge. Our basic CSR are of low profile, but I believe that by applying strategic CSR we can heighten the value of Shiseido as a firm. We would like to deepen the field in which we have applied our knowledge and accumulated know-how in cultural activities.

Secondly, I would like to strengthen the bonds of communication with our stakeholders and inform them of our CSR activities.

There is the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Action) which enables us to act in a cyclic fashion. Although this holds true for any business, we have set a target and are working together to attain and discharge our CSR.