The Teijin Group promotes respect for rights and dignity of all human beings and is committed to working in accordance with the "United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (hereafter, UNGPs)" established by the United Nations in 2011 and the International Labour Organization (ILO) standards.
As our corporate philosophy represents, the Teijin Group is committed to "enhance the quality of life through a deep insight into human nature and needs, together with the application of our creative abilities." In achieving this goal, respect for the rights and dignity of all human beings is of the essence.
In June 2018, the Teijin Group reformulated its Corporate Code of Conduct into a new Code of Conduct. The new Code of Conduct, which consists of five items, clearly expresses our commitment to human rights in the section on "Integrity."
Integrity: We act with integrity in compliance with laws and regulations, and show respect for human rights and local communities in which we operate.
- We respect human rights and do not tolerate any discrimination and harassment in any part of our business and supply chain. We also maintain accountability by ensuring that our business is conducted in a way that helps to win the trust of local communities.
- We comply with applicable laws and regulations in every country and region where we do business, including multilateral laws and regulations, and respect internationally-accepted principles.
With the aim of sharing this Code of Conduct with the entire Teijin Group, in August 2020 we created a video message featuring our CEO which was sent to all our group companies with subtitles in local languages of all regions and countries in which the Teijin Group operates.
Additionally, in March 2019, the Teijin Group Human Rights Policy was established at the Board of Directors of Teijin Limited. Acknowledging that it is our important corporate social responsibility to value human rights, we pledge to endeavor not to be involved directly-or to be complicit indirectly by way of external affiliates-in any kind of human rights violations in our business activities.
With regard to the United Kingdom's Modern Slavery Act 2015, our "Teijin Group Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement" is posted on our website.
Human Rights Due Diligence Initiatives
Regarding the human rights due diligence mentioned in our Human Rights Policy, the Teijin Group in FY2018 began activities to build a relevant mechanism and is committed to working on human rights risk assessments by business and region.
We commissioned an external organization, The Global Alliance for Sustainable Supply Chain, and its subcontractor, UK based research institute, the RIGHTS DD LIMITED implemented a survey on "complicity of modern slavery".
Of the 153 Group companies in Japan and overseas, including the head office, belonging to the following 11 businesses units of the Teijin Group; (1) Aramid fiber, (2) carbon fiber, (3) resin, (4) film, (5) composites, (6) fibers and products, (7) medicines, (8) at-home medical treatment, (9) informational technology, (10) material new business, (11) healthcare new business.
Of suppliers with which the Teijin Group does business in the above 11 businesses, 18 top suppliers were selected by the survey organization.
From qualitative information concerning the business characteristics and operating regions of the above-mentioned branch-equivalent companies and 18 suppliers, scores were given for human rights violation risks* in each of the 11 surveyed businesses.
The results of the FY2018 human rights due diligence survey revealed that the Teijin Group's policy of respect for human rights is generally in conformity with principal international best practices. Furthermore, by comparing the business characteristics and operating regions of the Teijin Group's businesses, we were able to determine that human rights violations are relatively more likely to occur in the labor-intensive fibers and products business. We were also able to identify those businesses with a relatively high potential risk of human rights violations due to their labor health and safety and operating region conditions. We are continuing inspections in these identified businesses, including already implemented measures to prevent human rights violations, to check whether human rights violations are occurring and also continuing monitoring for the prevention of violations.
- *Definition of "human rights violation risk" covered by this survey
1. On this survey, "modern slavery" means a term used to describe human rights abuses including slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labor and human trafficking.
2. On this survey, the analysis for modern slavery risk were conducted with the following factors;
- highly competitive industries, with low barriers to entry and operations in jurisdictions with weak labor laws and ineffective union representation;
- prevalence of low-skilled workers;
- high number of female workers;
- documented cases of child labor;
- migrant labor represents a high proportion of the workforce;
- documented cases of human trafficking;
- documented cases of harmful employment practice;
- documented cases of debt bondage;
- operation in fragile or conflict affected areas;
- high proportions of refugees in the workforce;
- operation in countries with highly repressive regimes;
- industries in which low-skilled labor is used to carry out so called "THREE D" jobs (dirty, dangerous, and difficult) such as work involving dangerous or physically arduous manual labor (farm work, construction), work involving prolonged periods of repetitive motion (factory assembly jobs, meatpacking), and work that is stigmatized or socially devalued (janitorial work, personal care provision). These jobs are typically carried out by migrants, minorities or socially marginalized groups which are highly vulnerable to exploitation.
3. On this survey, the followings are the characteristics of "forced labor".
- the withholding and deduction of wages;
- the withholding of identity documents;
- debt bondage (practice of enforcing a worker's pledge of labor or services as security for debt repayment. 51% of workers in forced labor are subject to debt bondage);
- forced overtime;
- various forms of coercion by employers or recruiters e.g. verbal, physical, and sexual harassment;
- exposure to significant health and safety risks as a result of undertaking intensive, prolonged and repetitive work
Dialogues were held with international NGOs and other organizations, in collaboration with Caux Round Table Japan (CRT Japan), a third-party organization. Also, potential risks were assessed through the human right due diligence in accordance with the UNGPs (November 2019-March 2020).
We clarified the flow of CSR procurement questionnaire surveys conducted by the Teijin Group since FY2014 and the process for improvement based on the survey results, all of which are conducted as preventive and improvement measures against human trafficking, forced labor, child labor and discrimination.
CRT Japan confirmed the validity of the CSR procurement questionnaire surveys in terms of the scope and the scale and the effectiveness of the process for improvement actioned out by Teijin Limited with business partners after the survey.
Potential human rights risks that cause significant social impacts were identified from business domains of the Teijin Group, which significantly cause the negative social impact, and we formulated measures to be implemented in FY2020 and beyond.
Measures addressing potential human rights risks
- 1.Education and guidance for improvement for business partners
- 2.Interviews with domestic processing consignees
- 3.Review CSR procurement guidelines and survey items in response to the social conditions related to matters of human rights violations in the supply chain
- 4.Promoting the CSR Procurement Guidelines among business partners
- 5.Reviewing grievance mechanisms
Please see here for the specific CSR procurement initiatives of the Teijin Group
Plans for FY2020
- 1.Implement awareness campaigns and improvement activities, especially targeting the business partners of Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd. that have a low overall, based on the survey results of the CSR procurement questionnaire surveys conducted in 2019, evaluation
- 2.Conduct interviews with business partners including domestic processing consignees, and confirm whether human rights issues have been occurring
- 3.Review CSR Procurement Guidelines and questionnaire items as necessary
- 4.Conduct the 2020 CSR procurement questionnaire surveys
- 5.Continue to review the grievance mechanism
We conduct an impact assessment of whether potential human rights risks identified in FY2019 became manifested. If any human rights issues are identified, we set KPIs to address them in accordance with the Teijin Group Human Rights Policy and take appropriate actions. The background and results will be disclosed on the Teijin Group Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement. We are committed to making progress despite the fact that activities are restricted due to the impact of COVID-19.
Dialogue with External Experts
On October 11, 2019, the Teijin Group participated in an individual dialogue session (Tokyo) hosted by CRT Japan and received the following feedback as part of the dialogue between leading experts in the field of "business and human rights" and our Group's personnel in charge (Chief Social Responsibility Officer). We are committed to conducting dialogues with global external experts and to making improvements while receiving suggestions and evaluations.
- I would like to highly evaluate the mechanism of CSR procurement questionnaire surveys that the Teijin Group has been working on so far. It is highly commendable that in addition to proactively disclosing information about the survey results, the Group also conducts impact assessment of human rights due diligence in accordance with Teijin's business model and specifically identifies human rights issues. In particular, I look forward with great interest to the supply chain management initiatives of Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd.
- It would be highly beneficial for stakeholders if the Teijin Group demonstrates "What kind of corporate vision it has for 2030, 2050 and how it plans to contribute to society?," "What kind of social issues will it strive to resolve in order to achieve this?," and "Among these, how does it envision positioning its commendable achievements?." In order to achieve this, it is recommended that a major social issue, the "plastic recycling issue," and "human rights issues" should also be considered as one of the themes.
- With regard to the grievance mechanism of the remedy scheme, utilization of schemes of external organizations is something that is highly sought even by the UNGPs among others, from the point of view of accessibility. It is important to widen the scope of the utilization of the scheme externally and not limit its scope to the Teijin Group.
Dialogue on human rights held with external experts
(October 11, 2019)
(From the left)
Pauliina Murphy, Engagement Director, World Benchmarking Alliance
Puvan J Selvanathan, CEO, Bluenumber Foundation
Camille Le Pors, CHRB and Senior Researcher, World Benchmarking Alliance
Rishi Sher Singh, Specialist, Global Supply Chain (India)
Initiatives to Promote Respect for Human Rights among Employees
Human rights education for employees
To raise awareness for human rights, the Teijin Group holds training sessions for all employees (including contract and dispatch employees) at each workplace during Corporate Ethics Month every October. Training participation rates in FY2019 were 89% in Japan and 61% overseas. In FY2019, we discussed in the respective company offices about creating a culture in which the rights of other people are respected and everyone is valued, under the slogan "Are you aware of your responsibility to uphold Human Rights."
Response and use of comments received by counseling and reporting center
The Teijin Group has established a center for counseling and reporting and promotes its use. In FY2019, 116 consultations were received, of which 32 cases related to human rights (dissatisfaction with treatment, discrimination because of gender, etc., and sexual harassment). We investigated the facts in all of these cases. In those cases where specific issues were confirmed, we issued cautions and training for improvement and conducted monitoring so that there were no reprisals against whistle-blowers.
Identifying and analyzing potential risks based on comments received by our counseling and reporting center, we determine educational activities befitting the current situation and raise awareness of the importance of respecting human rights among all employees.
Initiatives to Promote Respect for Human Rights among Suppliers
In order to ensure respect for human rights throughout the entire supply chain, the Teijin Group has incorporated a section on human rights and labor in our CSR Procurement Guidelines and urges our suppliers to make efforts to respect human rights.
In FY2017, with reference to ISO 20400, an international standard relating to sustainable procurement, as well as other international standards, we clearly stipulated detailed initiatives on the following items relating to human rights and labor, etc.:
- <Human Rights and Labor>
- Forced labor
- Child and youth labor
- Foreign workers
- Working hours and paid leave
- Wages and welfare
- Freedom of association
The Teijin Group conducts CSR procurement questionnaire surveys to our major suppliers with the aim to assess their efforts to respect human rights. For companies that provided doubtful answers regarding human rights, we inquire and confirm whether there are any problems or not. We confirmed that there were no problems occurred, based on the CSR procurement questionnaire survey in FY2019.
In addition, regarding the Fibers & Products Converting Business Group, which was identified as having a relatively high risk of human rights violations in the risk assessment of human rights due diligence, Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd, a representative group company, has conducted seminars and on-site audits on an ongoing basis for business partners in Asia and Japan with the aim of ensuring local business partners' legal compliance and protection of human rights. We will continue to conduct management and awareness-raising activities for businesses with high risks of human rights violations upon confirmation with third-party organizations and external experts.
Furthermore, the Fibers & Products Converting Business Group, which has adopted foreign trainees by utilizing the foreign technical intern training system for years, conducted its internal survey and found fact that the trainees have come to Japan with a large fee* in their own country. To improve this, Teijin Frontier Co., Ltd has launched so called, "ZERO-FEE PROJECT" which would eliminate the trainee's fee burden by having the factory that accepts the trainee pay the fee from 2019.
- *There are some instances where foreign trainees are forced to pay to local recruitment firm before they come to Japan, their recruitment costs that was incurred the local recruitment processes. In some cases, trainees are forced to pay such amounts as is even equivalent of the incomes for years. Since they want to earn as much as possible, they tend to lead to problems such as long working hours at their own request and disappearance just before returning to Japan, which is a social problem.
Declaration of Support for UNICEF’s Children’s Rights in Sport Principles
In February 2019, the Teijin Group officially endorsed the Children’s Rights in Sport Principles put forward by UNICEF and the Japan Committee for UNICEF.
In the context of worldwide problems,that sports have a negative impact on children, such as violent coaching and excessive training that do not take account of children’s mental and physical development, these principles were established on November 20, 2018, to build a society that supports the healthy growth and development of children and contributes to promoting the rights of children.
The Teijin Group has developed materials and products for the field of sports, sponsored the All Japan High School Soccer Tournament as part of our CSR activities, and supported soccer clinics at Teijin Polyester (Thailand) Limited. In ways such as these, we are working to aid in the development of young people through sports, and to protect children’s rights to ensure that they are not negatively impacted by sports.