Guidelines for Group Shared Policy for Suppliers

Ajinomoto Group
Established on : November 11, 2013
Revised on : July 1, 2018
Revised on: November 1, 2022
Revised on: April 1, 2024

We believe every supplier we trade with—who provide raw materials, products, and services—is an essential partner in contributing to sustainable societies.

It is essential all our suppliers understand our Ajinomoto Group philosophy and ways of thinking, that we work together, meet our corporate social responsibilities, and undertake measures throughout our supply chain to make our societies truly sustainable.

The Guidelines for Group Shared Policy for Suppliers (the Guidelines) sets out specific actions we require of our suppliers in relation to the seven expectations of the Group Shared Policy for Suppliers (the Policy). We have classified these topics as either mandatory or developmental topics. We require all our suppliers to undertake topics classified as mandatory. While we encourage our suppliers to undertake further topics towards those classified as developmental to help make our societies more sustainable and to fulfill our corporate social responsibilities together.

The scope of application of the Guidelines is all companies and employees (including permanent employees, temporary employees, contracted employees, and franchised dealers) of Ajinomoto Group and its suppliers, including affiliated companies and outsourced manufacturers. We would appreciate the cooperation of our suppliers in understanding the purposes, and in actively promoting compliance, of the Policy and the Guidelines, including within your suppliers and contractors (upstream supply chain, dealers, and their respective employees), which constitute your supply chain.

We would also appreciate the cooperation of our suppliers in responding to questionnaires so we can understand the level of compliance with the Policy and the Guidelines. We also ask for understanding in the event we need to gain further clarification of the level of compliance by undertaking visits and requesting provision of information.

When it is confirmed mandatory topics are not being complied with, we will request to take action to improve them. Moreover, when necessary, the Ajinomoto Group will provide ongoing support to ensure such situations are remedied. We will respond appropriately, including reviewing contracts with suppliers, when such situations are not remedied or there are ongoing serious breaches of compliance.

We kindly ask for your cooperation in complying with the Guidelines, so we can together fulfill our corporate social responsibilities and help make our societies more sustainable.

Ⅰ. Establishment of Compliance Framework and Compliance with Statutory and Regulatory Requirements, and Accepted Social Norms

Suppliers are requested to comply with the statutory and regulatory requirements, and the accepted social norms of those countries and regions in which we operate; and will establish a compliance framework for preventing violation of laws and inappropriate behavior by our company and employees, as well as a response mechanism that can quickly handle problems as they occur.


  • Businesses—as a necessity of running their operations—must understand various relevant statutory and regulatory requirements that impose various obligations; must obtain various permits, approvals, and licenses, as necessary; and must also comply with various requirements such as quality standards, labeling methods, document issuance, regular reporting, and creation of transaction records.

Ⅰ-1 Prohibition of Corruption, Bribery, and Related Illegal Acts

Bribery, illegal political donations, and related behaviors are strictly prohibited to ensure that relations with politicians and governments are maintained on a sound and acceptable basis.

Specific actions:
  • Statutory and regulatory requirements prohibiting bribery and illegal political contributions shall be strictly complied with by formulating related policies, understanding risks, and providing training and education opportunities to personnel in charge.
  • The following shall be implemented as methods of understanding and managing risk:
    • Examples of initiatives to understand risk:
      • Regular risk assessments (internal audits)
      • Establishment of a department in charge of understanding risk
      • Implementation of training and education for managers
      • Collaboration with external experts
    • Examples of initiatives to manage risk:
      • Commitment of management to deal with bribery and corruption
      • Implementation of training and education for employees
      • Sharing of company policies with suppliers


  • Bribery is the provision of money, entertainment, gifts, or some other benefit or advantage to a government employee or someone of similar standing in return for advantage to one’s business, such as the acquisition or maintenance of a business contract or transaction, or the acquisition of a license or non-public information.
  • An illegal political donation is, for example, making a political donation in return for advantage to one’s business, such as the acquisition or maintenance of a business contract or transaction, or the acquisition of a license or non-public information; or a making a political donation without following the correct procedures.

Ⅰ-2 Prevention of the Abuse of Superior Bargaining Positions

Behavior in abuse of a superior bargaining position that is detrimental to a business partner is prohibited.

Specific actions:
  • Purchasing transactions must be conducted in good faith, impartiality, and fairness—such as being contractually based—and must not abuse a superior bargaining position.
  • Laws and regulations* related to abuse of dominant bargaining position must be complied with in countries where such laws or regulations exist.


  • Abuse of superior bargaining position is when a business operator who is in a dominant bargaining position uses that position to unilaterally determine or change the terms and conditions of transactions with a business partner to their own advantage or imposes disadvantageous demands or obligations on them.

* Laws and regulations in Japan refer to the Act against Delay in Payment of Subcontract Proceeds, and so on.

Ⅰ-3 Prohibition of Giving and Receiving Inappropriate Benefits

The giving and receiving of inappropriate benefits in connection with relationships with stakeholders is prohibited.

Specific actions:
  • The giving and receiving of inappropriate benefits with stakeholders shall be prevented by formulating related policies, understanding risks, and providing training and education opportunities to employees.


  • The giving and receiving of inappropriate benefits include the following.
    • Acts of bribery such as the giving or receiving of money (including gifts, prizes, prize money) or entertainment beyond the scope of laws, regulations, or socially accepted protocols.
    • Acts that benefit antisocial forces (criminal or terrorist organizations) that adversely affect social order or the sound activities of society
    • Provision of profits to specific shareholders
    • Insider trading such as the buying or selling of shares of a client’s company based on important non-public information about the business of the said client

Ⅰ-4 Prohibition of Behavior that Restricts Competition

Behavior that impedes equitable, transparent, and unfettered competition is prohibited.

Specific actions:
  • Acts that impede competition are prohibited, such as forming of cartels—namely collusion with other companies within an industry on price, quantity, or sales area of a product or service—and bid-rigging—namely collusion with other bidders to determine the party or amount of the winning bid.
  • Acts of unfair competition are prohibited, including illegally obtaining and using trade secrets of other companies, false labelling of another company’s products, and labelling of products in a misleading manner such as relating to the origin or quality of one’s products.

Ⅰ-5. Respecting Intellectual Property

Infringements of other companiesʼ intellectual property rights are prohibited.

Specific actions:
  • Preliminary investigations of the intellectual property rights of third parties must be undertaken when developing, producing, selling, or providing products or services.


  • Intellectual property rights refer to patent rights, utility model rights, design rights, trademark rights, copyrights, trade secrets, and so on.
  • Intellectual property right infringement includes, unauthorized use of a third party’s intellectual property rights, illegal copying of copyrighted works such as computer software, and acquisition and use of a third party's trade secrets by illegal means.

Ⅰ-6. Engaging in Appropriate Export and Import Management

Steps shall be taken to ensure strict compliance with related statutory and regulatory requirements, establish an appropriate export and import management structure and systems, and engage in proper export and import procedures.

Specific actions:
  • Appropriate export and import management in compliance with related statutory and regulatory requirements shall be ensured by formulating related policies, understanding risks, and providing training and education opportunities to personnel in charge.


  • Regarding imports, there are numerous instances, primarily under the Customs Act, for each country to require permits, examinations, and inspections for each product for reasons such as health and hygiene.
  • Similarly, regarding exports, there are various regulations for each exporting country and product, therefore, various import/export management requirements must be complied with.

Ⅰ-7. Information Disclosure

Every effort shall be made to actively disclose information to all stakeholders irrespective of the existence or otherwise of statutory and regulatory requirements.

Specific actions:
  • Every effort shall be made to actively and fairly disclose information, promote dialogue, and to improve corporate transparency in relation to customers, shareholders, investors, employees, business partners, local communities, government, mass media, and so on.

Ⅰ-8. Eliminate Any and All Relations with Antisocial Forces

Any and all relations with antisocial forces and organizations that pose a threat to the order and safety of civil society shall be strictly prohibited.

Specific actions:
  • Any and all relations—including for the purchase of land or to facilitate business activities—with antisocial forces and organizations are strictly prohibited.


  • The Anti-Organized Crime Law in Japan prohibits acts such as donations and support of antisocial forces.

Ⅰ-9. Prevention and Early Detection of Misconduct

Activities for preventing misconduct shall be carried out, and a system for the early detection and handling of misconduct shall be established.

Specific actions:
  • Systems—both internal and external—for reporting (whistleblowing) misconduct shall be established to enable management to detect misconduct at an early stage.
  • The confidentiality of whistleblowers shall be protected appropriately.
  • Misconduct shall be responded to promptly and the results of such responses shall be fed back to the whistleblower as appropriate.

Ⅱ. Respect for Human Rights

Suppliers are requested to respect the human rights of all employees, to treat employees with dignity, and to provide a safe and comfortable work environment free of forced or compulsory labor or child labor.

Specific actions:
  • Company policies and thinking regarding respect for human rights shall be clearly publicized and disseminated to relevant parties, including officers and employees.
  • Risks related to human rights shall be understood; and the following initiatives implemented:
    • Examples of initiatives to understand risk:
      • Regular human rights risk assessments and internal auditing are undertaken
      • A department in charge of understanding and managing risk is established
      • Risks are understood in cooperation with labor unions
      • Support is garnered from external experts
  • Training and education opportunities shall be provided to officers and employees to understand human rights issues, international trends regarding respect for human rights (see notes below), and so on.


  • The increase in labor and human rights issues accompanying the globalization of business activities has led to the creation of international rules that strengthen responses of companies to these issues.
  • Since the submission of the Collective Report on Business and Human Rights to the United Nations in 2008, labor and human rights issues in the international community have become cemented as significant issues in international norms of behavior such as through the launch in 2010 of ISO 26000 (Guidance on Social Responsibility) and the 2011 revision of OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
  • Furthermore, in 2011, the United Nations endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; and, with national action plans being formulated in each country, it has become a global standard that all countries and companies should respect.

Ⅱ-1. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

All forms of forced labor and the imposition of activities against an individual’s will are strictly prohibited. Our actions will be based on principles for countering practices that may lead to forced or compulsory labor. Namely, we will ensure freedom of movement, prohibit demands for compensation for finding work placements, and prohibit all forms of coercion and debt bondage.

Specific actions:
  • The right of workers to freely leave their jobs must be upheld.
  • Holding of identity papers such as ID cards, passports, and work permits by employers is strictly prohibited.
  • Work during hours not agreed to in advance by an employee is prohibited.
  • Workers shall not be made to bear temporary staffing fees and related fees in accordance with the laws and regulations of each country* or the provisions of the ILO.
  • Written contracts shall be concluded with all workers in an employment relationship in their native language or in a language in which they have a detailed understanding.
  • Training and education on occupational health and safety shall be provided to migrant workers—such as technical intern trainees and Specified Skill Workers (Japan)—in their native language or in a language in which they have a detailed understanding.
  • Training and education opportunities in subjects such as the following shall be provided to foreign workers—such as technical intern trainees and Specified Skill Workers (Japan).
    • Examples of training/education subjects:
      • Labor rights and standards
      • How to access relief
      • Local law
      • Local language


  • Forced labor is any work or service which people are forced or coerced to do against their will.
    • Forced labor includes, but is not limited to, the following:
      • Forcing a person to work against their will
      • Debt bondage is where one’s freedom to leave one’s job is restricted until a debt is repaid
      • Slave labor as a result of human trafficking
      • Inhumane prison labor in harsh environments
      • Being denied the right to stop working or leave a job
      • Forcing an employee to deposit identity papers such as ID cards, passports, or work permits with their employer
      • Coercion of an employee to work hours they have not agreed to in advance

* Suppliers employing foreign interns under the Technical Intern Training Program in Japan must follow laws and regulations such as the Act on Proper Technical Intern Training and Protection of Technical Intern Trainees.

Ⅱ-2. Prohibiting Child Labor

It is vitally important to understand the destructive nature of child labor and to strictly prohibit the employment of children below the legal age.

Specific actions:
  • Laws and international norms prohibiting child labor shall be strictly complied with by formulating related policies, understanding risks, and providing training and education opportunities to personnel in charge.


  • The International Labor Organization (ILO) sets the minimum age for admission to employment or work “shall be not less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling and, in any case, shall not be less than 15 years” and “the minimum age for work likely to jeopardize the health, safety or morals of children shall not be less than 18 years.” Child labor refers to work that violates these age limits.
  • Some examples of statutory and regulatory requirements that protect young workers from hazardous work include those restricting night work and hazardous work. Overseas also, employment or violation of obligations to protect persons under the minimum working age, as stipulated in the laws of the country of residence, is deemed child labor. In countries where there are no relevant statutory or regulatory requirements, acts that violate the ILO's minimum age conventions and recommendations are deemed as child labor. (Child labor refers to labor that impedes the healthy development of children and does not include helping families at home or in the fields or working part-time to earn pocket money.)

Ⅱ-3. Prohibiting Discrimination

Steps shall be taken to respect the statutory and regulatory requirements and cultures of each country and region. Discrimination in connection with employment opportunities, recruitment, promotion, and compensation with respect to any and all persons on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, beliefs, place of birth, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity is prohibited.

Specific actions:
  • Discrimination on the basis of any factor, including gender, in regard to how we treat people such as for recruitment, promotion, and compensation is prohibited.
  • Systems and conditions must be established to make it easy for both men and women to take childcare (maternity/paternity) leave.
  • Systems and conditions should be established to make it easy for both men and women to return to work from taking childcare (maternity/paternity) leave.
  • Understanding the (professional) membership status and working status of employees is important for understanding the risk of human rights violations of workers. Relevant data and records (such as data for each gender regarding average years of employment, absenteeism rate, return rate from long-term leave) should be obtained.


  • Discrimination refers to the giving of different opportunities and treatment such as in recruitment, promotion, remuneration, and access to training, depending on factors other than rational factors such as the person's ability, aptitude, or achievements.
  • Discrimination factors include race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, beliefs (political opinion and so on.), place of birth, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, union membership, and marital status. It is also considered discriminatory if a health examination or pregnancy test impedes equal opportunity or fairness in treatment.

Ⅱ-4. Prohibiting Inhumane Treatment and Harassment

Every effort must be made to respect the human rights of employees and to eliminate all forms of harassment—sexual and power harassment—mistreatment, corporal punishment, psychological coercion, and verbal abuse from our workplaces.

Specific actions:
  • Inhumane treatment, including all forms of harassment—sexual and power harassment—mistreatment, corporal punishment, psychological coercion, and verbal abuse, shall be eliminated by formulating related policies, understanding risks, and providing training and education opportunities.


  • Inhumane treatment refers to mistreatment, corporal punishment, sexual harassment, power harassment (verbal abuse in the form of harassment or intimidation), and so on. Harassment also includes a range of statements or actions that are deemed unfavorable by the person concerned or that may be objectively deemed unfavorable.

Ⅱ-5. Appropriate Salaries and Wages

Appropriate wages and salaries shall be paid to employees in accordance with all related laws and regulations, including on minimum wage, overtime, and statutory benefits.

Specific actions:
  • Wages shall not be reduced in violation of labor-related laws and regulations.
  • Workers shall be appropriately informed in relation to their salary (including overtime, bonuses, deductions), paid leave, and statutory benefits in written form such as by pay slip.


  • The minimum wage is the minimum wage as stipulated by wage-related laws and regulations in the country of residence. This clause also includes payment of other allowances, including overtime pay and statutory benefits.

Ⅱ-6. Appropriate Management of Working Hours

Employees’ working hours, non-working days and holidays shall be managed in an appropriate manner to ensure they do not exceed limits prescribed under relevant laws and regulations.

Specific actions:
  • The number of working days per year of employees shall be managed to ensure it does not exceed the legal limit, even if the work is requested by the employee, and regardless of whether instructed by the company.
  • Work hours per week (excluding emergencies) including overtime hours shall be managed to ensure they do not exceed the legal limit.
  • A minimum of one day’s holiday per week and the right to annual paid leave as required by law shall be granted to employees.

Ⅱ-7. Rights of Employees to Organize

The right of employees to organize as a method of facilitating consultation between management and labor with respect to such issues as working conditions and wage levels shall be respected.

Specific actions:
  • Workers’ rights to freely organize, form trade unions and to bargain collectively in accordance with the laws and regulations of each country or the provisions of the ILO shall be respected.


  • Workers’ rights to freely organize, form trade unions and to bargain collectively means ensuring employees’ have the freedom to form unions, to join unions and workers' councils, to bargain collectively, and to protest, without threat of retaliation, coercion, or harassment.

Ⅱ-8. Ensuring access to remedy

The rights of employees to easily accessible, reliable, and fair remedy mechanisms (whistleblowing and grievance mechanisms) shall be ensured.

Specific actions:
  • Easy-to-access reporting and consultation points of contact (such as an in-house reporting/consultation/whistleblowing contact point or opinion box, or a hotline provided by a third-party organization) shall be established to enable employees to file complaints.
  • The privacy of the whistleblowers and the parties concerned shall be protected, and solutions/responses shall be provided promptly.


  • It is important to establish reporting and consultation points of contact and mechanism for responding to enquiries (grievance mechanisms) that can be used by people whose human rights have been infringed on to enable rapid remedy and resolution of issues.
  • Utilizing public sector—government agencies or institutions—or third-party reporting or consultation points of contact is also effective when establishing an independent in-house system proves difficult.
  • Informing employees, both internally and externally, of the existence of reporting or consultation points of contact is important.

Ⅲ. Occupational Health and Safety

Suppliers are requested to take all necessary steps to prevent accidents and disasters by maintaining and enhancing the occupational health and safety of employees and all parties engaged in a working capacity.


  • Many occupational health and safety laws and regulations are based on lessons learned from accidents, and it is important to grasp and disseminate such information to employees to reduce the risk of similar accidents.

Ⅲ-1. Ensuring Safety in the Workplace

Steps shall be taken to assess all risks associated with workplace safety and to ensure safety by adopting all appropriate design, technology, and management measures.

Specific actions:
  • Occupational health and safety risks of each workplace shall be understood and managed to prevent disasters and accidents. The following measures should be implemented to understand and manage risks.
    • Examples of measures to understand risks:
      • Regular risk assessments (identification of potential dangers/hazards)
      • Internal audits
      • Training and support in collaboration with consultants and experts
      • Establish an occupational health and safety committee
  • Regularly inspect the machines used, maintain them appropriately, and install safety devices and protective equipment in dangerous places.
  • Ensure safety with appropriate means of design, technology, and management in response to changing conditions such as changes in equipment.
  • Consider the safety of visitors to workplaces in addition to employees.
  • Undertake disaster evacuation drills and occupational health and safety training for employees.
  • In the event of a serious accident or injury in the workplace, accurately grasp the situation and take appropriate measures.
  • Assign dedicated staff to occupational health and safety, in addition to an occupational health and safety manager.
  • Even if a minor accident or injury occurs in the workplace, accurately grasp the situation, and take appropriate measures.

Ⅲ-2. Management of Facilities and the Workplace Environment

Efforts shall be made to create a working environment that enables each employee to work in a safe and healthy manner.

Specific actions:
  • Special consideration should be given to those engaged in work that is physically burdensome or involving handling of harmful substances.
  • Every effort shall be made to prevent accidents and disasters, and to create comfortable working environments by considering the characteristics of each worker—in addition to characteristics such as differences in age and height, postnatal and pregnant mothers, and persons with disabilities.


  • work that is physically burdensome and special considerations refer to the following:
    • Handling heavy objects (example of special consideration: setting maximum weights for men and women)
    • Working for long periods of time in hot and cold environments (example of special consideration: preparation of winter clothes and instruction to wear them)
    • Dusty work (example of special consideration: preparation of appropriate protective gear and instruction to wear it), etc.To guarantee such products, suppliers must establish, operate and consistently improve a range of systems, including quality management systems.
  • involving handling of harmful substances and special considerations refer to the following:
    • Substances that may affect health (examples of special considerations: alternative measures according to the risks of chemical substances, maintenance of work environment, health management, preparation and wearing of protective equipment, emergency measures, theft prevention management, leakage prevention)
    • Substances with a risk of fire and explosion (examples of special considerations: alternative measures according to the risk of chemical substances, fire and explosion prevention measures, health management, maintenance of work environment, preparation and wearing of protective equipment, instructions for emergency measures, anti-theft management, leakage prevention)

Ⅲ-3. Ensuring Clean and Sanitary Workplaces

In addition to providing toilets and rest areas in company workplaces, whether employees come into contact with harmful organisms, chemical substances, excessive noise or odors in workplaces should be determined, and any countermeasures should be implemented, as appropriate. The same standards shall apply to any company-provided employee living quarters.

Specific actions:
  • Provide sufficient clean toilets, access to drinking water and food, and places of rest for all employees.
  • Maintain hygienic environments by providing appropriate ventilation and air conditioning in workplaces.
  • Take countermeasures for harmful organisms and chemical substances handled in workplaces, and noises and bad odors, considering the impact on surrounding residents and the environment in addition to employees.
  • The safety of the employee housing facilities should be ensured through audits and visits to confirm safety, in cases of ownership of facilities used by employees outside of work—such as dormitories.
  • In case of ownership of facilities used by employees outside of work—such as dormitories:
    • Develop policies regarding housing facilities.
    • Assign a person in charge of management of housing facilities.
    • Establish a hotline where claims or complaints regarding the housing facility can be filed.

Ⅳ. Ensuring Product and Service Quality and Safety

Suppliers shall take all necessary steps to ensure that their products and services meet all the safety standards prescribed under the laws and regulations of each country; at the same time, they shall adhere strictly to the quality management policy. Suppliers shall also put in place appropriate business continuity plans to ensure the prompt resumption of mainstay activities in the event of unforeseen circumstances, thereby ensuring stable supply.


  • Identifying customer needs and delivering a stable supply of safe products that are useful for society is one of the most important missions of a corporation. This must be achieved in partnership with all suppliers.
  • To guarantee such products, suppliers must establish, operate and consistently improve a range of systems, including quality management systems.

Ⅳ-1 Managing Quality

Suppliers are requested to establish and operate quality management systems.

Specific actions:
  • Suppliers must develop the following and establish a quality management system in order to maintain the quality of products and services.
    • organizational structures
    • systematic activities
    • sharing of responsibilities
    • practices
    • procedures
    • processes
    • management resources
  • Suppliers must create product or service quality policies and measures.
  • Suppliers must ascertain the state that quality policies and measures have been implemented when operating the above systems and work to maintain and improve the system.


  • Quality management systems refer to broad-based management frameworks that are designed to promote quality assurance activities. These systems encompass organizational structures, systematic activities, the sharing of responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes, and management resources.
  • Quality assurance activities refer to the drawing up of quality policies, implementation in accordance with these policies, achievement, review, and maintenance. Quality assurance therefore involves a repetitive PDCA cycle that facilitates continuous improvements in quality assurance. A representative quality management system is the ISO* 9000 series.

    * ISO:International Organization for Standardization

Ⅳ-2 Providing Accurate Information on Products and Services

Suppliers are requested to make every effort to provide accurate information regarding products and services to customers.

Specific actions:
  • Customers must be provided with accurate information regarding the following items.
    • Specifications, quality, and handling procedures
    • Raw materials used in products, materials used in packaging materials, etc.
  • The following points must be kept in mind regarding expressions included in displays, advertising, and promotions such as product and service catalogs.
    • Wording and expressions that are false or that cause misunderstanding among consumers and customers cannot be used.
    • Information that defames other companies or individuals or infringes on other rights cannot be included.

Ⅳ-3 Ensuring Product Safety

At the time of product design, products and raw materials shall satisfy the safety standards prescribed under the laws and regulations of each country as well as the required standards of business companies.

Specific actions:
  • Products and raw materials must satisfy safety standards stipulated by laws and regulations of each country.
  • Requirements related to product quality stipulated in agreements on aspects such as quality assurance with suppliers must be fulfilled.
  • When designing/developing products, suppliers must ensure sufficient product safety at the design and development stage.
  • When manufacturing products, suppliers must use agreed upon raw materials and ensure product safety through appropriate production methods.


  • For example, suppliers should reference food related statutory and regulatory requirements in such leading countries as the U.S. and EU as well as safety assessment reports.
  • Suppliers shall reference food-related recommendations made by the FAO*1 and WHO*2 with respect to safety assessment reports as well as food and food additive standards, where available.

    *1 FAO stands for Food and Agriculture Organization.
    *2 WHO stands for World Health Organization.

Ⅳ-4 Ensuring Stable Supply of Products

Suppliers are requested to develop a business continuity plan (BCP) to promptly restore core operations even in unforeseen circumstances, as a part of efforts to ensure the stable supply of products.

Specific actions:
  • Suppliers must establish the business continuity level in the case of a natural disaster, large-scale accident, or emergency such as pandemic.
  • Suppliers must create an emergency operation manual that ensures the above business continuity level when there is a crisis and provide training for employees.


  • BCPs encompass all plans to ensure not only employee safety but also business continuity in the event of a natural disaster, including large-scale earthquakes and floods, as well as emergency situations such as a major explosion or fire at a factory, or a pandemic.
  • Under such plans, suppliers shall establish the target level for business continuity, create manuals for when there is a crisis, and carry out training to continue priority core operations.

Ⅴ. Taking into Consideration the Global Environment

The business of the Ajinomoto Group is supported by sound food systems*1 based on stable food resources and the vibrant natural environment.

Building a sustainable global environment requires cooperation from our suppliers. We will continue to strengthen our partnership and collaboration with them as we work toward that goal.

Ⅴ-1 Climate Change

The Ajinomoto Group aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout its supply and value chains.

We expect suppliers to establish voluntary targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and take measures to reduce them.

Specific actions:
  • Suppliers must set quantitative voluntary targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Ajinomoto Group is dedicated to achieving the GHG emission reduction targets certified by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). Suppliers are encouraged to take in the ideas and the significance of the Science Based targets in setting their own targets.


Initiatives to minimize negative environmental impact, such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, result in the streamlining of business activities. We are required to set quantitative voluntary targets and actively improve efficiency. In particular, to address global issues related to resources and the environment, it is recommended to take a holistic approach that considers the entire lifecycle of products and business activities, not just the company's operations. This approach should cover the entire supply chain and value chain.

Examples of such activities include understanding greenhouse gas emissions at the SCOPE3* level and calculating carbon footprints.

*“SCOPE 3” refers to the greenhouse gas emissions that occur within a company's value chain or supply chain, which are not included in SCOPE 1 (direct GHG emissions by the company) or SCOPE 2 (indirect emissions in the company generated by the use of electricity, heat, and steam provided by other entities). Specifically, this term refers to emissions associated with the manufacture and transportation of raw materials, use and disposal of products, and employee business trips and commuting.

Ⅴ-2 Biodiversity

The Ajinomoto Group monitors the status of ecosystems and biodiversity conservation throughout its supply chain and value chain in regions where it conducts business activities and procures raw materials and is taking steps to make necessary improvements.

We expect our suppliers to collaborate with the related parties in order to work towards biodiversity conservation.

Specific actions:
  • It is important to suppliers to avoid clearing primary and secondary forests, as well as developing protected areas or peatlands.
  • When developing new industrial or agricultural land, suppliers should take measures to avoid or mitigate the loss of natural ecosystems and biodiversity.


Land use and alteration during the development of factories and farms may destroy important ecosystems and biodiversity or compromise the rights and livelihoods of local residents. Local residents, NGOs, governments, and other stakeholders may strongly condemn such developments, which will damage the company's image and may force it to cease its operations there.

Ⅴ-3 Plastic Waste

The Ajinomoto Group is taking steps to reduce the amount of plastic waste by using only the minimum amount of plastic required for product safety and quality. Additionally, all plastic used is being converted into materials that are suitable for recycling. This will help prevent plastics from being disposed of through simple burning, landfill, or environmental runoff. At the same time, the company supports national and regional efforts to collect, sort, and recycle waste.

We expect suppliers to work on reducing their plastic waste as well.

Specific actions:
  • Suppliers must work to reduce plastic use.
  • Suppliers must contribute to collecting, sorting, and recycling plastics to reduce plastic waste.
  • Suppliers who use plastic should consider using recyclable packaging materials.


As plastic would not be decomposed in nature, it can remain as it is after disposal. Improperly discarded plastics accumulate in soil and the ocean floor, causing significant harm to ecosystems and the environment.

Ⅴ-4 Food Loss and Waste (FLW)

The Ajinomoto Group has a long-term goal of reducing the amount of food loss and waste (FLW) generated throughout the lifecycle of its products by 50%. To achieve this, we are promoting various initiatives. We also expect our suppliers to work on reducing FLW.

Specific actions:
  • Suppliers that generate FLW must strive to reduce it.


Food loss and waste occur at every stage of the food supply chain, from agricultural production to consumption. With limited food resources and a growing world population, reducing FLW is crucial to meet the increasing demand for food products in the future.

Ⅴ-5 Water

The Ajinomoto Group is promoting water conservation through efficient water use and prevention of water quality deterioration toward efficient water use and prevention of water quality deterioration whenever necessary.

We also expect our suppliers to work on improving the efficiency of their water use.

Specific actions:
  • Suppliers must make efforts to enhance efficiency and optimize the usage of water.
  • Suppliers must work to conserve water resources.
  • Suppliers must maintain close communication with local communities and other stakeholders whenever necessary.


As the world's population grows, the demand for water is expected to increase. However, fresh water is unevenly distributed on the planet. The depletion of water resources will impact not only the production of water itself but also the procurement of raw materials. In addition, droughts, floods, and deterioration of water quality could lead to delays in production.

Ⅴ-6 Environmental Management System

We expect all our suppliers to comply with environmental laws and regulations for the global environment, establish and operate an environmental management system, and to continuously improve to reduce the negative effects of our business operations on the environment.

Specific actions:
  • Suppliers must comply with all relevant national and local laws, regulations, and rules.


In recent years, several laws, regulations, and policies related to the environment and human rights have been implemented in various countries. Companies must have a good understanding of these legal requirements and ensure compliance with them. In order to ensure the safety of people's health and ecosystems, it is crucial to properly control and use chemical substances that are specified by laws and regulations. Improper handling of these substances may result in serious risks.

  • Suppliers must establish an environmental management system (EMS). When creating an EMS, refer to the following certifications.
    • ISO 14000
    • The various EMS which have become widely disseminated in different countries.
    • ISO 26000*
  • Utilize the above system to evaluate, enhance, and sustain all business operations, including the supply and value chains, not just factories and production.


The establishment of an EMS is the basis for environmental initiatives.

From an operational standpoint, environmental and sustainability issues are intertwined with the entirety of corporate management. Therefore, the initiative's scope is not limited to factories and production facilities, but also encompasses all business activities, including both supply and value chains.

*ISO 26000: An international standard (not a certification standard) that provides guidelines for social responsibility.

Ⅴ-7 Disclosure

We expect all of our suppliers to cooperate in actively disclosing environmental information in a timely and appropriate manner while collaborating with the Ajinomoto Group.

Specific actions:
  • Suppliers must ensure that requests for environmental information disclosure are responded to in a timely and appropriate manner.
  • Suppliers must make efforts to communicate voluntarily about environmental issues and proactively engage with stakeholders to keep them informed.
  • There are policies and processes in place for due diligence related to national and international procurement requirements. These should be performed in accordance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements wherever possible.
  • Suppliers must ensure that required data can be used (on an anonymous basis where reporting or requirements permit anonymity) to comply with environmental protection, supply chain reporting, disclosure requirements, and due diligence laws.


Proper communication activities, such as the disclosure of environmental information, is the foundation for enhancing the transparency of business activities and earning the trust and confidence of society.

Ⅵ. Information Security

Suppliers are requested to implement all necessary measures to protect computer systems and networks, put in place appropriate controls to prevent damage to themselves and other companies, and properly manage and protect personal information of customers, third parties, and employees as well as all confidential information in their possession.


  • Information systems are widely recognized as valuable and are extensively used in daily operations. Although these systems offer convenience and speed, they also lead to greater risks, such as larger system problems and information leaks.
  • Failure by either party to comply with the rules that make it possible to benefit from high quality services through information systems could lead to not only the loss of business but also violations of the law and a loss of credibility within society. Therefore, information security activities are extremely important.

Ⅵ-1 Protecting Against Computer Network Threats

Suppliers are requested to put in place measures to protect against computer networks threats and undertake management to ensure that there is no damage to themselves and other companies.

Specific actions:
  • Suppliers must put in place measures to protect computer networks against threats, such as infection by computer viruses and cyberattacks.
  • Suppliers must use robust passwords linked to user IDs in systems used for transactions with the Ajinomoto Group.


  • In the event that computers are infected with a virus, the potential exists for customer information as well as confidential information stored on computers to leak or be lost through the network.
  • Failure to thoroughly manage user ID passwords may lead to information leaks and alteration of information due to unauthorized computer access, and should the network become the subject of a cyberattack, there is the possibly of losses due to an interruption in operations
  • It is desirable to introduce multi-factor authentication for passwords.

Ⅵ-2 Properly Managing Personal Information

Suppliers are requested to properly manage and protect the personal information of customers, third parties, and employees.

Specific actions:
  • Suppliers must examine the approach toward personal information and privacy taken in the country where operations are conducted and manage such information accordingly.
  • Suppliers must establish rules (privacy policy, etc.) in line with the laws and regulations of each country and work to prevent the following types of incidences, which are the cause for personal information leaks.

    [Examples of cause for personal information leaks]

    • Intentional removal of information and information leakage due to negligence by employees or outsourcing service providers
    • Human error due to a lack of knowledge regarding the Act on the Protection of Personal Information as well as information systems
    • Unauthorized access by a third party.


  • If personal information is handled improperly, incidents may arise involving the individuals affected. Companies that possess personal information are obliged to clarify the purpose of use, notify the person or announce the purpose of use, and handle personal information after taking appropriate security control measures. However, there continues to be numerous incidents where information has been leaked.
    ■Japan’s Act on the Protection of Personal Information was also applied to the corporate sector from April 2005. Companies in the possession of personal information must clarify the purpose for which information will be used and adopt all necessary safety precautions in the handling of personal information.

  • For personal information used on a daily basis, it is necessary to comply with the Laws and regulations on the protection of personal information, establish certain rules regarding the use of such information, and properly manage that information.

Ⅵ-3 Preventing Leaks of Confidential Information of Customer and Third Party

Suppliers are requested to properly manage and protect confidential information received from customers and third parties.

Specific actions:
  • Suppliers must adhere to the guidelines outlined in non-disclosure agreements with respect to the handling of information that falls within the scope of non-disclosure agreements (mutual agreement relating to the nature of confidentiality) concluded with clients.
  • Suppliers must report if they are using information obtained from a third party for business using proper procedures.


  • The agreements contain a variety of restrictions including restrictions on the number of copies as well as parties to whom information can be disclosed. Any violation of non-disclosure agreements that leads to a leak or unauthorized use of confidential information can lead to substantial damages, including claims for enormous amounts of compensation.

Ⅶ. Contributing to Society and Coexistence with the Local Community

Suppliers are requested to undertake independent activities that contribute to the growth and development of international and local communities.

Specific actions:
  • Suppliers must actively support communities related to their business to the extent possible. Support activities include the following.
    • activities that leverage technology and other assets for business and contribute to society
    • activities that leverage non-monetary assets, including facilities and human resources, and contribute to society
    • activities that contribute to society through donations


  • ISO26000 uses the phrase “stakeholder engagement.” As the phrase “stakeholder engagement” suggests, building relationships with all parties (communities) is an important theme. No organization or individual can possibly exist outside of society. Therefore, actively participating in and developing the community makes it possible to generate sustainable growth.
  • In specific terms, activities include collaborating with local communities at the time of a disaster; supporting activities conducted by employees, volunteers, NPOs, NGOs, or other entities; making donations, and disseminating information. Suppliers shall determine the scope that assistance is possible and actively work to contribute to society.