Since the company’s foundation, Honda has sought to contribute to society and customers by creating quality products and technologies while coexisting harmoniously with the communities that host its operations. Currently, Honda undertakes various social activities in the six regions of its worldwide operations, aiming to become a company society wants to exist. Promoting traffic safety through education and training is such an activity.
This case study is based on the 2016 Sustainability Report by Honda published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate that CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly is achieved by identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment and stakeholders and by measuring, managing and changing.
Honda is, on the basis of the concept of safe coexistence, aiming at “a collision-free mobile society,” where its customers and indeed everyone sharing the road can safely and confidently enjoy the freedom of mobility – worldwide. After measuring and setting targets, Honda took action to promote traffic safety for people with disabilities (Japan), support a driving technology research program aiming to eliminate fatal traffic accidents among teens (North and Central America), provide safe driving educational activities at the Traffic Educational Center in three Brazilian cities (South America) and, also, provide motorcycle rider training for women in India and launch the Honda Dream Road safe driving campaign in Thailand (Asia & Oceania).
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With this case study you will see:
- Which are the most important impacts (material issues) Honda has identified;
- How Honda proceeded with stakeholder engagement, and
- What actions were taken by Honda to promote traffic safety worldwide
What are the material issues the company has identified?
In its 2016 Sustainability Report Honda identified a range of material issues, such as climate change and energy issues, product quality, strengthening supply chain sustainability. Among these, [tweetthis]promoting traffic safety worldwide stands out as a key material issue for Honda[/tweetthis], aiming at “a collision-free mobile society” where its customers and indeed everyone sharing the road can safely and confidently enjoy the freedom of mobility.
Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:
Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.
Key stakeholder groups Honda engages with:
|Stakeholder Group||Method of engagement|
|Customers||· Customer satisfaction surveys
· Safe driving activities at dealerships
· Motor shows and other events
|· Annual reports
· Financial results briefings and briefings for institutional investors
|Policymakers||· Participation in the council bodies of government bodies and industrial groups such as Keidanren and the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association
· Participation in international initiatives
|· Support for academic meetings
· Collaboration with universities
· Special lectures
· Merchantability verification for products
· Co-development of technology
|· Dialogues concerning local government policies and technology
· Feasibility studies
|Media||· Communication with journalists
· New model/new technology launch events
· Press releases
|NGOs||· Collaborative projects
· Regular communication
· Response to surveys and questionnaires
|Suppliers||· Supplier networking events/briefings
· Green Network Meeting
· Joint events
· Supplier risk assessments
|Dealers||· Dealer Conferences
· Certification system briefings and site visits
|Local communities||· Networking events for local residents
· Plant tours
· Events for children and students
· Social activities by associates
|Associates||· Associate satisfaction surveys
· Direct communication between executives and associates
· Education and training via intranets and internal media
How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues
Especially in recent years, the growing scale and globalization of companies, along with the rapid proliferation of IT, have heightened the impact of companies on society and vice-versa. As this process continues to accelerate, Honda believes that stakeholder dialogue is a beneficial tool that enables it to expand business opportunities and increase the company’s customer base, while also giving it an understanding of changes and risks in the social environment. Based on this understanding, the different divisions at Honda conduct dialogues globally, through a variety of opportunities, with the stakeholders engaged in Honda’s business: those stakeholders that either are impacted by Honda’s business activities or whose activities impact Honda’s business activities.
Honda engages with customers through customer satisfaction surveys, safe driving activities at dealerships, motor shows and other events, with shareholders and investors through annual reports, financial results briefings and briefings for institutional investors, with policymakers through participation in the council bodies of government bodies and industrial groups such as Keidanren and the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and participation in international initiatives, with research institutes through support for academic meetings, collaboration with universities, special lectures, merchantability verification for products and co-development of technology, with experts and local government through dialogues concerning local government policies and technology and feasibility studies, with the media through communication with journalists, new model/new technology launch events and press releases, with NGOs through collaborative projects, regular communication and response to surveys and questionnaires, with suppliers through supplier networking events/briefings, the Green Network Meeting, joint events and supplier risk assessments, with dealers through Dealer Conferences, certification system briefings and site visits, with local communities through networking events for local residents, plant tours, events for children and students and social activities by associates and, with associates, through associate satisfaction surveys, direct communication between executives and associates, education and training via intranets and internal media.
In its 2016 Sustainability Report Honda set the following targets for promoting traffic safety worldwide, based on the company’s approach to materiality – on taking action on what matters, where it matters:
- Promoting traffic safety for people with disabilities (Japan)
Honda is working for the safety of all people through a variety of initiatives. In addition to the dissemination of traffic safety education for people at all stages of life, from infants to the elderly, in recent years Honda has supported traffic safety activities aimed at people with physical disabilities. Specifically, Honda expanded its activities to assist people with disabilities with higher cerebral functions for whom driving a car can help with their social reintegration. This includes software to support the evaluation of driving abilities to help rehabilitation (started in 2012, at 106 facilities) and a self-operated safe driving program (started in 2013, introduced at 16 facilities and 126 participants). In addition, with the continuing aging of society, an increasing number of the elderly are transported by car to hospitals and day care centers. Honda is working to ensure the safety and security of the car users when they are being picked up and dropped off.
- Supporting a driving technology research program aiming to eliminate fatal traffic accidents among teens (North and Central America)
Since 2001, in the U.S. there have been over 100,000 deaths of 16-24 year olds when young people are driving. Among teenagers, fatal traffic accidents claim 67 lives a week, nine per day, or one every two hours (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)). The American Honda Foundation provided funding to the Clemson University Foundation in support of its Driving SCIENCE–Saving Teenage Lives program, a driving technology research program aimed at eradicating fatal traffic accidents among teenagers. The long-term goal of the program is to protect the life of every teenager by providing teachers with activities that address science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) standards in a way that helps students understand the STEM behind driving safety, giving them scientifically based tools for driving safety. These projects are offered free of charge and provided online to Driving SCIENCE teachers and the greater education community. More than 35,000 students are targeted to experience the science and math of safe driving during the grant period.
- Providing safe driving educational activities at the Traffic Educational Center in three Brazilian cities (South America)
Honda is providing safe driving educational activities at the Traffic Educational Center in the three Brazilian cities of Indaiatuba, Manaus and Recife. Participants include people from governmental agencies, motorcycle owners and riders who learn about correct behavior as a rider, riding posture and riding skills in an actual traffic environment. Since the project first began in Indaiatuba in 1998, some 657,000 people have taken part, including approximately 12,045 in 2015. In addition to discussions on “Harmony in Traffic,” other programs including Clubinho Honda and mobile traffic safety educational activities have been implemented. In addition the Harmony Traffic website has been set up, as well as traffic safety educational programs via YouTube and Facebook. In 2015, these portals attracted 770,000 visitors.
- Providing motorcycle rider training for women in India (Asia & Oceania)
HMSI (Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India) launched the Dream Riding motorcycle rider education program for women in Delhi. The program is a unique commitment to support women who want to become independent, whereby by learning safe riding they also gain the freedom of mobility. Open to all women over 18 years of age, more than 2,500 women signed up for the free course, an unprecedented response from women in India who seek independence. Training was conducted by 28 experienced female instructors at Honda at Honda’s traffic training parks.
- Launching the Honda Dream Road safe driving campaign in Thailand (Asia & Oceania)
Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (HATC), in collaboration with the Thai Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, offered Honda Dream Road safe driving training programs at Honda dealerships and service centers nationwide. The program provides training on safe driving guidelines and will be extended to university students in the future.
Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?
The GRI indicators/Standards addressed in this case are:
1) G4-2: Provide a description of key impacts, risks, and opportunities.– the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 102-15 Key impacts, risks, and opportunities
2) G4-EC8: Significant indirect economic impacts, including the extent of impacts– the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 203-2 Significant indirect economic impacts
3) G4-SO1: Percentage of operations with implemented local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 413-1 Operations with local community engagement, impact assessments, and development programs
1) This case study was compiled using published information by Honda which is located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses but made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original please revert to the following link:
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