Corporate Governance

Compliance Promotion

Our Basic Policy

  1. The Asahi Group defines compliance as acting in a way that society naturally expects of a corporation, in other words, “never betraying the relationship of trust with stakeholders.” As such, the definition encompasses adherence to laws and regulations, internal and external rules such as company rules, as well as social norms.
  2. All business activities of the Asahi Group are founded on the appropriate adherence to laws and regulations. Compliance is indispensable for the corporation’s lasting acceptance by society and for the improvement of corporate value. From such a perspective, all officers and employees are to proactively ensure compliance and to act in ways that place maximum priority on compliance in all aspects of business activities.

The Asahi Group established the Asahi Group Philosophy (AGP) as its Group-wide philosophy in January 2019. To achieve the AGP, we have established the Asahi Group Code of Conduct and is aiming for behavior that places maximum priority on compliance by having all officers and employees become fully aware of the specific behavior expected of them.

Compliance Promotion Systems

The Asahi Group has established the Asahi Group Ethics/Compliance policies to achieve the AGP and to promote the compliance management. Based on the policies, we clarify our internal system and operation, and promote fair and highly transparent business activities in compliance with the broad sense beyond complying with laws and regulations.

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

Also, regarding the promotion system for each organization, the Asahi Group has specified that the top management of group companies is responsible for establishing systems for practicing ethics and compliance and for their appropriate operation. Other officers and all managers are responsible for the practice of ethics and compliance for lines of work they oversee or their department or managerial position as staff members in charge of promoting the practice of ethics and compliance. This is not a system where the driving force is concentrated in a specific organization, such as the general affairs or legal department, but where all organizational units fully commit their forces to moving the company forward in accordance with their individual missions.

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

Monitoring System

Internal Audit

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

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 Asahi Group Internal reporting system policies 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 2018, we investigated and dealt with most of the concerns we received.

Number of Clean Line reports

2015 2016 2017 2018
Types of Reports Harassment/bad behavior - 13 19 25
Mismanagement of employees - 1 13 14
Violation of laws, regulations or company rules - 0 7 2
Using company resources for personal gain - 0 1 0
Other - 1 1 0
Total 35 15 41 41

Implementation of Compliance Training

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

Global Compliance Efforts

The Asahi Group is working to institute a global compliance promotion system to accompany the expansion of its business domains. The Asahi Group Code of Conduct, which was established for all Group companies in January 2019, has been translated into the languages of overseas companies (16 different languages) and is being widely disseminated. With the strengthening of regulations against corruption around the world, we have revised its anti-corruption measures implemented separately by nation and region. It has established the Asahi Group Anti-Bribery Principles in 2018 and is working toward the establishment of a Group-wide anti-corruption system. In addition, we held global legal meetings with the legal staff of overseas Group companies (five locations) in 2018 to exchange information and to further the understanding of legal policies.