HOYA’s Initiatives against the COVID-19 Pandemic
Measures and Responses
The HOYA Group is taking all possible measures to ensure the safety and health of its employees, their families, local residents, business partners and all other stakeholders, and to ensure the safe continuation of its business activities in the face of the spread of COVID-19.
Establishment of Global COVID-19 Task Force
Having restructured the respective Crisis Management Teams of the head office and each business division that had been organized in accordance with the Guidelines on Countermeasures Against New Strains of Influenza and Other Infectious Diseases in response to COVID-19, our Crisis Management Teams take the lead in taking such action as promptly collecting information and overseeing countermeasures.
Preparation of the HOYA Global Post-COVID-19 Work Handbook
We have prepared the HOYA Global Post-COVID-19 Work Handbook, covering the most recent findings of COVID-19, measures to prevent infections in operational locations/factories, how to respond and determination of whether or not to attend work in the event that anyone becomes infected or comes into close contact with an infected person, and other knowledge and information required to protect the health and safety of employees and continue business activities in a safe manner, as well as the HOYA Group’s rules, among others. We have translated the Handbook into 21 languages and distributed it so that we could make its content thoroughly known among all employees in the HOYA Group. Having conducted education and awareness-raising activities targeted at all employees through e-learning, the percentage of employees who took the e-learning course reached almost 100% in October 2020. We have also conducted an internal audit on the adaptation/compliance status regarding matters stated in the Handbook, more or less 100% of which has been completed.
Promotion of Flexible Workstyles
In 2014, the HOYA Group launched the ”Minkatsu” diversity project to create a friendly work environment for everyone, and has since been aiming to create a work environment in which each and every employee can feel a sense of fulfillment from work and play an active role by fully demonstrating his/her ability.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been promoting flexible workstyles that not only give more freedom to employees in terms of their workstyle—by such means as promoting Work From Home (WFH) and staggered commuting and abolishing core hours in the flextime system—but are also effective in terms of both infection prevention and productivity improvement.
Also, given that WFH is being promoted in each country, we have created the IT Remote Working Handbook and shared it within the HOYA Group to enable employees to perform tasks at home and remotely in a safe and efficient manner.
In order to support front-line healthcare personnel tackling COVID-19, HOYA Vision Care ATC (Advanced Technology Center) Ramsey in the U.S., which is engaged in the eyeglass lenses business, manufactured and donated 28,000 face shields to doctors and nurses who are providing care for COVID-19 patients, in partnership with Oakley, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of sunglasses and other eyewear.
Furthermore, PENTAX Medical, which is engaged in the medical endoscope business, donated medical equipment such as bronchoscopes and intubation scopes (worth US$430,000).
Impact on Business
Due to the imposition of restrictions on economic activities in each country aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 infections, the Life Care segment was mainly impacted in terms of sales (i.e., customer demand). In conjunction with the spread of vaccinations and the resumption of economic activities worldwide, sales are on a recovery trend, and normality is being restored in businesses.
Impact on Sales
Life Care Segment
- Eyeglass lenses: Sales opportunities decreased due to the impact of temporary closure of eyeglass stores/opticians—i.e., our customers—and restrictions on outings, etc.
- Contact lenses: The market temporarily shrank due to the decrease in sales opportunities as a result of the temporary closure and reduced operating hours of stores belonging to our specialty retail store chain Eyecity, as well as the reduced frequency of contact lens use attributable to fewer opportunities to go out and more hours spent at home.
- Medical endoscopes: Investments were suppressed due to restrictions on sales activities targeted at hospitals and changes in the business environment surrounding hospitals.
- Intraocular lenses for cataracts: Number of surgeries decreased due to such factors as postponement of cataract surgery to avoid infection risks.
Net sales in the Life Care segment were heavily impacted, especially in the first half of fiscal 2020. However, each segment is on a recovery trend, despite variations between countries/regions.
Information Technology Segment
On the other hand, the impact on the Information Technology segment was relatively limited in terms of sales; in particular, HDD substrates were very strong against the backdrop of expanding demand for storage in data centers and mask blanks for EUV lithography performed extremely well on the back of the increase in demand stemming from brisk research and development of next-generation semiconductors.
Impact on Production
Despite the temporary shutdown, decrease in operating rate, etc., at some operational locations, both Life Care and Information Technology segments have not been substantially impacted in terms of business operations (as of July 2021). However, we are keeping a close watch on the situation as it may be affected by future infections and the closure of manufacturing sites at the request of governments.