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Policy

Basic Approach on Human Rights

MC believes that respect for human rights is fundamental to doing business globally and has identified “Respecting Human Rights in Our Business Operations“ as part of its Materiality. MC stipulates its respect for human rights in its Corporate Standards of Conduct and Social Charter. Furthermore, MC’s Code of Conduct for Executives and Employees states that MC will “respect human rights; will not engage in discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, religion, or any other grounds; will not tolerate harassment; will foster a proper understanding and awareness of the issue of human rights; will respect the cultures, customs, and language of other countries and regions,” both inside and outside MC. MC also supports international norms such as the International Bill of Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenants on Human Rights), the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the core labor standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights. Furthermore, in the UK, the government established the UK Modern Slavery Act which requires certain companies to disclose actions taken to mitigate modern slavery in their supply chains. In response to this legislation, MC publishes a statement annually. Furthermore, the Mitsubishi Corporation Policy for Sustainable Supply Chain Management includes clauses covering the prohibition of forced labor and child labor. MC expects its suppliers to understand, embrace and abide by this policy.

Reference:The Corporate Standards of Conduct, Code of Conduct, and Mitsubishi Corporation Social Charter
Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

Support for the International Bill of Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenants on Human Rights)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted at the third United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948. It is proclaimed as “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations” to respect and ensure human rights and liberty. MC supports this declaration.

Based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations established the International Bill of Human Rights which acts as a legally binding instrument. The International Bill of Human Rights is made up of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. These two international human rights covenants were adopted at the 21st UN General Assembly in 1966, and entered into force in 1976. Japan ratified the International Bill of Human Rights in 1979.

MC supports the International Bill of Human Rights, and makes specific reference to the Bill in its Code of Conduct.

Support for the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were adopted in 2011 and outline the “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework (2008). The Framework was presented to the UN Human Rights Council by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative Professor John Ruggie of Harvard University, and was unanimously approved. The Guiding Principles, which MC endorses, provide guidance on human rights due diligence; a fundamental process for any company addressing human rights issues.
Support for the International Labour Organization’s Labour Standards

The International Labour Organization (ILO) was founded in 1919 on the basic principle that universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice. Since its establishment, one of the most important functions of the ILO has been the formulation of international labor standards through Conventions and Recommendations. The ILO has a tripartite structure with workers and employers participating as equal partners with governments. Conventions and Recommendations are adopted at the International Labour Conference of the ILO and ratifying States commit to observing them. The ratifying States also use Recommendations to guide their national policies, lawmaking and actions. Since its founding, the ILO has adopted Conventions and Recommendations that cover nearly every issue affecting the working world. The foundation of these is the ILO International Labour Standards, which consists of eight conventions, including the Discrimination Convention, the Minimum Age Convention, and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention.

MC endorses all eight conventions, and highlights its commitment to the conventions in the Mitsubishi Corporation Code of Conduct.

Support for the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights

In 2000, the US and UK governments, along with natural resource and energy companies and NGOs involved in human rights and corporate social responsibility, held a series of dialogues on security and human rights. During these sessions they established the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, a voluntary set of principles on respecting human rights and ensuring the safety of operations. These were drawn up in accordance with the UN’s “Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.” These principles include: “Security is a fundamental need, shared by individuals, communities, businesses, and governments alike, and security and respect for human rights can and should be consistent”; “Corporate security personnel should protect corporate assets from theft and violence, while bearing in mind the potential risk of human rights abuses through the misuse of weapons”; “Companies should act in a manner consistent with the laws of the countries within which they are present, to be mindful of the highest applicable international standards, and to promote the observance of applicable international law enforcement principles, particularly with regard to the use of force”; and “Companies are members of the community and should be actively involved in the local community and contribute to its welfare.” Other principles that companies should keep in mind when undertaking their activities and the role of governments are also mentioned.

MC supports the voluntary principles outlined in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.

Policy on Children’s Rights

MC understands that children are especially vulnerable to human rights abuses and that special consideration to respect their rights is necessary. MC also believes that respecting the rights of children allows them to better understand their own rights, which in turn contributes to their ability to become active members of society and leaders of future generations. With this understanding, MC supports the United Nations and ILO treaties regarding children’s rights and has established internal policies for its employees to ensure that child labor is not tolerated and that children’s rights are respected. In particular, MC supports the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including children’s survival and development rights, protection rights, and participation rights. As stated in MC’s Policy for Sustainable Supply Chain Management, MC will not employ any person who is under the minimum working age and will not engage in any employment that impairs children’s development. MC also supports the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, strives to prevent abuses of children’s rights in our business, and invests in social contributions through philanthropic efforts focused on children’s rights.
Through its “Policy for Sustainable Supply Chain Management,” MC also expects its suppliers to conform to these standards by refraining from employing anyone under the minimum working age, and prohibiting children to work in any way that impairs their development.

* The UN Global Compact, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, the Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (ILO Convention No. 182), etc.

Policy on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

In the context of its overall commitment to respecting human rights, MC pays special attention to upholding the rights of indigenous peoples, acknowledging their unique social and legal status under national and international laws, as well as their unique histories and cultural contributions throughout the world. When examining new business investment proposals, MC takes into consideration how the business operations may impact the rights of indigenous peoples and will consult with the relevant stakeholders. MC supports the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (ILO Convention No. 169).

Policy on the Appointment of Armed Security

MC understands the importance of protecting its employees from dangers such as violence and preventing theft of assets throughout its business operations, and retains armed security services when deemed necessary. MC believes that the abuse of weapons by security forces involves a potential risk of human rights abuse. With regard to retaining armed security services, in addition to complying with the laws of the countries and regions in which it operates and adhering to international standards, MC also supports relevant international agreements.

* The UN Global Compact, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, etc.

サステナビリティ・CSR部 サステナビリティ企画チーム(PQ-C)

Policy on Children’s Rights

MC understands that children are especially vulnerable to human rights abuses and that special consideration to respect their rights is necessary. MC also believes that respecting the rights of children allows them to better understand their own rights, which in turn contributes to their ability to become active members of society and leaders of future generations. With this understanding, MC supports the United Nations and ILO treaties regarding children’s rights and has established internal policies for its employees to ensure that child labor is not tolerated and that children’s rights are respected. In particular, MC supports the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including children’s survival and development rights, protection rights, and participation rights. As stated in MC’s Policy for Sustainable Supply Chain Management, MC will not employ any person who is under the minimum working age and will not engage in any employment that impairs children’s development. MC also supports the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, strives to prevent abuses of children’s rights in our business, and invests in social contributions through philanthropic efforts focused on children’s rights.
Through its “Policy for Sustainable Supply Chain Management,” MC also expects its suppliers to conform to these standards by refraining from employing anyone under the minimum working age, and prohibiting children to work in any way that impairs their development.

* The UN Global Compact, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, the Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (ILO Convention No. 182), etc.

サステナビリティ・CSR部 サステナビリティ企画チーム(PQ-C)

Policy on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

In the context of its overall commitment to respecting human rights, MC pays special attention to upholding the rights of indigenous peoples, acknowledging their unique social and legal status under national and international laws, as well as their unique histories and cultural contributions throughout the world. When examining new business investment proposals, MC takes into consideration how the business operations may impact the rights of indigenous peoples and will consult with the relevant stakeholders. MC supports the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (ILO Convention No. 169).

サステナビリティ・CSR部 サステナビリティ企画チーム(PQ-C)

Policy on the Appointment of Armed Security

MC understands the importance of protecting its employees from dangers such as violence and preventing theft of assets throughout its business operations, and retains armed security services when deemed necessary. MC believes that the abuse of weapons by security forces involves a potential risk of human rights abuse. With regard to retaining armed security services, in addition to complying with the laws of the countries and regions in which it operates and adhering to international standards, MC also supports relevant international agreements.

* The UN Global Compact, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, etc.

サステナビリティ・CSR部 サステナビリティ企画チーム(PQ-C)

Structure

In MC’s management framework, human rights initiatives are overseen by the Member of the Board/ Corporate Functional Officer, CAO, Corporate Sustainability and CSR. The Corporate Sustainability & CSR Department and Global Human Resources Department plan and draft any related policies and measures. Following deliberations by the Sustainability & CSR Committee and Human Resources Development Committee, items are put forward or reported to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.

Officers in Charge Yutaka Kashiwagi (Member of the Board, Executive Vice President, Corporate Functional Officer, CDO, CAO, Corporate Communications, Corporate Sustainability & CSR)
Deliberative Body
(A subcommittee under the Executive Committee, a management decisionmaking body)
Sustainability & CSR Committee, Human Resources Development (HRD) Committee
Important matters related to human rights deliberated by the committees are formally approved by the Executive Committee and put forward or reported to the Board of Directors based on prescribed standards.
Departments in Charge Corporate Sustainability & CSR Dept., Global Human Resources Dept.

Reference:Diagram of the Sustainability Promotion Framework

サステナビリティ・CSR部 サステナビリティ企画チーム(PQ-C), 人事部 人事組織チーム(PJ-P)

Grievance Systems

MC has established various consultation systems, including an internal human rights consultation desk and the whistleblowing system, so that any human rights concerns can be raised. These systems ensure that human rights related grievances can be raised any time by mail, telephone or in person. These systems can be used anonymously and in confidence, ensuring the safety of the informant (no subsequent dismissal or other disadvantageous treatment), and that matters are handled and investigated by persons who have no conflict of interest in the matter. Solutions are offered with the utmost consideration of the informant’s wishes. Employees are informed about the systems during human rights awareness training at the start of employment, and information related to the systems is posted at all times on MC internal bulletin boards. MC also covers human rights issues in its annual compliance e-learning program to which all executives and employees (including full-time and part-time employees, secondees and temporary staff) are required to take. In addition, as part of a group-wide compliance program, MC provides human rights training with information on the existence of the systems to employees who are transferred or seconded to affiliated companies.

In the fiscal year ended March 2021, MC received a total of 75 reports under the whistleblowing system, of which 48 were related to human rights, including harassment, health and safety, labor management, personal data, etc. Compliance Officers shall conduct necessary investigations, giving due consideration to not infringing on the human rights and reputation of the persons involved. The results of the investigations are reported to the Chief Compliance Officer and used to plan and implement measures to prevent recurrence.

Reference:Whistleblowing System

法務部 コンプライアンス総括室(PL), 法務部 法務企画室(PL-X)

Dialogue with Stakeholders

MC has established the Sustainability Advisory Committee which consists of six external experts. MC regularly seeks the diverse perspectives of this committee about MC’s human rights efforts and other sustainability matters. In addition to regular committee meetings, committee members also visit business sites on an annual basis in order to deepen their understanding of MC’s sustainability efforts. We also hold human rights due diligence seminars for MC employees.

Reference:Sustainability Advisory Committee

サステナビリティ・CSR部 サステナビリティ企画チーム(PQ-C)

Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence

Human Rights and Environmental Risks

MC’s current activities have expanded far beyond its traditional trading business to include project development, production and manufacturing operations, working in collaboration with our trusted partners around the globe. Furthermore, since MC handles a wide range of products and services around the world, we believe that it is important to identify and analyze the negative impacts of our business on human rights and the environment, to ensure that such impacts are avoided/mitigated, and to fulfill our responsibilities. MC is conducting human rights and environmental due diligence with this in mind.

【Value Chain of MC’s Business Activities】

  • Employees of MC and MC Group Companies: MC believes that respect for human rights is fundamental to doing business globally. MC stipulates its respect for human rights in its Corporate Standards of Conduct and Social Charter. Moreover, MC’s Code of Conduct for Executives and Employees states that MC will “respect human rights; will not engage in discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, creed, religion, or any other grounds; will not tolerate harassment; will foster a proper understanding and awareness of the issue of human rights; will respect the cultures, customs, and language of other countries and regions,” both inside and outside MC. Furthermore, MC Group companies share a common philosophy. With regard to labor practices, MC stipulates the International Labour Standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) as the relevant regulations underpinning the compliance requirements detailed in the Code of Conduct. Furthermore, from the fiscal year ending March 2023, in order to strengthen efforts to respect human rights throughout the MC Group, we have added questions regarding human rights to our annual survey for collecting sustainability information/data on consolidated basis.

    Reference:The Corporate Standards of Conduct, Code of Conduct, and Mitsubishi Corporation Social Charter
    Labor Practices

  • Business Management: When reviewing investment and loan proposals, MC conducts a comprehensive screening process which considers not only economic factors, but ESG impacts as well. From the viewpoint of human rights, MC’s assessments and considerations are informed by human rights risks that need to be addressed from the perspectives of the severity of potential negative impacts on MC’s stakeholders (scope of the risks, their scale and how irremediable they might be) and likelihood (status by procurement country, industry and region). MC’s risk management approach is informed by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the IFC Guidelines and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Guidelines for Confirmation of Environmental and Social Considerations. Besides screening new investment and exit proposals, MC also strives to make improvements to existing business investments by monitoring their management practices.

    Reference:Incorporating Sustainability into Individual Projects
    Collecting Sustainability Information on a Consolidated Basis

  • Trading Business: Regarding supply chain risk management, the Mitsubishi Corporation Policy for Sustainable Supply Chain Management includes clauses related to respecting human rights etc. including the prohibition of forced labor and child labor, and MC expects its suppliers to understand, embrace and abide by this policy. In addition, due diligence is conducted through following process: 1) report of due diligence policy to the Board of Directors at the beginning of each fiscal year, 2) assessment of the results of transactions led by each Business Group through survey to suppliers with high-risk products, 3) dialogue with stakeholders on the survey results and 4) review.

    Reference:Supply Chain Surveys

【Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence process for Trading Business】

サステナビリティ・CSR部 サステナビリティ企画チーム(PQ-C)

Initiatives

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教育センターで学ぶ子どもたち

Employee Training

We provide training (such as programs geared toward specific levels of management including those for new employees, as well as training on trading practice) on our corporate philosophy, including respect for human rights and relevant guidelines.

  • Training for all officers and employees: MC’s policies and guidelines, including those related to respecting human rights through its businesses and supply chains can be viewed on the company intranet at any time, and are communicated to all new recruits and reinforced at various internal training sessions on a regular basis, including sustainability seminars for each Business Groups. These policies and guidelines are also conveyed to employees of overseas offices and Group companies at various internal training seminars on a regular basis. In addition, content related to human rights infringement and the Modern Slavery Act are incorporated into an e-learning program which all officers and employees are required to take every year, in order to cultivate a better understanding toward modern slavery in all employees. Our results for the fiscal year ended March 2022 are as follows.
Scope Total time spent Percentage of Training Participants
Non-Consolidated Officers and Employees 4 hours 99.2%

* Average rate of participation for each training course

  • Overseas Training (various level-specific training in Europe): MC provides regular training through workshops and seminars to board members, management and employees to deepen their understanding on the importance of respecting human rights. Furthermore, MC is working to provide these workshops to as many of its employees in the UK as possible, such as holding the training at certain UK-based associates. Further details are available via the following link:
    https://www.mitsubishicorp.com/gb/en/csr/slavery/
Support for Vulnerable Children and At-Risk Youth

In Ha Tinh Province, Vietnam, children with impairments are often denied educational opportunities if their families are economically disadvantaged. Through the Anh Dao Special Education Center, MC supports educational courses for children with autism and training courses for their parents aimed at raising their standard of living.

Children learning at the Education Center
Children learning at the Education Center
Friendship Camp for Mothers and Children

MC has been holding the Friendship Camp for Mothers and Children since 1974. The Camp is catered to single mothers and their children, and gives them a chance to interact with nature. Through these activities, MC aims to help the next generation to play an active role in society. The Camp is currently held in Minamiuonuma-city, Niigata Prefecture, a city rich in nature. The employee volunteers who accompany the campers train and hold meetings for about three months prior to the Camp so that the participating parents and children can maximize their time and enjoy a fun and safe experience in nature. In the year ended March 2022, although the Camp was canceled due to Covid-19, MC donated bamboo watergun craft kits to approximately 100 children at 10 Maternal and Child Living Support Facilities.
To date, 17,868 mothers and children and 1,163 employee volunteers have participated. The Camp is one of MC’s flagship philanthropic activities and aligns with MC’s focus on long-running initiatives and employee participation.

Friendship Camp for Mothers and Children: In a rice field halfway up a mountain
Friendship Camp for Mothers and Children: In a rice field halfway up a mountain
サステナビリティ・CSR部 サステナビリティ企画チーム(PQ-C), サステナビリティ・CSR部 復興支援チーム(PQ-F), サステナビリティ・CSR部 社会貢献チーム(PQ-P)

Examples of External Collaboration

MC regularly participates in the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights and strives to grasp the latest trends in the business and human rights field. In addition, MC participates in the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)’s People Program in order to exchange information with other companies and learn best practice. MC actively participates in other initiatives and events related to human rights such as seminars held by Shift, an organization which specializes in research with respect to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Reference:WBCSD

サステナビリティ・CSR部 ステークホルダーエンゲージメントチーム(PQ-E), サステナビリティ・CSR部 サステナビリティ企画チーム(PQ-C)