Material Issue 4: A Vibrant Work Environment Where a Diverse Workforce can Unharness Their Skills and Individuality

Basic Policy

The Group promotes a free and open-minded corporate culture that respects diversity in accordance with Our Values. We are also committed to securing an appropriate balance between work and individual commitments such as caring for children and the elderly, maintaining a safe and healthy work environment, implementing regular education and training programs to prepare for disasters, accidents and so forth, as stipulated in the Sumitomo Forestry Group Code of Conduct established in 2017. Further, we are advancing development of a vibrant workplace where diverse human assets can be actively engaged without regard to gender, age, nationality, race, religion or disability.

Management of Material Issue 4

Within our Mid-Term Sustainability Targets, our Material Issue 4 “a vibrant work environment where a diverse workforce can unharness their skills and individuality,” is broadly divided into four goals, which we incorporate into our management practices through inclusion in annual activity policy and measures for each department. We also assess the impacts that the material issue has on society and the environment.

Targets of Material Issue 4

  1. Creating a work environment that generates diverse ideas, job satisfaction and vibrancy
  2. Securing human resources by training younger workers and utilizing older ones
  3. Reducing long work hours through work style reforms
  4. Eliminating occupational injuries

Impact on Society and the Environment

Targets of Material Issue 4 Impact (Influence)
  1. Creating a work environment that generates diverse ideas, job satisfaction and vibrancy
  • Eliminating gender discrimination in Japan, a nation facing the worst gender discrimination of developed countries
  • Enhancing corporate and social sustainability through innovation realized from diverse ideas
  1. Securing human resources by training younger workers and utilizing older ones
  • Securing better human resources as society at large faces an aging population with a falling birth rate and a declining workforce
  • Enhancing corporate value by improving work productivity
  • Realizing a diverse society
  1. Reducing long work hours through work style reforms
  • Securing better human resources as society at large faces an aging population with a falling birth rate and a declining workforce
  • Enhancing corporate value by improving work productivity
  • Realizing a diverse society
  1. Eliminating occupational injuries
  • Ensuring employee health by building a safe, secure workplace (higher satisfaction)

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Management of Each Target

Creating a Work Environment that Generates Diverse Ideas, Job Satisfaction and Vibrancy

Specific steps based on issues
and strategies
Indicators for Evaluation Managing department FY2019
target
FY2019
result
FY2019
value
FY2020
target
FY2021
target
Promotion of women's participation and advancement in the workplace Percentage of female employees in management positions (%) Sumitomo Forestry
Personnel Department 4.2 4.2 5.0 5.5
Consolidated in Japan
Personnel Department 6.2 6.1 6.7 7.3
Improve employee satisfaction Employee satisfaction level (%) Sumitomo Forestry
Personnel Department 83.0 78.8 81.0 85.0
Change in employee satisfaction level compared to base year (%) Consolidated in Japan Personnel Department 58.6 61.5 Compared to Fiscal 2019 Percentage Change
110

* No figures are available until fiscal 2018 because employee satisfaction surveys were administered biennially until then. They have been implemented annually since fiscal 2019.

* Rating
Achieved:◯ Not achieved but improved from previous year:△ Not achieved and declined compared to previous year:✕

Securing Human Resources by Training Younger Workers and Utilizing Older Ones

Specific steps based on issues
and strategies
Indicators for Evaluation Managing department FY2019
target
FY2019
result
FY2019
value
FY2020
target
FY2021
target
Develop human resources from a long-term perspective according to the revision of the evaluation system (April 2019) and evaluator training
Three-year turnover rate among newly hired graduates (%) Sumitomo Forestry Personnel Department 17.0 15.6 15.6 15.0
Consolidated in Japan Personnel Department 15.3 13.1 10.2 12.9
Enhance training programs Training cost per employee (unit: 1,000 yen) Sumitomo Forestry Personnel Department 120 102 132 132
Consolidated in Japan Personnel Department 65 46 66 66
Total number of training participants (persons) Sumitomo Forestry Personnel Department 13,000 11,390 13,000 13,000
Consolidated in Japan Personnel Department 15,224 15,036 15,700 16,176
Training time per employee (hours) Sumitomo Forestry Personnel Department 13.7 18.0 14.4 15.5
Implement year-initial interviews prior to full-term retirement Employment rate of people over 60 years old (including re-employment) (%) Sumitomo Forestry Personnel Department 82.0 79.6 82.0 87.0
Consolidated in Japan Personnel Department 64.0 69.4 67.7 78.0

* Rating
Achieved:◯ Not achieved but improved from previous year:△ Not achieved and declined compared to previous year:✕

Reducing Long Work Hours Through Work Style Reforms

Specific steps based on issues
and strategies
Indicators for Evaluation Managing department FY2019
target
FY2019
result
FY2019
value
FY2020
target
FY2021
target
Guidance for improvement to departments with low rates of paid-leave use Average paid leaves taken by employees (days) Sumitomo Forestry Personnel Department 12.3 11.5 13.5 14.0
Consolidated in Japan Personnel Department 10.0 10.6 10.6 11.3
Expand departments using flextime and internal mock inspections Average overtime working hour reduction rate compared to fiscal 2013 (%) Sumitomo Forestry Personnel Department ▲27.6 ▲30.2 ▲30.0 ▲32.0
Average overtime working hour reduction rate compared to fiscal 2017 (%) Consolidated in Japan Personnel Department ▲3.3 ▲12.9 ▲9.9 ▲11.3

* Rating
Achieved:◯ Not achieved but improved from previous year:△ Not achieved and declined compared to previous year:✕

Eliminating Occupational Injuries

Specific steps based on issues
and strategies
Indicators for Evaluation Managing department FY2019
target
FY2019
result
FY2019
value
FY2020
target
FY2021
target
Implement reciprocal safety audits and manufacturing department safety audits
Share case studies and implement risk assessments
Number of serious occupational injuries (incidents)
(four or more days of lost worktime)
Manufacturing sites
(contractors and subcontractors)
Timber and Building Materials Division 0 9About symbol for Independent assurance 0 0
Plantation sites
(contractors)
Environment and Resources Division 0 3About symbol for Independent assurance 0 0
New housing construction sites in Japan* Housing and Construction Division 0 20About symbol for Independent assurance 0 0
New housing construction sites outside Japan Overseas Housing and Real Estate Division 0 9About symbol for Independent assurance 0 0
Number of occupational injuries (incidents)
(requiring one to three days of lost worktime)
New Construction sites in Japan Housing and Construction Division 0 19 0 0

* Includes sole proprietorships

* Rating
Achieved:◯ Not achieved but improved from previous year:△ Not achieved and declined compared to previous year:✕

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Toward the Future

The Act on the Arrangement of Related Acts to Promote Work Style Reform was enforced in April 2019, which defines various policies on work style reform, such as setting an upper limit to overtime, and mandatory acquisition of five days of paid leave per year. With these reforms, the average paid leave taken by our employees increased to 11.5 days in fiscal 2019 from 10.1 days in the previous fiscal year. Our affiliated companies also increased the average paid leave taken.

We were also able to reduce overtime by 30.2%, further reducing from 24.9% in the previous fiscal year, compared to fiscal 2013. Our affiliated companies were also able to reduce overtime. We will continue to improve paid leave taken by employees and reduce overtime.

Sumitomo Forestry set a target of zero occupational injuries, but incidents occurred in each business sector in fiscal 2019. In particular, 20 serious occupational injuries (incidents), such as fall accidents, resulting in four or more days of lost worktime occurred on new housing construction sites in Japan. One occupational injury resulting in death also occurred at an overseas plant in January 2020.

In light of this incident, Sumitomo Forestry established the new Quality Control and Worker Safety Management Department directly under the President in April 2020 to strengthen the on-site quality and safety management system utilizing the ISO 9001 and ISO 45001. In the future, Sumitomo Forestry will continue to conduct safety patrols on construction sites, verify safety during quality inspections, and strengthen all initiatives toward zero occupational accidents throughout the entire Group.

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Sustainability Report