Corporate Governance

Compliance Promotion Systems and Activities

The Asahi Group has established the Asahi Group Corporate Ethics Regulations to realize its corporate philosophy and to promote compliant management.

Based on these regulations, we aim to make our internal systems related to compliance and their operation clear, and to promote business activities that are legal, in accordance with compliance in its broad sense, and highly fair and transparent. In July 2011, with our shift to becoming a pure holding company, we established the Asahi Group Business Corporate Ethics Guidelines and made necessary revisions to these guidelines in January 2015 to improve their penetration and based on changes to the business environment.

Moreover, throughout its risk management and compliance initiatives, the Asahi Group adheres to its Basic Policy on the Improvement of Internal Controls, which is founded upon corporate law.

Compliance Promotion Systems

The Asahi Group has established the Asahi Group Risk Management Committee as a highest-order deliberation and promotion organ for risk management and compliance. This Committee consists of the directors, the general manager of the General Affairs and Legal Affairs Section and other persons from Asahi Group Holdings who were appointed separately by the Committee. It administers the Corporate Ethics Rules, the Clean Line System (whistle-blowing system) and encourages the entrenchment of and evaluates the improvement status of compliance.

In the promotion system for each organization, the line manager is positioned as the center for compliance promotion so that compliance can be thoroughly ensured at the Asahi Group for each individual staff member through daily management. This is not a system for concentrating specific Group company driving power, but one where each organization focuses their general power in accordance with each of their missions to concentrate general power and lead the company.

At Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. and its Group companies in Japan, the highest ranking staff member for risk management and compliance is called the “Risk and Compliance Chief Officer” and the person responsible at each organization is called the “Risk and Compliance Executive Manager.” “Risk and Compliance Professionals” have also been assigned as assistants for these.

The Asahi Group is thoroughly implementing actions to give the highest priority to compliance in all aspects of business activities in its staff participatory compliance promotion system that centers on these responsible staff members.

Compliance Promotion System, Details and Positioning

System name Positioning standard Responsibilities
Risk and Compliance Chief Officer (RCO) President or executive responsible for legal affairs
  • General manager responsible for compliance and risk management
  • Assign RCM and RCP
  • Be aware of issues relating to risk management and compliance promotion within own company; carry out company-wide PDCA cycles
Risk and Compliance Executive Manager (RCM) All line managers (in principle)
  • Carry out PDCA cycle for risk management and compliance in the organization
  • Supportive individual risk management and compliance projects in the organization
  • Provide support for participation in and activities for PDCA cycles for risk management and compliance in organizations other than the head office
  • Set out compliance policy within own company
Risk and Compliance Professionals (RCP) At least one person in each Group company
  • Support the activities of the RCO and RCM (head office)
  • Review work processes and raise awareness in line with revisions to important laws and internal policies

Monitoring System

Internal Audit

Asahi Group Holdings checks compliance with legal and company rules in internal audits conducted by our Audit Section.

Regular Risk Investigation

Compliance risk management is an extremely important part of corporate risk management. Therefore, Asahi Group Holdings conducts an investigation once per year to detect potential risks including risks of legal violations. Risks that are detected are improved based on the PDCA cycle in accordance with the instructions of the Risk Management Committee.

Compliance Survey

At the Asahi Group, an anonymous survey is conducted once a year across the entire Group in Japan. The aim is to conduct fixed point observation of rules related to compliance, tool dissemination and actually observed compliance problems.

Whistle-blower scheme

A confidential whistle-blower scheme called the Clean Line System has been set up to encourage early detection of risks associated with the corporate activities of the Asahi Group and prevent risks from developing into series problems.. Where the matter involves a breach or potential breach of the relevant laws and regulations or internal company rules, and where the matter cannot be resolved satisfactorily by management, the whistle-blower is encouraged to deal with contacts either inside or outside the company as required. The first point of contact for internal reporting is normally an auditor of board member or the general manager of the General & Legal Affairs Management Section of Asahi Group Holdings. There is also an external attorney acting as the external liaison. Anonymity is assured for all whistle-blower reports.

All notifications are thoroughly investigated by the general manager of Asahi Group Holdings’ General & Legal Affairs Management Section or equivalent and then dealt with as appropriate. The Corporate Ethics Rules at the Asahi Group guarantee confidentiality and stipulate that no person shall suffer detrimental treatment as a result of making a notification.

The Asahi Group is committed to ensuring that employees are fully aware of the Clean Line System. A link is displayed prominently on the front page of the company intranet, and details are also provided on the Compliance Card carried by all employees.

In 2017, we investigated and dealt with most of the concerns we received.

Number of Clean Line reports

2015 2016 2017
Types of Reports Harassment/bad behavior - 13 19
Mismanagement of employees - 1 13
Violation of laws, regulations or company rules - 0 7
Using company resources for personal gain - 0 1
Other - 1 1
Total 35 15 41

Implementation of Compliance Training

The Asahi Group companies independently planned and implemented corporate ethics training with the optimal content and method for their actual status in order to familiarize employees with important internal and external rules surrounding the Group's business activities and to promote adherence to compliance.

Compliance training to promote proper and easy-to-understand representations

In April 2017, the Asahi Group, primarily the General & Legal Affairs Management Section, implemented training for staff members of the quality assurance sections and legal sections at Group companies on labeling in accordance with the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, the Health Promotion Act, the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, and so on.

By checking the representations management system of each group company and sharing concrete examples at the latest, we were able to make this training more pragmatic and specialized in content.