CSR Information

Respect for Human Rights

Basic Policy on Respect for Human Rights

The Sumitomo Forestry Group has signed the UN Global Compact in December 2008. The Sumitomo Forestry Group Code of Conduct were formulated by referring to various international standards such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and it works to raise awareness with measures such as training. The Sumitomo Forestry Group Code of Conduct are also included on our website not only in Japanese but also in English and it will be translated into other languages of countries where there are Group companies overseas to give access to these rules to our many stakeholders in addition to raising the awareness of all of our employees.

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Measures against Human Rights Risks

Since fiscal 2011, Sumitomo Forestry has carried out internal surveys on the actual situation of the CSR initiatives. In doing so, it also verifies each Group company's efforts with respect to human rights.

Furthermore, the Sumitomo Forestry Group is a signatory to the United Nations (UN) Global Compact since December 2008, and has posted this on the Company's website in both Japanese and English. For the purpose of more widely disseminating the Global Compact's ten principles in four areas (human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption), the Company also prepared a poster in English, Chinese and Indonesian, and has distributed it for display to all Group companies overseas.

A poster promoting the UN Global Compact

A poster promoting the UN Global Compact

Participation in a Human Rights Initiative

Sumitomo Forestry addresses human rights issues by participating domestic and international initiatives concerning human rights such as the UN Global Compact.

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Human Rights Due Diligence

The Sumitomo Forestry Group strives to identify, prevent, and mitigate adverse impact on human rights through the system for human rights due diligence. Since 2012, the Group confirms the status of human rights at 52 Group companies of which 26 are domestic and 26 are overseas from CSR survey results conducted annually. As to suppliers, surveys and one-on-one interviews are conducted to avert potential human rights breach. In June 2017, a workshop about due diligence in human rights was held with an outside instructor with the participation of employees from departments involved in timber plantation and manufacturing operations expanding overseas as well as the management department. This workshop identified stakeholders in the supply chain of each operation to extract the regions and circumstances thought to have risks in violating human rights therein. Within those identified, risks thought to have high potential to occur and have significant impact in the event of human rights violations were debated and analyzed. The Group will continue to strengthen its efforts in human rights risks.

Workshop on due diligence in human rights

Workshop on due diligence in human rights

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Human Rights Training

The Sumitomo Forestry Group offers classes about human rights in its new employee training in Japan. Sumitomo Forestry also incorporates classes about human rights in its training for new general managers. We also require all Group employees with access to the intranet to take the “Work and Human Rights” module in e-learning every year with the intention to promote respect for human rights and a workplace where no discrimination is tolerated. In fiscal 2016, 9,971 employees of which 5,078 and 4,893 belong to the parent company and Group companies, respectively. The effort in raising human right awareness via e-learning will be continued into the future. We also plan to conduct training related to the Sumitomo Forestry Group Code of Conduct formulated in July 2017.

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Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Workplace Bullying

Sumitomo Forestry makes its policy on sexual harassment and workplace bullying clear, having included in its Employment Regulations, under one category of rules to be observed by employees (discipline on the job), a provision prohibiting such harassment as well as disciplinary standards. The Sumitomo Forestry Group Code of Conduct also prohibits all forms of harassment and this is communicated via the internal website and pamphlets. In addition, awareness within the Company is fostered by providing information with case examples and implementing regular awareness promotion notices, through human rights and ethics training and other activities.

Furthermore, a framework to properly handle inquiries and complaints was put in place in fiscal 2000 with the establishment of the Sexual Harassment and Power Harassment Consultation Hotline within the Personnel Department and Compliance Hotlines both inside and outside the Company. When handling a case of harassment, the Sexual Harassment and Power Harassment Consultation Hotline promptly and appropriately verifies the facts and gathers information with the accused, the complainant, and third parties, and then takes the necessary procedures with those concerned. The privacy of all those involved is protected and every effort is made to ensure that neither the complainant nor those cooperating are treated detrimentally.

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Respect for Human Rights at Overseas Plantations

For timber plantations in Indonesia’s West Kalimantan Barat, the Company signed an advisory agreement with International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s group institute in 2012, and conducted an assessment adhering to the concept of “High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF)” mainly on whether the commercial land use plan has been implemented appropriately and whether adequate consideration for biodiversity and local communities are made.

In 2015, continuing on our efforts in 2013, the Company invited stakeholders (local residents, neighbor corporations, academics, NGOs, and government workers) to a public hearing to communicate the assessment results as part of its plantation business with thorough consideration for human rights.

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Respect for Human Rights Through CSR Procurement

Sumitomo Forestry Group is conducting fair and responsible procurement under the Sumitomo Group Procurement Policy which obligates suppliers to protect human rights and basic rights of labor as well as preventing corruption. For procurement of imported materials, specifically, the Group ensures whether rights of workers and local communities in the areas where raw materials of the supplies are procured from, have not been violated; if there is a risk, then whether adequate consideration for these rights during logging is inspected through surveys and on-site interviews to the suppliers.

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Toward the Future

The Sumitomo Forestry Group strives to accelerate efforts toward the respect of human rights even further in the future by conducting surveys on the actual state of CSR in and outside of Japan, by managing human rights risks and by conducting surveys for its suppliers.

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CSR Report2017