Sojitz Corporation

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Humanrights

 

 

Policy

Sojitz has selected the following Key Sustainability Issues (materiality) .

Themes Contents
Human Rights: Respect the human rights of people involved in our businesses Sojitz respects the human rights of people involved in its businesses.
This applies not only to Sojitz employees, but also to everyone affected by its businesses throughout its supply chains.
Should there be any instances of child labor or forced labor, we will rectify them.

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.

 

Relative Policies

Sojitz Group Code of Conduct and Ethics

Sojitz Group CSR Action Guidelines for Supply Chains

Sojitz Group Anti-Corruption Rules

Wood Procurement Policy

 

Target

Key Sustainability Issues Sustainability
Goal
Business Area Planned Approach
Human Rights
Promote human rights and due diligence Company-wide

We will analyze examplesof manifest environmental and human rights risks worldwide,provided by the NGO“Business and Human Rights Resource Center,” to determine which of our business areas are high risk. We will then conduct risk assessments for 100% of group companiesand suppliers in these business areas.

Forestry resources Strive for 100% traceability of the wood we handle by FY2020, and in the future, we will aim to ensure that 100% of the wood we handle is produced through suitable, environmentally/socially-conscious forest management.

 

Systems

The Sustainability Committee aims to support sustainable growth at the Sojitz Group by establishing company-wide sustainability-related policies and goals, constructing frameworks for implementation, organizing, and working to monitor and promote progress for each policy.

The Corporate Sustainability Office is a specialized department that serves as the Secretariat of the Sustainability Committee, cooperating with related departments within the Group to promote sustainability-related initiatives at the Sojitz Group.

Risk Management by the Sustainability Committee / Reports Submitted to the Board of Directors (Supervisory Body)
Sojitz Group classifies and defines the many risks associated with our businesses according to our Basic Code of Corporate Risk Management, and we establish a risk management policy and management plan for these risks each year, based on a resolution by the Board of Directors. (See this page for details.) Among these risks, countermeasure policy and initiatives regarding environmental and social risk (including risk related to climate change) are deliberated by the Sustainability Committee. These policies and initiatives may then be put into action following a report to the Management Committee and Board of Directors.

Deliberation by the Sustainability Committee
Sojitz has established six Key Sustainability Issues (Materiality) (human rights, environment, local communities, resources, human resources, and governance) which all organizations are expected to address, as well as accompanying CSR policies. In establishing these focus areas and policies, we referenced international standards—such as the SDGs to be met by 2030—and identified issues facing our business in the long term, including environmental issues like climate change.
Specifically, the Sustainability Committee deliberates policies related to response to environmental and social risk, climate change countermeasures, promotion of supply chain CSR, ESG disclosure, environmental ISOs, promotion of the Sojitz Wood Procurement Policy, social contribution activities, and other CSR topics.

(As of July 1, 2020)

* Representative Director

Committee Chair
  • CEO*
  • Members
  • Executive Vice President*,
    CFO
    Executive Management of General Accounting, Business
    Accounting, Finance, Structured Finance, IR, M&A Management Office, Controller Office Oversight
  • Executive Vice President*,
    Advisor to the President Executive
    Management of Business Group (Automotive, Aerospace & Transportation Project, Machinery & Medical Infrastructure, Energy & Social Infrastructure, Metals & Mineral Resources) Oversight East Asia
  • Senior Managing Executive Officer,
    Executive Management of Business Group (Chemicals, Foods & Agriculture Business, Retail & Lifestyle Business, Industrial Infrastructure & Urban Development) Oversight
  • Executive Officer,
    COO, General Accounting Department, Business Accounting Dep artment, Finance Department, IR Office, Controller Office
  • Executive Officer,
    COO, Legal Department, PR Department
  • Executive Officer,
    COO, Human Resources Department, General Affairs & IT Operation Department
  • COO, Corporate Planning Department, Corporate Sustainability Office
  • Observers
  • Corporate Auditor
  • General Manager, Corporate Planning Dept.
  • General Manager, Public Relations Dept.
  • General Manager, Investor Relations Dept.
  • Secretariat
  • Corporate Sustainability Office
  • Monitoring

    We have adopted ISO14001 as the basis for our environmental management. Generally, ISO14001 monitors activities related to the environment. We, however, utilize the monitoring framework and information routes provided by ISO14001 to broadly monitor progress on sustainability goals, including those goals which relate to human rights and local communities. We then report the results of this monitoring to the Sustainability Committee.

    Sojitz Environmental Management System(EMS) Chart

     

    Initiatives

    Activities in FY2017

    In FY2017, we focused on establishing the Sojitz Group Human Rights Policy, revising the CSR Action Guidelines for Supply Chains, and sharing the Human Rights Policy with Sojitz Group companies and suppliers.

    (1) Human Rights Risk Seminar
    For the first phase of our work to share the newly established Human Rights Policy throughout Sojitz Group, 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 how human rights due diligence is becoming more and more of a factor in determining business competitiveness around the world, and we 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
    Every year, we provide Sojitz Group members* both in Japan and overseas with an e-learning program to foster understanding of sustainability within Sojitz Group.

    * Employees and management of Sojitz Corporation, employees and management of 9 major Sojitz Group companies, and employees at overseas subsidiaries.

    The second phase of our efforts to share the Sojitz Group Human Rights Policy during FY2017 involved a lecture for approximately 5,000 people, on the topic of human rights due diligence. We also required suppliers to read the Supply Chain CSR Handbook (see below) prior to taking the course, utilizing this opportunity to single out which suppliers to focus on starting from FY2018 and ready them for their human rights due diligence.

    E-Learning from FY2015 – FY2017

    Year
    Topic
    Participants
    FY2015
    Environmental & Social Risk
    within the Supply Chain
    5,020
    FY2016
    To Remain a Corporate Group Creating
    “Two Types of Value”
    4,718
    FY2017
    Response to Human Rights Risks
    5,192

     

    (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.

     

     

    Risk Assessment(Group Companies, Suppliers)

    We conducted a CSR survey in order to better understand how Sojitz Group companies and suppliers are working to mitigate environmental and social (human rights) risks.

    The survey questionnaire comprised 50 questions related to six of the focus areas (*) named in the Sojitz Group CSR Action Guidelines for Supply Chains. It was prepared to facilitate communication simultaneous with efforts to mitigate environmental risk factors which could easily develop into human rights risks. The content was made as broad as possible in order to facilitate communication regardless of to which diverse Sojitz industry the entity belongs.

    * Human rights, workplace safety and sanitation, fair trade and anti-corruption, disclosure, product/service quality and safety control

    The survey results were reported to our CSR Committee, discussed, and then reported to the Management Committee and the Board of Directors. The information was also utilized as the basis for selecting on-site inspection targets.

    Activities in FY2017

    Sojitz Group companies are a part of supply chains in a wide number of industries. For this CSR survey, we prioritized 38 total consolidated subsidiaries which we singled out as companies with whom our policies should be shared. The results showed that there were no issues requiring response to human rights infractions/labor issues, violations of environmental regulations, negative impact on ecosystems, or any other issues requiring immediate amendment.

    Risk Assessment(Wood Procurement)

    From among Sojitz Group’s approximately 1,500 wood-related suppliers, we narrowed our scope (*1) to wood from countries with high country risk (*2) or from suppliers from whom Sojitz Group has purchased the most wood in terms of monetary value. This wood was then checked under the supervision of WWF Japan (*3) for 1) whether it could be traced back to its place of origin and 2) suitability of forest management (whether the forest is subject to environmentally/socially-conscious forest management).

    1. *1: Wood was omitted if it came from a country deemed to have low country risk. However, certain wood was included if deemed necessary according to our Wood Procurement Policy. Note that this survey included not only existing suppliers but new suppliers for that year.
    2. *2: Our country risk evaluation adopts the Corruption Perceptions Index made available by each year by Transparency International, an international, non-governmental organization working to prevent corruption around the world. This index ranks countries individually by comparing levels of corruption among public servants and politicians.
    3. *3: We have adopted use of WWF Japan’s “Responsible Purchasing Checklist for Forest Products” to confirm 1) wood traceability in the country of origin and 2) suitability of forest management. We also invited WWF to hold a briefing session to explain how to confirm whether forests with high conservational value in terms of biodiversity are being appropriately protected, as well as how to define human rights issues. Sojitz's lumber-related departments and subsidiaries attended the lecture. Furthermore, we referred to advice from WWF Japan in establishing the targets below.

    Responsibility to Our Clients

    Click on the link below for more information on how we honor responsibility to our clients.

    Responsibility to Our Clients

    Efforts within the Supply Chain

    Click on the link below for more information on our efforts within the supply chain.

    Supply Chain CSR

    Sojitz is a member of Sedex, a platform for suppliers to share information on ethical business practices

    Sojitz is a member of Sedex, an online system where we register our corporate information which meets international standards, covering labor, health and safety, the environment, and business ethics, as we strive to build socially responsible supply chains.

    Sedex is an information sharing platform run by Sedex Information Exchange Limited, an NPO with headquarters in London, which conducts an internationally standardized survey of suppliers around the world on the environment, society, and human rights. Through an online system, members are able to share answers to these surveys and the results of audits. While reducing the burden on both suppliers and contractors through use of this system, the company is striving for the implementation of ethical and responsible business practices in supply chains on a global level.

     

    Data

    <Wood Procurement Policy : Results of 2018 Survey>

    Our percentage of wood classified as Level B or above reached 66% for 2018, with wood for which only traceability can be confirmed (Level C) totaling 34%. We also reached our target for wood lacking traceability (Level D), having fully eliminated it from our procurement. We will continue to work towards raising the percentage of Level A/B wood we procure and keep Level D wood out of our procurement.

    Category
    Definition
    Results for
    FY2016
    Results for
    FY2017
    Results for
    FY2018
    Target
    Level A
    Wood confirmed to be certified wood (*4) or which is subject to strict management equivalent to that of certified wood.
    42%
    59%
    46%
    65%
    49%
    66%
    ← Aim to achieve 100% Level A/B wood in the future.
    Level B
    Wood which has not been certified, but for which we have verified both traceability and suitability of forest management (i.e. that the forest is subject to environmentally/socially conscious forest management)
    17%
    19%
    17%
    Level C
    Traceable wood
    20%
    27%
    34%
     
    Level D
    Wood lacking traceability
    21%
    8%
    0%
    ← Eliminate Level D wood by FY2020.
    Total
     
    100%
    100%
    100%
     

    Respect for Human Rights

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