Main content Main content

Human Rights

Respect for human rights as a fundamental corporate stance

The global community expects companies to operate with due respect for human rights. Beyond meeting regulatory requirements and social expectations in countries and regions in which we operate, we are strengthening our commitment to human rights by proactively introducing more rigorous international standards such as the United Nations Global Compact and ISO26000.

Human rights basic policy

The Ricoh Group always respect for Basic Human rights as a basis of mutual understanding in each company. And we declare that we shall not engage in any discriminatory treatment by race, creed, gender, age, social status, nationality, disease, disabilities, sexual identity, gender identity, and so on.
All executives and employees are aware of the influence on all relevant stakeholders, conduct human rights due diligence, do not act or involve that ignore human rights such as any discriminatory speech, behavior, sexual harassment, power harassment, etc.
(Cited from Article 4 of the Human Rights Violation Prevention Standard at Ricoh Group)

Strengthening human rights initiatives

Human rights are the basic rights that every individual is entitled to, and the issues related to them are both far-reaching and complex.
Ricoh's respect for human rights stretches back to our company's foundation, when "love your neighbor" was set as one of the key components of our corporate philosophy, The Spirit of Three Loves. Exemplifying the continued application of this tenet are measures we take to ensure there is no child labor or forced labor, not only within our own organization but within our supply chain as well. We mandate the Ricoh Group Supplier Code of Conduct and regularly monitor our suppliers to make certain they are complying with the code through CSR self-assessment reports. Deviations from the code are expected to be corrected immediately.We also carry out our on-going commitment to address the controversial issue of conflict minerals* and disclose related information.

*The “Conflict Minerals Issue” is a 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.

Addressing the conflict minerals issues

Our respect for human rights also extends to the health, security and safety of our customers. We pursue this objective in various ways, from making products easier to use to promoting "color universal design," which takes into account the diversity of color vision among the people of the world. As one of the leading global companies, we recognize respect for human rights as the basis of our social responsibility and will continue to fulfill our duties to protect and promote human rights.

■ Ricoh Group Human Rights Respect Promotion Framework

image:Ricoh Group Human Rights Respect Promotion Framework
Human rights due diligence is a process that companies undertake to identify, prevent, and mitigate any negative impact on human rights.

The Ricoh Group's past activities to ensure human rights

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 Operation of a database on human rights and sexual harassment was initiated.
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.
December 2004 The human rights standard was established.
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.
April 2007 An organization to promote "diversity & work-life management" activities was established.
April 2008 Color universal design activities (in consideration of the diversity of color vision) were initiated.
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 2011 A stakeholder dialogue on human rights was held.
March 2012 The company announced its policy on conflict mineral issues.
November 2012 Conducted e-learning program for all employees.
January 2013 Working group on conflict minerals launched.
August 2013 Workshop on human rights due diligence is held.
June 2014 An e-learning program on human rights was conducted for all executives and employees of affiliated companies in Japan.
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 The human rights standard was revised based on international norms.
July 2015 Human rights and labor assessments were conducted at four overseas affiliated manufacturing companies in China and Thailand.
October 2018 Revised the Ricoh Group Business Conduct Guidelines, and specified “sexuality and gender identity” as a consideration for LGBT in “discrimination to be excluded” in “3. Behaviors respecting human rights”.
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, the World's Largest Industry Coalition Dedicated to CSR in Global Supply Chains.

Major international standards and regulations implemented by the Ricoh Group

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • The 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact (Recognized as an Advanced Level)
  • Human rights guidelines based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the Ruggie Framework)
  • Children's rights and business principles
  • ISO 26000 (social responsibility standard)
  • OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
  • ILO international labor standards

Fostering awareness of issues in daily business activities

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 of its 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 norms so that such norms 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

Results of the human rights e-learning program for affiliated companies in Japan

  • 1) Number of employees who completed the program: 27,500
  • 2) Post survey results
  • - Change in awareness: 94% replied that they would incorporate human rights considerations into their daily business practices.
  • - Level of understanding of the program: 80% replied that they either "nderstood very well" or "understood well."

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.

Implementation of human rights due diligence

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 Business Conduct Guidelines 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.

About RBA

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.)
- Inhibittion 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  
Child labor
(minimum age)
- Purchasing activities that human rights due diligence is not done
- Conflict minerals issue
Misuse of technology Unexpected use of image processing technology  

Tap to see the table

The main activities implemented until 2019 as mitigation measures against human rights risk are as follows;

1) Implementation of Assessment for Suppliers
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.
In fiscal 2017, we started a new CSR self-assessment based on the Code of Conduct of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), a corporate alliance that promotes corporate social responsibility in the global supply chain. We plan to conduct an assessment of all our important suppliers within three years, and conduct a formal RBA audit (VAP audit) as necessary. In fiscal 2019, we completed a 100% assessment of the target suppliers. In addition, based on the results of the assessment conducted in FY2018, we conducted on-site audits in Thailand and China and recognized points for improvement regarding human rights risks.
We provided feedback about the audit results for each supplier and requested for corrective actions for areas needing improvements. We will continue to conduct the audit of suppliers in the future.
For more detailed information, please see “CSR throughout Our Supply Chain”

CSR throughout Our Supply Chain

2) Implementation of Assessment for Ricoh Group affiliated companies
The Ricoh Group recognizes that the human rights risk at production sites is of high importance, and continuously monitors it.
In FY2016 we conducted on-site audits to Ricoh Asia Industry (Shenzhen) Ltd., one of the production sites in China. The audit conducted by a third party was based on the internationally acknowledged standards, i.e. the ten principles of UN Global Compact and ISO 26000, etc. As a result, some corrective actions were identified, but we were able to confirm that their operations were carried out in compliance with the international standards and their equivalents. In 2017, we created a self-assessment format based on the results of the previous year's on-site audit with referring major international human rights standards. The format was created as a guideline to ensure our affiliated companies can fulfill social responsibilities as well as compliance with laws but also to promote social and environmental responsibility and business ethics. We carried out a trial assessment with the new format. In 2018, internal audits were conducted for Ricoh Manufacturing (Thailand) Ltd. Measures for improvement items we have identified are continuously implemented. We will continue to conduct on-site audits at sites that need confirmation and work to reduce risks. In 2019, we joined the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), a corporate alliance that promotes corporate social responsibility in the global supply chain, and conducted assessments in line with the RBA SAQ focusing on two high-priority production sites. In FY2020, Ricoh Industry Tohoku office-one of the two sites where the assessment was conducted, underwent third party audits. There were no major human rights-related issues at either site.
We will continue to conduct on-site audits at sites that need confirmation and work to reduce risks.

3) UK Modern Slavery Act 2015
The Ricoh Group has issued Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement in accordance with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Ricoh Europe Holdings PLC 「Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement」

4) Response Regarding Conflict Minerals
The Ricoh group recognize 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 are conducting investigations of responsible mineral resource procurement in cooperation with suppliers every year since FY2013. And at the same time, we are continuing due diligence activities cooperating with industry groups.

The Ricoh Group as a global citizen, while being conscious of the respect for human rights of all the stakeholders involved, will surely pursue the human rights due diligence.
For more details for Conflict Minerals, please see “Addressing the conflict minerals issues” at Supply Chain part on our web site.

Addressing the conflict minerals issues

5) Response to LGBT
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 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.