Initiatives on Respect for Human Rights

Asahi Group Human Rights Formulated

The Asahi Group Human Rights Principles are a foundational element of all our business operations. These Principles are based on the Asahi Group Code of Conduct and Asahi Group Philosophy, and govern all other human rights-related policies within Asahi Group.
In accordance with the Principles, Asahi Group will contribute to the realization of a sustainable society globally by committing to respect human rights and acting on that commitment.

Overview of the Asahi Group Human Rights Principles

  • The Company recognizes that addressing human rights issues linked to business operations constitutes an important element in fulfilling human rights responsibilities and has set eight issues as important human rights issues: Discrimination; Harassment; Forced Labor and Child Labor; Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining; Occupational Health and Safety; Working Hours and Wages; Impacts within the Supply Chain; and Impacts within the Community.
  • Asahi Group has explicitly stated its expectation that not only Asahi Group employees, but also business partners, will understand and uphold the Principles.
  • The Company has explicitly stated that, in realizing the Principles, the Group will place importance on stakeholder perspectives and strive for dialogue with stakeholders and will strive to redress human rights infringements and avoid infringing human rights or contributing to human rights infringements by carrying out human rights due diligence, establishing frameworks for receiving reports from inside and outside the Group, and providing training and education on respect for human rights to all employees.
  • The Board of Directors is to have responsibility for overseeing compliance with the Principles, periodically monitoring the status of compliance with the Principles and progress with its implementation, and will strive to disclose the results.

Process of formulating of the Asahi Group Human Rights Principles

The Asahi Group Human Rights Principles were established through the process outlined below.

Identification of human rights issues and risks in the industry

Together with external experts, we reviewed past case studies that had come to light in countries around the world as well as publicly disclosed information, in order to identify the human rights related risks present in the industry and categorize them into issues affecting each stakeholder. We also studied the Asahi Group's current response to these risks with external experts, and reflected the findings in the assessment of importance outlined below.

Human rights impact assessment items related to each stakeholder:

  • Employees of the Asahi Group and its business partners: working hours, wages, workplace health and safety, discrimination, inhumane treatment, freedom of association/collective bargaining rights, forced labor, child  labor, right to privacy, treatment of migrant workers
  • Business counterparts: human rights issues of business counterparts
  • Customers: product safety, customers' right to privacy
  • Customers and society: responsible product marketing and sales activities
  • Local communities: access to water, rights of indigenous populations (land issues), other community related issues
Assessment of importance

We then assessed the level of importance of the human rights related risks identified via the above process by assigning a score to each item based on factors including the level of severity within the industry, the level of importance, any shortcomings in our current response in comparison to industry or international standards, and Company's potential to play an influential role.

Human Rights Due Diligence

We have formulated the Asahi Group Human Rights Principles on a global scale and commenced our human rights due diligence, which has been recently revised. By doing so, we are working to make our human rights management structure more sophisticated and reduce the risk of human rights infringements.

PDCA process in Human Rights Due Diligence
P Identify and evaluate risks
  • Identify and evaluate actualand potential adverse impacts on stakeholders
D Prevent and mitigate adverse impacts
  • Enact measures to prevent potential adverse impacts from occurring
  • Enact measures to address adverse impacts that have occurred
C Monitor the effectiveness of initiatives
  • Track and monitor the effectiveness of initiatives to respond to adverse impacts that have occurred
A Disclose information
  • Share information with external stakeholders regarding the kind of adverse impacts the Company worked to address
Road Map for Human Rights Initiatives from 2019 to 2021
Road Map for Human Rights Initiatives from 2019 to 2021

Initiatives Grounded in International Principles

Based on the Asahi Group Human Rights Policy, the Asahi Group addresses human rights by referring to international guidelines such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the International Labor Standards, the Children's Rights and Business Principles and ISO26000.

Support for the UN Global Compact

To confirm its respect for workers' rights, the Asahi Group declared its support for the United Nations Global Compact in June 2002 and remains committed to upholding its principles.

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Response to the UK's Modern Slavery Act 2015 and Laws of Relevant Countries

The Asahi Group has released statements on the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 in respect to fiscal 2016 and fiscal 2017. Legislation has been approved around the world calling for a response to human rights on the part of businesses in the same or similar manner as the UK’s Modern Slavery Act.

In light of these developments, the Asahi Group reviewed its existing policies and initiatives related to human rights through the lens of its business activities, culminating in the formulation of the Asahi Group Human Rights Principles and corresponding Group-wide human rights promotion framework in 2019. Based on this policy, the Asahi Group strives to ensure compliance with the laws of relevant countries.

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Modern Slavery Risk Analysis (Theoretical Analysis)

The Asahi Group, in conjunction with its commitment to the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015, conducted a theoretical analysis and assessment of risk focusing on modern slavery from two perspectives: the 17 countries in which the Asahi Group's production bases are located and the 11 major items procured by the Asahi Group. The results of the theoretical analysis were utilized in subsequent efforts to formulate the human rights policy and to review human rights due diligence.

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Respect for Employees' Human Rights

At the Asahi Group, we set out Key Human Resources Principles to state our respect for every Asahi Group employee's character, individuality, and rights. In addition, with regard to the hiring and treatment of an employee, it is stipulated in our work regulations not to discriminate based on the employee's nationality, creed, and social status.
The company has established a reporting and response system for issues related to human rights, which includes a consultation service section in the Human Resources Department as well as the General Affairs Section at business units to deal with such issues.
In addition, the “Asahi Group Code of Conduct” states that “We will not discriminate against any individual based on nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, ideology, gender, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, or employment status”, and we carry out training for all employees to instill in them a proper understanding of the Code.

Educational Programs for Increasing Consideration for elderly people and people with disabilities

The Asahi Group conducts the Universal Manners Test for employees, hosted by the NPO Japan Universal Manners Association.
“Universal Manners” was created by the Japan Universal Manners Association, and refers to mindfulness and behavior that is considerate toward all different kinds of people, such as elderly people, people with disabilities, people using strollers, and people from other countries. We learn about issues faced by many different people and their psychology, and use this understanding in our daily lives and in our work in order to improve our corporate value.

Number of people who took the Universal Manners Test
2016 2017 2018
Level 3 126 105 153
Level 2 42 42 29

Training Program on Discrimination for New Recruits (Asahi Breweries, Ltd.)

To eradicate discrimination, Asahi Breweries, Ltd. provides its new employees with anti-discrimination training in April every year. In this training, new employees view an educational video, which is used to promote understanding of discrimination issues, and have discussions to deepen their awareness of the issues.

Number of participants in the anti-discrimination training and attendance rate
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Number of participants 60 57 77 81 93
Attendance rate 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Training for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Bullying

The Asahi Group has declared that it fulfills its obligation to consider the safety of employees, protects their lives and physical wellbeing together with their health, and takes a firm stance against all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment and bullying.

Training for new line heads throughout the Asahi group involves in-depth discussion and debate of management requirements around compliance and risk, as well as personnel human rights issues such as sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace.

In this way, the Asahi Group is committed to boosting employee awareness at all levels around workplace harassment, compliance requirements and risk mitigation as a preventative measure.

From now on, we will continue to spread the awareness to further promote a worker-friendly work setting.

Respect for Human Rights throughout the Supply Chain

Concerning the Asahi Group's supply chain, we have set “consideration for human rights” as part of the CSR Principles for Asahi Group Suppliers, and we require our suppliers to adhere to this principle. Our suppliers report on their human rights initiatives via the Supplier CSR Survey, which is conducted every three years. The responses to this survey are reflected in supplier evaluations and are used as the basis for future business transactions. We then visit suppliers to conduct interviews based on the survey results. We thereby confirm their situations through face-to-face dialogues and work with them to address their issues, if any.

Before starting to work with a new business partner, Asahi Breweries, Ltd. checks the same information as that obtained through the Supplier CSR Survey. The company requires the new business partner to adhere to the CSR Principles for Asahi Group Suppliers before signing a contract.

In addition to the above, we explain our CSR Principles for Asahi Group Suppliers when the opportunity arises to deepen our suppliers’ understanding of human rights.

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Consultation Service on Human Rights

The Asahi Group offers a consultation service regarding human rights. It comprises two whistle-blowing systems; that is, a Clean Line System for employees and a Procurement Clean Line System for suppliers.

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