CSR

Compliance and Respect for Human Rights

Giving consideration to human rights on a global scale, strengthening compliance management

Our Approach to ComplianceCompliance depends on the good intentions of each employee

Compliance Management System

The Sekisui Chemical Group carries out compliance management based on fundamental principles, including contributing to society, being a trusted company, and adherence to both the letter and spirit of the law, principles that are spelled out in its Compliance Declaration announced in 2003. Based on the spirit of the company philosophy and our Corporate Code of Ethics, our compliance initiatives are in tune with the ethics and social norms valued by society as we strictly adhere to laws, regulations and internal rules. Our business and compliance activities support the corporate value of the Sekisui Chemical Group, and compliance is the basis of all management activities. We aim to remain a company in which each individual employee can be proud of our good intentions. To this end, we strive to improve awareness of compliance throughout the Sekisui Chemical Group in order to remain in the trust of society.

 

Prevent Compliance IssuesPrevent Major Compliance Issues

In the CSR Medium-term Plan (Fiscal 2014-2016), Sekisui Chemical aims to achieve zero major compliance issues and zero incidents of corruption and fraud. Since fiscal 2015, we have had zero occurrences of either. We will continue strengthening management of compliance and work to prevent compliance issues before they occur.

 

Principal Initiatives in FY2016Creating harassment-free workplaces

In fiscal 2014, we decided that October of each year will be Compliance Reinforcement Month for all employees to reflect on their compliance awareness and actions.

In fiscal 2016, we employed the message that “the Sekisui Chemicals Group is absolutely set against harassment” and implemented all types of initiatives, including training sessions that centered on harassment prevention.

Initiatives Taken during Compliance Reinforcement Month (FY2016)

  1. Transmitted Top Message
    • Transmitted President’s Top Message
    • Published a dialogue article regarding harassment in Group newsletter
  2. Implemented All Types of Compliance Training
    • Held an open-style legal seminar in which employees participated of their own accord (8 locations, 10 times in total)
  3. Conducted e-Learning
    • Implemented e-learning on corporate intranet (questions centering on harassment)
  4. Compliance Implementation Report by Division Company Leaders
    • Each division company leader planned and implemented compliance activities in his/her department

Other Harassment Training

1.Training in U.S. laws prohibiting employment discrimination for executive officers

2.Harassment training given by a lecturer visiting each office and affiliated company

 

 

In fiscal 2016, the Company focused efforts on training and education related to harassment after receiving a number of internal reports about harassment that occurred in the previous fiscal year, holding open seminars during Compliance Reinforcement Month, providing training sessions at Group companies, and promoting e-learning with a focus on preventing harassment.

 

Upgrade of Legal StructureReinforcing the global legal structure

The Sekisui Chemical Group has been reinforcing its legal affairs structure by developing and deploying legal personnel, strengthening collaboration among legal departments and enhancing legal functions.

In fiscal 2016, we established a Legal Department at Sekisui Chemical (Shanghai) Investment Co., Ltd., a regional headquarters established in China. We extended to the legal departments of overseas affiliated companies the legal exchange meetings held as a forum for exchanging and learning for legal departments in Japan, while aiming to strengthen collaboration and cooperation systems on a global basis.

 

Distribution of Manuals and Other MaterialsGrowing Awareness Toward Compliance

Sekisui Chemical Group has compiled the Compliance Manual, containing matters that each Group employee should adhere to, and created a pocket version called the Compliance Card in order to instill awareness of compliance in each and every employee.

The Company's Compliance Manual

The conveniently sized Compliance Card

 

The S.C.A.N. Whistle-blowing ProgramWe are promoting knowledge of the system's existence and its effective operation

FY2016 Whistle-Blowing Reports and Consultations

FY2016 Whistle-Blowing Reports and Consultations

In 2002, the Sekisui Chemical Group developed the S.C.A.N. (Sekisui Compliance Assist Network) intra-company whistle-blowing system, which is the mechanism that has been made available for use by all Sekisui Chemical Group employees and its business partners.

Operated under the supervision of the executive officer in charge of the legal department, S.C.A.N. is the system that we request employees use to report information upon knowing of compliance violations by employees under the internal reporting regulations in order to create an organizational culture that maintains full awareness of compliance. At the same time, the system prescribes the protection of the whistleblower and stipulates that information on the person who provided the information be kept secret from everyone other than at the point of contact and the prohibition of any prejudicial treatment toward that person.

In fiscal 2016, we conducted a questionnaire survey to test the level of knowledge about S.C.A.N., which was up 25 points from the previous survey in fiscal 2013 at 89%. Due to the progress made with raising the degree of knowledge about the system, the number of reported cases is increasing every year.

 

Marketing CommunicationsLegal compliance with regard to advertising and labeling

When conducting business activities, the Sekisui Chemical Group strictly adheres to laws and regulations while engaging in good-faith marketing activities. In fiscal 2016, there were no serious violations of laws, regulations or internal rules to report within the context of marketing communications related to advertising and product labeling.

Responses to Past Legal Violations

In February 2009 the Fair Trade Commission found Sekisui Chemical to have colluded with other firms in the determination of sale prices of polyvinyl chloride pipes and fittings over the period 2004-2006 and issued an order for Sekisui Chemical to take measures to eliminate such collusion and to pay surcharges (hereinafter referred to as the “order”). Since Sekisui Chemical's determination of the facts of this case differs from that on which the order was based, in April 2009 the Company asked the Fair Trade Commission to cancel the order. Hearings are still under way.

Also, in June 2016, having undergone a tax audit by the National Tax Bureau from August 2015 to November 2015, Sekisui Chemical received a notice of correction mainly regarding food and beverages, etc. handled for the Company by business partners, and incurred additional taxation. Taking this matter seriously, we are tightening internal rules with regard to food and beverage fees, while working to prevent a recurrence.


 

Procurement PolicyThe Sekisui Chemical Group's procurement policy

The Sekisui Chemical Group procures materials based on the five fundamental concepts of openness; fairness and equity; legal compliance; mutual trust; and consideration for the environment. In addition to quality and delivery times, suppliers are requested to give consideration to the environment, comply with laws, regulations, and societal norms, and ensure health and safety in their own companies.


 Click here for details regarding the procurement policy.


Conducting CSR Procurement Surveys

Guided by its procurement policy, the Sekisui Chemical Group began conducting surveys as a part of the process to select new suppliers in Japan from 2007. Through these surveys, the Company works to ascertain the stance of each supplier toward human rights and environmental protection as well as the status of each supplier’s CSR activities.

In fiscal 2016, surveys were conducted at 146 major business partners in Japan that are associated with the Urban Infrastructure & Environmental Products (UIEP) Company and the High Performance Plastics (HPP) Company at Sekisui Chemical. All these business partners have cleared the Company’s standards.

 

Respect for Human RightsCaring about Human Rights Issues across the Entire Supply Chain

Along with its suppliers, the Sekisui Chemical Group engages in business activities that respect human rights as part of its obligation to all stakeholders. All Group employees are provided with a copy of the Company’s Compliance Manual. We have set strict standards for respecting human rights, prohibiting discrimination, preventing harassment, and protecting personal information. We conduct training and e-learning sessions for employees about the prevention of all forms of harassment. We work diligently to raise the understanding and awareness of such issues among all of our employees.

Through CSR procurement with our suppliers, we make sure our business partners respect human rights. In the event that a supplier does not meet the prescribed standards, a request is made to ensure that the necessary steps are taken to resolve any issues. the Sekisui Chemical Group works together with suppliers in the implementation of appropriate measures. In fiscal 2016, we formulated Guidelines for Supplier CSR Status Survey for the raw material procurement departments of each divisional company. We plan to put the guidelines into operation from fiscal 2017. In the survey conducted by fiscal 2016, we confirmed that no human rights violations had occurred at our main suppliers.


 Please refer to page 27 of the PDF version of the Data Book for FY2016 attendance details.

 

Human Right EducationImplementing Human Rights Training and Education

The Sekisui Chemical Group conducts training and educational programs focusing on the theme of human rights for its employees. In this manner, the Group is endeavoring to engage in management that takes into consideration concerns regarding human rights.

We incorporate content that raises awareness about human rights issues, such as forced labor, child labor, harassment, etc., in particular in training carried out at career milestones, such as when joining the company or upon promotion.

In addition, training programs that aim to prevent all forms of harassment are held every year. In fiscal 2016, 997 employees participated in these programs.

 

Open and Fair Transactions across Our Supply ChainAddressing the Issue of Conflict Minerals

Sekisui Chemical is concerned about the conflict mineral problem, namely the mineral resources controlled by armed forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring countries that commit human rights violations and destroy the environment. We conduct surveys on the use of conflict minerals at companies throughout our supply chain from a CSR management perspective.

In fiscal 2016, we conducted 248 conflict mineral surveys on Sekisui Chemical's Urban Infrastructure and Environmental Products Company, High Performance Plastics Company and Group companies. We confirmed that, out of those companies surveyed, 187 do not use 3TG (*) and 60 were sourced from countries other than the DRC. Investigations are ongoing in one case where the smelter is unknown.

In fiscal 2016, we also drew up “Conflict Minerals Survey Guidelines" and put them into effect in April 2017

  • (*)3TG: Columbite-Tantalite stone (tantalum), tin stone (tin), iron manganese stone (tungsten) and gold or their derivatives
  • (*)Republic of Congo and neighboring countries: Refers to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the nine countries (Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia) bordering the DRC

 

Intellectual PropertyProtecting Our Intellectual Property and Respecting the Intellectual Property Rights of Others

The Company regards intellectual property that has resulted from its R&D activities to be an important management resource underpinning the Sekisui Chemical Group's growth and profitability toward the maximization of corporate value.

For that reason, the Sekisui Chemical Group endeavors to properly use intellectual property and protect its own rights, such as by quickly filing patent applications for inventions made in manufacturing and development. We also take appropriate measures to prevent and avoid infringing on the intellectual property rights of others. We have prepared educational programs to fit the level and needs of participants and provide training to our employees for basic knowledge acquisition to building intellectual property strategies.

Under the basic policy of securing business competitive strength through obtaining strong patents, the corporate headquarters and intellectual property divisions of each divisional company are central to the intellectual property strategy, which is based on a consistent system that ranges from the development of basic policies common to the headquarters and each divisional company to the acquisition and management of patents and the utilization of rights.

 

R&DAssigning a Fair Value to Valuable Inventions

Headquarters and each business section have R&D sections that work to increase the speed of technological development and create outstanding technologies. The Invention Grand Prize has been established as one part of efforts to ensure researchers and engineers receive the evaluations and recognition they deserve. The Invention Grand Prize establishes monetary rewards for inventors recognized as having made major contributions to profits.