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Our Materiality (Material Issues) and Related SDGs

Initiatives for Health

Taiho Pharmaceutical creates innovative products and seeks ways to maintain and promote better health for all.

Taiho Pharmaceutical is one of Japan’s foremost creators of anticancer agents, with 50 years of experience in chemotherapies. Taiho Pharmaceutical pioneered oral anticancer formulations before they became common worldwide. In 1974, the company introduced the oral anticancer agent Futraful, and has since brought to market UFT (in 1984), TS-1 (in 1999), and LONSURF (in 2014). The company strives to meet patients’ needs in the area of oncology, including new formulations (UFT in capsules and enteric granules; and TS-1 in capsules, granules, and orally disintegrating tablets) and development of UZEL (in 2003) with the aim of strengthening the efficacy of UFT in treating colorectal cancer. These oral formulations are recommended in medical guidelines for a number of different cancers in Japan. Recommended under treatment guidelines in Europe and North America, LONSURF, a treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer, and, in U.S., a treatment for metastatic gastric cancer, is expected to help improve the treatment of cancer worldwide. The company also continues its global clinical development of new products. While there has been enormous recent progress in cancer treatment, significant unmet medical needs remain. Following its development in Japan, in 2015 Taiho Pharmaceutical launched Yondelis, a treatment for soft tissue sarcoma that is recommended in European and North American medical guidelines. The company also is committed to developing treatments for rare cancers in cases where unmet medical needs are deep. With the patient’s perspective in mind, the Otsuka group is committed to research and development on new anticancer drugs that will be integral in future cancer treatments and that will help with supportive care, such as antiemetic agents and drugs to alleviate cancer pain.

Human Rights

As a member of the Otsuka group, Taiho Pharmaceutical is committed to addressing human rights and labor issues in line with the group’s policies and thinking. The Otsuka group recognizes that all business activities must be founded on respect for human rights. This is in line with the management philosophy the group has practiced ever since its founding, to value people. As the group strives for sustainable growth while contributing to the health of people around the world, it views human rights risks as a critical issue for the group to address as a whole.

The Otsuka group supports and respects international human rights norms, such as the United Nations International Bill of Human Rights, which define the fundamental human rights of all people, the standards established by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. As a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the group also supports and respects its Ten Principles. Based on these, in December 2020, it established the Otsuka Group Human Rights Policy, which has been in effect since March 2021.

In 2017, the Otsuka group signed the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which were jointly formulated by the UNGC and UN Women to serve as a set of principles based on which companies should voluntarily promote the active participation of women. In addition to expressing our support for these principles, the group strives to fulfill its corporate philosophy by incorporating social responsibility, such as social and environmental considerations, into our daily activities.

In accordance with the Otsuka Group Code of Business Ethics and the Otsuka Group Human Rights Policy, the group does not engage in actions that infringe upon human rights, and it aims to offer comfortable work environments where human rights are always respected.

Social and Community Contribution Activities

Through partnerships with local communities and NPOs, Taiho Pharmaceutical will contribute to the creation of societies enriched by smiles.

Taiho Smile Support: SupportingSolutions That Address Issues Related to Cancer

The Taiho Smile Support program supports crowdfunding by organizations and individuals seeking to solve various social issues related to cancer that cannot be solved by drugs alone. Matching funds are given when the target amount is reached.

Taiho Pharmaceutical Makes Donations to 15 Organizations Related to Cancer and Health

  • Tiovita Drink limited edition package

Taiho Pharmaceutical conducted a commemorative event in the form of CSR initiatives with employee participation to mark its 55th anniversary in 2017. During the event, Taiho Pharmaceutical sold within the company 55th-anniversary limited-edition packages of Tiovita Drink. The company will donate a total of 55 million yen—the full proceeds from the sale of those packages plus a matching gift from the company—every year, over the five years from 2017 to 2021, to a total of 15 organizations involved with cancer and health. A second donation was made in 2018. The amount given to the 15 organizations will reflect the wishes of the employees who made the purchases. The donations are intended to support each organization’s future activities.

Supporting the Pink Ribbon Campaign

  • Taiho Booth at Pink Ribbon Symposium in Tokyo

Taiho Pharmaceutical supports the Pink Ribbon Campaign, a worldwide effort to raise awareness of breast cancer. In its campaign activities, Taiho Pharmaceutical disseminates accurate information about breast cancer and promotes early screening.
Taiho Pharmaceutical will continue providing information both in and outside the company so that society as a whole will be more aware of breast cancer. Taiho wants you and those you love to keep smiling into the future.

Participation in Tokushima Cooperative Forestry Project

Since fiscal 2010, the Tokushima Plant has signed annual partnership agreements for the Cooperative Forestry Project with Tokushima Prefecture and the Tokushima Forestry Promotion
Organization. Through these agreements, Taiho Pharmaceutical sponsors forest promotion projects within the prefecture. The activities, such as forest maintenance and conservation through thinning, etc., have increased CO2 absorption by these forests, which in turn helps to address global warming.
Taiho Pharmaceutical will continue to support the Cooperative Forestry Project, not just through donations, but also through thinning and tree planting carried out by employees and their families.

  • Forestry activity

Promoting Diversity

Recognizing the great value of its human resources, Taiho Pharmaceutical promotes diversity and is working hard to ensure that every employee is able to work with vitality.

Joining the Ikuboss Project

In addition to providing career support from the career counseling office and with human resource development sheets, Taiho Pharmaceutical has been making work-style reforms such as implementing a telecommuting system and a flex-time system, so that employees can play an active role while designing their own ideal future.
In recognition that companies that continuously provide new value to society are built on the efforts of diverse employees, Taiho Pharmaceutical joined the Ikuboss Project* in November 2019. With this move, the company will further promote diversity and inclusion.
Taiho Pharmaceutical will increase the number of managers (“ikubosses”**), who take the initiative to respect the values of each person, support their endeavors and boost employee motivation in order to create workplaces enriched by smiles.
*A company alliance advocated by the NPO Fathering Japan
** Bosses who are committed to their team’s performance and results while also considering and supporting the work and personal lives of their team members, who also enjoy their own work and personal lives.

  • Front row : Tetsuya Ando, Representative Director of the NPO Fathering Japan (Left)
    Nobuyuki Hashimoto, Managing Director of Taiho (right, at that time)
    Back row: Members of the Human Resources Department of Taiho

Support for Balancing Employees’ Work and Treatment Needs

As a provider of anticancer drugs, Taiho Pharmaceutical aims to foster workplaces where employees can continue working even while undergoing treatment for cancer or other diseases, and where people from diverse backgrounds can work effectively. The Team for Support for Balancing Work and Treatment Needs in the Human Resources Department and a team of industrial nurses are the main promoters of this effort. They are working to improve relevant HR systems, to train supporters, to create environments that encourage employee consultation with relevant personnel, and to promote awareness-raising activities in and outside the company. The company has programs that enable employees to balance their work and treatment needs, including paid time off (full- and half-day increments), accrued paid time off, working remote, flex-time options, etc. The company also offers options such as extended time-off for employees with cancer and a return to work (reemployment) system. These are part of a full range of programs that allow employees to focus on their treatment and flexibly adjust their work according to the circumstances. As part of efforts for the early detection and treatment of cancer and other diseases, Taiho Pharmaceutical provides support for employees to maintain their health, including partial coverage of medical examination costs.

These initiatives were awarded the gold prize four years in a row at the Cancer Ally Awards in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Support for Balancing Work and Child-Rearing

  • Sukusuku Nursery

Taiho Pharmaceutical has been working to improve the work-life balance of all employees in various ways, including a work-at-home scheme, special days to promote the use of paid leave, and days when employees are encouraged to leave work on time. The company’s Personal Career Counseling Office, staffed with industrial counselors and career consultants, endeavors to provide support that facilitates personal growth. To support the balancing of work and child-rearing, Taiho Pharmaceutical has put in place systems that go beyond statutory requirements and conducts interviews with employees during pregnancy, before maternity leave, and when employees return to work. Taiho Pharmaceutical established Sukusuku Nursery, an on-site daycare in the Tsukuba area (Ibaraki Prefecture). The nursery is able to offer temporary childcare, care for a sick child, and extended-hours childcare, etc. This enables female employees to advance their careers and male employees to be more actively involved in raising their children. Going forward, Taiho Pharmaceutical will keep aiming to create better workplaces for all employees, enabling each and every employee to participate actively by offering diverse work styles that fit each stage of life.

Support for Balancing Work and Family Care

Taiho Pharmaceutical offers a full range of support to help employees’ balance family care and work. This includes a leave period that exceeds the legal requirement and continued payment of the social insurance premiums by the company during the leave. These steps allow employees with family care responsibilities to remain employed. The company intranet provides employees with a handbook that summarizes programs and gives contacts they can use when they need to provide care for a family member. In addition, the company periodically holds seminars on the support available for balancing work and family care. These seminars offer employees the relevant information in order to raise their awareness and allow them to assess their own understanding.

Initiatives for the Environment

Taiho Pharmaceutical has established an Environmental Policy based on the Otsuka Group Environmental Policy and is striving to achieve its environmental targets.

Taiho Pharmaceutical is committed to environmental friendliness and has incorporated FSC-certified paper into some of its information materials for prescription drugs and packaging materials for consumer healthcare products. We also use some biomass ink for the labels of the Tiovita series and for the packaging of BUP-4 LADY, which was launched in 2021.


Sustainable Procurement in Cooperation with Suppliers

As a member of the Otsuka group, Taiho Pharmaceutical is committed to carrying out business activities that comply with laws and regulations, ensure safety and peace of mind, and consider society throughout the entire value chain. When initiating transactions with business partners, we conduct investigations and confirmations to ensure the quality of raw materials and establish sustainable procurement, and conclude basic trading contracts in advance. For new suppliers, we perform due diligence before deciding to do business with them.

We conduct our business in line with the Otsuka Group Procurement Policy, which covers issues such as human rights, labor, the environment, and corruption prevention, pursuing mutual sustainable development by practicing fair, equitable, and transparent procurement and building good relationships. This policy is shared with our business partners. We also follow the Otsuka Group Sustainable Procurement Guidelines, which are based on the procurement policy. We plan to hold study sessions on the policy and guidelines for our business partners in the future.

To ensure a stable supply of products, we conduct risk assessments of key raw materials in advance to clarify the possible risks and implement countermeasures. Also, as a principle, we purchase from multiple suppliers.

In addition, we also take the environment into account. In collaboration with our Consumer Healthcare division, the procurement department proposes environmentally-friendly packaging materials.

Otsuka Group Procurement Policy

The Otsuka group of companies, in accordance with our corporate vision, “Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide”, and international norms, conducts procurement activities in a responsible way. Otsuka delivers innovative, safe, secure, and high-quality products in order to contribute to the construction and maintenance of a sustainable society, as well as to the health of people around the world.

1. Relationships with suppliers
 As a collaborator with many suppliers, the Otsuka group aims to build good relationships for mutual sustainable development through shared understanding, based on a fair exchange of appropriate information and opinions.
2. Supplier selection
 The Otsuka group selects suppliers in a fair, and transparent manner based on comprehensive assessments of supplier quality, costs, quantity, delivery terms, compliance with laws and regulations, promotion of environment preservation, etc.
3. Responsibilities toward society
 For the realization of sustainable society, the Otsuka group strives to maintain procurement activities that reflect consideration for human rights, labor, the environment, and non-tolerance of corruption.
4. Compliance
 The Otsuka group of companies observes all applicable laws and rules, and all Otsuka employees and supplier employees must act at all times with the highest level of ethics, consistent with social norms.

Promotion Framework

The Otsuka group holds group meetings on sustainable procurement, under the leadership of Otsuka Holdings, with people attending from Otsuka Holdings and eight group companies,* in order to promote sustainable procurement. The meetings serve to promote activities related to sustainable procurement and the four areas defined by the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC): human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. During the meetings, attendees share issues and exchange information on sustainable procurement, and carry out various initiatives designed to promote sustainable procurement both internally and externally.

As a participant in the group meetings, Taiho Pharmaceutical continues to promote sustainable procurement together with suppliers, by working together to solve social issues across the supply chain.

* Taiho Pharmaceutical, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory, Otsuka Chemical, Otsuka Foods, Otsuka Packaging Industries, Otsuka Techno, and EN Otsuka Pharmaceutical.

Our Approach

Sustainable Procurement Training for Employees

We provide training to employees in charge of procurement on sustainable procurement that takes into consideration human rights, the environment, and other issues, in order to further embed the Otsuka Group Procurement Policy and Otsuka Group Sustainable Procurement Guidelines.

Sustainable Procurement Practices for Suppliers

We conduct briefings on sustainable procurement practices for our suppliers. At the briefings, attendees learn about the Otsuka Group Procurement Policy and the Otsuka Group Sustainable Procurement Guidelines, which we adhere to, as well as the group’s expectations regarding compliance. These events are opportunities for all parties to stay up-to-date on human rights, labor, environment, bribery, and corruption issues and hear about examples of the group’s initiatives. Suppliers that agree to uphold the group’s policies sign a pledge affirming their intention to cooperate in achieving sustainable procurement as business partners.

Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) on Sustainable Procurement for Suppliers
We regularly survey our suppliers using the CSR Procurement Self-Assessment Questionnaire (GCNJ common SAQ) created by the supply chain subcommittee of the Global Compact Network Japan (GCNJ). The GCNJ common SAQ is designed with consideration for compatibility with international standards such as the 10 principles of the UNGC, ISO 26000, and GRI.

We also conduct surveys of our suppliers using the Human Rights SAQ and Environmental SAQ that it has independently created based on the business activities of the Otsuka group. Then we conduct interviews with our suppliers based on the results of all these SAQs to assess their current situation.

Going forward, we will continue to promote sustainable procurement by working collaboratively with our suppliers to solve social issues across the entire supply chain.

Environment Self-Assessment (Environment SAQ) for Suppliers

We recognize the importance of building better communication with our suppliers and other business partners and working together to reduce environmental impact throughout the supply chain. Based on this, we give our suppliers the Otsuka Group Environment Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) in conjunction with the GCNJ common SAQ. We are increasing opportunities for dialog with suppliers and striving to further improve our efforts to resolve issues caused by climate change, resource depletion, and pollution.

Human Rights Self-Assessment (Human Rights SAQ) for Suppliers
The Otsuka group implements the Otsuka Group Human Rights Policy, and based on a human rights risk assessment conducted at Otsuka Holdings and the seven main operating companies,* it has identified the human rights issues the Otsuka group is most likely to face and created the Otsuka Group Human Rights Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). Along with the GCNJ common SAQ, suppliers are also asked to cooperate with this SAQ in an effort to identify, mitigate, and prevent adverse effects on human rights by reviewing the results and specifying risks.

* Taiho Pharmaceutical, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory, Otsuka Warehouse, Otsuka Chemical, Otsuka Foods, and Otsuka Medical Devices

Sustainable Procurement Risk Survey for Suppliers
We have developed our own Questionnaire on Sustainable Procurement to understand suppliers’ supply chain risks, and requests responses from all our suppliers. Individual interviews are conducted with some suppliers based on their responses. Through these measures, we confirm the status of hazard countermeasures and business continuity plans at suppliers’ manufacturing sites, as well as the status of diversification of purchasing sources for upstream raw materials. Based on the information collected, we strive to reduce the risks to the stable supply of our products.

Declaration of Partnership Building

Taiho Pharmaceutical has published a Declaration of Partnership Building in support of the purpose of the Council on Promoting Partnership Building for Cultivating the Future promoted by Japan’s Cabinet Office and Small and Medium Enterprise Agency. We aim to build new partnerships by promoting collaboration and mutual prosperity with supply chain partners and other value creators.

Sustainability Activity Report

Initiatives to Promote Sustainability and the SDGs

Taiho Pharmaceutical established a Sustainability Promotion Committee (a company-wide cross-sectional organization) in July 2021 and a Sustainability Promotion Office in January 2022 to address sustainability throughout the company.
We are also carrying out internal awareness-raising activities to ensure all employees recognize that their daily work is connected to the achievement of the SDGs and to make the SDGs a personal matter to each of them. For example, we invited an outside lecturer for a study session with management-level employees, and we rolled out the 2030 SDGs Game, a card game for employees and management-level employees. We also distribute a newsletter related to sustainability to all employees twice a month.
From September 27 to October 31, 2022, a sustainability exhibit was held in the head office cafeteria, introducing our sustainability initiatives and displaying the Otsuka group’s sustainable products. During the exhibit, we held a Slogan Contest in which employees of Taiho Pharmaceutical expressed their thoughts on sustainability in the form of a short, catchy phrase. As a result of employee voting, two entries were awarded prizes. On October 6, an in-house lecture titled “Sustainable Initiatives in Zero Meat” was held in collaboration with Otsuka Foods. Each initiative encouraged many employees to think about sustainability and the SDGs.

  • Participating in the 2030 SDGs Game
  • Winners of the Slogan Contest
  • Sustainability Exhibit

Otsuka Group Sustainability

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