Human Rights


Respect for everyone’s human rights is one of the most important parts of the Asahi Kasei Group’s business activities. The Asahi Kasei Group Human Rights Policy, established in March 2022 with the approval of the Board of Directors, conforms to the International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights. In addition, we endorse the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as the Children's Rights and Business Principles. Based on these frameworks, we will grasp and appropriately address human rights issues in our business.

Asahi Kasei Group Human Rights Policy

Respect for human rights is the basis of all activities of the Asahi Kasei Group. We pursue our Group Mission to “contribute to life and living for people around the world” in accordance with the basic approach and efforts expressed in this human rights policy.
Even as times change, the Asahi Kasei Group’s commitment to the people of the world never changes. We believe nothing is more important than for diverse people to enjoy vibrant lives while respecting each other's individuality and human rights.

We require all executives and employees of the Asahi Kasei Group, including those under non-regular employment, to respect human rights in accordance with this Policy. We expect all of our business partners, including our suppliers, to understand and support this Policy.

Our Approach

We are committed to respecting the human rights of all stakeholders throughout our activities and business value chain.

We respect human rights as stipulated in the International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. In addition, we support the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Our activities are based on these principles.

We comply with applicable laws and regulations in all countries and regions where our activities are conducted. Where national/regional laws fall short of or conflict with international human rights principles, we will seek ways to honor the principles of internationally recognized human rights to the extent possible while complying with the national/regional laws.

If we identify that we have caused or contributed to negative impacts on human rights in the business value chain, we endeavor to remediate them through appropriate processes with business partners.

Addressing Human Rights Issues

  • We comply with all applicable laws and regulations related to working hours and wages.
  • We comply with all applicable laws and regulations related to safety and hygiene. We also prevent accidents and disasters, create a safe and hygienic work environment, and strive to maintain the physical and mental health of our employees.
  • We strictly prohibit forced labor, slave labor, human trafficking, and child labor.
  • We strictly prohibit any discrimination based on race, ethnicity, birth, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or thought, and any inhumane treatment including harassment.
  • We comply with all applicable laws and regulations related to the protection of personal information and manage this information appropriately.
  • We protect the safety and health of our stakeholders by ensuring the quality and safety of our products and services.
  • We understand and respect the local culture and the human rights of local communities including their health and safety.

Promoting Respect for Human Rights

We will continue to provide necessary education and awareness-raising opportunities for all executives and employees, including those under non-regular employment, to put this policy into practice.
Implementation of human rights due diligence
We will implement human rights due diligence based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Specifically, we will assess human rights risks in our activities and continuously work to prevent and mitigate the identified negative impacts. If we identify that we have caused or contributed to negative impacts on human rights, we endeavor to remediate them through appropriate processes.
Commitment to engage with affected stakeholders
We believe that the perspective of affected stakeholders is critical for us to recognize actual or potential human rights impacts on stakeholders by our activities, and to develop appropriate responses to address such impacts. We will engage with relevant stakeholders in a timely manner to understand and consider measures to address human rights issues.
Grievances Mechanisms
We will continuously work towards the optimization of our grievance mechanisms through a system to which our employees and the employees of our business partners can report and consult on human rights concerns. We ensure confidentiality regarding reported cases and the personal information of the persons submitting reports and have measures in place to protect those persons from unfair treatment caused by reporting issues.
We will monitor and regularly disclose the progress of our efforts to respect human rights through our website, the Asahi Kasei Report, and other relevant communication channels.

Approved by the Board of Directors of Asahi Kasei Corporation on March 8th, 2022

Management Framework

We established the Human Rights Committee as a forum for discussion and guidance on the respect of human rights, and also as an organization to promote the implementation of the Asahi Kasei Group Human Rights Policy. The committee held its first meeting in November 2022. Amidst the growing public interest in human rights related topics year by year, and with the increasing number of legislations being enacted by governments around the globe, the committee will continue to share information on human rights initiatives.

The Human Rights Committee is positioned as a subcommittee of the Sustainability Committee.
The committee chaired by the president is composed of members from diverse fields, including leaders responsible for business units, administrative functions, and technology functions. Matters discussed by the Human Rights Committee are reported to the Board of Directors.

  • Board of Directors (Management Council) President, Administrative staff, Strategic Business Units, Core Operating Companies, Board of Directors (Management Council) President, Sustainability Committee, Secretariat: Sustainability Strategy Planning Department,Human Rights Committee, Global Environment Committee, Risk Management & Compliance Committee, ESH & QA Committee DE&I Committee [Roles of the Human Rights Committee] 1. Share information regarding human rights 2. Determine policies regarding human rights 3. Determine initiatives regarding human rights [Chair] President [Committee Members] Heads of business sectors, heads of business units, an Executive Officers responsible for administrative functions and technology functions
    Human Rights Management Framework (as of August 1, 2023)

Human Rights Due Diligence

To fulfill our responsibility to respect human rights, we will establish a human rights due diligence system and will create a mechanism for implementing this system on an ongoing basis. The term “human rights due diligence” refers to the ongoing process implemented to proactively identify, avoid, and mitigate any negative human rights impact that the Group may have on society.

In fiscal 2022, we conducted a survey and review on how we can systematically incorporate the Asahi Kasei Group Human Rights Policy into our groupwide business activities in terms of compliance and implementation. We confirmed our future plans and directions at the Human Rights Committee meeting.
Besides the internal review, we actively participate in the subcommittee activities on human rights organized by the Global Compact Network Japan. We also contributed to the development of "Manual for Human Rights Due Diligence Practices—Responsible Corporate Behavior in the Area of Human Rights" (released in May 2023) led by the working group within the Supply Chain Subcommittee.

  • Establishment of the Human Rights Policy. Opening access to relief. Dialogue with stakeholders. ①Identification/assessment of negative impacts and setting priorities. ②Prevention and mitigation of potentially negative impacts. Rectification and remediation of the negative impacts identified. ③Assessment and review of the effectiveness of initiatives. ④Accountability and information disclosure.
    Procedures for Human Rights Due Diligence

Identification of key human rights themes in the value chain including our company

The Asahi Kasei Group operates a diverse range of businesses. Our first step is to gain a new perspective on the various value chains and supply chains of each business in consideration of human rights.
The following chart shows how each of the human rights compliance items defined in the Asahi Kasei Group Human Rights Policy applies at what point in the value chain. We shared this information internally.

  • Key human rights subjects in our value chain (in blue) • Contract terms (no unreasonable deadline or pricing) • Labor conditions (no payment lower than living wage) • Occupational safety and hygiene (no dangerous or miserable working environment) • Environmental protection (no environmental pollution or destruction) • Consideration for residents (no forced evictions or damage to health) • Quality assurance • Product safety • Advertisement (no inappropriate expression regarding race, gender, culture, etc.) • Privacy data management • Product instructions (disposal method, prohibition of unintended usage, etc.) [Common] • Legal compliance • Whistleblowing hotline and whistleblower protection • No discrimination or harassment

Consideration of human rights in the supply chain

Consideration of human rights in procurement

The Asahi Kasei Group is working to promote awareness about CSR, including respect for human rights, with coordination among Corporate Procurement & Logistics, the Sustainability Strategy Planning Department, and group companies. Our supplier guidelines include provisions on respecting human rights as a fundamental principle for all our suppliers to comply with. To ensure all of our suppliers are fully informed about these guidelines, we conduct an annual CSR procurement questionnaire to assess each supplier’s approaches on human rights and labor practices.

Consideration of human rights in logistics

In response to a severe shortage of truck drivers in Japan, we have endorsed the White Logistics Movement, a voluntary action declaration promoted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries. We work toward enhancing the productivity and efficiency of the trucking industry while improving the working conditions for drivers.
Starting in fiscal 2024, a cap on overtime hours (960 hours per year, excluding holidays) will be implemented for truck drivers. This is expected to create challenges in securing transportation, particularly for long-distance routes. To cope with this so-called “2024 problem,” we are working with logistics companies to identify issues and develop specific solutions.

Human rights reporting and consultation hotline

The Asahi Kasei Group’s compliance hotline handles reports and consultation on all aspects of compliance, including human rights. The hotline is available to suppliers and their employees in addition to Asahi Kasei Group employees.
We will establish a complaint handling procedure for all the rights holders in the future.

Human rights education and awareness raising activities

The Asahi Kasei Group clearly stipulates a policy of zero tolerance for any kind of discrimination or harassment in the section of the Asahi Kasei Group Code of Conduct entitled "Respect for Human Rights and Diversity." To help our upper management gain a deeper understanding of the respect for human rights, we invited outside experts and held a human rights seminar in October 2022. We also offered an e-learning course on human rights in June 2022 to help employees better understand the business and human rights. Approximately 87% of the eligible employees (approx. 29,000 people) completed the course. We will continue to promote awareness of human rights and strengthen our efforts to deepen employees’ understanding of the human rights issues for which corporations are socially responsible.

Harassment Prevention and Training

The Asahi Kasei Group Code of Conduct clearly stipulates a policy of zero tolerance for any kind of discrimination or harassment. To this end, we prohibit sexual harassment, harassment related to pregnancy, childbirth, and use of parental leave, family care leave, or other leave, and power harassment and other forms of harassment in our employment regulations. We also seek to instill within our domestic group companies our company policy of zero tolerance for any kind of discrimination or harassment through training on corporate ethics for employees at each level, including new hires, newly promoted assistant managers, and newly promoted managers. In addition, we implement corporate ethics training by business unit and geographical area. From fiscal 2020 and beyond, we will enhance the content of remote training and video lectures as part of our efforts to prevent harassment.