Sony Group Corporation, founded in 1946, is a Japanese company offering electronic products, and entertainment and financial services. Sony produces cameras, headphones, semiconductors and televisions, and its PlayStation series is the best-selling video game home console brand ever. Sony Music ranks first in the world in publishing and second in production, while Sony Pictures owns thousands of movie titles.
In cooperation with a local non-governmental organisation, Sony supports the Hole in the Wall project, which installs computer learning stations in rural areas of India. Furthermore, Sony supports the American organisation Girls Make Games, which organises summer camps and workshops to teach girls how to design online games. Sony is a leader among digital companies in its accessibility initiatives. The Sony Group Web Accessibility Policy establishes accessibility standards and is aligned with international guidelines. Sony has a number of products with accessibility features. Additionally, it reports the number of people with disabilities it employs as well as the steps it takes to create an inclusive workplace for them. The company also incorporates feedback from employees with disabilities in product design. Additionally, it discloses its community investment.
Sony displays many leading practices with respect to open, supportive, sustainable and ethical innovation. The company is a member of various standards organisations and shares source code through the Sony Developer World webpage. The company has a venture capital fund and its Startup Acceleration Program is partnering with the United Nations to support start-ups in providing solutions for sustainable development. The company links its sustainability initiatives to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sony has also developed an ethical framework for its artificial intelligence (AI) activities through the Sony Group AI Ethics Guidelines.
Sony commits to respecting human rights, but it does not commit to respecting all the labour fundamentals outlined in the ILO core labour rights, including the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. The company has a process to identify and assess salient human rights risks in its operations and in its business relationships. However, it does not describe a global system to prevent, mitigate and remediate its salient human rights risks. Sony has a grievance mechanism for workers to raise human rights concerns and complaints. However, this mechanism is not accessible to external stakeholders.
Sony publicly commits to respecting worker health and safety and places health and safety expectations on its business relationships. However, the company does not specify that it does not require workers to work more than regular and overtime hours. It also does not disclose the percentage of its workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements and provides no evidence that it pays its workers a living wage. In relation to workforce diversity, the company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender, demonstrating that at least 30% of its board are women.
The company has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption, and it takes steps to identify and address bribery and corruption. But it does not include anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in its business relationship contracts. Sony lacks disclosure in relation to lobbying and political engagement. For example, the company has no statement indicating that it does not make political contributions, and it does not disclose its lobbying expenditures. While the company discloses its Japanese and foreign income tax payments, it does not disclose its income tax payments in all of its individual tax jurisdictions. Moreover, the company has the opportunity to disclose its global tax strategy.