The Oji Group believes that the responsibility to respect human rights is an important element of the global code of conduct. In August 2020, we established the Oji Group Human Rights Policy based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other sources to further strengthen and implement our initiatives on respect for human rights1*.
Under the policy, the Oji Group will continue its effort to uniformly introduce measures related to human rights and ensure that all domestic and overseas Group companies are made thoroughly aware of the basic policies.
Oji Group Human Rights Policy
The Oji Group recognizes respect for human rights as a global code of conduct and we established the Oji Group Human Rights Policy as our basic stance on human rights. We will continue to make further efforts to respect human rights, respect the diverse values of individuals, and contribute to the realization of a society where everyone can manifest their abilities to the fullest.
This policy applies to all executives and employees of the Oji Group and is reflected in all business activities.
Moreover, we expect all stakeholders of the Oji Group to kindly understand and comply with this policy.
We support and respect international norms such as the International Bill of Human Rights (the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) and the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work 2*, based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Moreover, the Group has signed the United Nations Global Compact and supports its 10 principles including human rights. This policy is formulated based on expert advice from inside and outside the Group.
2. Human Rights Due Diligence
To fulfill our responsibility of respecting human rights in accordance with the procedures described in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we will develop a human rights due diligence system taking into account the perspective of our stakeholders, and will continuously work to identify, prevent, alleviate, and remedy the negative effects on human rights that are caused or exacerbated through our business activities as well as the negative effects that may be directly related to our business activities, products, or services through our business relationships.
The Oji Group will provide suitable education to all executives and employees to promote understanding and effective implementation of this policy.
If it becomes evident that we are causing, are exacerbating, or are directly involved in negative effects on human rights, we will engage in dialogue with those concerned and strive to remedy the situation through appropriate procedures.
If the laws and regulations of a country differ from international human rights norms, we will adhere to the higher standard, and if they contradict each other, we will respect internationally recognized human rights to the maximum extent and prioritize dealing with the most serious negative effects.
The Oji Group operates a Business Ethics Help Line for consultation and reporting that is open to all executives and employees as a mechanism for handling complaints in accordance with our guiding principles. We also respond to reports from outside the Group through our Compliance Contact Point on Contact us of the Oji Holdings website.
4. Information Disclosure and Dialog
The Oji Group discloses and reports on the progress of our human rights initiatives on our website and elsewhere.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Oji Holdings Corporation
1* Approved by the Board of Directors of Oji Holdings.
“The International Bill of Human Rights”: The collective term for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human rights (the ICESCR and the ICCPR ) that are proclaimed by the United Nations regarding the fundamental human rights of all people. The ICESCR (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) and the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) are internationally recognized, fundamental frameworks for the protection of human rights.
“The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work”: The declaration on fundamental rights at work adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO). It urges its members to promote the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor; the effective abolition of child labor; and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
“The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights”: International standards that require all states and business enterprises to take preventative and remedial measures against risks of human rights abuses that are related to corporate activities. The United Nations Human Rights Council endorsed the Guiding Principles in its resolution in 2011.
The Oji Group’s Initiatives
Implementation of Compliance Awareness Survey
A compliance awareness survey of all Oji Group officers and employees is conducted periodically in Japan to monitor the status of compliance awareness, including that related to harassment and other improper conduct, and compliance issues at each worksite. In addition, the Internal Audit Department conducts periodic audits of the status of compliance, including that of overseas Group companies. Moreover, we dispatch instructors and conduct compliance seminars, including that on harassment and other improper conduct, at the domestic and overseas Group companies to instill compliance awareness throughout the Group.
Response to Human Rights Infringements
The Oji Group companies each confirm the facts promptly when there is a suspicion of human rights violations, such as harassment, through the respective job system or the Corporate Ethics Helpline. For example, when a report about suspected power harassment is made to the Corporate Ethics Helpline, the Compliance Department will cooperate with the company (or its managing company) and conduct thorough investigations such as carrying out interviews with the related parties and respondents.
Policies on Improvement of Labor Conditions and Local Recruitment
The Oji Group stipulates in its Oji Group Behavior Standard that its business activities should be conducted by respecting the human rights of all its stakeholders, including employees.
We strive to increase the amount of compensation for employees, not to mention ensuring that the amount is higher than the minimum wage stipulated in each country. Further, we conduct regular internal audits to check whether the employment rules of our domestic and overseas affiliates conform to laws and whether the affiliates comply with the rules. In addition, we are proactive in recruiting human resources locally at each site so as to achieve sustainable growth with local communities.
Tree planting companies contribute to the local economy. CENIBRA in Brazil cooperates with local farmers by providing jobs and supporting them to ensure stable income, such as agriculture, tree planting and beekeeping around forest plantation. In addition, CENIBRA collaborates with the city and local NPO for young entrepreneurs, providing free lectures and training, textbooks, meals, transportation, etc. to local residents at the training center.
Please refer to “Education (Environment and Health).”
We are also promoting local economic activities through the local procurement of materials and goods.
Initiatives on Global Health Problems
Some of our overseas business sites are located in countries where HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria are key problems. The Oji Group is proactive in taking actions to solve these global health problems. For our employees, we provide regular health examinations, including chest X-ray tests for the early detection of tuberculosis, and conduct activities to prevent the onset of diseases. Going forward, we will also be proactive in taking initiatives such as support for local infection control activities.
For expatriate employees, we conduct medical checkups, vaccinations, and mental health assessments before dispatching, and we provide regular medical checkups and appropriate guidance during the mission.
In addition, overseas offices are implementing health and sanitation improvement programs for the local communities. For example, Oji Nepia Co., Ltd. launched the nepia 1,000 Toilet Program in 2008 as a project supporting the activities of UNICEF, and it is currently conducting activities aimed at eradicating outdoor excretion in East Timor, which causes illness.
In addition, overseas plantation companies provide medical support such as health checkups, opening of clinics and emergency transport support in areas where access to public services is difficult due to the medical situations of local communities.
Policies on Children’s Rights
We believe that we need to give special consideration to the human rights of children, as they are vulnerable to infringement. Respecting human rights of children lets them know about the existence of such rights and encourages them to fulfill active roles in society, thereby ultimately leading to create the future of society.
■Examples of our activities
Based on the above understanding, we agree with the contents of the United Nations and ILO’s conventions on children’s human rights, make considerations to ensure that children’s rights are respected, and take initiatives in each region.
Celulose Nipo-Brasileira S.A. in Brazil carries out awareness-raising activities and initiatives, including on health, for students (mainly junior high school students) of local communities. In 2017, the company carried out the following activities for a total of 3,670 students at 12 schools.
・Adolescent pregnancy and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS,
syphilis, and gonorrhea
・Prevention of dengue fever and yellow fever
Policies on Rights of Indigenous Peoples
We take initiatives for respecting human rights in our global activities. As one measure, in our business activities in regions with indigenous peoples, we consider the laws of the regions and the internationally determined rights of the indigenous peoples based on our understanding of the unique culture and history of each people. We also affirm the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
■Examples of our activities
- The company-owned forest in Hiratori-cho, Hokkaido has a holy rocky hill, which is a sacred place (chinomishiri) of the Ainu, and places for passing down the view of nature and traditional cultures of the local people. To maximize the value of this area, we had dialogues with the Ainu association of Hiratori and the municipal government of Hiratori town to concluded the three-party Agreement Aimed at Protecting the Forest, Inheriting the Ainu Culture, Taking Advantage of the Culture for the Revitalizing the Area, and Thereby Ensuring Harmonious Co-Existence in the Company-Owned Forest with Cultural Landscapes in 2017.
- We respect the cemeteries, traditional events, and other cultural elements of the Aboriginal people in the forests of Albany Plantation Forest Company of Australia Pty Ltd. and also forests for purchasing general timber, by ensuring people’s access to such places. In addition, before we implement a plan to log trees in an area, we contact the relevant administrative body to confirm that the area is not registered as a reserve.
Relationships with Labor Unions
The Oji Group respects the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. There are labor unions organized by employees in the Group, mainly at major Group companies including Oji Materia, Oji Container, Morishigyo Group, Oji Nepia, Oji F-Tex, Oji Imaging Media, Oji Green Resources, Oji Paper, Oji Management Office, and Oji Logistics, and labor-management agreements are made and entered through collective bargaining and labor-management consultations.
The management and the Oji Paper New Labor Union, the labor union with the largest number of members (a total membership of 2,332 as of June 1, 2019 with the union enrollment rate of 99.6%) have confirmed in the preamble to the labor-management agreement that they “recognize the social responsibility and missions of the company, admit that the improvement in employees’ labor conditions and the prosperity of the company are basically dependent on each other, and strive to cooperate to establish a stable labor relationship based on mutual trust and understanding”. Both the parties negotiate over salaries, bonuses, and benefit packages as labor conditions on an equal footing.
We hold regular meetings of labor management committees throughout the Group, in-house companies, and in-house offices to share management information and discuss issues in order to build sound labor management relations.
Toward the Future
The Oji Group complies with the Oji Group Human Rights Policy and will continue its effort to uniformly implement measures for respect of human rights.
In the current fiscal year, the Oji Group will work to improve all employees’ human rights awareness through enhanced in-company education that promotes correct understanding and awareness by incorporating education on human rights in diversity training sessions, job grade training at each company and other areas.