We are committed to meeting our social responsibility as a global manufacturer. Identifying a role and fulfilling a mission as a manufacturer of sporting goods.
ASICS is proud to have been a sponsor of Tokyo Marathon 2009. Held in March, the event attracted 262,000 applicants for the 35,000 places. In the midst of the current recession, people are increasingly shifting their interest to sports and health; therefore, I strongly sense growing expectations among stakeholders toward sporting goods manufacturers such as ASICS. In order to respond to this trend, we are returning once more to our founding philosophy, Anima Sana In Corpore Sano (“a sound mind in a sound body”). Moreover, we are renewing our determination to identify our role and incorporate our mission in every aspect of our operations.
A strengthened response to the priority issues of corporate social responsibility. We are a member of the expert committee of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI), an organization that represents major sporting goods manufacturers from around the world. Consequently, we are implementing initiatives targeting our corporate social responsibility (CSR) in line with global trends. As well, as a member of the Association of Japan Sporting Goods Industries (JASPO), we are meeting our CSR while collaborating with other companies and are setting an example through the implementation of our own initiatives.
Regarding our priority issues of CSR for fiscal 2008, we have been working hard to ensure that these are extended company-wide, but some improvement tasks remain, as indicated by the occurrence of a product recall in fiscal 2008. Clearly, the recall would have been prevented if we had uncovered the defect during the final stage of product testing. Consequently, we will address safety and quality improvements by enhancing the accuracy of our final inspections with a strong commitment to bring only qualified products to the market in the future.
Looking to the factories we have subcontracted for international manufacturing, we recognize that human rights and working conditions remain two of our most important obligations. To ensure these rights are upheld, we will continuously monitor these subcontracted factories by integrating these facilities, by promoting efficient supply chain management, and by collaborating with the Fair Labour Association, an NPO that examines labour issues.
In the area of environmental protection, we have already acquired certification of registration with ISO 14001, the standard for environmental management systems, and have fully achieved our emissions reduction targets for CO2 and waste. Moreover, we have continued to develop and market green products as an important initiative grounded in our core business. As part of this effort, from fiscal 2006 to 2008 we incorporated a material made of polyester thread obtained from recycled PET bottles in the staff jackets we provided to 15,000 volunteers for the Tokyo Marathon. As consumers continue to take a growing interest in the environment, we are determined to aggressively develop and market the eco-friendly ASICS Eco Plan mark products with greater focus in the future.
President and Representative Director