Environmental Strategy and Management

Environmental Policy and Management Structure


Brother Group's Environmental policy

The Brother Group helps society achieve sustainable development by positively and continuously considering the environmental impact in all aspects of our business operations.

The Brother Group's mission is to place our customers first everywhere, every time, and provide them with superior value, by quickly creating and delivering high-quality products and services. To fulfill the mission, it is essential to help society achieve sustainable development, by positively and continuously considering the environmental impact in all aspects of our business operations. This is the basic philosophy of the Brother Group Environmental Policy, and is set out in the Brother Group Global Charter, originally established in 1999, that provides the foundation for all Brother Group activities in the global marketplace. The charter has been translated into 28 languages and been shared with all our employees in order to create a system that is appropriate for a global company transcending differences in culture and customs.

Guidelines and Development of environmental activities

Concern for the environment shall be the cornerstone of all operations. Safety and environmental impact shall be prime considerations at every stage of a product's life cycle, from design, development, manufacturing, customer usage, and disposal, to reuse and recycling.
With this as the cornerstone, we seek to deploy environmental activities in accordance with the action guidelines given below.


Development of environmental activities

1. We will set environmental targets in all areas (manufacturing, production, and service) and continuously improve their environmental aspects.

Both manufacturing and sales facilities work to acquire ISO 14001 certification, and strive to reduce environmental impact, such as reducing CO2 emissions.

2.We will recognize the importance of reducing energy consumption in all areas (manufacturing, production, and service) and strive to make energy consumption efficient and reduced in the entire Value Chain.

Improve energy-saving performance in products, energy saving at business sites, promote energy consumption reduction and efficiency, including more efficient distribution.

3.We will not limit our activities to the observation of laws and regulations in all countries where we conduct business, but will also act with a strong moral responsibility to prevent pollution and reduce environmental impact.

A rigorous management framework ensures compliance with environmental laws and regulations in respective countries, prevents oversight and omissions, and enables a quick response.

4. We will always consider waste reduction by more efficient use of resources and recycling of products, and will also avoid creating contamination by hazardous substances when designing and developing both technologies and products.

In developing products, eco-consciousness is considered in various aspects (e.g. resource conservation, use of hazardous chemical substances, and ease of recycling).

5.While respecting voluntary activities by each company of the Brother Group, we will also exercise our environmental duties as a united group.

Activities are promoted based on the Brother Group Mid-term Environmental Action Plan, which is the plan for the entire group.

6.We will enhance the environmental understanding and awareness of all employees through activities such as environmental education and PR.

Various educational opportunities are offered to enhance eco-consciousness (including training programs for new employees, technical training programs for engineers, and e-learning programs for all employees).

7. We will actively disclose our environmental efforts to our customers, local communities, and other interested parties to further foster understanding.

Proactive efforts are made to publicize Brother's activities, such as touring facilities with environmental features, participating in exhibitions, offering lessons at elementary schools and other educational institutions, and planting seedlings.

8.We will endeavor to reduce our impact on the ecosystem and to conserve biodiversity in all our operations.

Biodiversity conservation activities include the procurement of biodiversity-conscious raw materials and the use of FSC-certified paper. Projects for the restoration/conservation of forests or other natural habitats are promoted.

Brother Group's biodiversity conservation policy

Basic policy

To help build a sustainable society, the Brother Group will endeavor to reduce the impact of its operations on biodiversity and ensure biodiversity conservation through environmental and social contribution activities.

  1. Challenges in management
    • The Brother Group recognizes biodiversity conservation as an important challenge for corporate survival, and works on environmental management.
  2. Business operations
    • The Brother Group identifies the impact of all its operations (including procurement of raw materials) on biodiversity, and constantly endeavors to reduce the impact.
  3. R&D activities
    • The Brother Group gathers information and acquires technologies regarding conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and promotes technological development.
  4. Social contribution activities
    • The Brother Group works on biodiversity conservation activities in collaboration with stakeholders including government organizations, local residents, and NGOs.
  5. Activities involving all employees
    • Actions are led by top management, and measures are taken throughout the company to help all employees increase their knowledge about biodiversity and encourage them to work voluntarily on conservation activities.
  6. Communication
    • Details of activities are actively disclosed in and outside the company to raise awareness of biodiversity conservation activities.

Environmental slogan "Brother Earth"

To boost our environmental activities, the Brother Group created the "Brother Earth" logo and slogan in 2010 to symbolize our efforts. Under Brother Earth, each Brother Group employee has been further committed to various activities based on a unified message of "Working with you for a better environment."

In 2012, the Brother Group Principles of Social Responsibility were established to define the responsibilities that group companies are expected to assume and the fundamental concept of action for environmental conservation.

"Brother Earth" - Working with you for a better environment

Brother SDGs STORY, a special website on SDGs activities, introduces Brother Group’s environmental conservation activities under this slogan.

"5R" concept – the key to reducing environmental impact

From 1999, the Brother Group has been conducting environmental activities based on the "5Rs," which adds "Refuse" and "Reform" to the 3Rs of "Reduce," "Reuse" and "Recycle" as the basis for establishing a sound material-cycle society. "Reform" in particular is an original idea from the Brother Group for creating value by introducing novel approaches and ideas for changing the state of a waste material.

"5R" concept

"5R" Concept

  • Refuse: Avoid purchase of environmentally burdensome materials whenever possible
  • Reduce: Reduce waste materials
  • Reuse: Reuse waste materials without processing
  • Reform: Reuse materials in a different form
  • Recycle: Reuse materials as resources

Environmental management framework

Globally managing environmental issues throughout the group, led by the Environmental Committee

The Brother Group promotes global environmental conservation according to the Brother Group Environmental Policy. Specifically, the officer in charge of environmental affairs instructs respective departments at head office as well as divisions and function centers through the Environmental Committee (the supreme committee responsible for promoting environmental management) to determine policies and implement measures.

Brother Group environmental management framework

Brother Group environmental management framework

Environmental Committee

The Environmental Committee is the decision-making body responsible for environmental risks and environmental issues of the Brother Group, such as climate change and environmental laws and regulations. It is chaired by the officer in charge of environmental affairs and other executive officers responsible for function centers, new business, and general affairs. Committee meetings are held twice a year, and extraordinary meetings are held as necessary. Serious environmental risks and issues related to climate change and environmental laws and regulations raised at the Environmental Committee are reported to the Risk Management Committee chaired by the representative director & president. In addition, top priorities are reported to the Board of Directors for instructions and supervision from the management.

As in previous years, there were no serious accidents or environmental penalties (total payment of zero yen) in FY2019 (April 1, 2019–March 31, 2020). Regarding permits, standards, and regulations related to water, as in previous years, there were also no violations (zero cases of violations).

Brother Industries, Ltd. Governance Structure

EMS (environmental management system) Committee (secretariat: Law, Environment & General Affairs Dept.)

This committee has control over the EMS organizations set up in the head office and manufacturing facilities in Japan. The committee monitors ISO 14001 operations at these facilities and compliance with laws and regulations in Japan, while constantly following up improvement activities.

Respective business sites and major group companies

These entities have dedicated staff responsible for environmental conservation activities. The staff members identify and report (i) progress in fulfilling specific policies and targets set by the Environmental Committee and (ii) compliance with rules for environmental management.

Environmental Issues Review Committee (secretariat: Law, Environment & General Affairs Dept.)

This committee draws up and reviews specific policies and measures relating to products' eco-compliance, company-wide projects, and environment-related regulations.

Working Groups (WGs)

The following working groups in Japan serve as task forces responsible for their respective themes.

  • Product Design WG: Reviews and determines various standards and targets (such as CO2 emission reduction and recycling) for eco-friendly product design.
  • Chemical Substances in Products WG: Ensures compliance with regulations on chemical substances contained in products, primarily the RoHS Directive.
  • Environmental Operation Process WG: Addresses the establishment of eco-compliance operations and environmental information systems for the entire group.

Environmental communication promotion framework

The Brother Group established "working on activities to enhance the environmental brand image under the environmental slogan 'Brother Earth'" as the basic policy for environmental communication in the Brother Group Environmental Action Plan 2021 (2019-2021). The CSR & Corporate Communication Department takes the initiative to promote environmental activities at facilities around the world.

Environmental management system

Practicing the PDCA cycle in line with ISO 14001

Under our mid-term management plan, the Brother Group creates the Brother Group Environmental Action Plan every three to five years, based on which Brother Industries, Ltd. (BIL) and manufacturing and sales facilities in respective countries set annual plans and carry out environmental activities as part of their business operations. The progress and performance (results) of plans are checked based on reports from and internal audits on each facility, and the findings are then reflected when planning for the following year.

In operating the environmental management system for environmental conservation activities, compliance with laws, regulations, and standards is ensured, and the ISO 14001-based PDCA (Plan - Do - Check - Act) cycle is practiced.

ISO 14001 certification has been obtained by all group manufacturing facilities*, with Brother Industries (U.K.) Ltd. being the first to be certified in 1996. Brother U.K. Ltd., a sales facility in the U.K., obtained certification in 2005, followed by other many sales facilities.

  • When a new business site is established, activities are implemented in compliance with ISO 14001 upon commencement of operations, and ISO 14001 certification is immediately obtained.

Internal audit and external review

The Brother Group annually conducts internal audits to confirm that manufacturing facilities in and outside Japan effectively follow the environmental management system in conformance with ISO 14001. The Brother Group is also subject to external review for ISO 14001 (environmental management system) certification.

For facilities in Japan, internal audits are conducted by the Law, Environment & General Affairs Department of BIL. For overseas facilities, internal audits are conducted by departments in charge of environmental affairs at the respective facilities. Internal audits are conducted to check compliance with relevant laws and regulations, the progress of annual plans, the effectiveness of the environmental management system, and consistency with ISO standards. Corrective measures are implemented immediately when any nonconformance is found, and the effectiveness of such corrective measures is checked by follow-up audits. Audit results in Japan, together with the status of legal compliance and performance (results), are presented to the Environmental Committee.

In the annual internal audit and external review, it was confirmed that the PDCA cycle is being practiced properly.

Environmental training for employees

The Brother Group's ISO 14001-certified facilities offer environmental training programs for all employees as well as job specific training related to specific tasks and functions.

Examples include environmental training programs for all new recruits joining Brother; e-learning-based environmental training programs for all employees; training programs for production and procurement staff at manufacturing facilities in and outside of Japan, for example, the management of chemical substances contained in products, process control guidance and auditing at suppliers. Essential environmental training is periodically provided to raise eco-awareness and facilitate operations.

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