Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
Shareholders and Investors, Customers, Suppliers and Other Trade Partners, Employees, Local Communities, Global Environment

Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

We have established infection prevention frameworks and are pursuing a range of actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The current situation as of July 2020 is as follows.

Basic Response Approaches

  • Our top priority is the life, safety, and health of our employees, their families, and all our associates within and outside the company.
  • We will fulfill our social responsibility by minimizing the negative impact of the pandemic on business and pursuing business continuity.
  • We will work together with local communities in our efforts to prevent the spread of infection, adapt to the “new normal” by changing the way our people work and the preferred state of our organization.

Establishment of Company-wide Framework

On January 28, 2020, we launched the Novel Coronavirus Countermeasures Taskforce, headed by the President and with the Risk Management Center serving as the secretariat. On February 10, to strengthen the actions being taken in our specialized functions, sub-committees for the supply chain, logistics, accounting, sales, and (later) personnel affairs were set up under the Taskforce. The Taskforce meets once a week to share information on the impact of the pandemic, countermeasures, and challenges.
From a business continuity perspective, we are monitoring on a weekly basis the operation status and the existence of any cases of infected person at our customers and Sumitomo Riko Group sites around the world.
On the assumption that the COVID-19 pandemic was unlikely to be end in the near future, on June 8, we launched a “With Corona Project” under the Taskforce. With the Risk Management Center, Human Resources Department, General Affairs Department, Information Systems Department, and Corporate Social Responsibility Department acting as the secretariat, and the responsible officers of each department as members, the Project will deal with the situation in the following ways for the immediate future.
1) In preparation for a second wave of infections, review the countermeasures based on the outcomes of responses to date.
2) Develop phase-based infection prevention measures in line with trends in the spread of the disease.

Actions for Employees

Infection prevention measures/preventing spread of coronavirus in workplaces

We established and implemented the company’s own original, phase-based measures to prevent the spread of infection, which are linked to the guidelines of national, prefectural, and municipal governments.

1) Extension of work-from-home arrangements to all administrative staff departments (previously
available only for childcare and nursing care reasons)

2) Review of infection prevention measures in all workplaces, including manufacturing processes, and
infection prevention measures in canteens, etc.

3) Enhancement of IT tools for shifting business operations online
4) Restriction of domestic and overseas business travel and voluntary restraint from other travel
5) Special measures for attendance

- Responses to temporarily closures of elementary schools, pregnant workers, and people with underlying conditions
- Staggered commuting and work-from-home rotation system for employees who use public transportation

We will continue to promote the establishment of permanent work-from-home schemes as part of work-style reform for our employees.

To maintain employment

We temporarily suspended operations to accommodate our customers’ production adjustments, on the premise of keeping our employees in employment, and expanded compensation for leave-of-absence due to those temporary suspensions (80%, compared to legislated 60%).

Workplace environment development for safety and health

We have continued to pursue the creation of safe and secure workplaces through the development of guidelines, action guides, and rules concerning seasonal influenza and novel influenza and awareness-raising activities among employees. With the spread of coronavirus, we are now promoting the following measures to prevent infection.

✓ Awareness raising:

Strengthened efforts to educate employees about infection prevention measures (e.g. thorough hand-washing, hand sanitization, cough etiquette) via extra editions of the Group’s health newsletter, internal directives, and other means.

✓ Health management and response in event of cases of infection:

Stepped up health checks such as temperature checks before work, and strengthened rules in the event of a confirmed or suspected case of infection or close contact (swift communication and response, while taking privacy into consideration).

✓ Prevention of congestion, contact, and crowding:

Various measures have been put in place, including work-from-home, staggered start times, attendance rotations, online meetings, in-principle bans on domestic and overseas business travel, and staggering mealtimes.

Going forward, we will review the measures we have taken to date and, on the assumption that we will be living with the coronavirus for some time to come, strengthen them further to prevent the spread of infection in manufacturing processes and offices. In so doing, we will place top priority on preventing infection and ensuring the safety of our employees and their families and all of our associates.

Actions in the Value Chain

From the perspective of business continuity across the entire value chain, we continue to confirm the state of production and sales forecasts at our customers and developments in regulations in the various countries where our sites are located. At the same time, we are making continued efforts to ensure that production does not stop by interviewing our suppliers on the state of their management and cashflow situation.
Under these circumstances, problems such as refusal to accept products, unreasonable price reduction demands, and payment delays may occur, so to ensure that such issues do not inflict losses on our smaller suppliers, we have once again thoroughly applied our rules strictly in accordance with the Subcontractors Act.
Due to the impact of the coronavirus, suspension of operations has continued at overseas bases in particular, forcing us to shift production to other locations in order to secure the required shipment volumes. Therefore, to ensure quality even with the relocation of production, we have responded with company-wide centralized controls. This entails performing quality evaluations of all products at the new locations, as well as making certain to submit applications for production process changes to our customers and only shipping those products that have been approved.
We will continue to take action to ensure quality under company-wide leadership even in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Contribution to Society

Body Motion Sensor, Sumitomo Riko’s original technology contributing to treatment research

Sumitomo Riko has developed new diagnostic equipment in the form of Body Motion Sensor (General medical devices, Class I) that can simultaneously monitor vitals such as heart rate and respiration and began supplying it to medical institutions and companies in 2019. A research and development project on the Pneumonia Severity Index (PSI) of COVID-19 patients using Respiratory Stability Time (RST) at Osaka University, in which Sumitomo Riko is participating by supplying the equipment, has been adopted as a technology development project for measures against infectious diseases such as viruses, etc. by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).
The R&D team, led by Osaka University, is considering the state in which patients with severe cases of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) develop respiratory failure, focusing on the fact that the patients are thought to start displaying abnormal breathing patterns prior to their condition worsening. The team developed a system to detect signs of cardiac arrest and respiratory failure at an early stage by calculating RST based on the state of breathing during sleep.

Vital Sensor

Body Motion Sensor

Sumitomo Riko’s flexible, thin, and highly precise Body Motion Sensor was adopted for this system. It is hoped that, by detecting the deterioration of breathing at an early stage with little burden on the patient, prompt and effective medical treatment can be provided. Further, in pandemics of highly contagious diseases, including the novel coronavirus, in which contact needs to be avoided as much as possible, as well as reducing the incidence of severe cases through early treatment intervention, we believe that constant online monitoring will contribute significantly to avoiding the risk of healthcare workers being infected.

Donation of 6,000 Masks

In response to the shortage of masks to prevent infection by virus-containing droplets in emergency medical care settings, Sumitomo Riko has donated its emergency stockpile of N95 masks (respiratory protection equipment), a total of approximately 6,000 masks, to the municipalities where our production bases are located. In June 2020, Sumitomo Riko donated 3,360 masks to the Komaki Fire Department, where the Komaki Head Office and Plant (Aichi) are located, and 1,000 masks each to Matsusaka City in Mie, Susono City in Shizuoka, and Ageo City in Saitama.

Mayor of Komaki, Shizuo Yamashita, receiving the masks from President Shimizu (left) at a donation ceremony.

Mayor of Komaki, Shizuo Yamashita, receiving the masks from President Shimizu (left)
at a donation ceremony.

Face-shield Production in Brazil

SumiRiko do Brasil Industria de Borrachas Ltda. has joined a project for the distribution of free masks being promoted by the Federal Institute of Minas Gerais (IFMG) in the State of Minas Gerais where the company is located. In this project, IFMG handled procurement of materials and distribution, and the company was in charge of the plastic molding process. In May 2020, a total of 46,000 shield-type protective masks were provided free of charge to healthcare workers, police officers, and firefighters through the health bureaus of more than 30 municipalities in the state.

Manufactured face shield

Manufactured face shield

Donation to the city of Mateus Leme

Donation to the city of Mateus Leme