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.

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 (referred to as the “Guiding Principles"), which are international norms on human rights. In the Group, the Sustainability Promotion Committee, which promotes Group-wide sustainability initiatives, manages key human rights issues as part of the implementation of human rights management, and the Board of Directors supervises the status of initiatives addressing human rights issues.

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 not only complies with human rights laws and regulations, but also supports international human rights norms and frameworks (including the International Bill of Human Rights, International Labour Organization (ILO) Core Labour Standards, and Guiding Principles) and continuously improves its initiatives for undertaking business activities that take human rights into consideration. We also clearly convey our expectations regarding human rights to all interested parties and implement measures that encourage action in line with those expectations.

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.

Refer here for Sustainability Promotion Framework

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

The GS Yuasa Group ascertains its impact on human rights and appropriately addresses identified human rights issues through ongoing communication with all interested parties.

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

Please scroll sideways

Human rights issues Persons impacted by human rights
Suppliers Employees Local residents Customers, users Local 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
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.)

Please scroll sideways

Priority human rights issues Human rights risk Persons impacted by human rights
Unsafe and unhealthy work environments Risk that workers are unable to work in a healthy manner due to inappropriate occupational health and safety management Employees
Harm to health due to environmental pollution Risk of harm to the lives and health of local residents due to atmospheric pollution or water contamination resulting from business activities Local 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. Within the systems, we have taken measures to ensure confidentiality and anonymity and we provide an environment where users will not incur disadvantage. If information concerning a possible violation of human rights is received, we take measures to prevent any expansion of human rights risks over the course of time by implementing appropriate and prompt countermeasures based on the results of dialogue with the relevant stakeholders. When taking corrective action relating to human right risks, we also make use of the results of discussions with outside experts as needed.

The GS Yuasa Group strives to prevent human rights violations throughout the entire value chain, and if we become aware of any negative impact on human rights, we promptly and appropriately restore and protect the rights of the affected persons.

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 (Fiscal 2022)

Company Number of Worksites Worksite
Implementation Rate
Average implementation time
GS Yuasa International Ltd. 363 100 2.3
Group companies in Japan 149 100 3.8
Total 512 100 2.8

Implemented for all GS Yuasa International Ltd. employees


Worksite Training on Diversity

GS Yuasa International continuously conducts human rights education in the form of meetings for all employees. In fiscal 2022, we set "diversity (psychological safety)" as an essential theme. Through discussions based on case studies in the workplace, an appreciation is fostered in employees that respecting diversity and enhanced awareness of unconscious bias (prejudices that one unconsciously holds due to past experiences, knowledge, and beliefs, among other things) can help to facilitate psychological safety. In the future too, we are committed to promoting the creation of a culture that respects the diversity of all individuals so as to enable all employees to make the most of their multifarious values, experiences, knowledge, and abilities.

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 (the rate of labor union membership is 100%, with the ratio of employees subject to collective bargaining being 79%). 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 on Labor Rights (Domestic Group Companies)

Name of Labor-management
consultative body
Management council 4 times/year Company's management policies, business conditions and status of business execution, etc.
Divisional committee Monthly Checking the status of work hours and making improvements by R&D and business division
Factory committee Monthly Checking the status of work hours and making improvements in production divisions
Central health and safety committee 2 times/year Consultations on policies and initiatives related to Group-wide health and safety management
Health and safety committee Monthly Initiatives to prevent occupational accidents
Expert committee on work hours Monthly Checking the status of work hours and making improvements
Expert committee on the Development of Future Generations 4 times/year Consultations on childcare and nursing care support systems and development of diverse working conditions

Prohibition of Forced Labor and Child Labor

Strict Enforcement of Rules on Forced Labor and Child Labor

The GS Yuasa Group has established fundamental rules on forced labor and child labor, distributed a manual (the CSR Manual) explaining these rules to all employees, and thoroughly informed employees about the prohibition of forced labor and child labor (including the prohibition of complicity in forced labor and child labor). We also conduct self-checks on human rights risks, including risks relating to forced labor and child labor to confirm whether any such practices are occurring.

In fiscal 2021, we conducted surveys on the employment conditions of foreign workers at domestic and overseas business companies. In the future, we plan to conduct surveys regarding inappropriate working conditions for migrant workers (such as whether forced labor is occurring) and to formulate and distribute Group-wide guidelines on strict implementation of appropriate labor management of foreign workers.

Within the Group’s supply chains, we require suppliers to comply with the Responsible Procurement Guidelines, which contain provisions on the prohibition of child labor and all forms of forced labor, among other matters. We also periodically check the status of supplier compliance and request corrective measures as necessary.

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. Further, we educate newly appointed managers with the aim of enhancing their awareness of cases of power harassment and guide them on how to respond when they receive reports from subordinates about damage from harassment. We are committed to ensuring that each and every employee is fully aware of the need for preventing and resolving harassment to secure a comfortable working environment without human rights violations. In addition, 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.

In fiscal 2022, there were no incidents of harassment subject to disciplinary action or admonishment (such as a strict warning) provided in the employment rules. Going forward, we will strive to prevent and reduce the occurrence of harassment by conducting continuous monitoring and improvement measures.

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.

Examples of responses to harassment reported to the Harassment Consultation Hotline

Subject DetailsResponse
Sexual harassmentSpeech or conduct based on awareness of division of roles by genderComprehensive training and guidance for harassers, alerting supervisors, etc.
Power harassmentConduct that causes emotional distress that is not necessary for work
Maternity harassmentHarassment of pregnant employees