Respect for everyone’s human rights is one of the most important parts of the Asahi Kasei Group’s business activities. We respect human rights as stipulated in the International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Declaration On Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
We will also support the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and implement initiatives in accordance with these principles.
In addition, as a signatory of the UN Global Compact, we endorse the Global Compact principles relating to human rights as well as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles. Based on this framework, we will strive to identify and appropriately deal with human rights issues in our business activities.
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.
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
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.
Consideration of human rights in procurement
The Asahi Kasei Group conducts CSR questionnaires of suppliers as part of our CSR Procurement in our efforts to identify the status of initiatives on human rights and labor issues as well as foster awareness of CSR in partnership with our suppliers.
In addition, the Supplier Guidelines established in 2021 stipulate respect for human rights as a matter to be observed by all suppliers, and we ensure that all suppliers are fully aware of these guidelines.
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 Group employees.
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." Specific initiatives include study sessions focusing on power harassment, e-learning, articles on human rights and diversity awareness in the in-house magazine, and the provision of information via the intranet. Going forward, we will implement measures to deepen the understanding of employees of human rights issues for which companies have a social responsibility, in addition to human rights issues in the workplace.
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 explicitly 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.
Within our domestic Group companies and most of our overseas Group companies, we have established a central point of contact for consultation about harassment and a compliance hotline (internal reporting system) that ensure anonymity for responding to various inquiries and concerns on related issues in the Asahi Kasei Group.
Training and consultation are also provided for staff from placement agencies and employees of affiliated companies, as part of our group-wide effort to prevent the occurrence of harassment. In line with the amendment of the Act on Comprehensively Advancing Labor Measures, and Stabilizing the Employment of Workers, and Enriching Workers' Vocational Lives in June 2020, we used our internal magazine and intranet to share our company policy on harassment and inform a wide range of employees. From fiscal 2020 onward, we are promoting harassment prevention training that is tailored to workplace conditions, utilizing video training, and conducting training via videoconference, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.