Sojitz Corporation

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Respect for Human Rights

As a general trading company developing business around the world, Sojitz is involved in a wide variety of supply chains. This means that one of the biggest challenges for Sojitz Group is figuring out how work together with suppliers to reduce environmental and social (human rights) risk within our supply chains.

We establish the following Sojitz Group Human Rights Policy in striving to further honor the Key Sustainability Issue (Materiality) of "Respect the human rights of people involved in our businesses".

Sojitz Group is working on initiatives based on respect for human rights within our business operations. We uphold the International Bill of Human Rights and the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and act in accordance with United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Sojitz Group Human Rights Policy

  1. 1.Our commitment to respect human rights
  2. The Sojitz Group strives to create value and prosperity by connecting the world with a spirit of integrity. We believe that respect for human rights is an integral foundation for creating what we call “Two Types of Value” —value for both our company and society — and for meeting the expectations of our stakeholders.

    As a general trading company, the Sojitz Group buys, sells, and trades goods from all over the world, provides manufacturing and sales services for a wide range of products, plans and coordinates various projects, invests in a multitude of business fields and conducts financial activities. In undertaking these business activities, we recognize our responsibility to avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts and to seek to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts to which we are directly linked. We commit to respecting human rights as set out in the International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and to carry out our business in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

  3. 2.Our people
  4. The Sojitz Group - in accordance with international human rights standards as well as its Group Statement - is committed to promoting, among the executives, staff and employees of Sojitz Group, the prohibition of discrimination, respect for diversity (including with respect to race, nationality, ethnic origin, beliefs, gender, social status, religion, age, mental and physical disability, and sexual orientation), as well as responsible labor practices including prohibition of child or forced labor, prevention of corruption, provision of a safe labor environment, payment of minimum wage and ensuring appropriate working hours. The Group supports freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

  5. 3.Conducting human rights due diligence
  6. The Sojitz Group is committed to assessing actual and potential adverse impacts on the human rights of our stakeholders in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We will strive to prevent, mitigate and account for adverse impacts. Where it is necessary to prioritize our actions, we will prioritize action to address the most salient potential risks to our stakeholders.

    The Sojitz Group shall comply with local laws and regulations in conducting its business activities. Where laws or regulations in a country conflict with international human rights norms, the Group will seek ways to honor international human rights standards. In making decisions on responses to be taken, we will seek opinions from credible third parties.

    The Sojitz Group recognizes the importance of dialogue with our employees, workers and external stakeholders who are or could potentially be affected by our actions, and we are committed to engaging in such dialogue with stakeholders on human rights issues related to our business.

  7. 4.Specific Issues
  8. Indigenous Peoples: When undertaking business activities in areas in which indigenous peoples reside, the Sojitz Group will acknowledge the unique culture and history of indigenous peoples and show consideration for their rights as set out in both local and national laws as well as in international standards such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and ILO Convention No. 169.

    Employment of security companies: To avoid complicity in human rights abuses committed by security providers, the Sojitz Group supports the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR), which guide companies in how to operate within a framework that ensures respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

  9. 5.Our Business Partners
  10. The business activities of the Sojitz Group are possible due to the cooperation of various stakeholders including suppliers and other business partners. For the Group to meet our responsibility to respect human rights, their understanding and cooperation are indispensable. The Sojitz Group is committed to working with and encouraging our business partners to uphold the principles in this Policy.

    In the event that we identify an alleged human rights abuse outside of the Sojitz Group but linked to our business activities, including in our suppliers and other business partners, upon confirming the situation the Group will ask relevant parties such as suppliers and other business partners to take measures to address the human rights issues.

    * For further information on our expectations of our suppliers and other business partners, including our policy concerning cases of material breach, see our Sojitz Group CSR Action Guidelines for Supply Chains.

    Established June 2017

Sharing the Policy

In working with Sojitz Group companies and suppliers to reduce environmental and social (human rights) risk, we not only share Sojitz Group's policies and the demands placed on us by international norms like the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; we believe it is important to link these risks to actual business by presenting case studies as well.

Activities

(1) Human Rights Risk Seminar
In order to share the newly established Human Rights Policy, we held a Human Rights Risk Seminar in October 2017, focusing on human rights due diligence. A total 78 people attended, comprising Sojitz Corporation COOs/General Managers and the presidents of 14 Sojitz Group companies.

The seminar aimed to foster awareness of human rights issues, to inspire greater efforts to address human rights in the future. We shared information on global trends, such as how human rights due diligence has become more and more of a factor in determining business competitiveness around the world following the advent of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as explained how alongside the growth of ESG investment, a company's decision to conduct human rights due diligence has become another indicator by which investors assess corporate sustainability.

(2) e-learning
We regularly conduct e-learning on changes in social trends related to sustainbility and the response to environmental and human rights issues required of companies today, in order to foster understanding of sustainability within Sojitz Group. Around 5,000 Sojitz Group members* worldwide take these e-learnings each time they are made available.

* Employees and officers at Sojitz Corporation, the nine most important Sojitz Group comapnies, and Sojitz Corporation overseas subsidiaries

(3) Publishing the Sojitz Group Sustainability Handbook
In an effort to build understanding of sustainability within Sojitz Group, we published the Sojitz Group Sustainability Handbook. This handbook provides a summary of Sojitz Group's sustainability-oriented policies and goals, sustainability-related basic information and information about the external environment such as international standards, and concrete, real examples of risks in business and how these risks were addressed.

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