Founded in 1899 and headquartered in Japan, NEC Corporation manufactures hardware, develops software and provides system integration services. The company has over 300 subsidiaries and 50 offices around the world.
NEC backs digital opportunities for girls through its support for the non-profit Young Women’s Preparatory Network, which provides learning programmes for girls in the US to encourage them to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. NEC demonstrates a strong commitment to accessibility with several initiatives in this area. For instance, it provides training for people with severe disabilities on communicating with IT tools. The company reports the number of its own employees with disabilities and outlines its steps to make its workplace accessible. The company also discloses how the economic value it generates is distributed among its stakeholders.
NEC has implemented e-Net Caravan, which teaches elementary and high school students in Japan how to use the internet safely and securely. The company also donates used personal computers to schools in Japan.
NEC’s senior-level oversight of cybersecurity is a leading practice. For example, the company has dedicated information security committees. Similarly, the company follows best practice in monitoring, responding to and reporting on security incidents. NEC endorses the rights of children as set forth in the United Nations Children’s Rights and Business Principles, which call on companies to ensure the protection and safety of children in all business activities.
The company demonstrates best practices in open innovation through membership in standards organisations, taking a leading role in the OpenInfra Foundation and collaborating on smart city apps. In regard to support for the tech innovation ecosystem, the company has a venture capital fund and its Social Entrepreneurship School nurtures social start-ups. NEC collaborates on research to support sustainability and uses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as one of its reporting frameworks. The company’s steps for inclusive and ethical innovation include disclosure of the proportion of women employees in STEM-related positions and its research and development (R&D) locations. NEC has also enacted principles for ethical AI.
There is an opportunity for the company to support initiatives for access to digital technologies for vulnerable groups. NEC can also consider enhancing its support of digital opportunities for women and girls. The company should also disclose income taxes paid and employment in its main markets.
There is an opportunity for NEC to widen its support for digital skills through initiatives for intermediate and advanced digital skills. The company can also consider conducting impact assessments of its existing programmes in this area.
Although the company demonstrates best practice by disclosing the different entities within the group that have information security management certifications, it can make the certificates publicly available.
NEC commits to respecting human rights and the ILO core labour rights. It also has a publicly available policy statement that expects its business relationships to commit to respecting the ILO core labour rights. Furthermore, NEC identifies, assesses and takes action to address salient human rights issues in its own operations and in its business relationships. The company identifies and engages with stakeholders whose human rights could be impacted by its operations. NEC also has a grievance mechanism that is accessible to workers to raise human rights concerns and complaints, but it is unclear if external stakeholders can also use this mechanism.
NEC publicly commits to respecting the health and safety of workers and expects its business relationships to do the same. The company does not disclose a policy commitment stating that it does not require workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours, and it does not explicitly state that it requires its business relationships to do the same. NEC discloses several time-bound targets on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The company provides information on its workforce diversity on two diversity indicators per employee category, but has an opportunity to provide this information on more indicators of diversity, such as age group.
NEC has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption, and it includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in contracts with its business relationships. Furthermore, the company takes steps to identify and address bribery and corruption and has a grievance mechanism for stakeholders to raise concerns and complaints on the topic. NEC has a global tax strategy but does not disclose income tax payments in individual tax jurisdictions. No information in relation to the company’s approach to lobbying and political engagement was found in the public domain.