Asahi Group Human Rights Principles

The Asahi Group is a global corporate group united by pride in its products and services and the passion of its employees worldwide towards the realization of its mission to "deliver on our great taste promise and bring more fun to life." While having our roots in Japan, we have also a globally rich and diverse tradition, and we strive to develop our business with a particular emphasis on a sustainable relationship with our planet and communities.

The Asahi Group Human Rights Principles (hereinafter referred to as “these Principles”) are a foundational element of all our business operations. These Principles are based on the Asahi Group Philosophy, the Asahi Group Code of Conduct and the Asahi Group Sustainability Principles, and govern all other human rights-related policies within the Asahi Group.

These Principles apply to all officers and employees of each Asahi Group company *1. We also encourage all of our business partners, including our suppliers, to acknowledge and conform with these Principles, so as to work together towards the fulfillment of our commitment to human rights in our business operation.

The Board of Directors of Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. is responsible for ensuring that all Asahi Group companies adhere to our human rights commitments and for overseeing their implementation to fulfill these commitments.

  • “all officers and employees of each Asahi Group company” means the Asahi Group companies' board of directors, audit & supervisory board members, executive officers, and others who carry out their duties based on employment contracts with any of Asahi Group companies, other employees seconded to the Asahi Group companies and temporary employees.

Commitment to Respect Human Right

We recognize that the activities of our business may have potential and actual environmental and human rights impacts, from research and development, and procurement through to our products and services. We also recognize that the loss of biodiversity resulting from factors such as climate change, and pollution of air, soil and water, has a direct or indirect negative impact on the actual enjoyment of all human rights.

We are committed to respecting human rights that are recognized internationally and set out in the International Bill of Human Rights *2 and these principles concerning fundamental rights in the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work *3. We will also aim to address social issues such as climate change, biodiversity, discrimination, poverty and others through our business activities in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights *4. We will respect the right on access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, whose ten principles we are committed to upholding.

We will comply with laws and regulations applicable to our business in all countries and regions where we do business. In the event that international human rights are not adequately protected by laws and regulations or enforcement of each country and region, we will seek ways to honor the principles of internationally recognized human rights to the extent possible. Moreover, we will not tolerate threats, intimidation, or physical or legal attacks against human rights defenders.

  • The International Bill of Human Rights refers to three internationally-recognized human rights documents: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its corresponding two international treaties, namely the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. They are considered as internationallyagreed common standards for all people and all nations, and sets out fundamental human rights to be universally protected.
  • The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work sets out principles concerning fundamental rights as minimum labor standards to be protected: freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor, the effective abolition of child labor, and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation, and a safe and healthy working environment.
  • The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011, provide the authoritative global standard for action related to human rights in a business context, clarifying what is expected by governments and companies to address adverse impacts on human rights arising from business activity.

Commitment to Human Rights Due Diligence

We will conduct due diligence to identify, prevent and mitigate adverse human rights impacts that may relate to our business operations to fulfill our commitment to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

We aim to prevent any human rights infringement, whether caused directly by our operations, or indirectly, through the actions of other collaborating parties, including our suppliers and other business partners. If we identify that we have caused or contributed to such infringement, we will take appropriate corrective actions in cooperation with our business partners.

It is critical for us to understand the perspective of affected stakeholders to develop appropriate responses to address any adverse impacts and to prevent similar contraventions from reoccurring in the future. We will share human rights issues related to our business operations with the relevant stakeholders, including human rights defenders, in a timely manner, conduct interactive and sincere engagement, and reflect the affected stakeholders' points of view in our initiatives.

Human Rights Issues Relevant to our Business

We, through human rights due diligence, recognize that the salient human rights issues linked to our business operations are as follows

  • Discrimination: We are committed to encouraging diversity, equity & inclusion(DE&I) and to respect the human rights of individuals. We will not discriminate against or commit any act that damages the dignity of any individual based on nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, ideology, gender, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, political or other opinion, employment status, or any other protected characteristics as defined by national/regional laws and regulations.
  • Harassment: We commit to abstain from any conduct, use of words, or engagement in any form of harassment that could result in harm, whether mental or physical, to others.
  • Forced Labor and Child Labor: We will not engage in forced labor, child labor, or any form of modern slavery including human trafficking. We recognize that children, women, and immigrant workers are among the most vulnerable and marginalized in society. In accordance with our commitment to the UN Global Compact's principles and other international human rights law sources, we pledge to respect the "Children's Rights and Business Principles", as well as the "Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women", and the "International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families".
  • Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining: We will respect the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. Where the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted under national/regional laws and regulations of the countries and regions where we do business, or does not meet the contravention of international human rights standards, we will seek ways to honor these rights by establishing alternative means of dialogue with employees.
  • Occupational Health and Safety: We will keep updated on laws and regulations concerning health and safety in our workplace and the status of their implementation, and always work to maintain a safe and healthy work environment.
  • Working Hours and Wages: We will comply with the international standards on working hours and all applicable laws and regulations related to working hours in the countries and regions where we do business, and we will work to curb overwork by our employees. We will also comply with all applicable laws and regulations related to wages in the countries and regions where we do business. We will achieve fair wages that ensure the living wages, not only comply with minimum wages, in accordance with the laws and regulations of each country.
  • Impacts within the Supply Chain: We will work to understand our supply chain including our business partners and their subcontractors. We will confirm and assess the status of our suppliers' compliance with the standards consistent with these Principles and as required under applicable legislation and regulations. We will also engage with diverse stakeholders to promote respect for human rights in our entire supply chain.
  • Impacts within the Community: We acknowledge that our business operations can have impacts on human rights within the community, such as land rights, access to water, health, and the rights of indigenous peoples. We respect the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and when we acquire land (including purchase, lease, or use), we will do so through fair and lawful negotiations, in a manner consistent with the relevant parts of the IFC Performance Standards and in accordance with the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). We are committed to upholding our human rights responsibility in the communities in which we do business, and aim to contribute to a sustainable society.

Grievance Mechanisms

Employees who observe or suspect a possible violation of applicable laws and regulations of the countries and regions where we do business or of our internal policies, are encouraged to report their concerns with their supervisors, and/or through our internal hotline/whistleblowing systems. We also have inquiry systems through which interested external stakeholders of Asahi Group can notify about violations or actions that may be in violation of these Principles.

We will engage with judicial or non-judicial grievance mechanisms to provide remedy other than those we offer, and we will not impede access to judicial or non-judicial mechanisms available to people who make allegations of potential human rights impacts.

We will not request any individuals or communities affected by our business operations to waive their legal rights to bring claims through other judicial or non-judicial grievance mechanisms, as a condition of receiving remedies through our grievance mechanisms, and require confidentiality provisions (e.g. non-disclosure agreements) with respect to human rights concerns.

We will not tolerate any acts of retaliation against those who express their concerns in good faith or cooperate with our investigation. These reports or notifications enhance the transparency of the Asahi Group's business operations and strengthen mutual trust with our stakeholders.

Awareness Raising and Training

In order to implement and comply with these Principles throughout Asahi Group, we will seek to translate these Principles into relevant languages for the countries and regions where we do business and provide training and education to all officers and employees.

Monitoring and Reporting

We will continually track the implementation of these Principles, and make improvements as necessary. We will regularly disclose our progress towards implementing these Principles through our website, Integrated Report and other relevant communication channels.

These Principles have been approved by the Board of Directors of Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. on 8 December 2023.

8 December 2023
Atsushi Katsuki
President and CEO, Representative Director
Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd.