Corporate Social Responsibility Information

Respect for Human Rights

Basic Policy on Respect for Human Rights

The Sumitomo Forestry Group states in Our Values and Ideals, a set of guidelines on ethical conduct, that everyone belonging to the Group shall respect people in terms of diversity such as gender, age, nationality, race, religion and disability and acknowledge that everyone is equal, and that no discrimination whatsoever will be tolerated. The Group makes efforts to raise awareness of these matters, for example through training. Our Values and Ideals is available for viewing on the Sumitomo Forestry website in Japanese, English and Chinese and therefore accessible to a large number of stakeholders. Additionally, the following is stipulated by Our Values and Ideals.

3: Act with Dignity

3-4: Respect for Human Rights and Diversity - We respect human diversity and do not tolerate any discrimination.

3-4-1: Recognizing that all individuals are equal
We recognize that all individuals are equal and see them as valuable partners in our work. We do not use our authority or position on the job to engage in any form of harassment that would damage the integrity of the workplace.

3-4-2: Respecting the diversity of people in each community
Each community includes many different types of people. We respect each individual's personality, rights and privacy, and we do not engage in any inappropriate discrimination based on gender, age, disability, nationality, beliefs, religion or social position. We recognize the value of one another's unique characteristics.

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Measures against Human Rights Risks

Since fiscal 2011, Sumitomo Forestry has carried out a survey on the CSR initiatives at each Group company. 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 in 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), in April 2014, 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 identifying, preventing, and mitigating adverse impact on human rights through the human rights due diligence system. Since 2012, the Group ensures human rights statuses of fifty Group companies of which 28 are domestic and 22 are overseas from survey results conducted annually. As to suppliers, surveys and one-on-one interviews are conducted to avert potential human rights breach.

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Human Rights Training

Since fiscal 2011, the Sumitomo Forestry Group requires all Group employees with access to the intranet to take the “Work + Human Rights” module in e-learning every year with the intention to promote respect for human rights and working place where no discrimination is tolerated. In fiscal 2015, 10,183 employees of which 5,527 and 4,656 employees belong to the parent company employees and Group companies, respectively. The effort in raising human right awareness via e-learning will be continued into the future.

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Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Workplace Bullying

Sumitomo Forestry makes its policy on sexual and power harassment in the workplace 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. “Our Values and Ideals,” a set of guidelines on ethical conduct, also prohibits all forms of harassment and this is communicated via the in-house Web 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 for appropriately handling of 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 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 cooperated in the 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 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 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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CSR Report 2016