Respect for Human Rights

The GS Yuasa Group believes that the rights of all people must be respected in order to realize our philosophy of contributing to people, society and the global environment.

Management That Takes Human Rights into Consideration

Fundamental Approach to Respect for Human Rights

Respect for human rights is a cornerstone of the GS Yuasa Group’s business activities, and we are cognizant that preventing the occurrence of human rights violations in Group decision-making and activities is a key element of management. Moreover, we conduct business on a global scale, and for this reason, we believe that proper management of human rights issues is crucial not just for GS Yuasa and its Group companies, but also in our relationships with domestic and overseas suppliers and other business partners.

Legal systems relating to human rights have been established in Japan and other countries in recent years, and corporate measures regarding human rights issues has become a matter of considerable stakeholder interest. The Group’s fundamental approach regarding respect for human rights is expressed in the president’s policy (CSR Policy), which is the foundation for the CSR activities of the entire group, and we make employees aware of this policy. In addition, we undertake human rights risk management by conducting human rights due diligence in accordance with the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, international norms on human rights.

Policy on Respect for Human Rights (excerpted from the CSR Policy)

2. Respect for Human Rights

GS Yuasa will respect all human rights and fundamental labor rights, and will not tolerate any forced labor or child labor.

Identification of Human Rights Issues

The GS Yuasa Group identifies human rights issues that pose human rights risk in collaboration with outside experts so that we can conduct proper management of those risks (the risks of direct and indirect human rights violations arising from business activities). When identifying human rights risk, we take the following into consideration.

  • Human rights issues that require management by a manufacturing business that is active on a global scale
  • Setting the scope of application to persons subject to impact on human rights throughout the value chain (not limited to employees, but also including supplier workers, local residents, customers, users, and others)
  • Complicity in human rights violations that occur in the supply chain (contributing to human rights violations)
  • Examples of human rights risks that have occurred in other companies

Human rights issues that may be impacted by our Group business activities

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Human rights issuesPersons impacted by human rights
SuppliersEmployeesLocal residentsCustomers, usersLocal communities
Forced labor
Child labor and dangerous work that puts young workers at risk
Long working hours
Inadequate compensation for labor
Unsafe and unhealthy work environments
Refusal to engage in collective bargaining
Discrimination
Inhumane conduct (harassment, etc.)
Human rights violations in the mineral supply chain
Indirect human rights violations resulting from QCD priority procurement
Privacy violations
Harm to health due to product accidents
Harm to health due to environmental pollution
Destruction of living environments from resource exploitation
Destruction of living environments in conjunction with commencement of facility operation
Violation of the rights of residents in conjunction with business development
Inadequate compensation in conjunction with workforce restructuring
Discriminatory expression in corporate advertising

Improvement of Priority Human Rights Issues

The GS Yuasa Group conducts risk assessments regarding human rights issues and determines priority issues to be addressed. We use human rights risk response checklists that enable us to determine the status of responses to human rights issues and the occurrence of human rights risk and assess the degree of impact on human rights. We assess risk that originates not from business but from people from the perspective of whose rights and which rights will be negatively impacted from Group business activities. We address priority human rights issues by taking human rights risk countermeasures integrated into existing business processes.

To undertake human rights risk management in the supply chain, we administer a questionnaire survey of suppliers to confirm the status of their responses regarding human rights issues, and when necessary, request that suppliers take human rights risk countermeasures. We collaborate with a variety of stakeholders in the mineral supply chain and undertake activities to avoid being complicit in human rights violations in mineral procurement.

A summary of the human rights issues to be addressed as priorities by the main Group business company (GS Yuasa international Ltd.) is set forth below. We plan to expand this process to domestic and overseas Group subsidiaries in the future.

Priority human rights issues (GS Yuasa international Ltd.)

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Priority human rights issuesHuman rights riskPersons impacted by human rights
Unsafe and unhealthy work environmentsRisk that workers are unable to work in a healthy manner due to inappropriate occupational health and safety managementEmployees
Harm to health due to environmental pollutionRisk of harm to the lives and health of local residents due to atmospheric pollution or water contamination resulting from business activitiesLocal residents

Grievance Mechanisms for Human Rights Violations

The GS Yuasa Group works to prevent and minimize negative impact on human rights throughout the value chain and has established a mechanism (the GS Yuasa Group corporate ethics hotline) to provide remedies to persons who have been negatively impacted.

We have established internal and external whistleblower systems that employees (including the employees of suppliers) who face a risk of human rights violations from business activities can directly consult or report on negative human rights impacts. If information concerning a possible violation of human rights is received, we promptly analyze the validity of that information and take appropriate remedial action based on the results of the analysis in order to prevent any expansion of human rights risk over the course of time.

Refer here for the GS Yuasa Group corporate ethics hotline

Promoting Human Rights Education

The GS Yuasa Group conducts employee education to implement business activities with respect for human rights.

The following enlightenment and education initiatives help employees to grasp various human rights issues and the importance of business activities keyed to human rights. When necessary, personnel participate in human rights management training sessions, nurturing and expanding knowledge vital in properly recognizing and evaluating human rights risks and their negative effects.

Human rights respect education

  • Worksite training (meetings, discussions) in respect for human rights and avoiding harassment
  • Distribution of booklets and internal e-mail newsletters designed to increase respect for human rights
  • Distribution of our Group CSR policy manuals
  • Human rights risk explanatory meetings targeting overseas site managers

Worksite Training on Respect for Human Rights and Harassment (FY 2020)

CompanyNumber of WorksitesWorksite
Implementation Rate
(%)
Average implementation time
(hours)
GS Yuasa International Ltd.3781002.5
Group companies in Japan1671002.9
Total5451002.6

Implemented for all GS Yuasa International Ltd. employees

TOPICS

Worksite Training on Diversity

GS Yuasa International continuously conducts human rights education in the form of meetings for all employees. In fiscal 2020, we set diversity as a required course topic, and we are working to raise awareness regarding the importance of respecting diversity and the detrimental impact on the work environment resulting from unconscious bias (biased toward others that an individual is not consciously aware of based on past experience, knowledge, beliefs, and so on). In the future, we will continue to support the development of an atmosphere of respect for diverse values so that all employees can make use of their diverse characteristics and demonstrate their full potential.

Prohibition of Discrimination and Respect for Diversity

Providing Fair Selection and Opportunity

The GS Yuasa Group promotes fair employee selection, evaluation and training based on ability and performance. We prohibit discrimination in recruitment, personnel assessment and other employee circumstances. Also, we respect diversity irrespective of race, gender, sexuality, nationality, place of birth, disability, religion or political opinion.

Respect for Labor Rights

Creating a Pleasant Workplace through Labor and Management Working as One

The GS Yuasa Group companies in Japan promote a pleasant workplace through labor and management working as one. GS Yuasa International Ltd. has adopted a "union shop system" and as a general rule all regular employees, aside from management, are members of the labor union. Furthermore, we are pursuing business based on mutual understanding achieved through labor union recommendations and active discussion on management policies of the Group companies in Japan, including working conditions and benefit programs for employees. In cases where an employee is transferred, the new workplace and details of the work are explained to the employee at least one month before the transfer order is issued. With regard to transfers of labor union members, the labor union confirms with the employee whether the transfer is unreasonable, and labor and management work together to create an organization where employees are convinced regarding the appropriateness of transfers and are provided opportunities for growth. Through such labor-management relations, we will continue to ensure the objectivity and transparency of company management and increase the effectiveness of our various initiatives.

Labor-Management Consultative Structure (Domestic Group Companies)

Name of Labor-management
consultative body
Meeting
frequency
Content
Management council4 times/yearCompany's management policies, business conditions and status of business execution, etc.
Divisional committeeMonthlyIssues for the respective R&D and business divisions
Factory committeeMonthlyIssues in production divisions
Health and safety committee (statutory)MonthlyInitiatives to prevent occupational accidents
Expert committee on work hoursMonthlyChecking the status of work hours and making improvements
Expert committee on future generations4 times/yearConsultations on childcare and nursing care support systems and development of diverse working conditions

Prohibition of Forced Labor and Child Labor

Basic Rules on Forced Labor and Child Labor

The GS Yuasa Group has established and enforces the basic rules on forced labor and child labor. We build a system to take immediate corrective action upon discovering forced labor or child labor by a supplier.

Prohibition of Forced Labor and Child Labor

We will neither force labor, nor employ children under the legal working age. Furthermore, we will not tolerate forced labor or child labor in any way.

Avoidance of complicity in human rights abuse

Directly or indirectly, we will not be complicit in human rights abuse.

Responses to Laws and Regulations on Modern Slavery and Wage Disparities

The GS Yuasa Group complies with the laws and regulations of every country and region, taking all necessary steps to meet the provisions of the UK's Modern Slavery Act enacted in 2015 and the Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations enacted in 2017 as one of the activities involved in securing the transparency of business.

GS Yuasa Battery Europe Limited (GYEUR), an overseas Group company in the United Kingdom, has released statements on its website regarding these laws and regulations and information on the status of its undertakings. This company will continue to periodically release information in the future.

Refer here for relevant information (link the GYEUR website).

Respect for individuality

Measures to Prevent Harassment

The GS Yuasa Group is aware that harassment is a violation of human rights that harms the personal dignity of employees and causes deterioration of the workplace environment. For this reason, we take measures to prevent harassment.

Since fiscal 2020, we have distributed to employees cards with information about harassment policies and have posted in worksites educational posters on the prevention of harassment in order to ensure that employees are fully aware of policies regarding the prevention of harassment. We also conduct e-learning on workplace power harassment to enhance employee understanding. We established an exclusive harassment consultation hotline available to all Group employees and established a mechanism to rapidly provide remedies to the victims of harassment.

The Group seeks to establish work environments where all employees can work comfortably and create good workplaces with free and open communication by implementing measures to prevent harassment.

Policy on the prevention of harassment

  • The Group does not tolerate any conduct that harms the personal dignity of individuals including sexual harassment and power harassment. Overlooking such behavior is also not permitted.
  • Group employees shall not engage in harassment or any other conduct that harms personal dignity.
  • The Group shall establish hotlines to resolve harassment and other such problems and will strive to achieve prompt and appropriate resolutions. Persons who consult with such hotlines or cooperate with confirmation of the facts shall not be subject to any detrimental treatment. In addition, privacy shall be protected.

Human Rights Risk Management at Overseas Group Companies

Responding to Human Rights Issues at Overseas Group Companies

To avoid or mitigate negative impacts on human rights from our business activities, the Group conducts measures to address human rights issues at overseas Group companies.

Specifically, our CSR promotion inspectors toured working environments and examined other aspects of overseas Group companies, confirming compliance with the legal systems in nations and regions where business is conducted and making comparisons with international human rights standards.

In addition, we analyze and evaluate the results of those inspections and implement necessary countermeasures while taking into consideration the national and local culture and customs where we conduct business.

Main inspection items

  • Presence of forced labor, child labor, discrimination
  • Work hours and wage management
  • Respect for diversity (employment of persons with disabilities, promoting women’s roles, etc.)
  • Humane treatment (harassment, internal whistleblower system, etc.)
  • Freedom of association
  • Occupational health and safety, health care
  • Comfortable working environments (job turnover, etc.)
  • Human resources development, fair evaluation and personnel treatment systems

Examples of responses to human rights issues (Fiscal 2020)

Comprehensive labor management

We conducted a survey on working hours and the status of wage management at overseas Group companies and shared information on problem areas relating to labor management by providing feedback of the survey results. We also take measures with the aim of creating mechanisms that enable overseas Group companies to practice appropriate labor management.

Harassment prevention

We distributed videos on Group human rights policies and social trends relating to harassment to overseas resident employees transferred from Japan. In the future, resident employees will conduct training on preventing harassment for local employees.

Prevention of health hazards

In order to prevent harm to health from the lead that is used as a raw material of products, we implemented work environment improvement measures based on the results of periodic measurements of employee blood lead concentrations (measures included improvement of production equipment used to handle lead and instruction on the proper methods of use of protective gear).