Supply Chain Management


Basic Concept

Mizuno acknowledges the crucial role of supply chain management, and in light of this, we have instituted the "Mizuno CSR Procurement Code of Conduct". We are implementing CSR procurement activities that strictly adhere to this code. After obtaining understanding from our domestic and international suppliers, we persist in conducting CSR audits. These audits ensure not only compliance with laws and regulations but also adherence to standards pertaining to human rights, working conditions, safety, hygiene, and environmental preservation. In the event of any issues, we are committed to undertaking necessary corrections.

Status of the supply chain

We seek to supply better sports products through cooperation with a variety of outside organizations. Our products, including sports shoes, sportswear, and golf clubs, are manufactured in our own factories and subcontracted factories. Major subcontracted factories are located in Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

Status of the entire Supply chain

Please refer to our ESG data for the breakdown of our Tier 1 suppliers by procurement category, as well as by country and region.

Status of important suppliers

From the perspective of annual transaction amount, occupancy rate, and the importance of procured goods, we categorize suppliers that have a significant impact on our business continuity and business value as important suppliers. Please refer to our ESG data for the status of these important suppliers (Tier 1 suppliers).

Disclosure of supplier information

Since FY 2017, we have disclosed a factory list as part of our efforts to make the supply chain more transparent.

Factory list

Implementation of CSR Procurement Audits and Initiatives for Improvement Both Domestically and Internationally

Our CSR procurement covers not only Mizuno Corporation but also overseas branches / subsidiaries and licensed sales agencies. CSR procurement activities are composed of two parts: CSR evaluation of suppliers before the commencement of business and regular CSR audits of suppliers doing business with us.

Moreover, we believe that to improve the CSR procurement status in our overseas subcontracted factories, it’s fruitful to work collaboratively with organizations and other businesses in the same industry that have expertise in this area. As a result, we are proactive in collaborating with external entities to promote improvements in our suppliers’ CSR procurement practices.

CSR evaluation of new candidate supplier factories before the commencement of business

We believe that evaluation of suppliers before the commencement of business is important to ensure CSR procurement. To this end, we have established a system for a CSR evaluation of new suppliers before the commencement of business based on the Mizuno CSR Procurement Regulations and have evaluated major new candidate supplier factories in terms of human rights, labor practices, and the environment before commencing production. Before conducting an audit for a CSR evaluation before the commencement of business, we present new candidate supplier factories with three documents – the Mizuno Code of Conduct for Suppliers, the Mizuno CSR Pledge Statement, and the Mizuno CSR Self-Assessment Check List – and ask for a signature on the CSR Pledge Statement.
In addition, we hold a briefing session using the Mizuno Group CSR Procurement Guidelines, which explain our CSR procurement policy, to seek their understanding of CSR procurement before an audit. For factories that do not reach Evaluation B (Evaluation:80–89) in an audit, which is requisite to commence business, we send a corrective action plan and report created based on the CSR audit report. Subsequently, we discuss with them about the content of the corrective action plan, provide corrective guidance and, in some cases, visit the relevant factories. To ensure CSR procurement, we do not start business until we confirm that they meet the conditions required by us through these corrective actions.

Flow of CSR evaluation of new candidate supplier factories before the commencement of business

graph:Flow of CSR evaluation of new candidate supplier factorles before the commencement of business

Implementation rate of a CSR evaluation of new candidate supplier factories before the commencement of business (Implementation rate of monitoring in terms of human rights, labor practices, and the environment)

In FY 2022, all 22 new supplier candidates underwent Mizuno’s prior evaluation (audit) or other audit programs, resulting in three rated as A and one as B in Mizuno’s evaluation and 16 rated as equivalent to B or higher in the other audit programs. For suppliers rated as C, we have created corrective action plans based on the audit results and are tracking their progress. An increasing number of candidate supplier factories now complete external CSR audits before Mizuno requests them to undergo CSR evaluation. Therefore, Mizuno allows new supplier candidates to use a wide range of qualification evaluation programs and examines evaluation results in order to avoid overlapping audits and appropriately evaluate the level of each supplier candidate’s fulfillment of the requirements imposed by Mizuno.

Corrective action when the CSR audit result is C or lower

If a supplier factory is evaluated as C or lower in a prior evaluation, the division in charge of CSR provides feedback on the audit results through the staff in charge of the relevant supplier. We also offer follow-up support, including providing advice to the supplier about specific improvement measures for items pointed out as inadequate, until the supplier reaches evaluation level B or higher, which is a prerequisite to commencing business.

Translation of the Mizuno Code of Conduct for Suppliers into the local language of the respective countries and its distribution

The Mizuno Code of Conduct for Suppliers had been prepared in three languages – Japanese, Chinese and English – to be distributed to suppliers and subcontracted factories. In 2018, it was further translated into the local language of each country where factories are located in order to promote understanding among employees working in the factories.

The following languages are available as of the end of FY 2021:
Italian, Indonesian, Urdu, English, Korean, Khmer, Spanish, Thai, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), German, Turkish, Japanese, Bulgarian, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Bengali, Malay, Burmese, Lao, Lithuanian, Romanian (22 languages).

Please click here for the translated versions of the Mizuno Code of Conduct for Suppliers.

Implementation of CSR audits of Tier 1 suppliers and improvement efforts

For CSR audits of suppliers doing business with us, we conduct regular monitoring (CSR audits on a three-year cycle) of compliance with the Mizuno Code of Conduct for Suppliers based on the Mizuno CSR Procurement Regulations, targeting more than 150 factories that serve as our major suppliers. In FY 2022, 57 factories (56 Tier 1 factories, 9 in Japan, 47 abroad and 1 Tier 2 factory) were audited.
Since a CSR audit consists of on-site audits, document audits, and employee interviews, it is usually conducted by multiple auditors over one to several days. To check the compliance status of suppliers, a globally common monitoring sheet based on ISO 26000 is used. The audit items on the monitoring sheet are classified into three categories – "critical," "major," and "general" depending on the degree of importance and urgency. If the item requirements are met, the points set for each category are aggregated and quantified for evaluation.

System for CSR audits and corrective actions

graph:System for CSR audits and correctice actions

One of the conditions for CSR auditing

We conduct a CSR audit in countries that are considered to have high human rights risks based on the Worldwide Governance Indicators released by the World Bank as well as our own perspectives. Target countries are reviewed annually with reference to the latest Worldwide Governance Indicators.
A CSR audit is not conducted in countries that are ranked higher overall in terms of "Voice and Accountability," "Political Stability and Absence of Violence," "Government Effectiveness," "Regulatory Quality," "Rule of Law," and "Control of Corruption." Basically, we do not conduct a CSR audit in Japan. However, for factories that employ foreign technical intern trainees, who are potential victims of human rights violations, we conduct a CSR audit even if they are located in Japan.

Please click here for details of the Worldwide Governance Indicators.

Survey of audited factories that employ foreign technical intern trainees

As of April 1, 2022, We have 125 OEM factories in Japan, out of which 37 employ a total of 324 foreign technical intern trainees. Among these factories employing foreign trainees, 22 factories, with a total of 201 trainees, are subject to audits based on our standards.
In FY 2022, out of 37 factories in Japan, 16 factories were subject to audits. Due to circumstances such as business closures, 3 were cancelled and 4 were postponed to the next fiscal year, but audits were carried out at 9 factories in FY 2022. The evaluations of the 9 factories where CSR audits were conducted in FY2022 were all rated as A. The breakdown of nationalities of the foreign technical intern trainees employed at these 9 factories was as follows: 8 from China, 68 from Vietnam, 12 from Indonesia, 1 from Thailand, 13 from Cambodia, and 9 from Myanmar.

Major monitoring Content

Our audits revolve around specific themes such as human rights, labor practices, safety and hygiene, and environmental factors. Each audit item is categorized based on its urgency and importance into one of three classifications: "critical," "major," or "general". In FY 2022, we identified "critical" and "major" non-conformities in the items below. However, we have completed the guidance process towards rectification for each of these items at the respective factories.

Number and Percentage of Factories with Non-Conformities in Critical and Major Items in Audits (FY2022)

Audit item Number of Critical Items Number of Major Items Total Number of Factories with Non-Conformities Percentage
Human Rights Child and underage workers 1 2 3 2 3.5%
Slave labor / Forced labor / Migrant labor 3 8 11 2 3.5%
Freedom of association 4 4 4 7.0%
Discrimination / Harassment / Gender 1 2 3 4 7.0%
Labor Practices Employment contract / Employment conditions 2 2 5 8.8%
Working hours 4 4 30 52.6%
Compensation 1 4 5 26 45.6%
Safety and Health Work environment 3 3 23 40.4%
Chemical substances 2 2 13 22.8%
Fire safety 2 7 9 39 68.4%
Dormitory 3 1 4 3 5.3%
Environment Management system 2 2 8 14.0%
Pollution prevention 7 7 20 35.1%
Chemical substances 4 4 3 5.3%

Number of audits conducted and Average score by country

graph:Number of audits conducted and Average score by country

Non-conformities with the requirements related to human rights

item Requirements Nonconformity Correction complete Correction
remarks Country name product
Freedom of association Are mechanisms fair and effective to ventilate and resolve grievances of workers in place? 3 1 2 Follow-up audit
protectors for
baseball bags
Freedom of association Do workers elect their own representatives / spokesperson ? 1 1 0 Correction completed China bags
Freedom of association Is workers’ right to form and join workers’ associations acknowledged by the management to the workers ? 1 0 1 China sportswears
Discrimination / Harassment / Gender Was it found that there was no evidence of discrimination in employment, promotion, compensation, welfare, dismissal and retirement based on race, social class, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation ? 4 1 3 Follow-up audit
protector for baseball
baseball gloves
golf parts
Child and Juvenile Workers Does the factory register all the young workers working at the factory with the local labor bureau ? 1 1 0 Correction completed China golf bags
Child and Juvenile Workers Are there no child labor working at the factory ? 1 0 1 Follow-up audit
China golf parts
Bonded Labor / Forced Labor / Migrant Labor Do all of migrant workers or foreign workers inhabit in the country legally, and have work permits for all period of employment of the factory ? 2 0 2 Follow-up audit
Thailand Protectors for baseball
Bonded Labor / Forced Labor / Migrant Labor Was it found that there was no evidence of money deduction for non-fulfilling production target or sickness ? 2 0 2 Follow-up audit
Thailand Protectors for baseball

Evaluation rank of the audit results

We evaluate the CSR audit results in four stages based on the evaluation index. We consider an evaluation index of 90 or higher as A, an evaluation index of 80-89 as B, an evaluation index of 70-79 as C, and an evaluation index of 69 or less, or a case where child labor or forced labor is found, as D.

The evaluation ranks of the factories subject to an audit in FY 2022 are as follows.

Evaluation rank No. of factories
A 45
B 6
C 4
D 2
Total 57

Corrective action status of suppliers where violations were confirmed

Items with many non-conformities

The FY 2022 audits detected many non-conformities mainly in the following items: safety and hygiene (electricity / machinery / equipment, fire safety, emergency treatment, working environment - chemical substances), labor practices (working hours, compensation) and environment (pollution prevention, resource usage / climate change mitigation), among others.
Specifically, we found many non-conformities in areas such as the installation of protective devices on hazardous parts of machinery, placement of signs and indicator lights at exits and emergency exits, availability of emergency treatment kits, obstacles on emergency exits and evacuation routes, provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to workers, storage methods for dangerous / hazardous materials / industrial equipment, fire-fighting facilities in chemical and hazardous waste storage areas, fire inspection certification and other permits, regular health check-ups for workers exposed to hazardous environments, working hours - overtime, vacation acquisition, overtime allowance, and energy consumption management and control.

Middle item item ratio
1 Health and Safety
> Electricity / Machine / Equipment
Are adequate guards or devices installed for moving / rotating parts of machine, pulleys and belts or any other dangerous parts of machines ? 49.1%
2 Labour Practice
> Working Hours
Does the working hour of factory meet law requirements ? 42.1%
3 Health and Safety
> Fire Safety
Are exits and fire exits identified with sign or indicator lamps ? 31.6%
4 Health and Safety
> First Aide
Are adequate first aid kits located at each factory floor and marked with signs ? 24.6%
5 Health and Safety
> Fire Safety
Are fire exits and escape routes unblocked and adequate at each factory floor ? 24.6%
6 Health and Safety
> Labour Environment
Does the factory arrange regular health examination for workers exposed to hazardous environment ? 24.6%
7 Labour Practice
> Compensation
Does the factory overtime pay meet law requirements ? 24.6%
8 Labour Practice
> Working Hours
Are workers available to take one day off in seven ? 24.6%
9 Health and Safety
> Labour Environment
Is personal protective equipment (PPE) in fully acceptable condition provided for workers ? 22.8%
10 Health and Safety
> Chemical Substances
Are dangerous / hazardous substances safely and securely stored ?
And is fire-extinguishing equipment appropriate there ?
10 Health and Safety
> Fire Safety
Are all site buildings structurally safe, inspected and have certificate / license issued by local government authority ? 21.1%
10 Health and Safety
> Fire Safety
Are fire exits open outward ? 21.1%
10 Environment
> Preventing Pollution
Are the hazardous waste properly managed (written procedure for hazardous handling, specific storage, appropriate containers, clear labels, evidence of correct destruction…) ?
Are hazardous wastes properly categorized, handled, and stored ?
10 Environment
> Usage of Resources / Mitigation Climate Change
Does the supplier control its energy consumption ?
Does the supplier take action plan to reduce this energy consumption ?

Corrective action status for non-conformities

Please refer to ESG data for the status of correction of nonconforming items.

Responses for Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers

We are advancing efforts to understand the status of human rights, labor, and environmental impacts at Tier 1 suppliers that have a direct relationship with us and to take corrective action as needed as our top priority initiatives.

For Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers that do not have direct transactions with us but deliver parts and materials to our subcontracted factories, we are also proceeding with efforts, focusing on areas with high risk of significant human rights and labor issues and environmental impacts. Since FY 2017, we have begun to grasp the current status of Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers that perform plating of iron heads for golf clubs, dyeing of textile materials, and leather tanning for baseball gloves and shoes, which are considered to be high risk.

FY Content
2017 We audited two factories that manufacture golf components. In order to understand the realities of the metal processing factories in Japan and the fabric dyeing and processing factories in Thailand, which are our Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers apart from component factories, we visited the local areas and inspected the sites.
2018 We conducted CSR audits at a total of five factories: a golf club component factory in China, a golf club plating factory, a leather tanning factory in Vietnam, a shoe upper (vamp material) factory, and a rubber sole factory for shoes.
2019 We carried out CSR audits at a total of six factories that included golf component factories and factories manufacturing vamp materials and sole materials for shoes. Among these, the audit results for three factories - a golf component factory and factories processing sole materials and vamp materials - fell below Mizuno’s passing standards.
2020 In FY 2018 and 2019, we conducted follow-up audits at two of the three factories that fell below our standards. The two factories subject to the follow-up audits corrected their non-compliant items and achieved an A rank evaluation. In FY 2020, we conducted an audit at one golf club component factory.
2021 Due to preventative measures against the novel coronavirus, such as visitor restrictions from outside, we were unable to conduct audits of our Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers.
2022 We conducted an audit at one golf component factory. Since this factory fell below Mizuno’s passing standards, we will conduct a follow-up audit in FY 2023.
2023 Since 2020, we have stopped auditing suppliers other than Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers for golf clubs. We will investigate the transaction conditions and realities of Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers and consider management methods for 2024 and beyond.

Responses other than CSR audits

Currently, in Southeast Asia, where many of our subcontracted factories are located, environmental problems and labor-management disputes are more likely to occur than ever before due to the rapid economic growth of the region. Under such circumstances of social changes, it is difficult to resolve fundamental human rights, labor, and environmental issues simply by correcting non-conformities identified in CSR audits. Accordingly, we need to focus on capacity building (capacity improvement) of factories as activities other than CSR auditing in the future.
In FY 2022, externally, we presented at JP-MIRAI, ESG seminars of client companies, and events of the Japan Bar Association, introducing Mizuno’s CSR activities and an overview of CSR procurement management. Internally, as part of the Human Resources and General Affairs Department’s education programs (for all employees, new employees, overseas trainees, and newly appointed managers), we explained the importance of corporate engagement in human rights issues and explained the mechanism of CSR procurement to overseas subsidiaries such as Mizuno Europe, Mizuno USA, Mizuno Korea, and domestic subsidiary Senoh Corporation, thereby promoting enlightenment activities to our employees both domestically and abroad, including related companies.

Participation in the Japan Platform for Migrant Workers towards Responsible and Inclusive Society

It is reported that there are approximately 1.82 million foreign workers in Japan (of which approximately 340,000 are foreign technical intern trainees) and that approximately 290,000 establishments employ foreign workers. Foreign workers have become important members of the Japanese economy and society.
Toward 2030, which is the target year for the SDGs, we have voluntarily participated in the Japan Platform for Migrant Workers towards Responsible and Inclusive Society (JP-MIRAI) to promote the improvement of the work and living environments of foreign workers together with companies and organizations that agree with and implement the Platform Principles of Conduct, which meet international standards. We hope that employers and organizations will accept foreign workers steadily and responsibly while complying with laws and regulations.

As of the end of October 2022, according to a survey by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Establishing a Grievance Mechanism

Although CSR audits can ascertain the situation at the time of the audit, they cannot constantly monitor the factories. In order to guarantee access to relief and to detect potential problems in the supply chain at an early stage, we are considering the introduction of a "grievance mechanism", which is regarded as an effective means to supplement CSR audits. We continue to gather information, such as selecting organizations to which we outsource operations, and continue our deliberations.

Efforts to prohibit and eliminate child labor

According to the World Report on Child Labor (Child labor: Global estimates 2020, trends and the road forward), the number of children engaged in child labor increased by 8.4 million since 2016, reaching 160 million worldwide at the beginning of 2020. This constitutes roughly 10% of the world’s children, with 63 million girls and 97 million boys involved. This represents the first increase since the International Labour Organization (ILO) published global estimates 20 years ago.

Our sports goods, such as apparel and shoes, are manufactured in the Asia-Pacific region where workers’ wages are relatively low. Recent trends show an increase in child labor in Sub-Saharan Africa, while child labor in the Asia-Pacific region continues to decrease. However, due to the impact of COVID-19 related poverty, it is estimated that child labor could increase by an additional 8.9 million by the end of 2022, over half of the anticipated increase being children aged between 5 and 11. Therefore, we believe that enhanced monitoring for child labor is necessary in the Asia-Pacific region where many of our manufacturing subcontractors are located.

According to Principle 5 of the UN Global Compact, child labor constitutes a form of exploitation that infringes on human rights, recognized and defined by international agreements. The international community and most governments have set the abolition of child labor as their policy. We have clearly stated in our Mizuno Code of Ethics that we do not engage in child labor. Furthermore, in the "Mizuno CSR Procurement Code of Conduct", we require suppliers to respect the ILO’s "Minimum Age Convention" (No. 138) and "Convention on the Immediate Action for the Prohibition and Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor" (No. 182). We also use the "World Governance Indicators" as a criterion for identifying countries and regions where there is a high risk of child labor and determining which countries require audits.
We regard child labor as one of the most critical audit items. If we find child labor during a CSR audit, we will immediately consider a response and take appropriate action promptly. At the same time, we understand that the occurrence of child labor is deeply related to societal backgrounds such as poverty. Therefore, rather than just recommending rectification, we also investigate the root causes of child labor and consider solutions together with the factories.

In the audits conducted in FY 2022, there were no cases of child labor. However, there was a case in a factory in China that employed three young workers (16-18 years old) without obtaining registration for young workers from the local labor administration bureau and without conducting health examinations. We urged this factory to create a corrective plan based on the audit results, and corrections have already been completed.

Responses to modern slavery (or forced labor)

According to the ILO report on modern slavery (Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labor and Forced Marriage 2017), there were 40 million modern slaves and 25 million forced laborers worldwide in 2016. By region, the Asia-Pacific region had the highest number of such people, with 4 persons per 1,000 people. Accordingly, we need to monitor modern slavery and forced labor as well as child labor in the Asia-Pacific region.

In Japan, many factories in labor-intensive industries, such as apparel sewing, employ foreign workers through the foreign technical intern training program. We procure products from such subcontracted factories located in Japan.

Principle Four of the UN Global Compact defines forced or compulsory labor as "any work or service that is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty, and for which that person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily." There has recently been widespread concern that foreign technical intern trainees working in Japan are not treated appropriately from the perspectives of human rights and working conditions. To contribute to eliminating the practice of forced labor, Mizuno has designated factories that employ foreign technical intern trainees to undergo CSR audits conducted directly by its CSR procurement staff.

In FY 2022, there were no instances of non-compliance corresponding to forced labor in Japan. Overseas, we discovered violations of laws and unfair treatment towards immigrant workers at a factory in Thailand during an audit and took corrective measures.

Please click here for the actual conditions of audited factories that employ foreign technical intern trainees.

Initiatives on conflict minerals

What are conflict minerals?

Conflict minerals are mineral resources mined in conflict areas mainly in African countries. Residents living near the relevant minerals are forced to engage in mining operations through the use of violence, and this is considered a human rights issue. In addition, it is seen as problematic that the revenue from the mining and trading of these minerals is a source of funding for armed groups.
Under the Dodd-Frank U.S. Financial Regulatory Reform Act, in particular, the following four substances are defined as regulated mineral resources: tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold (3TG). Listed companies in the U.S. are required to report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on whether they manufacture or outsource products using these minerals and to disclose such information on their website.

Initiatives on conflict minerals

Although we are not listed in the United States and are therefore exempt from reporting and disclosure obligations, we conducted a survey in 2018 to identify the usage of substances defined as conflict minerals, and identified products that use them. Specifically, we found that tungsten was being used in golf club heads, as weights for balancing soft tennis rackets, and at the tips of ultra-hard baseball spikes.

As of 2022, within our corporate group, we conducted a survey using the unified survey form (CMRT: Conflict Minerals Reporting Template) provided by RMI (Responsible Minerals Initiative) for the tungsten used in golf club heads and identified all the refineries. Furthermore, we confirmed that these refineries are registered in RMI’s Conformant Tungsten Smelters list.

A refinery registered in the RMI’s certified refinery list means a refinery that has been confirmed to have no illegal activities in the process of procurement management of conflict minerals through the RMAP (Responsible Minerals Assurance Process) audit.

In addition to conducting a survey using the CMRT, we concurrently implemented traceability up to the refinery for the tungsten used in golf, created a supply chain map, and ensured transparency in the procurement route of tungsten. We will continue to request our business partners not to use minerals from refineries other than the certified ones.

Compliance with Overseas Laws Regarding Human Rights Respect

We compile with laws in various countries and regions that require companies to disclose their efforts to eliminate human trafficking and slave labor. We actively disclose information in response to the codification of human rights respect, such as the "California Supply Chain Transparency Act" enacted in the United States in 2012 and the "UK Modern Slavery Act" enacted in 2015.

Translation of specified terms:
California Supply Chain Transparency Act

UK Modern Slavery Act









Future issues to be addressed

With the globalization of business, the supply chain is also being globalized. Since procurement from new suppliers is expected to increase further in the future, we will continuously make sure to conduct a CSR evaluation of new suppliers before the commencement of business.

Regular monitoring through CSR procurement audits is fundamental, but correcting the problems identified in the audits is crucial. We will continue to promote correction through dialogue with our suppliers.