The Sawai 4C Initiatives represents the sustainability vision behind our efforts to achieve a sustainable future while promoting a healthier life for all. Centered on four principles beginning with ‘C,’ each of our daily corporate activities are geared toward realizing happier and healthier lives worldwide.
The symbol’s design consists of the gods Shennong (left) and Sukunabikona (right), believed to be the founders of medicine in ancient China and Japan. A green tea leaf is positioned in the center as a tribute to the leaves introduced from China to Japan as medicine long ago.
As one of Japan’s most recognized generic drug corporations, we are returning to our roots and revisiting the long history and traditions we have inherited until now. This journey, together with our commitment to creating a more sustainable future, is expressed in the initiatives elaborated below.
We profess our commitment to taking decisive action in achieving a sustainable future for all.
We promise to continue to expand our knowledge and to reflect this back in our work with society.
We will support and contribute to organizations and communities from both a local and global perspective.
We reaffirm our commitment to thinking and acting in a way that always puts our patients first.
Lower Medical Costs
Burgeoning medical expenses have become a pressing concern across the developed world due to widespread societal aging, declining birthrates, and increasingly sophisticated medical treatments. Sawai aims to improve the convenience and affordability of treatment by providing patients with a stable and affordable supply of functional, high-quality generic drugs.
This contributes both to improving patient access to medical care while creating sounder healthcare financing. At Sawai, we believe business has a responsibility to contribute to the social good, and we pledge to keep working to achieve a more sustainable society through our corporate operations.
Promoting Health & Productivity Management and a Diverse Workforce
In working to realize a sustainable society, Sawai actively promotes ESG initiatives.
Sawai has been selected two years in a row as one of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organizations (large enterprise category). We have also been included in the MSCI Japan Empowering Women Index, which looks at the top 500 Japanese companies by market capitalization and is one indicator used by the world’s largest pension fund, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF). As further testament to our efforts, Sawai has been selected for the FTSE4Good Index, long considered the global standard for ESG investors.
Strengthening Corporate Governance
Sawai continually works to strengthen its corporate governance through activities centered on risk management, compliance, consideration of human rights, anti-corruption measures, and corporate tax obligations, which together form the basis of our business operations.
We have set up a Governance Committee composed primarily of outside directors to discuss matters related to corporate governance, the appointment and dismissal of company directors, and executive compensation and salaries. Our board of directors, in turn, makes a final determination based on the committee’s deliberations as part of a transparent process intended to raise the corporate value and trust of Sawai.
At Sawai, we make sure all employees are aware of the environmental impact of our corporate activities and engage in protection and conservation efforts. We are actively working to reduce the emission of industrial waste at our factories and have achieved a final disposal rate of 2.46%, far exceeding our target of 3.25%. Additionally, three of our factories have reached net zero emissions, and we are working toward eliminating emissions company-wide in the near future. (Actual results from FY 2020)
Raising Awareness on Environmental Conservation
In order to raise employee awareness on environmental conservation, Sawai publishes a monthly company magazine that focuses exclusively on environmental issues, which we distribute to all employees.
In it, we provide employees with information on work environment initiatives and annual targets along with analyses and explanations of domestic and international environmental issues in an easy-to-understand manner.
Effective Education and Research
Sawai is staffed with talented personnel who always work to improve themselves and their work. To support them, we strive to create an environment where our employees can excel and meet their full potential. In 2017, we introduced an internal education program titled “Sawai Web School.” After just one year of operation, around 10,000 employees had already enrolled in its e-learning courses.
This school has succeeded in providing 10 times the educational opportunity offered by a typical group training course. By linking directly with our HR database and offering access to courses via smartphone, we allowed employees to actively take part even when outside the office, thereby improving usability. The program is also used for training and educational courses run by other departments besides HR.
Active Initiatives to Help Employees Grow,
Develop Skills, and Build Their Careers
At Sawai, we implement training programs based on each employee’s level and position to better support them in building and refining their skills. For example, we offer introductory training to educate new and junior staff, graduated training for mid-career staff, management training for newly-appointed administrators, and performance evaluation training for managers, among others.
In addition, we support employees looking to acquire new certifications or take tests such as the MR (Medical Representatives) Accreditation Exam and have even set up a program for studying abroad. We also engage in active collaboration between labor and management to both improve productivity and secure a better work-life balance for all employees.
A Certified Pink Ribbon Advisor
The members of our Oncology/Hospital Sales Promotion Office work constantly to deepen their understanding and knowledge of breast cancer and to provide information that takes the desires and feelings of the patient into mind. As part of this, the office has been certified under the Pink Ribbon Advisor program run by the Japan Society of Breast Health. At Sawai, we promise not only to increase our knowledge of breast cancer but also to provide dedicated services that respond to the worries and concerns of the families and patients struggling with this disease.
Supporting Cultural and Athletic Activities
Sawai is a special sponsor of the International Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Friendship Games held in Osaka, the home of our company headquarters. We passionately support the athletic endeavors of female athletes with disabilities.
We also publish a scholarly comic titled “The Secret Behind Generic Drugs” for elementary school students, as they carry the torch for future society. In this comic, we provide easy-to-understand explanations of the features of generic drugs, how they are made, and the contributions they provide to reducing the nation’s medical expenses. As of today, we have donated these comics to around 21,500 elementary schools and 3,200 public libraries nationwide.
Biodiversity Conservation Efforts
In support of the Japan Business Federation's Declaration of Biodiversity, Sawai promotes business operations that pay due consideration to the diversity of life. This is in line with the Guide to Action Policy for public-private partnerships in biodiversity conservation.
The deepbody bitterling is a species of freshwater fish designated as a Japanese natural treasure and currently on the verge of extinction. In the past, it was commonly found in Osaka’s Yodo River, but has declined in numbers to the point it is no longer observed in the river’s waters. To combat this environmental degradation, twice a year our company leads efforts to remove invasive fish species and clean the banks of the Yodo River in Osaka’s Asahi ward near Sawai's original headquarters.
Raising Awareness of Infectious Diseases
As part of our efforts to contribute to society, we sponsored the production of the documentary “For Global Health,” which documents the dedication and resolve of Japanese nationals battling infectious diseases around the world. This film was highly acclaimed for its pivotal role in raising interest and awareness on infectious diseases and received a letter of appreciation from the Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association.
Company-wide Community Cleaning Initiatives
All of Sawai’s branches engage in regular year-round clean-up campaigns for the areas immediately surrounding their offices. A total of 490 employees participated in clean-up efforts in fiscal 2020.
*In FY2020, due to the impact of COVID-19, the number of participants has been limited.
Developing High-Value Added Generic Pharmaceuticals
From orally disintegrating tablets that can be taken without water to other high-value added medications, Sawai focuses on developing functional drugs that best benefit our patients. Our MINODRONIC ACID Tab.50mg [SAWAI] for osteoporosis was widely recognized for its innovative packaging design that allowed elderly patients with weak fingers to easily remove tablets by simply bending the cardboard container. The medication won a Worldstar Award at the international packaging contest hosted by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO), further testifying to the high domestic and international acclaim of our products.
Videos Addressing Pressing Social Issues
We recognize that extending healthy life expectancy and addressing the spread of societal aging and declining birthrates are important issues in modern society. To help encourage new solutions to these problems, we have produced and released a series of online videos. One focuses on teaching children to enjoy taking medications and was intended to help solve a common trouble faced by parents working to raise society’s future generation. Another features an in-depth discussion between an elderly parent and their child over answers to a medical questionnaire, touching on the often-avoided topic of aging parents.
Maintaining and Promoting Health
To help promote proper health care, we have set up a health information website that offers hints to creating a healthier future. We have teamed up with various medical professionals to develop the content for the site and update it monthly.
Sawai Healthy Promotion Division
Providing Essential Information
Since 2000, we have been publishing and distributing a handbook to help raise awareness of and knowledge on the benefits and features of generic drugs among patients and the general public. These handbooks are shipped free of charge upon request and are widely available at various medical institutions. In addition, Sawai sponsors symposiums and seminars on generic drugs and various diseases to provide patients and everyday citizens with a better understanding of these topics. We also actively sponsor informative TV medical programs as part of our overall awareness efforts.
Securing Quality and Safety
Sawai purchases top quality materials from around the globe to ensure it manufactures the highest quality generic drugs. Sawai also makes sure to carefully screen and assess all of its suppliers so that patients and medical personnel can enjoy peace of mind when using our products.
At Sawai, we constantly work to improve and maintain our product quality so we can always be a step above the rest. Over the years, we have not only strengthened our internal systems for quality and safety control but have built a production setup that complies with the FDA’s rigorous quality standards as part of our move into the US market.