Respect for Human Rights
At the USHIO Group, we believe respect for human rights is a fundamental underpinning of our efforts to build trust as a corporation that fulfills its responsibilities to international society.
In this regard, the USHIO Group respects international norms and guidelines, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN's Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact (human rights and labor), the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work outlined by the International Labor Organization (ILO), and ISO 26000.
We believe the following descriptions exemplify the human rights that we must protect in our business activities and our relationship with society.
- Maintain a work environment that facilitates work, prevent accidents at work, and prevent work-related injuries or diseases
- Prevent child labor, forced labor, slave labor and discrimination
- Restrict excessive work hours
- Preserve equality and non-discriminatory practices, respect diversity and eliminate harassment
- Respect for freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining and ensure a minimum wage and a livable wage
- Respect for fundamental human rights as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, such as the right to life and liberty
- Protect the rights of children as vulnerable members of society
Initiatives to Ensure Respect for Human Rights
In December 2015, we revised section three of our 10 Action Guidelines to respect an international scope that exceeds the national laws related to various types of human rights influenced by business activities and drew up a new policy on respecting human rights to ensure that USHIO does not directly or indirectly infringe on any of the human rights defined under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Business activities include product development and material procurement through to product disposal and the various processes in between, providing many opportunities to turn our attention toward human rights related to these matters. USHIO protected, respected and offered relief from the standpoint of a company in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights laid out in 2011 and now conducts audits of human rights and labor-related matters as part of business evaluations within the Group. Going forward, we will continue to act with due diligence in relation to various types of human rights issues.
Respect for Employees' Human Rights
The USHIO Group has long had the perspective of emphasizing respect for diversity within each Group company due to a spirit of Mountain Peak Management. We also respect the ILO's Basic Principles and Rights Regarding Labor and in October 2010 expressed our support for the UN Global Compact and have moved ahead on initiatives for complying with the 10 principles, including elements related to human rights and labor.
We believe that the Company's prosperity and an enriched lifestyle for each and every employee are matching ideals, and utilization of people within all aspects of the Company occurs without discrimination of any form in relation to matters such as race, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, origin, beliefs, religion or physical features and people are chosen on standards accounting only for their abilities and appropriateness with consideration given to equality and diversity. The composition of the Board of Directors also takes into consideration maintenance of diversity when it comes to selection of members, including by forming the Board with a majority of outside directors. We are also actively engaged in policies supporting the empowerment of women.
USHIO endeavors to create bright, safe and pleasant working environments through occupational health and safety in the workplace, while in regard to relations between people, elimination of various types of harassment creates a corporate culture where it is comfortable to work and foster mutual respect, shows respect for employees' freely expressed ideas and maintains an internal environment with positive workplaces.
Practicing Due Diligence for Human Rights
In our business activities, it is necessary to keep a watchful eye on human rights issues in various processes, from product development and material procurement to product disposal. USHIO engages in business activities that strictly follow international norms for corporations with regard to protecting, respecting, and redressing the UN's Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights that were endorsed in 2011.
USHIO's medium-term CSR plan clarifies initiatives for conducting due diligence for human rights internally within the context of human resource management, and, as mentioned earlier, externally through the detailed development of supply chain management.
More specifically, USHIO ascertains the status of occupational safety in the course of normal business activities at business sites, as well as the status of human rights when evaluating business mergers and acquisitions after they have been enacted. Based on the results of the CSR Procurement Questionnaire, USHIO's procurement and CSR divisions are constantly monitoring for human rights violations at its suppliers.
Conducting Human Rights Education
Respect for the human rights of stakeholders both inside and outside the Company begins with the actions taken by our employees. In order to instill a corporate culture that respects human rights, USHIO conducts human rights training that raises awareness of human rights among its employees.
In March 2013, we provided human rights training to newly appointed managers to improve their awareness of human rights issues, including indirect issues related to conflict minerals, within the scope of our business activities.
In February 2016, we invited experienced experts to discuss ways of dealing with global human rights issues, and brought together managers from domestic Group companies for training. Based on the actual experience of the instructor, the training addressed approaches for dealing with human rights issues that must be monitored around the world. The lecturers also briefed attendees on new trends, discussing patterns of behavior taken to address human rights in business activities and methods for conducting due diligence for human rights. The training session focused mostly on training managers. After the session, participants exchanged their thoughts and posed questions in a Q&A, reinforcing what they learned in the session.
Community Investment Initiatives
The USHIO Group is continuing to contribute to society through optical technology, and considers the source of sustained development to be the constant growth and activation of people, along with the development of a variety of communities. We maintain the USHIO Foundation's support for scholarships for students and training of human resources who contribute to society. Regarding overseas Group companies, USHIO (SUZHOU) CO., LTD. signed an agreement in January 2009 with China's Suzhou University to establish the Suzhou University USHIO Scholarship Fund. Every year, a number of students are awarded scholarships. To date, scholarship certificates have been presented to 230 students. Moreover, we also sponsor science events for educational awareness of junior high and high school students studying science who may in the future become recruitment targets or product users as one way in which we actively support nurturing intellectual curiosity and inquisitiveness. In addition, we have started holding events at cinema complexes in conjunction with the film industry, which is a customer for our main products, along with the communities in the vicinity of our business sites, and we continue to support the development of these communities.
Relationship with Society
USHIO Group Support for Culture and Learning
Initiatives in Supply Chain Management
USHIO treats human rights issues in the supply chain as an important CSR theme, and is actively striving to realize a society where all human rights are respected.
In November 2013, USHIO established the Basic Policy Statement for Conflict Minerals, which is designed to be considerate of human rights issues in conflict regions. We also announced our CSR Procurement Policy in October 2014, which takes into consideration human rights in the supply chain.
In addition, based on the results of the CSR Procurement Questionnaire, USHIO's procurement and CSR divisions are constantly monitoring for human rights violations at its suppliers.
As the first step towards concrete efforts to realize due diligence for human rights, USHIO envisions the following scenarios where human rights could be negatively impacted.
Scenarios that May Be Complicit in Human Rights Violations in Ushio's Business Activities
- Human rights infringements by anti-social forces arising at mining sites where mineral resources are procured
- Human rights infringements caused by products being used for manufacturing weapons
- Human rights infringements due to accidents arising from customers mistakenly using products
- Human rights infringements triggered by leakage of personal information acquired in the course of doing business
- Human rights infringements that occur internally at business partners' companies, or further down the supply chain
- Infringement of the rights of people to live where residents or indigenous peoples are affected by business activities or business-related land acquisition
- Human rights infringements that occur internally at locations evaluated for business mergers and acquisitions, or at other related locations
Participation in Human Rights Initiatives
From 2013, USHIO has been taking part in the human rights education subcommittee of the Global Compact Network Japan. Under the guidance of international human rights NGOs, we work jointly with many other participating companies to create educational textbooks covering human rights for companies.
In addition, USHIO continues to participate in the Global Compact Network Japan's human rights and due diligence subcommittee and learn how to advance a variety of human rights and due diligence practices.