Business and Human Rights
Our Basic Stance
As value chains expand on a global scale, ensuring respect for the human rights of employees, suppliers, and all the other people involved in our businesses has become a more important focus that, in turn, increases the necessity of understanding and dealing with the human rights risks in Group-wide business activities.
The Kawasaki Group has enshrined respect for human rights in its business activities in the Kawasaki Group Code of Conduct and adopted the Kawasaki Group Policy on Human Rights. The Group also supports and respects international rules and norms regarding human rights and labor, including the International Bill of Human Rights, International Labour Organization’s core labor standards, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Additionally, our Group is conducting human rights due diligence aimed at carrying out initiatives to ensure respect for human rights in its business activities.
Human Rights Policy
The Kawasaki Group adopted the Kawasaki Group Policy on Human Rights in fiscal 2019 to complement the Kawasaki Group Code of Conduct. The policy was subsequently revised in August 2023 in response to the growing demand for human rights initiatives. We recognize how essential it is for the realization of our Group Mission that the human rights of all stakeholders be fully respected and that the Kawasaki Group’s employees uphold high ethical standards; and we have established policy to be actively engaged in such key issues of human rights as prohibition of forced labor and child labor, prohibition of discrimination and harassment, diversity and inclusion, approving freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, and ensuring a safe and healthy working environment.
Scope of Policy Application
The Kawasaki Group
The Kawasaki Group Policy on Human Rights states that the responsible officer and department for human rights-related management and issues are the director in charge of sustainability and the Sustainability Department, respectively. Based on our sustainability promotion system, the Sustainability Committee chaired by the Kawasaki president and attended by all directors is responsible for deliberating on human rights-related efforts under the board of directors’ oversight. Regarding day-to-day responsibility, in cooperation with human resources or compliance divisions in internal companies and subsidiaries, the Sustainability Department monitors human rights risks in its business activities and develops measures against human rights abuses.
Katsuya Yamamoto, Representative Director, Senior Corporate Executive Officer (in charge of sustainability)
Responsible Executive Organ and/or Committee
Initiatives to Prevent Human Rights Abuses
Prohibition of Discrimination
The Kawasaki Group Code of Conduct prohibits discrimination, as follows:
“As stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights are ‘the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family.’ In order to respect the human rights of each and every person, we must afford everyone equal dignity and respect, regardless of race, skin color, gender, age, nationality, social origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, religion, political belief, disability, health condition, or any other legally protected characteristics.”
The Kawasaki Group Policy on Human Rights also prohibits discrimination. The entire Kawasaki Group implements initiatives based on its understanding of discrimination as a human rights issue.
Concrete anti-discrimination measures include the conducting of several training courses covering diversity and inclusion, and awareness-raising activities for employees of the Kawasaki Group.
Prohibition of Child Labor and Forced Labor
The Kawasaki Group clearly states in its Code of Conduct that it will not tolerate child labor or forced labor, which are global human rights and labor issues. In addition, Kawasaki is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, indicating its support of the Compact’s 10 principles in the four areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.
Since 2014, we have also undertaken our own initiatives to confirm that forced or child labor is not practiced at any of the Group companies and to declare our commitment that this will remain the case into the future. This style of confirmation and declaration, acknowledged and supported by the Global Compact Network Japan (GCNJ) secretariat, is prepared in line with the “Global Compact Labor Principles and Business Guidelines” and signed by the presidents of all Group companies, including those overseas. As the Kawasaki Group, we adopt Kawasaki Group Sustainable Procurement Guidelines, which cover respect for human rights, and call on suppliers to work with us as a team to uphold these guidelines.
Employee Education about Business and Human Rights
The Kawasaki Group has conducted e-learning for employees about business and human rights since fiscal 2020. This training program covers an overview of international norms regarding human rights and labor, and information on global trends, as well as explanations on the responsibilities required of companies regarding business and human rights, and on the Kawasaki Group’s initiatives. The target participants were mainly employees in charge of sustainability or human resources from domestic Group companies, totaling 191 participants in fiscal 2020 and 13,245 in fiscal 2021.
Kawasaki has established the Harassment Prevention Regulations. To create a comfortable, harassment-free working environment, Kawasaki provides grade-specific training to provide proper guidance and increase awareness.
In addition to the Compliance Reporting and Consultation System, which employees can use when they have experienced or witnessed harassment, since fiscal 2014 we have maintained consultation points, operated by the Human Resources Division, that employees, including temporary staff, can use. As necessary, we also hold meetings with employees seeking advice or help through either system and respond fairly to incidents while remaining committed to respecting their privacy.
In addition, from fiscal 2019, we have begun operation of an external consultation point that employees of Kawasaki can access for consultation regarding issues related to harassment and mental health.
Right to Organize and Right to Collective Bargaining
Kawasaki is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, indicating its support of the Compact’s 10 principles in the four areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. Furthermore, the Kawasaki Group Policy on Human Rights states that the Group shall respect employees’ freedom of association and right to collective bargaining.
Kawasaki employs a union shop system, meaning that all general employees are members of the labor union.
While the right to collective bargaining is recognized in our labor agreement, Kawasaki has seen no collective dispute actions over the past 40 years. This is because both parties strive, in principle, to reach amicable resolutions by holding labor-management meetings (on an as-needed basis) in good faith before collective bargaining begins, with respect to such matters as corporate cost-cutting actions and significant changes in labor conditions is to take place.
In addition, Kawasaki has concluded a labor agreement with the labor union and actively exchanges views with the union via a range of regular meetings. These include meetings of the Corporate Management Council (at least twice a year Company-wide, and at least twice a year at internal companies) to explain our corporate management policies and state of management; the Safety and Health Council (at least once a year) to explain basic policies on safety and health; the Regional Safety and Health Committee (at least once a month) to deliberate on measures for preventing hazards and health impediments to employees; and the Company-wide Environmental Preservation Committee (once a year) to explain Company measures related to environmental preservation.
Initiatives to Prevent Human Rights Abuses in Defense-related Businesses
Aware of the CSR obligations attendant to involvement in national security-related businesses, we formulated corporate ethics-based in-house rules regarding the provision of products and services. In addition to ensuring compliance with laws and regulations associated with security trade and export control, these corporate ethics-based rules are designed to help employees judge the propriety of how purchasers put our products and technologies to actual use and thereby prevent such products and technologies from being used in unintended manners.
Furthermore, the Kawasaki Group Code of Conduct states that “We do not provide products and technologies for unethical purposes of use” and requires that Group members be aware of the ethical responsibilities associated with the provision of Group products and technologies.
Human Rights Due Diligence
Human Rights Risk Assessments and Impact Assessments
In fiscal 2018, the Kawasaki Group implemented human rights risk assessments and impact assessments of its main businesses in cooperation with the U.S.-based nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility (BSR).
In implementing these risk assessments and impact assessments, Kawasaki referenced international rules and principles regarding human rights, namely, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the International Bill of Human Rights, and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Scope of Human Rights Risk Assessments and Impact Assessments (businesses, value chains, countries and regions, stakeholder groups)
The Kawasaki Group’s main business
Countries and regions covered:
The countries and regions in which the Kawasaki Group does business (Japan, China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia)
Customers, employees, employees in the supply chain, local residents, etc.
Assessment Results (priority human rights risks)
As a result of the risk assessments and impact assessments, we found that the following nine areas in particular present significant human rights risks.
- Safety and health of employees
- Safety and health at manufacturing sites
- Child labor at manufacturing sites
- Forced labor at manufacturing sites
- Safety and health in supply chains
- Wages, benefits, and work hours in supply chains
- Child labor in supply chains
- Forced labor in supply chains
- High-risk customers
Implementation of Corrective Measures
In light of the above results, the Kawasaki Group formulates and implements risk reduction measures for key risks within the Group and in the supply chain. Specifically, utilizing SAQ made by Kawasaki to address the five sections stipulated in the RBA Code of Conduct (Labor, Health and Safety, Environment, Ethics, Management Systems), we actively monitor overseas Group companies located in countries where human rights risks are considered high. In fiscal 2022, the Kawasaki Group performed checks utilizing the SAQ, and held online meetings, with six Group companies located in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Brazil. We also plan to implement monitoring for Group companies in a sequential manner in fiscal 2023, and will, in addition, actively consider measures for the supply chain in accordance with a risk-based approach.
Mechanism for Addressing Human Rights Related Grievances
Mechanisms for Addressing Employee Grievances
Under Kawasaki’s labor agreement, if a problem arises that cannot be resolved within the workplace, Kawasaki sets up a grievance committee, with participation from the director responsible for personnel and the president of the labor union, to quickly, fairly, and peacefully resolve the problem. The grievance committee handles a wide variety of issues, including the health management and safety of union members, incidents of abuse of authority or sexual harassment, and matters related to personnel transfers. Kawasaki promises that no employee will suffer disadvantageous treatment for voicing a grievance.
|Consultation system||Contents of report or consultation||Contact method||Contact point/Operating division||Scope|
|Internal consultation point system||Workplace harassment, such as sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and maternity-related harassment||Head Office Human Resources Division / Head Office Human Resources Division||Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Motors, Kawasaki Railcar Manufacturing|
|External consultation point system||Harassment and mental health||Webpage, phone||External institution / Head Office Human Resources Division||Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Motors, Kawasaki Railcar Manufacturing|
|Compliance Reporting and Consultation System||Please refer to Whistle-Blowing System and Consultation Points.||Outside lawyer / Compliance Department||Kawasaki Group (domestic and some overseas locations)|
Mechanisms for Addressing Outside Grievances (from suppliers, local communities, etc.)
The Kawasaki Group have established a dedicated service desk for all officers and employees of our suppliers and those in our supply chain for products and services in Japan. The supplier hotline also fields grievances related to human rights. In addition, our website includes contact forms from which general inquiries can also be fielded. All inquiries which we receive from the supplier hotline and website are forwarded to the relevant divisions, and subsequently handled in an appropriate manner.
Engagement with Stakeholders
The Kawasaki Group Policy on Human Rights, established in fiscal 2019, states that the Group will fulfill its responsibilities related to respecting the human rights of the stakeholders impacted by the Group’s business activities.
Identifying Human Rights Risk in Cooperation with the NPO BSR
In fiscal 2018, we worked with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) to identify stakeholders impacted by the Group’s business activities as well as areas of significant human rights risk.
Going forward, we will formulate and implement risk reduction measures for key risks within the Group and in supply chains. By implementing a PDCA cycle of initiatives to ensure respect for human rights, we are advancing efforts to address risks to the human rights of our stakeholders.
For details, please refer to Human Rights Due Diligence.
In Response to the NGO SOMO’s Report
In 2017, the Netherlands-based NGO SOMO published a report titled The Myanmar Dilemma, discussing human rights abuses in garment factories in Myanmar, including a factory reported to be a supplier to Kawasaki. In light of this report, we conducted an internal investigation and determined that a primary contractor commissioned by Kawasaki subsidiary Kawasaki Motors Corporation Japan to manufacture apparel products subcontracted the production of some of these products to the factory discussed in SOMO’s report. The manufacture of these products at said factory was temporary, and the products were not being produced there at the time of the internal investigation. The responsible department provided explanations of potential human rights risks in the supply chain to related divisions and requested that they take steps to ensure awareness of and compliance with the Kawasaki Group Sustainable Procurement Guidelines. We internally share the observations and opinions of NGOs and other stakeholders and strive to respond appropriately when there is an issue.
Addressing Modern Slavery Act
Response to the UK Modern Slavery Act and Australian Modern Slavery Act
Our UK-based subsidiary Kawasaki Precision Machinery (UK) Ltd., the UK Branch Office of Kawasaki Motors Europe N.V., and Kawasaki Subsea (UK) Limited issue statements in accordance with the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act. Kawasaki Motors Pty. Ltd., a subsidiary located in Australia, has issued a formal statement responding to Australia’s Modern Slavery Act.
Consideration Given to Employees at KMI (Indonesia)
PT. Kawasaki Motor Indonesia (KMI) is a local manufacturing and marketing base for Kawasaki-brand motorcycles in Indonesia.
About 90% of the population of Indonesia is Muslim, and many of KMI’s employees are followers of Islam. Therefore, various considerations are extended to these employees.
The company has set aside an area on site for a mushola (prayer room). Female employees are allowed to wear a headscarf during working hours and, in the cafeteria, no dishes made with pork are served since dietary laws prohibit consumption of pork.
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset, and through this month office hours for employees in administrative and sales and marketing divisions start 30 minutes earlier than usual. This change reflects the desire of many Muslims to have their evening meal with family at home during Ramadan. Also, after Lebaran (a celebration to mark the end of fasting), which follows Ramadan, KMI holds a Halal Bi Halal event for Muslims.
But Islam is not the state religion of Indonesia. In fact, there are Christian and Hindu minorities, and since the constitution guarantees religious freedom, Christmas and Hindu celebrations are also observed as national holidays. KMI therefore extends its consideration to employees of Christian and other faiths and holds such events as Christmas celebrations.
This demonstrates KMI efforts to accommodate the local religions, cultures, and customs of the land and execute business activities that respect human rights.