With the globalization of business practices, society is increasingly interested in the initiatives that companies take to protect human rights. The Suntory Group considers the respect for human rights of stakeholders a highly important issue and reflects it in its sustainability vision. To promote activities considering human rights, we have formulated the Suntory Group Human Rights Policy to further strengthen existing initiatives by engaging with employees and suppliers.
Formulation of the Suntory Group Human Rights Policy
The Suntory Group establishes a policy on human rights and promotes its compliance.
Suntory Group Human Rights Policy
The Suntory Group's mission is "to Create Harmony with People and Nature,” while enriching people’s lives, contributing to the coexistence of society and nature, and helping realize a thriving society.
The Suntory Group recognizes that it may directly or indirectly affect human rights in the course of its business activities, and in order to respect the human rights of all people involved in its business activities, the Suntory Group Human Rights Policy (Hereafter, this policy) set here will promote our efforts to respect human rights.
1. Basic thinking
As a member of society, the Suntory Group recognizes the importance of respecting human rights in all business activities. Based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) as a framework for implementation, we comply with relevant laws and regulations in each country or region where we operate, respect international standards of conduct and fully respect the following international human rights principles. We also support and respect the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact as a Global Compact signatory company.
- United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
- ILO Tripartite declaration of principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy and ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
The Suntory Group applies this policy to all Suntory Group executives and employees. We also require all business partners involved in our products and services to understand and comply with this policy.
3. Responsibility for respect for human rights
The Suntory Group strives not to violate the human rights of anyone involved in its business activities, and takes appropriate measures to correct any negative impact on human rights, thereby taking responsibility for respect for human rights to build a sustainable supply chain.
4. Due Diligence & Remedy
The Suntory Group will establish a human rights due diligence system, identify its potential negative impact on human rights, and work to prevent and mitigate such negative effects. In addition, if it becomes clear that any of its business activities have directly caused negative impacts on human rights, or if indirect effects through business relations become clear, The Suntory Group will commence dialogue based on international standards through appropriate procedures.
The Suntory Group will disclose the progress and results of its efforts to respect human rights on its website, etc.
In the course of implementing this policy, the Suntory Group takes the advice of independent experts, and will diligently engage in dialogue and consultation with stakeholders.
7. Education and training
The Suntory Group provides appropriate education and training to all officers and employees so that this policy will be integrated into all business activities and implemented effectively.
8. Officer in charge
The Suntory Group will clarify the officer responsible for the implementation of this policy and ensure its effectiveness.
9. Important themes regarding human rights
The Suntory Group aims to realize a corporate group that is rewarding, respects diversity and human rights, and positions the following items based on the Suntory Group Code of Business Ethics as key themes in human rights compliance.
● Child Labor and Forced Labor
We strictly prohibit the use of child labor or other illegal labor practices in any of our corporate activities.
● Discrimination and Harassment
We will respect the rights and personalities of each individual and will eliminate any and all discrimination and harassment based on reasons from ethnicity, religion and gender to age, nationality, language or disability to build a workplace where everyone is treated fairly. In the event a violation to human rights is discovered, Suntory will execute the appropriate response immediately and make sure to prevent recurrence while protecting the privacy of the concerned parties.
● Freedom of Association
We will respect the basic rights of our employees to engage in freedom of association and collective bargaining.
● Employee-friendly Workplaces
We will promote work styles that find balance between the professional and private lives of our employees while building a workplace that allows each person to work safely, securely and with enthusiasm in ways that are healthy both mentally and physically.
● Open-minded Workplaces
We will foster an open-minded workplace that respects one another's beliefs, values, and diversity and where each and every employee can candidly express and share their views. We will also build cooperative relationships founded with unity through active communication throughout the Suntory Group.
● Perseverance and Growth
We will realize the growth of individuals by fostering a feeling of pride and responsibility toward work in each and every individual so that they may independently persevere in achieving their goals.
This policy has been approved by the Board of Directors of Suntory Holdings
Established: 10th July 2019
Organization to Promote Respect for Human Rights
With the formulation of the Suntory Group Human Rights Policy, we promote respect for human rights globally through due diligence under the following organization. In addition, we will continue to respond to human rights issues in Japan through our Human Rights Education Promotion Committee, which consists of a central committee and Human Rights Promotion Committee members from each business location.
Prevention of Harassment
An employee awareness survey, which includes questions on harassment, is carried out to understand the current status and improve current initiatives. A Compliance Hotline is also put in place as a reporting system covering both inside and outside the company. We strive to find and solve issues as early as possible by allocating women staff on our Compliance Hotline, therefore making it easier for employees to share their concerns on harassment or other labor issues that go against our Code of Business Ethics principles.
Preventing Sexual Harassment through Raising Awareness
Suntory Group has made a Sexual Harassment Prevention Manual and raises awareness among employees through the Intranet in Japan. Reminders about the prohibition of sexual harassment are continuously made through new manager training and e-learning.
We strive to eliminate the use of strong words backed by hierarchical position or difference in rank among the employees. Suntory has introduced new manager training and e-learning about harassment as it strives to provide the correct understanding and raise awareness of these issues.
We are promoting initiatives designed to eliminate all forms of harassment.
Initiatives to Improve Awareness of employees
We carry out awareness and educational activities to improve awareness about human rights within the Suntory Group and build a corporate culture that respects human rights.
Human Rights Workshop between Suntory Employees and external experts
In April 2019, under the guidance of human rights experts (Caux Round Table Japan), we discussed global trends such as the approval of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the efforts of companies in Japan and overseas, and related departments exchanged opinions regarding the importance of human rights in today's world and the key themes for the Suntory Group.
Broadening Human Rights Lectures with Human Rights for a Healthy Workplace theme
The Suntory Group is holding human rights lectures and seminars at a departmental level in addition to conducting human rights training for new managers, new employees, and other staff in Japan. A human rights lecture entitled "Population Trends, Artificial Intelligence, and Corporate Management; From a Human Rights Perspective" was held in 2016. This was a great opportunity to think about understanding ethics from a human rights perspective with the rise of social issues due to shifts in the population and the evolution of artificial intelligence. We also held seminars at sales offices throughout Japan, including contents such as show a DVD lecture.
Introduction of e-Learning Course on Harassment Prevention
Suntory Group introduced e-learning course on harassment prevention for graduate and mid-career employees who join the company as part of our onboarding education program, implemented every year in Japan to drive the basic understanding of harassment issues. In 2019, we held e-learning about harassment prevention for all of the employees at the Suntory Group in Japan.
Sustainable Procurement with Suppliers
Monitoring through Supplier Assessment Questionnaires
The Suntory Group conducts sustainable procurement questionnaires targeting major business partners of the Raw Material Department, Packaging Material Department, and Logistics Department. These questionnaires evaluate the potential social risks in the supply chain by focusing on the respect of human rights as well as considerations toward the work environment and occupational safety. We examine not only our existing suppliers to identify those that are at high risk, but also assess potential new suppliers before we start business relationships.
In addition, the Suntory Group shares the Suntory Group Supplier Guidelines with our overseas Group companies and verifies initiatives toward sustainability at each company at the Global Procurement Conference in which our overseas Group companies participate. From 2014, the Suntory Group has started to visit and interview its overseas suppliers, asking them about human rights issues such as child labor and forced labor.