As part of the annual process of approving accounts, electing board member and completing its shareholder AGM, Nintendo has now issued its CSR (corporate social responsibility) report that aims to highlight the company's policies across a broad range of areas. The basic presentation is here, while this CSR Q & A has further details.
In terms of manufacturing conditions, Nintendo states that it continues to follow RBA standards (responsible business alliance) and communicate requirements to supply chain partners. This'll relate to working conditions and also procurement of parts - third-parties are required to fill in annual surveys and Nintendo conducts on-site checks (which have been restricted to remote audits recently). This is very much the norm in terms of Nintendo's approach, as it's a 'fabless' production model, in the sense that Nintendo doesn't conduct any manufacturing internally.
On the topic of responsibly sourcing minerals, an area in which the technology industry has faced criticism for a number of years, Nintendo states that its basic policy is that "minerals (including tin, tantalum, tungsten, gold, and cobalt, etc.*) that become a source of finances for organizations associated with human rights violations such as child labor, environmental destruction, and the inhumane use of military force, are not used in Nintendo products." Nintendo states that it participates in industry practices such as RMI (Responsible Minerals Initiative) and RMAP (Responsible Minerals Assurance Process).
In addressing its approach to the environment, Nintendo cites a variety of areas as its credentials. Regional offices follow and aim to reach the highest standards in areas such as recycling, renewable energy and sustainability. Packaging on products uses recyclable materials, but it's worth noting that Nintendo does not state that it is utilising previously recycled materials for packaging, which again is a norm in the industry that could be improved if the resources become available. The company also cites regional efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its business, such as ensuring 100% loads on trucks shipping goods in order to avoid wasted distribution.
Overall, Nintendo cites a number of standards and initiatives it's following to improve and maintain manufacturing conditions, procurement and environmental impact. There's certainly an argument that more can be done across these areas, of course, and much of the approach is reliant upon accurate and carefully vetted surveys and reports from partners. It'll also be interesting to see if reports from external agencies and organisations appear in the coming months to assess the company's performance in these areas.
For now, Nintendo is certainly making the case that it is making progress in these key areas of corporate social responsibility; here's hoping for a continued drive to improve further.