Consultation Service on Human Rights

Approach

In case it becomes clear that the Asahi Group caused or was directly involved in any adverse effects on human rights, we will work on the relief of victims through appropriate procedures.

The Asahi Group offers a consultation service regarding human rights. It comprises two whistle-blowing systems: a Clean Line System for employees, and a Procurement Clean Line System for suppliers. Opinions concerning human rights are also fielded through the acceptance of inquiries made through the Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. website. Strict confidentiality and anonymity will be maintained with respect to the information provided.

Within Japan, whistle-blowing reports by employees are fielded internally by the Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. Auditor and Head of the General and Legal Affairs Department in Japan Headquarters, while an external Attorney-at-Law acts as the external contact point. Operating companies outside Japan have established their own individual whistle-blowing desks. Anonymity can be preserved, and the systems are currently available in 22 different languages.

In fiscal 2019, through the Clean Line System for Group employees in Japan, 33 reports were made concerning human rights-related harassment and bad behaviors.

Initiatives to Remedy the Problems Identified

We investigated the information provided by whistle-blowers. Once a violation of compliance was confirmed, we took action to remedy the problem. When there was still room for improvement in matters other than non-compliance, we took necessary measures to respond to such matters.

Whistle-blowing reports that require actions to remedy the problems or improvements are also reported to and discussed by auditors and the Compliance Committee of the Asahi Group.

Initiatives to Prevent Incidents and Their Recurrence

Initiatives to Disclose Information to Employees and Prevent Incidents and Their Recurrence

  • With the aim of enhancing employees' awareness and understanding of the Asahi Group's Clean Line System and eliminating compliance and human rights violations, we disseminate a “Clean Line Report” to Group employees in Japan every year. The report provides a variety of information to enhance the transparency of the system, such as actions taken under the Clean Line System (consultation service, the process implemented after the receipt of a complaint, the time required for an investigation, etc.); concrete cases of non-compliance reports (including investigation findings and corrective measures taken), in which greatest attention is paid to the protection of whistle-blowers; and important points about whistle-blowing.
  • We conduct a compliance survey on an anonymous basis involving major Group companies once a year to learn their awareness of the Clean Line System (including how to use it) and their intention to use the system. Based on survey findings, we identify the issues to address to ensure compliance, including human rights, develop improvement plans, and implement them at each operating company.
  • With regard to harassment, which is the highest in the number of cases reported, in fiscal 2020 we are providing human resources and general affairs personnel of Group companies with training to strengthen individual companies’ efforts to prevent harassment.
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