Group Shared Policy on Human Rights

Ajinomoto Group
Established on : March 1, 2018
Revised on : April 1, 2020

With long years of history and expertise in food and Amino Science, we believe that we can contribute significantly to the resolution of issues facing society in the 21st century, including issues related to “health and well-being,” “food resources,” and “global sustainability.”

We have adopted the term ASV (The Ajinomoto Group Creating Shared Value) to refer to the economic value we have consistently created since our founding by resolving social issues through our business, and are confident that the evolution of ASV will lead to sustainable growth befitting a global company.

At the same time, an international consensus has been reached in terms of addressing the social issues that have been caused by the activities of the human race, as reflected by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There has also been rising social interest in how corporations like the Ajinomoto Group will create social value that helps address such issues.

As we realize sustainable growth through ASV and become a company that is even more essential for society, we will focus on contributing to healthy living for humankind while proactively engaging ourselves in the SDGs and other efforts related to the international consensus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies. In doing so, the entire Group must act as one in accordance with the Ajinomoto Group Principles with the recognition that all of its business activities are premised on respect for human rights.

The Ajinomoto Group supports international standards for human rights including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labor Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-Up, and the United Nations Global Compact. Based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, this Policy has been established to ensure that, as a corporate group that conducts business globally, all companies of the Ajinomoto Group and their officers and employees shall respect internationally recognized human rights and comply thoroughly with international human rights obligations and related laws and regulations of the countries where they do business.

1. Scope of Application

This Policy shall apply to Ajinomoto Co., Inc. and its subsidiaries as well as their officers (including persons corresponding to officers) and employees (including employees engaged for a specified period such as fixed-term contract, part-time or temporary employees) (collectively, “officers and employees”).

2. Responsibility to Respect Human Rights

The Ajinomoto Group shall not infringe upon the human rights of others and shall address any adverse impacts on human rights arising from its business activities. In addition, it shall recognize all of its business clients as business partners and, even if the Ajinomoto Group does not directly contribute to an adverse impact on human rights, in the event that a business partner of the Ajinomoto Group or other related party is involved in an adverse impact on human rights in the supply chain, the Ajinomoto Group shall appeal to such party not to infringe human rights.

3. Human Rights Due Diligence

To fulfill its responsibility to respect human rights, the Ajinomoto Group shall create a mechanism for human rights due diligence and implement it on an ongoing basis. In this document, “human rights due diligence” refers to an ongoing process that preemptively identifies, prevents or mitigates any adverse human rights impacts that the Ajinomoto Group may have on society.

4. Remediation

If it becomes clear that the Ajinomoto Group has caused or contributed to an adverse impact on human rights, it will make efforts to remedy such impact through appropriate means.

5. Information Disclosure, Education and Training

The Ajinomoto Group shall disclose information on the progress of its efforts to respect human rights pursuant to this Policy on the Ajinomoto Group website and elsewhere. In addition, the Ajinomoto Group shall conduct education and training for officers and employees to ensure the effectiveness of this Policy.

6. Dialogue and Consultation with Stakeholders

In addressing actual or potential impacts on human rights, the Ajinomoto Group shall secure opportunities for dialogue with relevant stakeholders and consult with them in good faith.

7. Priority Human Rights Issues

The Ajinomoto Group shall establish the attached “Ajinomoto Group Priority Human Rights Issues” and appropriately implement them after creating a mechanism for human rights due diligence pursuant to this Policy.

The priority issues shall be revised as needed based on changes in society, business trends and other factors.

[ Attachment ] Ajinomoto Group Priority Human Rights Issues

  1. Elimination of discrimination
    The Ajinomoto Group will not engage in discrimination, harassment or any other acts that harm individual dignity for reasons such as race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, creed, hometown, gender, age, disability, LGBT, and so on.

  2. Prohibition of child labor and forced labor
    The Ajinomoto Group will not countenance any labor by child labor, forced labor, slave labor, or trafficking.

  3. Respect for fundamental labor rights
    The Ajinomoto Group will respect fundamental labor rights including freedom of association, workers’ right to organize and collective bargaining rights.

  4. Proper payment of wages and management of working hours
    The Ajinomoto Group will properly pay wages and manage working hours.

  5. Ensuring a safe working environment and support for health promotion
    The Ajinomoto Group will ensure a safe, hygienic and comfortable working environment and will endeavor to support the promotion of health of each working individual worldwide.

  6. Support for work-life balance
    The Ajinomoto Group understands the importance of the work-life balance of each working individual worldwide and will endeavor to support its realization.

  7. Contribution to improvement of diversity and to the creation of an inclusive society
    The Ajinomoto Group will endeavor to improve diversity by respecting the diversity of the attributes and values ​​of human resources so that each working individual worldwide can grow to play an active role regardless of factors such as race, nationality and gender. The Group will also respect human rights, work to aid and support the independence of vulnerable people such as persons with disabilities, foreign workers, LGBT, and so on, who are at risk of marginalization from society and violation of their human rights.

  8. Proper handling of personal information
    The Ajinomoto Group will comply with the Act on the Protection of Personal Information and related laws and regulations and will endeavor to properly handle personal information.