Our management approach
We are executing our strategy through a market-facing regionally organized business, based on three business areas: Architectural, Automotive and Technical Glass. A good balance between regional and global organizational structures will drive efficiency and allow us to react quickly to market developments.
Our immediate priority is to improve the profitability of the Company and earn the trust of our stakeholders through our achievements. Our profit improvement programs are well advanced and since our initial announcement in February 2012 we have introduced additional measures and accelerated restructuring activities.
We are examining carefully all aspects of our current asset base. Our objective is to right-size our business urgently and to accomplish this within the fiscal years FY2013 and FY2014.
We aim to improve manufacturing performance through efficiency improvements and rationalization. We have been quick to take action to adjust our capacity to demand through temporary and permanent closures of plants.
We operate in a good industry with positive prospects, but we must ensure we are cost competitive. We are aiming to lower the breakeven point of our business by reducing overheads, improving manufacturing efficiency and controlling our input cost through best-in-class procurement and shared services. We aim to ensure that we spend our limited resources wisely and generate capacity at much lower capital costs.
We take our environmental responsibilities extremely seriously. All our operations are required to meet all legislative standards as a minimum, and where local requirements are not considered sufficient to address an issue, our own corporate standards do. We conduct regular environmental audits designed to achieve continuous improvement, to sustain and raise standards.
Our Group Environmental Policy defines our approach on environmental matters. In particular, it outlines our management of both current activity and the legacy of past and inherited liability. It reinforces our commitment to using good scientific principles to try to predict and assess our impacts on the environment, both positive and negative.
We acknowledge that our activities will inevitably have an impact, but we have taken steps to minimize the adverse nature of any impact, putting in place systems to try to ensure that we manage such impact in a controlled manner. Principal among the tools we use is our environmental management system, which is certified to ISO 14001 for all our glass manufacturing and automotive manufacturing sites.
We are committed to reporting on our performance; both good and bad. Environmental data is collected under the broad headings of energy, emissions to air, water usage, recycling and waste. The data collected is based primarily on the core environmental performance indicator set of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In addition to the collection of environmental emissions and resource usage data, the Airsweb™ system we use also incorporates an incident reporting system.
For glass manufacturing plants, we have defined our strategic approach to abatement, in order to ensure that we hold fast to our principles, even in parts of the world where legislative controls are less well developed.
We aim to certify our manufacturing facilities to the internationally recognized ISO 14001 environmental standard. We now have certified sites around the world, representing 70 percent of our business by turnover. The most senior executive with responsibility for environmental aspects is the Group Director of Sustainability.
Our Code of Ethics acknowledges internationally proclaimed human rights and the impact these have on employment. Employment standards have been set, derived from external international human rights employment guidelines and our own business requirements.
The Code and our overall employment policy provide employees with reassurance on how they will be treated, and guide employment policy and practice in individual businesses. Our equal opportunity policy aims to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, creed, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, union membership, political affiliation or any other status protected by law. This policy operates in all employment-related decisions. The most senior executive with responsibility for human rights aspects is the Chief Human Resources Officer.
Our management philosophy values people as ‘the most important asset of our company’. Around 29,000 people work in the NSG Group, operating in 29 countries and speaking over 25 languages. Safety and Quality underpin everything we do, with the principle of ‘open communication’ central to our employment policies. Our human resources strategy aims to ensure we have the right people where they are needed and that we maximize our talent management around the world.
We value the health and safety of all our employees above all other considerations and aim to ensure that we provide a working environment that allows our people to reach their full potential.
Our safety programs emphasize the importance of appropriate safe behavior and of individuals taking personal responsibility. We regard all injuries at work as unnecessary and avoidable. No matter how minor, each one must be reported and investigated. Details of our progress on safety performance are shown in the Employees section of this Report.
We operate as an integrated international Group, with a multinational management and 80 percent of our employees work outside Japan. We reflect diversity in our workforce and believe that the range of nationalities, skills, qualifications and experience available in our many operations are a positive benefit to our business. Our management style is to put the best person in each job, regardless of nationality or region.
To attract, motivate, develop and retain high-performing employees, our approach on rewards and retention includes market-based competitive pay and market-based competitive benefit offerings for eligible full- and part-time employees. We have identified specific challenges in attracting and retaining talent, particularly in emerging markets, and we are already putting in place policies to address these.
We work to create a culture that allows employees the opportunity to work without fear of intimidation, reprisal or harassment. We have systems in place to permit employees to raise any concerns in a confidential and timely manner. The most senior executive with responsibility for labor aspects is the Chief Human Resources Officer.
We are committed to the safety of our products and to ensuring they can be effectively handled, fitted and used by our customers. Our product risk review procedures are designed to identify risks and to provide advice to users on safe handling. We communicate these risks through safety data sheets, labels, and Glazing and Handling Guidelines.
Every R&D project developing new products and processes is required to have an Environmental Impact Assessment completed early in the project to highlight any positive or potentially negative implications, so that the project can be managed accordingly. We aim for a cradle-to-cradle life cycle management approach, incorporating environmental health and protection into every step of the life cycle of our products.
Our formal project management processes include thorough intellectual property searches, so that our customers can be very confident that the new products and processes we develop can be used freely without fear of infringing third-party patents. The most senior executives accountable for product responsibility are the heads of the three business lines.
We believe we have a responsibility to be a good steward of the environment and a responsible corporate citizen in the communities in which we operate. We monitor carefully the impact of our operations on the local communities in which we operate. We work hard to minimize potentially negative effects, such as pollution, noise and traffic. We operate programs that assess and manage the impacts of our operations on communities, in entry, operational and exit stages.
In addition to our business investments, helping to sustain local operations, we also invest in the communities in which we operate. We aim to help through direct cash donations to charities and other projects, or through in-kind resources, to improve the health of the community or tackle specific social issues. We also encourage our people to play a part in developing our community relationships. This can take the form of matching contributions raised by employees or allowing individuals time to make personal contributions of time and effort in local projects. The most senior position with responsibility for society aspects is Group Director of Sustainability.