Promoting CSR within the Supply Chain
As the Sojitz Group conducts a broad range of businesses through its global supply chains, we see the promotion of CSR within the supply chain as an important issue. In April 2010, we created the ‘Sojitz Group’ CSR Action Guidelines based on the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact. We share these guidelines with our suppliers, and work together with them to develop climate change countermeasures; initiatives for effective use of water, waste materials and other resources; measures to protect biodiversity; and responses to human rights violations, in order to conduct business in harmony with both society and the environment. Striving to further honor the CSR Focus Area of “Respect the human rights of people involved in our businesses,” we also revised these Action Guidelines in June 2017.
Furthermore, in September 2015, we established a wood procurement policy. This policy embodies our supply chain CSR guidelines within the context of our wood-related businesses and was drafted through consultation with WWF Japan.
Sojitz Group CSR Action Guidelines for Supply Chains
The Sojitz Group’s business activities are underpinned by collaboration with business partners in diverse countries and regions as well as within various industries. The Sojitz Group strives to promote CSR initiatives in the supply chain as we conduct our business in this diverse context.
Our Expectations: In order to conduct responsible business, incorporating respect for the human rights of stakeholders and protection of the environment, the Sojitz Group asks its suppliers to understand and implement the following items as it strives, with them, to do business in harmony with society and the environment.
- 1.Respect for the human rights of employees, and treatment of employees in a humane manner.
- 2.Prevention of forced labor, child labor, and the observance of appropriate labor hours and minimum wage.
- 3.Non-discrimination in hiring and employment.
- 4.Respect for employees’ freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining to ensure constructive negotiations between labor and management.
- 5.Provision of a safe, sanitary and healthy work environment for employees.
- 6.Observance of all relevant laws and regulations, ensuring fair transactions and prevention of corruption.
- 7.Ensuring the quality and safety of products and services.
- 8.Consideration for ecosystems, the environment, and environmental conservation within our business activities, as well as efforts to prevent environmental pollution.
- 9.Timely and appropriate disclosure of information regarding the above items.
＜Cases of Material Breach＞
In the event of a material breach of the Action Guidelines, the Sojitz Group shall, upon verifying the facts, request that the supplier or other business partner improve the situation. If no improvement has been made after a specified period, we will take measures which may include a reconsideration of the contract with the supplier or partner.
If necessary, the Sojitz Group shall, along with experts designated by the Group, visit the site concerned for investigation.
Initiatives in the Year Ended March 31st, 2015
■Expanding the Scope of Message Penetration
From Sojitz’s many businesses, we will pick out those which prioritize considerations for social and environmental impact, such as the import of products from emerging countries, acquisition of interests/project investment in emerging countries, and retail businesses. Afterwards, we will implement focused message penetration via training held for each business department* at both Sojitz Tokyo Head Office and our Group companies.
*Sojitz Tokyo Head Office: for each department; Group companies: for each organizational unit in charge of a relevant business
We have broadened the scope of this training from that of FY2013 which focused on management-level employees. This has allowed us to develop and implement a new basic training program to explain the connection between business and CSR. It has so far been provided to 400 employees, while the original hands-on program has been provided to 185.
Outlook for the Year Ended March 31st, 2016
We will receive information from departments in charge of businesses which prioritize consideration for social and environmental impact and continue to utilize it as a communication tool to share understanding and exchange information with business partners. Also, we will aim to create a system for sustainable communication with partners, through means such as expanding the scope of the previously business department-centered training to include the corporate departments.
Initiatives in the Year Ended March 31, 2014
The Sojitz Group operates businesses globally in a wide range of fields, including machinery, energy, chemicals, and consumer lifestyle. It plays a role in both trading and business investments and receives diverse requests and expectations from stakeholders concerning supply chain CSR.
In the year ended March 31, 2014, we pursued initiatives aimed at promoting understanding of supply chain CSR within the Group, mainly including training programs, discussions, and seminars concerning specific businesses, to ensure that the Sojitz Group employees will meet the above requests and expectations and practice supply chain CSR in each business.
■Enhancement of Training Programs and Exchange of Opinions Aimed at Practicing Supply Chain CSR
We developed and held a participatory training session aimed at having trainees realize how a business is assessed and influenced by stakeholders at each level of promotion of supply chain CSR.
The seminar was held for managerial employees and attended by a total of 277 people including general managers and section chiefs from Head Office and core operating companies of the Group. In addition to receiving training, participants reviewed the social and environmental impact of businesses needing special attention and exchanged opinions on promoting supply chain CSR more effectively at business sites, citing the main businesses of each participant’s departments as examples.
In the discussion, a variety of ideas for boosting communication with business partners were suggested. Based on those ideas, tools for raising awareness and communication tools for supporting supply chain CSR were diversified.
■Developing Awareness through a Seminar: Business and Human Rights
We held a seminar under the theme of “Business and Human Rights,” inviting Mr. Keiichi Ushijima, the Principal Fellow of Ernst & Young Institute Co., Ltd. Mr. Ushijima spoke on the human rights awareness required of the Sojitz Group today, the need for awareness of human rights issues along the entire supply chain, and the handling of human rights issues by companies, referring to human rights issues he had actually experienced.
Many of the participants realized the importance of the relationship between business and human rights and of human rights awareness along the entire supply chain. Comments included, “I realized that human rights are perceived differently between Japan and the international society,” “I renewed my awareness that human rights risks may be a threat to the company’s sustainability” and “The seminar gave me a sense of urgency and made me realize the need for human rights considerations.”
(This seminar was held at the Tokyo Head Office of Sojitz Corporation in January 2014, attended by 65 officers and employees of the Sojitz Group.)
Past Supplier’s View
A Supplier’s View（Comment from the questionnaire conducted in the year ended March 31, 2013)
President Vietnam Japan Chip Corporation Ltd.
|Safety is our number-one priority onsite. This commitment includes conducting unannounced inspections.||In most of the reforestation, an acacia hybrid is used to restore soil fertility. We are also considering mixed planting with other tree species in the future.|
|Woodchips are piled as high as 30 meters, and handling heavy machinery involves risks, so regular operational training is provided.||Posting the number of accidentfree days in places where employees gather promotes greater safety awareness.|
A Supplier's View（Comment from the questionnaire conducted in the year ended March 31, 2012)
Today, CSR initiatives are essential to business growth. For example, improvement of working conditions stabilizes employment for companies as members of global society. Moreover, Pinghu Xinchengda Garments emphasizes dialogue with stakeholders in promoting CSR activities. Working toward ongoing improvement in awareness through dialogue with both employees and business partners is conducive to long-term mutual benefits.
Tao Xue Qin (right)
Pinghu Xinchengda Garments Co., Ltd.
A Supplier's View（Comment from the questionnaire conducted in the year ended March 31, 2011)
Asian Transmission Corporation (ATC) has been guided by its corporate mission: “continuing growth through highest quality, for lifetime partners, investors, suppliers and the government.” ATC has undertaken several initiatives in observance of this corporate mission, including: implementing fair labor standards; providing employees with a safe and healthy work environment; and operating its own waste water treatment facility to contribute in the abatement of pollution in Laguna Lake in the Philippines. Without consciously knowing it, these initiatives are the main ingredients of what we call CSR. We all have a responsibility to each other and the world around us. Our actions affect a large number of stakeholders. It is therefore necessary that a CSR strategy should be aligned with Sojitz and other partners so that we head in a common direction together.
Mr. Roderick M.Tan
Vice President-Personnel & Legal
Asian Transmission Corporation