Human rights are fundamental rights that all people are entitled to, and the extent of that entitlement should be extremely deep and wide. The concept of human rights is now a fundamental international social issue that must be addressed by all companies wherever they operate. The global community expects companies to operate with due respect for the human rights of all people based on this basic concept.
The origin of Ricoh's respect for human rights lies in one of the Founding Principles “Love your neighbor” of our corporate philosophy, which is known as “the Spirit of Three Loves”. Not only do we meet all the regulatory requirements and social expectations in the countries and regions in which we operate, but we also demonstrate our commitment to human rights by following international standards such as the “International Bill of Human Rights” and “ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work”. Furthermore, as a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, we support “The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact”. We firmly believe that we enhance our corporate value by respecting the human rights of all people involved in the Ricoh Group's business activities and avoiding risks of human rights violations.
In April 2021, the Ricoh Group established the “Ricoh Group’s Human Rights Policy” in accordance with the “United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.” The Ricoh Group had been respecting human rights in accordance with the Ricoh Group Code of Conduct, and we have strengthened our efforts based on this human rights policy to comply with international standards, taking into consideration the widening range of human rights issues in the international community.
The Policy is positioned at the top of all human rights-related standards and regulations within the Ricoh Group, with its goal as the prevention of human rights violations. The Policy must be followed by all executives and all employees of the Ricoh Group. Suppliers and all forms of business partners of the Ricoh Group are also requested to support and implement this policy.
Ricoh Group’s Human Rights Policy (Index)
The Ricoh Group respects the human rights of all stakeholders not only within its own organization but throughout the whole Ricoh Group's business value chain. We are working on promoting respect for human rights based on the framework of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The Ricoh Group has established its human rights framework for the effort to respect human rights and has been promoting the due diligence process. To specify the human rights risks, in 2013 we subjected matter experts to hold the workshop, and identified risk factors. In 2014 reviewed and identified regional risk factors in addition to the identified human rights risk factors. In 2015 we reviewed these human rights risk factors and specific issues in relation with our stakeholders and finalized the risk mapping. In 2016, under the obligation to prevent pregnancy discrimination, so called maternity harassment, newly legislated in Japan. We revised the standards book to penetrate within the Ricoh Group. In 2018, we revised the Ricoh Group Code of Conduct to clearly indicate the consideration for LGBT, and reexamined the completeness of human rights risk identification and stakeholder relationships Table 1.
Furthermore, regarding human rights issues, we recognize that the Ricoh Group has some risks in our supply chain. In November 2019, we joined the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), the Worlds’ Largest Industry Coalition Dedicated to CSR in Global Supply Chains, to identify and mitigate risks with production & procurement departments.
Going forward, we will regularly review the risk map to understand the risks and mitigate risks at an early stage.
Table1:Specifying the human rights risks and the relevance to stakeholders
|Human rights risk factors||Concerned matter||Customers||Stockholders||Employees||Suppliers||Local society|
|Discrimination||- Sexual harassment/Power harassment / maternity harassment problem
- Lack of consideration for people with disabilities, indigenous people, minority, LGBT (inappropriate behavior, inappropriate advertisement, inappropriate expression on catalogue, etc.)
- Inhibition to the right to education
|Protection of personal privacy||- Leakage of personal information of customers and employees
- Inappropriate use of SNS, etc.
|Relations with customers
(Health and safety)
|Fear of harm to the life and health of customers by the failure of the products and services provided to customers||✓||✓|
|Health and safety of employees||- Explosion, fire, mine dust, noise, vibration, odor at sites
- Accidents caused by occupational health and safety in general
- Lack of consideration for color universal design
|Working hours and wages||Overwork, long working hours, welfare, illegal employment, unfair dismissal, forced labor, etc.||✓||✓||✓|
|Use of natural resources||Abuse and pollution of water, etc. at sites||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|- Procurement that deviates from the Supplier Code of Conduct
- Conflict minerals issue
|Misuse of technology||Unexpected use of image processing technology||✓||✓||✓||✓|
Our respect for human rights prioritizes due consideration for all stakeholders associated with corporate activities and requires that each and every employee who is involved in daily operations has a proper understanding of human rights and a deep awareness of human rights issues. In fiscal 2012, Ricoh conducted the e-learning program, "Corporate Activities and Human Rights," as human rights education for all executives and employees. Along with a working group on conflict minerals launched together with affiliated companies based in Japan in fiscal 2013, the e-learning program proved to be effective in deepening executives′ and employees′ understanding of the importance of carrying out their daily business activities in such a way as to meet the expectations of the international community regarding human rights issues.
Because of this success, in fiscal 2014, the e-learning program was also provided to every executive and employee of affiliated companies to ensure that respect for human rights becomes an integral part of each company′s culture. Furthermore, the Ricoh Group′s human rights standard was drastically revised for the first time in 10 years to reflect current international human rights standards so that such standards can be checked anytime and anywhere.
Major elements of the human rights e-learning program
|Risk avoidance||Enhancement of corporate value|
|1. Human rights due diligence||1. Protection of consumers|
|2. Acknowledgement of the company′s sphere of influence||2. Respect for diversity|
|3. Avoidance of complicity||3. Coexistence with communities|
These two figures outperformed post survey results for the human rights e-learning program conducted within Ricoh in fiscal 2012 by 10%, which is largely due to the following two reasons. First, the number of opportunities for employees to come into contact with information on the international human rights movement via the media and the Internet had increased over the years. Second, employees had gained deeper knowledge and understanding regarding the international human rights movement through activities of the working group on conflict minerals launched in fiscal 2013.
The Ricoh Group recognizes that the human rights risk at production sites is of high importance, and continuously monitors it.
In 2019, we conducted assessments in line with the RBA SAQ.
Third-party audits based on RBA-VAP (Validated Assessment Program) were undertaken at three of the sites where the SAQ assessment was conducted. Ricoh Industry Tohoku office and Shanghai Ricoh Digital Equipment Co.,Ltd were audited in FY2020, and Ricoh Manufacturing (China) Ltd was audited in FY2021. As a result, we obtained certification at all three production sites, confirming that there are no major human rights-related issues. We will continue to conduct on-site audits at sites that need confirmation and work to reduce risks.
We assess the human rights risks in the supply chain on an annual basis to identify risks of great social concern and to set target areas for improvement.
In fiscal 2019, we completed a 100% assessment of our major suppliers. In addition, based on the results of the assessment conducted in FY2018, we conducted on-site audits in Thailand and China, and found certain factors regarding human rights at risk and in need of improvement. We provided feedback on the audit results to each supplier and explained the corrective actions we expected in the areas in need of improvements. We will continue to conduct the audit of suppliers in the future.
Furthermore, in August 2018, we revised the Ricoh Group Supplier Code of Conduct based on the Code of Conduct of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). We demanded that major suppliers, who provide us with more that 80% of the supplies we purchase, sign the Ricoh Group Supplier Code of Conduct, which was revised in July 2020, and that they comply with human rights. We also reviewed the content of our CSR assessment and conducted a survey of human rights risks of major suppliers . For suppliers whose assessment results are at high risk, we will continue to seek improvements through on-site audits and other means.
For more detailed information, please see “CSR throughout Our Supply Chain”
|November 1991||The Human Rights Enlightenment Committee was established and staff in charge of human rights enlightenment were assigned to each office and plant and the Business Assistance Division.|
|October 1994||A guidebook for enlightenment of human rights "Hito-o Aisu (Love your neighbor)" was issued and education to raise awareness of human rights was initiated.|
|September 1998||The Human Rights Counseling Center was established.|
|April 2002||The company signed the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).|
|November 2003||Respect for basic human rights was clearly stipulated in the Ricoh Group CSR Charter and the Ricoh Group Code of Conduct.|
|January 2006||The Ricoh Group Supplier Code of Conduct was established, which requested that suppliers respect basic human rights, and in 2009 the self-assessment system was established.||December 2008||The company signed the CEO Statement for the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).|
|February 2011||The company signed the United Nation's Women's Empowerment Principles.|
|March 2012||The company announced its policy on conflict mineral issues.|
|January 2013||Working group on conflict minerals launched.|
|August 2014||The Ricoh Group Supplier Code of Conduct was revised to include requests for suppliers to address the issue of conflict minerals.|
|March 2015||Revised the “Human rights violation prevention standard” in accordance with international standards..|
|October 2018||Revised the Ricoh Group Code of Conduct adding LGBT-friendly descriptions.”.|
|August 2019||Ricoh commits to tackling inequality by joining the Business for Inclusive Growth coalition (B4IG) as a first Japanese company to participate.|
|November 2019||Ricoh Joins the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), the World's Largest Industry Coalition Dedicated to CSR in Global Supply Chains.|
|June 2020||Revised the “Harassment prevention standard” in accordance with the enforcement of Japanese local law.|
|April 2021||Establish “Ricoh Group’s Human Rights Policy”.|
The main activities we have implemented so far as measures to mitigate risk to human rights are as follows.
The Ricoh group recognizes that the procurement of some minerals from states in conflict areas and other high-risk areas may become sources of human rights abuses and labor problems, etc.
In order to prevent the occurrence of problems, we have been conducting investigations into responsible mineral resource procurement in cooperation with suppliers every year since FY2013. And simultaneously, we have been conducting and continuing due diligence activities in cooperation with industry groups. The Ricoh Group, as a global citizen, is conscious of the respect for human rights due all the stakeholders involved, will proactively pursue due diligence for human rights.
For more details about Conflict Minerals, please see “Addressing the conflict minerals issues” at the Supply Chain part on our web site.
* The “Conflict Minerals Issue” is an issue in which the profits from minerals mined or traded finance armed groups and foster conflicts, and often involves human rights abuses, labor issues and environmental destruction, etc. The Dodd- Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, enacted in July 2010, requires specified companies to report the use of conflict minerals--tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold--and any other minerals determined by the U.S. Department of State which originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo and/or an adjoining country.
The Ricoh Group has issued its Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act.
On August Ricoh South Africa was verified for compliance with B-BBEE Amendment Act of 2013 and the ICT Sector Code 40407 of 7 November and received Broad-Based Bee Verification Certificate.
The Ricoh Group is implementing measures to promote understanding of LGBT with the aim of creating a work environment where everyone can feel at ease with their own personality. We believe that properly understanding various genders and sexual minorities is indispensable for the realization of a work environment in which everyone can work comfortably, with discrimination resulting from incomprehension completely eliminated.
In FY2018, we revised the Ricoh Group Code of Conduct by adding "sexual orientation and gender identity" in consideration of LGBT. In fiscal 2019, we held LGBT seminars and e-learning training for Group employees in Japan. As of the end of March 2020, 89.3% of employees completed the e-learning training. In addition to continuing to promote employee understanding through e-learning, we are making various plans for gender-free considered facility renewal and the establishment of a consultation desk in consideration of LGBT.
The Ricoh Group in Japan is to comply with the Power Harassment Prevention Law that was introduced in June 2020. We revised the Group Standards and made sure to comply with the measures required by the law.