Business Continuity Management
- Business Continuity Management System
- Resilience certification
- Ensuring the safety of employees
- Initiatives for continuity of critical operations
- Training and Education Activities
- Disaster Prevention and Reduction Countermeasures
- Strengthening Supply Chain Business Continuity Plan
- Continuity of Customer Service
Business Continuity Management System
The Sumitomo Forestry Group has established BCM Subcommittee in order to respond to business interruption risks, such as natural disasters and new strains of influenza, which are extremely difficult to prevent through corporate efforts and may have a significant impact on functions of the head office. We disseminate and strengthen the Business Continuity Management System (BCM system) and formulate, review, and improve the Business Continuity Plan (BCP), and conduct training based on the plan.
In fiscal 2022, the BCM Subcommittee met two times. To deepen understanding of decision making required during a disaster and the information that should be collected, we conducted initial response scenario training led by an outside instructor and carried out inspections on the status of business continuity systems of Group companies, and provided commentary on the future direction of these systems based on the inspection results.
On July 31, 2021, Sumitomo Forestry acquired "National Resilience Organization Certification" (hereafter referred to as Resilience Certification), which is given to business operators who are actively engaged in business continuity and social contribution.
Sumitomo Forestry has set acquisition of "Resilience Certification" as one of the indicators to evaluate the achievement of the qualitative goal of "strengthening risk management and compliance systems" set forth in the "Mid-Term Management Plan Sustainability Edition 2021." Since fiscal 2019, we have been reviewing and improving our BCM system. In addition, since the Great East Japan Earthquake, through the Japan Wooden Housing Industry Association, to which we belong, we have concluded agreements on disaster prevention and reduction with local governments around the country, and are working to revitalize local communities and solve social issues in addition to building safe and secure communities. As a result of these efforts, we have been awarded certification. We will continue to accelerate our efforts to increase resilience in order to minimize the impact of business disruptions and recoveries from major disasters and pandemics.
Ensuring the safety of employees
The Sumitomo Forestry Group places the highest priority on ensuring safety of employees and their families as a principle of response in the event of an emergency.
Therefore, we have established an emergency communication system for each organization. In addition, we have introduced a safety confirmation system that automatically transmits information in conjunction with a disaster to each domestic Group company so that more safety information can be obtained before communication becomes concentrated or disconnected after a disaster. In addition to establishing a safety confirmation system through multiple routes, the Safety Confirmation Manual summarizes the matters that each employee should be equipped with on a daily basis in an easy-to-understand manner and is regularly disseminated. Every year, Group companies in Japan conduct safety confirmation drills. A total of 15,505 employees participated in 2022.
To ensure safety of our overseas employees, we introduced a safety confirmation system for overseas employees in 2019. This system enables us to quickly confirm their safety in the event of an emergency such as an earthquake, terrorist attack, or volcanic eruption in the host country.
In addition, we are striving to prevent secondary disasters due to insufficient information by operating a crisis management portal site that can be accessed from external networks as a tool for disseminating information from the company after a disaster has occurred, and by building a system in which employees and their families can obtain various information even in the event of an emergency.
Initiatives for continuity of critical operations
The Sumitomo Forestry Group established the BCM Regulations in October 2019 and has formulated a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) based on the assumption of a crisis event that may cause suspension of the head office functions and a crisis event that may cause damage to the residential safety of a large number of homes, etc. Specific important operations, such as employee safety confirmation and payment, are specified in this BCP. In addition to building a system that enables the continuation of important operations at the two bases in Tokyo and Osaka, and working to minimize the impact, such as preparing IT equipment for emergencies, we also take measures such as remote backup of various systems and data necessary for the execution of operations in an emergency.
Training and Education Activities
At each disaster site, even in a situation where the chain of command with the head office is disconnected, it is necessary for the responsible person to make flexible decisions and respond quickly to the initial response. Therefore, "Simulated Initial Response Training" is implemented to enhance response-ability. This training has been implemented since 2011. It was not implemented due to measures against COVID-19 in 2020. However, the training format was changed to an online format, and training was implemented for a total of 53 operational managers of different sites in 2022.
Disaster Prevention and Reduction Countermeasures
In preparation for those who have difficulty returning home in the event of a major earthquake, we have established a minimum common standard disaster prevention stockpile at each workplace at all Group sites in case they are required to stay at the office or walk long distances home. In particular, in major urban areas (Tokyo metropolitan area, Osaka city, and Nagoya city) where a large number of people are expected to be unable to return home, we store emergency supplies in anticipation of three days of work stays.
When selecting a new office, the head office disaster prevention manager is involved not only in cost and convenience but also from the perspective of disaster prevention and mitigation. At the same time, office disaster prevention and mitigation measures are taken, including measures to prevent office equipment from falling over and to prevent the movement of multi-function machines with casters.
Strengthening Supply Chain Business Continuity Plan
In readiness for potential disruption of its 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, if a supplier is affected by an earthquake or other natural disaster or other accident such as fire, we ask the supplier about the extent of damages and make every effort to continue supply. We will now explore ways to reinforce this system, including systemization for more quickly ascertaining the actual situation at the affected suppliers. 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 are taking measures to prevent delays in procurement materials caused by the COVID-19 pandemic through ongoing 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 in multiple countries rather than single.
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.
Continuity of Customer Service
Sumitomo Forestry has setup call centers in Tokyo and Okinawa, thereby facilitating 24-hour after-sales service. (These services entail various consultations including home maintenance/repairs accepted 24 hours a day 365 days a year.)
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.