Approach to Quality Assurance, Safety and Reliability
Lion’s mission is to earn the confidence and satisfaction of customers by providing excellent goods and services useful for their daily lives. Based on our Quality Policy, we create high-quality products that meet customer needs.
The mission of Lion Corporation is to provide superior products and services that are useful in daily life, while achieving customer satisfaction and trust. Ceaselessly implementing quality assurance activities, the Company is striving to increase customer satisfaction.
- The importance of customer communication
The serious consideration given to customer comments is reflected in Lion’s products and services.
Along with gathering information related to quality, Lion provides information that is accurate and easy to understand.
- Lion thoroughly pursues safety and functionality in all of its products
Thoroughly pursuing safety features, Lion is actively engaged in improving product capabilities.
- Considering the global environment
Reducing the burden of products and services on the global environment, Lion is aiming to create a sustainable society.
- Compliance with laws and regulations
Complying with related laws and internal company regulations, Lion is improving its quality assurance activities.
- Providing products and services that are full of fresh surprises
By ceaselessly engaging in the creation of attractive products, Lion is working to increase customer satisfaction.
March 28, 2008
Group-wide Reliability Assurance System
In 2018, we established the Reliability Assurance Department to reinforce quality assurance based on a Product Management System covering the entire supply chain.
To implement quality assurance activities on a Company-wide basis, we have established the CS/PL Committee,* comprising representatives of the Product Planning Division, Production Division, R&D Division, Consumer Service Center and headquarters staff divisions. The Reliability Assurance Department serves as the secretariat for this committee. The CS/PL Committee provides overall management of quality assurance activities, monitoring Group-wide efforts and responses to issues in the areas of legal compliance, setting voluntary standards and targets, and developing superior products from the perspective of reliability assurance. Lion manufactures and sells products ranging from everyday sundries to pharmaceuticals, so its quality assurance system is designed in line with the respective standards for each product category.
Furthermore, Lion maintains a system for swiftly taking the necessary measures to address any serious problems that may arise with its products. These measures include responding to individuals harmed or affected, disclosing relevant information to government authorities and customers, issuing product recalls and taking steps to prevent recurrences.
* CS/PL Committee: A committee focused on customer satisfaction (CS) and product liability (PL)
Approach to Quality Assurance
Product Management System
Based on its Quality Policy, Lion has established a Product Management System, comprising regulations stipulating work processes at each stage of product development and quality assurance practices, in order to steadily and rationally develop excellent goods and services useful for customers’ daily lives.
This system is compliant with ISO 9001, the international standard for quality management systems. It defines the flow and mechanisms of quality assurance processes at each step of product development (strategy, planning, development, production, sales, post-launch improvements and discontinuation. Through the system, we put these processes into practice.
Management System for Information on Chemical Substances
Since January 2018, Lion has operated a Management System for Information on Chemical Substances at its research and development sites to reinforce the proper use of chemical substances.
This system comprises a database of raw materials and product formulation data, a database of regulatory data, and product formula development functions. The adoption of the system has reinforced our framework for ensuring legal compliance regarding chemical substances used in products during product development across all our business fields. In addition, the system’s accumulated data allows employees to instantly search through the chemical substances contained in products that have been released. This has helped enhance data management, secure traceability and reinforce our ability to ensure compliance.
Lion’s auditing officers and staff periodically carry out quality audits of Lion and its contractors, providing guidance on improvement as needed. From among all the operations of Lion and its contractors that are subject to these audits, the selection of locations to undergo on-site surveys is informed by the timing and results of previous surveys.
Reinforcing the Quality Management Network among Overseas Group Companies
The Lion Group is expanding operations across Asia in line with its mission of providing excellent goods and services useful for customers’ daily lives. In recent years, the volume of intercompany import and export business between overseas Group companies has been expanding. At the same time, there is a growing trend toward tighter regulations internationally, increasing the importance of greater coordination among quality management staff in each country.
In light of these changes, in July 2018, we held the first Asia QA* Meeting, bringing together import, export and quality management staff from overseas Group companies. We held the meeting again in 2019, with discussions focusing mainly on the status of operations and issues on the ground as well as the creation of a system for coordination going forward, with the aim of reinforcing the Group-wide quality assurance system.
Going forward, we will continue to implement initiatives like this, striving to provide better products and services to customers in all the countries where we do business.
* QA: Quality assurance
Approach to Safety and Reliability
To ensure that customers can use Lion products with confidence, we evaluate the safety of raw materials and ingredients as well as of final products during use.
Safety of Raw Materials and Ingredients
Before using a raw material, we first review existing data and information to determine its physical characteristics and if it has any hazardous properties (hazard assessment) as well as whether we will be able to safely use it in the product being developed (risk assessment). With the wide-ranging customers that use our products in mind, and with reference to safety reports from international organizations and standards in and outside Japan, we determine whether or not the material is suitable for use in the product. Furthermore, in addition to health-related considerations, we similarly examine the material’s impact on the environment after its use by consumers in line with the latest scientific appraisals. Based on these comprehensive considerations, substances deemed to require caution are carefully documented and managed.
When existing data is insufficient to reach a determination, we perform safety tests using officially designated and other objective methods of evaluation. Through such testing, we determine the limits within which the raw material can be used safely, taking into account the way the product will be used. Finally, for raw materials deemed suitable for use, we establish standards based on their applications (such as use in pharmaceuticals, food products, quasi-drugs, cosmetics or sundries). Raw materials that meet these standards are used in product manufacturing.
As with the raw materials of the product contents, we use only materials that meet appropriate standards for product packaging and containers.
Even after products are launched, we continue to analyze research data on the raw materials and ingredients used to confirm that there are no issues with their continued use.
In some cases, small amounts of impurities arising from raw materials or manufacturing processes end up in products. Even if such impurities present no health concern, Lion implements quality management at every stage, including raw material purchasing and production, to reduce impurities as much as is feasible. One example of such efforts is Lion’s response to a notice published by the Japanese government in 2012 about organic pigments that could have been unintentionally contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Upon the notice’s publication, Lion moved quickly to confirm that there were no safety issues with its products. Since then, in accordance with the government’s guidance, Lion has purchased and used such raw materials produced using designated best available technologies (BATs). Through efforts like these, we ensure that any impurities in our products are maintained at low levels that are safe for customers and the environment.
Safety of Products During Use
Giving due consideration to the various ways products may be used as well as product use by socially vulnerable customers, we perform safety evaluations based on an approach of avoiding risks at the product design stage.
To this end, we use a checklist to determine whether the product design ensures safety in both “normal use” and “mistaken use” cases. For “irregular use” cases, we assess whether risk reduction is possible and whether the risk is tolerable, and as necessary clearly label the product with an explicit safety warning.
In addition, the quality verification meeting, which encompasses representatives of related departments, performs assessments based on customer use scenarios in order to prevent harm related to product use and to prevent the omission of items that should be checked for safety.
If there is trouble with a product, we have an internal system in place, ready to promptly issue product recalls or otherwise respond as needed.
Participation in the Japan Self-Medication Industry
Aiming to further enhance the safety of the pharmaceuticals it sells, Lion has been a member of the Japan Self-Medication Industry, an organization of over-the-counter (OTC)* drug manufacturers (Japanese), since 1978. In May 2015, Lion President Itsuo Hama (now Chairman of the Board of Directors) became the organization’s vice chairman.
The Japan Self-Medication Industry works to provide information about the correct use of OTC drugs and examines all kinds of issues related to OTC drugs, for example, researching how to make drug instructions easier to read and understand.
Lion’s officers in charge of safety management regularly participate in the organization’s committees, helping to gather the latest information about pharmaceutical safety and further safety management.
In addition, to increase the safety of pharmaceuticals, Lion is involved in creating shared guidelines for preparing product instructions and warnings in multiple languages. These guidelines help companies meet the needs of non-Japanese speakers by offering product inserts in English, Chinese and Korean.
* Pharmaceuticals that can be purchased at a drug store or pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription.
Recall Status of Varsan Hyosatsu Jet
Lion has been voluntarily recalling Varsan Hyosatsu Jet for Flying Insects and Varsan Hyosatsu Jet for Crawling Insects since August 27, 2007, because these products led to fire-related accidents. As of the end of December 2019, 1.48 million of these products have been recalled (recall rate: 45.7%). We ask consumers who still have any of these products and reside in Japan to assist in the recall.
* A notice regarding Varsan products is available here (Japanese).
Approach to Responsible Product Representations
To improve the quality of representations (such as labels and advertising) about all the products it sells (including food and pharmaceutical products), Lion has clearly designated its approach to product representation standards and established a representation drafting manual, comprising guidelines for precise, appropriate product representation preparation in each step of product development under its Product Management System. These guidelines apply to all wording and expressions used in product packaging, instructions, pamphlets, advertisements and other representations. To reinforce the monitoring of expressions used in advertising, Lion operates an advertising management system comprising the following aspects.
- Enhancement of the vetting system applied to advertising for all products, including food products
- Consultation with the Consumer Affairs Agency and other government agencies as needed
- Thorough legal training for employees
In particular, to ensure thorough compliance with the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations and other laws and regulations concerning product labels and advertising, Lion provides e-learning for all employees and lectures for employees in related divisions as part of its legal education initiatives.
Labeling in the Languages of the Places Where Products Are Sold
To ensure that customers can accurately understand the features of our products, our product labels, including usage instructions and ingredient lists, are presented in the official languages of the places where they are sold.
KireiKirei Hand Soap labels
Animal Testing Policy
The Lion Group supports the promotion of animal welfare based on international standards and adheres strictly to the international principles of the 3Rs for animal testing: Replacement, Reduction, Refinement.
We proactively work to thoroughly ensure the safety and enhance the functionality of our wide range of products and services to better serve our customers. In developing cosmetics (including medicated cosmetics), we do not use animal testing apart from exceptional circumstances in which it is required to ensure safety or satisfy legal requirements. Similarly, in developing other products, we employ alternative methods as long as the accuracy and replicability of the scientific data used as the basis for evaluating products are not negatively affected. When no alternative methods are available and we must use animal testing, we strive to do so properly and in line with international standards based on the principles of the 3Rs and the laws of relevant countries.
Lion Corporation has long focused efforts on related research through participation in the Long-range Research Initiative of the Japan Chemical Industry Association and the Japanese Society for Alternatives to Animal Experiments. We will continue actively developing alternatives to animal testing and advancing business activities that contribute to both the health of our customers and animal welfare.