Business Continuity Management System

To counter risks which could significantly impact Head Office functions and are beyond a company's capacity to prevent, such as natural disasters and pandemic influenza, Sumitomo Forestry has established the BCM Subcommittee. The subcommittee sits under the Risk Management Committee, is chaired by the general manager of the General Administration Department and is comprised of the persons responsible for risk management including Group company, which enhances business continuity management system (BCM) and promotes initiatives based upon business continuity plans (BCP). Since Sumitomo Forestry Group companies are an integral link in the supply chain of one another's business, each Group company is committed to constantly improving the resilience of the whole Group, and tackling Group-wide issues with the intention of enhancing business continuity.

In fiscal 2020, the BCM Subcommittee met twice creating an opportunity to reorganize the basic policy on BCM to encourage the promotion of independent and active support in each Division and at each Group company. It also shared information such as reforms to the in-house fire brigade structure spearheaded by Sumitomo Forestry while overcoming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Page Top

Measures for Employee Safety and Systems for Business Continuity

Portable Guide for Risk Responses, Safety Confirmation and Information Communication System

Sumitomo Forestry Group distributes Portable Guides for Risk Responses to all Group employees in Japan, promoting the basic response procedure to take and rules for reporting to the person in charge of the organization in the event of a disaster. An emergency contact network and a safety confirmation system that activates depending on weather conditions have also been introduced to domestic Group companies. These measures allow the safety of employees to be checked quickly through multiple channels before communication line become congested or restrictions are put in place. Safety confirmation drills are conducted at domestic Group companies every year, and in fiscal 2020, a sum of 14,860 employees have participated in them.

Furthermore, we have been operating a crisis management portal site since October 2016 as an information communication tool indispensable to business continuity from the moment disaster strikes through the recovery. This portal site allows employees Group-wide to confirm notices from the company and disaster information with only access to the Internet even when verbal communication networks and transportation infrastructure are down. Members and other staff entrusted with the responsibilities at each division, base and affiliate company can also share information through SNS functionality on the portal site to regularly confirm safety and conduct information communication training.

Portable Guide for Risk Responses

Portable Guide for Risk Responses

Disaster Prevention and Damage Mitigation Measures

By way of preparation for employees walking long distances back home on foot or those stranded at the office unable to return home in the event of a massive earthquake, Sumitomo Forestry has stipulated a minimum stockpile of common emergency supplies for each workplace, and has had these distributed to all Group bases. In particular, at bases in large metropolitan areas (Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya), where it is expected there would be large numbers of stranded employees, enough supplies have been stored for employees to stay at the office for up to three days.

Also, when selecting new offices and other facilities, rather than deciding merely on cost and convenience, the person responsible for disaster prevention at Head Office gets involved, and measures for preventing disasters and reducing damage are implemented, such as measures for preventing office equipment from falling over and multifunction printers on wheels from rolling.

Furthermore, Sumitomo Forestry has also implemented measures from a perspective of data integrity, such as backing up data at locations physically distant from the data center.

BCP Simulation Training

In order to overcome the chaos immediately after a large-scale earthquake strikes and to transition quickly to action for business continuity, it is vitally important that the people in charge can make an initial response and can make decisions according to the situation at hand. For this reason, since fiscal 2011, the Sumitomo Forestry Group has continued to conduct BCP Large Scale Earthquake Countermeasures Simulation Training, targeted at the persons in charge at each Group company. The aim of this training is to get participants experience a simulated “crisis” in an earthquake to acquire an awareness of the issues, by getting them to make spur of the-moment decisions again and again based on rigorous hypothetical scenarios. During the training, since Group companies from neighboring areas are assembled together in one place, another aim of the exercise is to share an awareness of risks and to strengthen cooperation among them in an emergency. Systems have also been developed so that, in situations where employees find getting to work difficult, payment of salaries, payments to business partners and other important business operations can still be carried out from a site designated in advance, an employee dormitory, their home or other remote locations while maintaining a high level of security. Simulation drills to check back-up office operations are also conducted every year (group training was postponed in fiscal 2020 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic).

Page Top

Strengthening Supply Chain Business Continuity Plan

In readiness for potential disruption of its housing and construction business supply chain following a disaster, Sumitomo Forestry shares the specifications and processes for property construction along with site progress status information with business partners including component makers and building contractors. By enabling advanced procurement of materials and production in this way, the Company is striving to reduce the risk of a disruption to operations. However, there were some delays in material procurement and constructions due to the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 in 2020.

In light of this situation, we are examining reporting methods for suppliers to report the status of disaster and systemization of history management in cases the suppliers are affected by natural disasters such as earthquakes or calamities such as fires. In addition, Sumitomo Forestry works to build a purchasing system which has at least two companies that can supply the same materials as a general rule to ensure readiness for these types of unforeseen situations (including at least two production sites for the same materials).

We plan to take measures to prevent delays in procurement materials caused by the COVID-19 through discussions with suppliers. We are reducing risks by increasing inventory at each material supplier where delays occurred as a short-term measure and decentralization of production facilities as a medium- to long-term measure, such as setting up production sites from single to multiple countries.

Sumitomo Forestry also reviews its suppliers of building and construction materials, with supplier evaluations conducted every year for determining whether to continue business with them. Business continuity items, such as systems for ensuring alternative supply routes during a disaster, have been added to these evaluations. These efforts will work to further reduce risks that may interrupt business operations in the future.

Page Top

Continuity of Customer Service

Sumitomo Forestry has setup call centers in Tokyo and Okinawa, thereby facilitating 24-hour after-sales service.

Sumitomo Forestry has also developed a mechanism whereby any call center can back up the functions of another call center in the event it is affected by a disaster. Through a unified emergency system, the Group can share damage information pertaining to owners nationwide, enabling us to respond quickly to disaster and requests for repairs.

Page Top

Sustainability Report