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 May 2021 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.

Company-wide Framework

On January 28, 2020, we launched the Novel Coronavirus Countermeasures Taskforce, headed by the President and with the Risk Management Office 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 issues.
From a business continuity perspective, we are monitoring on a weekly basis the operation status at our customers and Sumitomo Riko Group companies around the world, as well as cases of infection among employees.
Furthermore, based on the premise that the COVID-19 is not expected to end in the foreseeable future, the "With Corona Project" was launched within the Taskforce on June 8, 2020. The Risk Management Office, the Human Resources Department, the General Affairs Department, the Information Systems Department, and the CSR Planning Office served as its secretariat, with the heads of each department as members, and the project set up the following content.
1) Countermeasure phases have been set at levels 1 to 4, and domestic bases, including Group companies, are required to take measures for commuting, meetings, business trips, and meetings with people outside the company in accordance with the infection status of each location and the regulations from the national and local governments. The Risk Management Office sends out the countermeasure phases of each base to all companies in Japan to ensure thorough operation.
2) Guidelines have been formulated and thoroughly communicated to all employees regarding temperature checks, hand washing, gargling, wearing masks, desk partitioning, promotion of online work, measures in the company cafeteria, and special attendance measures.
In addition, when an infected person is identified in a group company in Japan, the information is disclosed on the website for timely and appropriate information disclosure.

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) Introduction of a new remote work system under the COVID-19 pandemic. *All employees who are
  able to perform work from home are now eligible to apply.

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

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

Implementing temporary closures in response to production adjustments by customers on the premise of maintaining employee employment, and providing compensation for temporary closures. (FY2020)

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 check the status of our customers' production operations, sales forecasts, and regulatory trends in the countries where our bases 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.
We have also established internal rules in accordance with the “Act against Delay in Payment of Subcontract Proceeds, etc. to Subcontractors” to prevent losses to our small and medium-sized business partners due to refusal to accept products, unreasonable reductions, delays in payment, etc., which may occur under pandemic conditions, we are providing education and awareness raising activities on the Act in our company and group companies.
Due to the impact of the new Corona, our overseas bases in particular have been shutting down their operations, and we have had to change production locations in order to secure shipment volume. Therefore, in order to ensure quality even after the production transfer, we have been taking measures to ensure that quality evaluation of the transferred products is carried out without omissions, and that "process change applications" are submitted to customers without fail, and that only approved products are shipped. In the future, we will continue our efforts to put customers first and quality first, even in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Contribution to Society

Thin-film high heat insulating material “Finesulight ™” contributes to the temperature-controlled transport for COVID-19 vaccines

In May 2021, our thin-film high heat insulating material Finesulight was adopted by Sugiyama-Gen Co., Ltd. for their dry ice compatible ultra-high-performance heat insulating box "BioBox Freezer". Developed by Sugiyama-Gen for vaccine transportation, this product can be stored at -70 °C or lower (maintained for 12 days on dry ice) without a power source, and is expected to contribute to the storage and management of new coronavirus vaccines in various municipalities.
This is a sheet-type 0.6 mm heat insulator, which features "heat shielding" to reflect heat from the outside and "heat insulation" to prevent heat inside the box from escaping outside. By adding Finesulight in the vacuum insulation material built into the box, the insulation performance has been improved by about 20%.

Vital Sensor

"Finesulight” (silver part) used in the “BioBox Freezer”. It is built into the exterior of all five sides excluding the top.

Most temperature-controlled transport boxes maintain their cooling capacity by periodically adding dry ice (two types: square and cylindrical pellet types). While the pellet type has a high cooling capacity, its distribution volume is relatively small in Japan, and there are concerns about a shortage as the new coronavirus vaccination goes into full swing. BioBox Freezer, as a product compatible with commonly distributed square dry ice, will greatly contribute to the transportation of new coronavirus vaccines, which will be accelerated in the future.

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 Transparent Masks to Hearing-Impaired People

The Sumitomo Riko Attaka Fund has produced transparent masks that allow people with hearing disabilities and their supporters to see their expressions and mouths as a joint project with the “Ayabe Network”, a group of people involved with hearing-impaired people in Ayabe City, Kyoto Prefecture, where Sumitomo Riko Hosetex, Ltd. is located. We donated approximately 900 of these masks to people with hearing disabilities throughout Japan through the Ayabe Network.
Volunteers from our company participated in the design of specifications and prototyping, utilizing their knowledge and expertise accumulated in their daily work.


Donation ceremony for Ayabe Network
(April 2021)


Donated transparent masks

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