At the Asahi Group, we have a range of procedures in place for communicating with our suppliers. With these procedures, we strive to share information with them, raise their awareness, and implement initiatives with them to solve the issues they face.
The Asahi Group engages in various efforts together with our suppliers to reduce the environmental burden of our supply chain.
Birra Peroni, an Italian subsidiary of Asahi Europe and International with a history dating back to nearly 170 years, produces 5 million hectoliters of beer annually at its breweries in Italy. The Peroni brand of beers is made of 100 percent Italian malt, and in order to reliably procure high-quality malt they partner with more than 1,500 local farmers.
Birra Peroni has consistently adopted revolutionary functions and systems to build a supply chain that can benefit and fulfill the needs of all stakeholders ranging from farmers to consumers. One example of such systems is the orzobirra.net online platform made available to farmers. It ensures that farmers can harvest high-quality malt thorough the integrated management and sharing of information ranging from farmers' expert knowledge, weather forecasts, soil quality, and crop types. This platform not only enables the stable production of high-quality materials, it also serves to reduce the burden on the environment, for instance through the more efficient use of fertilizers and agricultural chemicals, and through the optimization of soil tillage operations.
Asahi Breweries, Ltd. has developed the lightest domestically-produced 350 ml aluminum beer cans (according to Asahi Breweries survey) in cooperation with four can manufacturers as part of its efforts to develop environment-friendly packaging.
The Asahi Group is committed to working together with our suppliers to achieve sustainability in society in line with our corporate environmental and social responsibilities. To this end, we actively engage in information sharing and consciousness-raising with our suppliers.
The Asahi Group holds annual sessions to explain its procurement policy, which are attended by raw material suppliers. The sessions are aimed to explain and obtain understanding about the Asahi Group Sustainable Procurement Principles, the Asahi Group Supplier Code of Conduct, the Asahi Group Human Rights Principles, the Asahi Group Environmental Principles, the Asahi Group Responsible Drinking Principles and other principles of the Asahi Group, to deepen suppliers' understanding about the Group's domestic and international operations and future activities, and to build continuous partnerships based on collaboration with suppliers.
These sessions were canceled in 2020 given consideration of the impact of COVID-19. Still, we sent our suppliers documents to explain revised principles and also obtained their signatures on the agreement for the Asahi Group Supplier Code of Conduct.
In pursuing activities with our suppliers to fulfill our environmental and social responsibilities, we conduct supplier training aimed at enhancing their understanding of the Asahi Group's policies on the environment and society, as well as the current social climate concerning ESG factors.
The training is usually provided at sessions explaining the Asahi Group's procurement policy. Since the sessions had to be canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, we sent textbooks to our suppliers so they can read them and write and submit their comments for the textbook. The textbook covers the global ESG trends in terms of respect for human rights, the environment and responsible drinking, and about the Asahi Group's principles and activities for sustainable procurement. Nine hundred suppliers received the textbook. For this activity, following a request from a Japanese supplier, an online briefing was held with 17 executive leaders including their president.
During the on-site survey based on CSR questionnaire results, we checked the specific environmental and social actions taken by our suppliers and provided detailed advice toward improvement such as by presenting examples of actions taken by other companies. In these ways, we are supporting our suppliers' capacity-building efforts.
The Asahi Group regularly implements quality audits of suppliers to assess how they address a range of parameters, including process control, quality standards, hygiene management and employee safety, against targets.
We conduct annual surveys of our major raw material suppliers in Japan. The surveys are used to assess suppliers' ability & risk on eight points: Management, ESG (Environment/Social/Governance), quality, cost, delivery times, technical capabilities, supply stability, and responsiveness. The assessment results are provided to each supplier, and regular communication with specific suppliers about needed improvements is undertaken when necessary. Eighty-nine raw material suppliers and 76 other material suppliers received the assessment in 2019 and 21 raw material suppliers and 34 other material suppliers received it in 2020*.
* Evaluations were performed by: Asahi Breweries, Ltd., Asahi Soft Drinks Co., Ltd., Asahi Group Foods, Ltd.
The Asahi Group selects new suppliers by comprehensively assessing opportunity & risk of items such as quality, price, delivery dates, and supply stability as well as the supplier's technology, stance on compliance and the environment, and respect for human rights. Upon the initiation of dealings, the Group explains the Asahi Group Supplier Code of Conduct to the suppliers and asks them to comply with it, and then concludes a trade contract agreement clearly prescribing compliance with the relevant laws.