Our Views on Respect for Human Rights
The Marubeni Group conducts business from 133 locations*1 across 68 countries and regions, employing over 40,000 people*2 from a diverse range of nationalities and ethnicities. Moreover, our multi-faceted and global business activities span a wide range of sectors. With a view to contributing to achieving the goals set out in the SDGs and building a sustainable society, we are fully committed to respecting the human rights of stakeholders*3 who are related to the Marubeni Group’s business and to closely monitoring relevant circumstances. We view it as an important social responsibility for the Marubeni Group to institute corrective measures to provide redress in cases where our business activities have been involved with adverse impacts in human rights terms. By fulfilling this social obligation, we see respect for human rights through our business activities as part of the sustained creation of value.
- As of April 1, 2021
- As of March 31, 2021
- Stakeholders include: business partners, including customers and suppliers, whether direct or indirect; employees of Marubeni Group and our business partners; residents and members of local communities.
Basic Policy on Human Rights
In the spirit of the Company Creed of “Fairness, Innovation and Harmony,” the Marubeni Group is proudly committed to promoting social and economic development and safeguarding the global environment through fair and upright corporate activities. We recognize that respecting the human rights of persons affected by our business activities and endeavoring to take responsibility for doing so are of utmost importance, and to this end we have formulated our Basic Policy on Human Rights (“the Policy”), based on the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Our Basic Stance on Human Rights
We support and respect all international rules on human rights, including the UN’s International Bill of Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Human Rights), the ILO’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact.
Scope of Application
This Policy applies to all executives and employees of the Marubeni Group. We also ask that stakeholders (vendors, service providers, contractors, third-party manufacturers, joint venture partners, outsourcing partners, customers and other business partners and local communities) and other related parties observe the intent of the Policy and take appropriate action if a negative effect on human rights caused by them is directly related to the business activities of the Marubeni Group.
Responsibility for Human Rights
We will carry out our responsibility to respect human rights by ensuring that we do not violate human rights. If it should come to light that any of our business activities are having a negative impact on human rights, we will take appropriate action to remedy the situation.
• Human Rights Due Diligence:
We will create and continue using a system for carrying out human rights due diligence.
We will create a system (complaint resolution mechanism) for reporting when our business activities have a negative effect on human rights or we have been involved in human rights violations. If such reports are received, appropriate procedures for redress will be taken once the facts are sufficiently ascertained.
• Dialogue and Discussion:
We will engage in sincere dialogue and discussion with relevant stakeholders in order to promote initiatives in line with this Policy.
• Compliance with Relevant Laws:
We will observe the laws and regulations of the countries or regions where we conduct business activities. If national laws are in contradiction with internationally recognized human rights, we will pursue solutions in which we can respect human rights principles.
• Education and Training:
We will conduct appropriate training and skill development for our executives and employees to ensure that this Policy is understood and effectively put into practice in all our business activities.
• Information Disclosure:
We will report on our initiatives, etc. for fulfilling our responsibilities to respect human rights through our official website and other avenues.
The above Policy includes the following policies with regard to those who are especially vulnerable to human rights abuses:
• Policy Regarding the Rights of Children:
In addition to supporting the Children’s Rights and Business Principles*4, which are intended to protect children’s rights in the course of our business activities, we will undertake social contribution activities to strengthen children’s rights and by so doing will contribute to improving children’s rights.
• Policy Regarding the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:
When conducting our business activities in countries or regions with indigenous peoples, we will acknowledge the native culture and history of indigenous peoples, and we will give due consideration to the laws of the country or region in question and the rights of indigenous peoples set out in international rules.
• Policy Regarding Use of Security Services:
We are aware of the inherent risk to human rights related to the use of weapons for security. With regard to the use of security services when conducting business activities, we will observe the laws of the countries or regions where we operate, support international rules and related practices and endeavor to respect human rights.
- Children’s Rights and Business Principles: A comprehensive set of principles formulated by UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children covering various actions that enterprises can take in the workplace, the marketplace and the community in order to promote respect for children’s rights.
Structures and Systems
Based on the Marubeni Group Basic Policy on Human Rights, the Marubeni Group is working to ensure that the human rights of all Group employees and executives, contractors, business partners and other related parties are respected. Under the leadership of the Sustainability Management Committee and its head (CSDO, Chief Sustainable Development Officer, who is also a Director and Managing Executive Officer), the Sustainability Management Department works to promote the consideration and the continuous improvement of human rights throughout the Marubeni Group, in close cooperation with the Sustainability Leaders and Sustainability Managers appointed by each division and department. The Sustainability Management Committee submits reports on important matters related to human rights to the Corporate Management Committee and the Board of Directors in accordance with prescribed procedures.
Due Diligence on Human Rights
The Marubeni Group is developing methods for assessing the potential risks from a business sustainability perspective as part of risk management to build resilient supply chains that are sustainable (Sustainability Assessment). The “Social” category of risks that we use in our sustainability assessments, we take a comprehensive stance to include items that relate to social, human rights or labor-related aspects of international standards associated with corporate social responsibility. We also include supply chain risk management items to reflect the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct that are based on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and other guidelines. The Marubeni Group will continue to conduct human rights due diligence based on these types of risk evaluation going forward.
Development of Grievance Mechanism (Redress)
In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, in line with our Basic Policy on Human Rights, we instituted an internal process that serves as a grievance mechanism for complaints relating to human rights (redress).
This is a formal mechanism that guarantees confidentiality and anonymity, and is available to and covers complaints about human rights violations from any stakeholders.
(A dedicated contact point for submission of complaints about human rights violations has also been in place on this website.)
Risks to Human Rights in the Supply Chain
Marubeni has established a Basic Supply Chain Sustainability Policy, which includes respect for human rights in the guidelines, and continues to work diligently to obtain the understanding and cooperation of business partners.
Following the enforcement of the Modern Slavery Act in the U.K. in October 2015, Marubeni Europe plc, some Group companies in England, and the Marubeni Head Office, which has a certain level of control over the business of these companies, each issued a statement by the end of September 2021.
The U.K. Modern Slavery Act applies to companies that operate within the U.K., with annual turnover of £36 million or more worldwide. In order to confirm that there are no abuses of human rights, such as slavery or human trafficking, within the company or its supply chain, companies are required to implement measures step-by-step, and to issue a statement by the following fiscal year.
In addition to this, in the supply chain sustainability surveys, Marubeni is investigating the status of supplier efforts related to risks to human rights, such as forced labor and child labor. While promoting the discovery of risks to human rights, we are also working on measures to prevent the spread and expansion of such risks. In the supply chain sustainability surveys conducted since February 2011, we survey the status of human rights risks at our suppliers through questionnaires and on-site assessment. No serious problems requiring immediate attention have been found in these surveys.
Dialogue with External Stakeholders regarding Human Rights Risk and Impact
Marubeni holds dialogues with external stakeholders on the risk and impact of potential human rights violations occurring in the Group’s business, through organizations such as the international human rights NGO, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. Based on the results of these dialogues, we are working to improve our risk management.
Initiatives in FYE 3/2021
We held dialogues on two matters with external stakeholders through BHRRC.
The first matter highlighted in Compliance Manual is “respect for human rights and prohibition of any form of discrimination, sexual harassment and workplace bullying.” Here, the notion of human rights includes the fundamental human rights stipulated in the Constitution of Japan, the Labor Standards Act, and by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and also includes human rights prescribed in the International Labor Standards (ILO)*5 and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
- The International Labor Standards establish fundamental standards for labor. The standards are comprised of 8 conventions in 4 categories, namely: (1) freedom of association, (2) prohibition of forced labor, (3) prohibition of discrimination in employment, and (4) prohibition of child labor.
Marubeni Hotline (formerly, “Door of Courage”)
For cases where circumstances warrant counseling and reporting to be carried out outside the regular reporting channels, the Marubeni Group has established the Marubeni Hotline (formerly, “Door of Courage”) reporting and consultation hotline.
Respect for Employee’s Right to Unionize and Bargain Collectively
Marubeni has declared its support for the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact, which calls for the support and practice of universal principles concerning human rights, labor, and other areas. Accordingly, Marubeni respects the right of employees to unionize and bargain collectively for the purpose of conducting negotiations between labor and management on working conditions, wage levels, and other matters.
Initiatives to Address Human Rights Issues
Human Rights and Discrimination Issues Committee
This committee (established in 1981) is chaired by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), and its members comprise the general managers of the corporate staff group and business groups, as well as the general managers of the branches.
Selection of Officers for the Promotion of Fair Recruitment and Human Rights Awareness
At the Tokyo Head Ofﬁce and the Osaka branch, Ofﬁcers for the Promotion of Fair Recruitment and Human Rights Awareness are nominated and notiﬁcation of their appointment is made. In this way, the company has established fair recruitment systems.
Promotion and Training on Human Rights
To establish a corporate culture of respect for human rights, Marubeni holds training seminars for the Company’s executives and employees throughout its organization.
Also, Marubeni continuously engages in awareness activities by updating the intranet with the company’s basic policy on human rights, training materials, etc. Marubeni also regularly holds campaigns to raise awareness of human rights.
To promote understanding of respect for human rights, Marubeni had executives and employees participants in webinar programs in order to obtain a better understanding of respect for human rights and other important social issues. Marubeni will continue to update the content every year and conduct the education and training programs.
Participation in International Initiatives
The Human Rights Due Diligence Working Group
The Marubeni Group has declared its support for the UN Global Compact, the principles of which include support and respect for human rights.
Furthermore, we participate in the theme-based working groups of the Global Compact Network Japan. Through the Human Rights Due Diligence Working Group, we study due diligence best practices for preventing human rights violations and apply these in initiatives for ensuring respect for human rights within the Company and throughout our supply chain.
The Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights
Marubeni participates in the annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, and strive to share our experience and grasp the latest trends for promoting respect for human rights among corporations, based on the UNʼs Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Industrial Federation for Human Rights, Tokyo
Marubeni participates in the Industrial Federation for Human Rights, Tokyo and continue to raise awareness of human rights of the Directors, the Executive Officers and the employees by sharing issues and holding dialogues with its member companies.