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 the “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 by 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.” This policy was formulated based on the opinions of experts inside and outside the company, and was deliberated by the ESG Committee *. It is a commitment to respect the human rights of the Ricoh Group, which was approved by the CEO of Ricoh. We had been respecting human rights in accordance with the Ricoh Group Code of Conduct, but 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.
This policy is published in ten languages, including Japanese, English, and Chinese, and it is communicated to major group companies . The Policy must be followed by all executives and 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's efforts to respect human rights are promoted mainly by the Human Resource Division and ESG Division under the responsibility of the Chief Human Resource Officer and the executive officer in charge of ESG. The promotion department submits a report to the ESG Committee for discussion on the mitigation and corrective measures to the salient human rights issues identified in the human rights impact assessment.
Human rights risks are positioned as key management risks and are handled within the Ricoh Group's risk management system. In 2021, we established a human rights risk management system, with a key person within all Ricoh business units, and we have set up a system to manage human rights risks related to business promotion in cooperation with the Group headquarters.
We are working on promoting respect for the human rights of all stakeholders in the Ricoh Group's business value chain (all employees, suppliers, business partners, people in the community, including indigenous peoples and customers) based on the framework of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The Ricoh Group identifies salient human rights issues of all stakeholders involved in the Ricoh Group's business activities through the assessment of their adverse impacts on human rights. In 2013, a workshop was held with the participation of experts to identify human rights risk factors at Ricoh. After that, we identified specific issues of concern that take into account the regional characteristics of the selected risk factors. In 2015, we organized the relevance of identified risks and stakeholders. In 2022, in response to the increasingly complex human rights issues in recent years, we identified major human rights risks in the Ricoh Group and sorted out their impact on stakeholders, referring to major international human rights rules and frameworks, as well as the "Major Human Rights Risks Related to Enterprises' Consideration and Corporate Activities" defined by the Ministry of Justice in Japan. [Table 1]
Table1:Representative human rights risks and stakeholder relationships
|Negatively affected stakeholders|
|Representative human rights risks||Examples of possible negative effects||Employees||Suppliers / Business partners||Peoples in the local community||Customers|
|Wages and benefits||
|Excessive and unreasonable working hours||
|Occupational Health and Safety||
|Freedom of association||
|Child labor and young workers||
|Discrimination and harassment||
|Freedom of expression||
|Right to access remedies||
|Human rights issues related to technology AI||
|Right of privacy||
|Human rights issues in the supply chain||
* serious risks such as forced labor, child labor, and poor working conditions
|Impact on local communities and the environment||
|Consumer safety and the right to know||
In addition, we identified salient human rights issues among the typical human rights risks. First, we identified issues for employees working in the Ricoh Group from the perspective of protecting workers, and conducted a human rights impact assessment for Ricoh and Ricoh Group manufacturing affiliates, with advice from outside experts. The results of the impact assessment were reported and discussed with management, including the CEO. As a result, seven prominent human rights issues have been identified. [Table 2]
We plan to conduct periodic reviews of salient human rights issues for our stakeholders. The human rights impact assessment of the Group manufacturing affiliates will be conducted annually in consideration of the importance of risk management.
We will gradually review and expand the scope of human rights impact assessments for other stakeholders.
January to March 2022
1) Ricoh Co., Ltd. (Approx. 300 divisions)
2) Ricoh Group production-related sites (19 sites) in Japan and overseas
[Concept of salient human rights issues]
The severity (*1) and likelihood (*2) are the two axes for assessing the adverse impact on human rights for each of 15 representative human rights risks. Evaluation identifies issues that are "very serious" or "very serious and likely" as significant human rights issues.
|Evaluation tool||Definition of evaluation axis||Evaluation process|
The seriousness of human rights violations that would occur if risks materialized. Evaluation based on the following three axes;
Evaluation is conducted based on external information* and the opinions of outside experts after discussions between the human rights department of Ricoh and management.
* Guidance issued by governments, NGOs and industry associations on measures to deal with corporate human rights, examples of human rights violations by companies in the past, etc.
|(*2) Likelihood of occurrence||
Possibility of adverse human rights impacts. Evaluation based on the following two axes;
A self-assessment questionnaire was conducted for the evaluation subjects, and the evaluation was made based on the response results.
[Identified Salient Human Rights Issues]
Seven salient issues; forced labor, excessive and unfair working hours, labor and safety and health, child labor and young workers, discrimination and harassment, rights to privacy, and human rights in the supply chain
[Table 2] Major human rights challenges and suspected causes
|Salient human rights issues||Possible perpetrator||Presumed victim|
|Forced labor||Companies (employers), employees||All workers in the workplace
Business partners (subcontractors on premises, etc.)
|Excessive and unreasonable working hours|
|Labor safety and health|
|Child labor and young workers|
|Discrimination and harassment||Companies (employers), employees||All workers in the workplace, Suppliers and business partners Acquired companies/distributors, local communities, customers, etc.|
|Right of privacy|
|Human rights issues* in the supply chain||Companies (employers), employees||All workers in the workplace, Business partners (suppliers and business partners), Acquired companies/distributors, customers, etc.|
|Suppliers and business partners||Employees of suppliers and workers who have entered into temporary staffing/mediation/contracting contracts with suppliers, Local communities, secondary business partners, etc.|
|Acquiring companies and distributors||Purchaser/Distributor employees, community, customers, etc.|
* High-severity forced labor, child labor, labor environment risks, etc.
For the salient human rights issues identified, the department responsible for human rights will promote initiatives to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts in consultation with the relevant departments.
The Ricoh Group implements measures to prevent and mitigate identified salient human rights issues which have high adverse impacts on human rights of others.
In 2020, for example, a third-party audit (RBA Validated Assessment Program (VAP)) was conducted voluntarily by a production sites in China. As a result of the audit, it was revealed that some of the labor agencies contracted by the site had required workers to pay a part of the recruiting fees. As a corrective measure to this issue, the site completed the refund of the fees incurred by the workers. Regarding preventive measure, in the same year, Ricoh ordered the prohibition of charging workers recruitment fees.
In responses to human rights issues in the supply chain, the Ricoh Group revised the Ricoh Group Supplier Code of Conduct in August 2020 based on the RBA Code of Conduct. Ricoh now requires major suppliers, who account for more than 80% of the total purchase amount, to sign and comply with our supplier code of conduct.
We will continue to give priority to addressing salient human rights issues and take measures to prevent and mitigate adverse impacts on human rights.
Implementation of Periodic Assessment for Ricoh Group Production Sites
The Ricoh Group recognizes that the human rights risk at production sites is of high importance, and continuously monitors it.
In 2019, we joined the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), a corporate alliance that promotes corporate social responsibility in global supply chains. In 2020, we conducted a risk assessment using the RBA SAQ for major production sites of the Ricoh Group.
In 2022, we started annual risk assessments and conducted them at 21 production sites.
Continuous RBA VAP audits
Among the production sites that have implemented the RBA SAQ, major production sites evaluate the effectiveness of preventive and mitigating measures and corrective measures through the continuation of the third-party audit (RBA VAP) every two years. Through the audits conducted between 2020 and 2021, we confirmed that there were no serious human rights-related non-conformances, and All audited sites have been certified by the RBA. [Table 3] At the three sites that have conducted the VAP, they have formulated an improvement plan regarding non-conformances with RBA's compliance requirements, and are working toward improvement.
We plan to expand third-party audits to other major production sites. We will continue to conduct on-site audits at necessary sites and monitor the effectiveness of countermeasures against human rights risks.
[Table 3] RBA certification status
|Facility name||Country of Location||The latest Time for auditing||Score (out of 200 points)||Recognition level||Certification deadline|
|Ricoh Industry Tohoku Plant||Japan||May 2022||189.6||Gold||June 2024|
|Shanghai Ricoh Digital Equipment Co., Ltd.||China||April 2021||168.0||Silver||September 2022|
|Ricoh Manufacturing (Thailand) Ltd.||Thailand||April 2021||173.8||Silver||April 2023|
Implementation of Assessment for Suppliers
In order to ascertain human rights risks in the supply chain, we conduct CSR assessments including the assessment of human rights risks every year with a focus on major suppliers in target areas. We will conduct onsite audits to the supplier whose result of the assessments have showed high-risk and request to improve findings.
In 2020, we reviewed the content of CSR assessments and conducted assessments in accordance with RBA standards and investigated human rights risks at our major suppliers, who account for more than 80% of our purchases, and investigated human rights risks.
In the 2021 survey, no supplier was identified as high risk in the human rights category in the CSR assessment, but there were some concerns about a human rights risk in some supplier, so we requested to improve the risk issues.
The CSR assessment will be reviewed and monitoring of human rights risks at suppliers will be strengthened.
Refer to Supply Chain Management for details.
Human Rights Assessments in mergers and acquisitions (M&A)
At Ricoh, when conducting new transactions such as M&A, we carefully assess the risk of the counterparty in accordance with the standard due diligence process established by the Investment Committee.
“Human rights due diligence" is included as part of these risk assessment items, and we conduct a detailed assessment on the human rights risks of the counterparty company to ensure that there are no issues before making our final decision on the M&A.
In accordance with the Ricoh Group’s Human Rights Policy, the Ricoh Group discloses in a transparent manner the progress of its efforts to deal with adverse impacts on human rights on the website and in the Integrated Report.
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, we provided human rights education (e-learning on corporate activities and human rights) for executives and employees of affiliated companies in Japan to learn about human rights from the viewpoint of avoiding human rights risks and improving corporate value.
In 2021, we held a study session for Ricoh executives with the aim of understanding business and human rights, and we invited outside experts to attend. Along with the revision of the Ricoh Group's Human Rights Policy, human rights education in the form of e-leaning was conducted for approximately 33,000 Ricoh Group executives and employees in Japan for the purpose of understanding the Ricoh Group's Human Rights Policy and the Business and Human Rights Policy. We will continue to provide education and training so that each and every employee can understand the necessity of respect for human rights in business.
Results of Human Rights Education in FY2021
1) Approximately 32,000 employees and executives of Ricoh Group companies in Japan.
2) Result of questionnaire after attendance: 96% responded that they "understood very well" or "understood well" when checking the degree of understanding.
The Ricoh Group provides a whistleblowing system and grievance mechanism that allows stakeholders of the Ricoh Group to report their concerns about human rights without fear of retaliation.
In the event that a petition is made for infringement of human rights, we will promptly investigate the petition and take measures to rectify the adverse impacts on human rights.
For details of each reporting system;
|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.|
|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.
In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for companies to pay living wages. As a response to this trend, Ricoh plans to review the issue from the following three perspectives.
If any employee at Ricoh Group is the victim of discrimination or harassment, or if they witness such an incident, they can immediately and safely report the incident or consult with a contact person at the global, domestic group, or each company level (in case it is difficult to consult with a superior or the company at which they are employed. Each system prohibits any disadvantageous treatment of whistleblowers or those who cooperate in investigations due to the fact that they consulted or reported a matter or cooperated in an investigation triggered by a consultation or report. The district in charge of each reporting system confirms the facts of the reported or consulted case and after obtaining the consent of the whistleblower, and in cooperation with the personnel district of the district where the case occurred, plans how to proceed with the investigation. The fact that various reporting systems have been established is made known to employees during various training sessions and at the time of policy announcements at each company and organization.
In the event that a violation of human rights or harassment is confirmed, the Group places the highest priority on restoring the victim's ability to work safely and securely, while appropriately punishing the perpetrator (including the perpetrator's supervisor in some cases) and providing guidance according to the maliciousness of the conduct. For malicious acts, the perpetrator is subjected to disciplinary action in accordance with the work rules and Group standards (RGS-Cooperative C0001 Standard for the Prevention of Human Rights Violations and RGS-Cooperative C0002 Standard for the Prevention of Harassment) established by each company, and the perpetrator is warned so that similar acts will never occur again, and management and supervision by superiors are strengthened. In addition, management and supervision by superiors have been strengthened. In addition, after giving utmost consideration to the privacy of both the victim and the perpetrator, the case is shared with management and managers in the area where the incident occurred, and management checks are conducted to ensure that similar violations do not occur in other organizations.