Human Rights Management

Management information

Basic approach

The Fuji Oil Group has a responsibility to respect the human rights of all who can be impacted by our global business. This responsibility is expressed in our Group Management Philosophy, which upholds a commitment to “Work for people” as a core value.
Due to the environmental and human rights risks associated to agricultural products such as palm oil and cocoa, which are key raw materials for the Fuji Oil Group, respecting human rights is crucial not just in our own operations but at every step in our supply chain.
Based on stakeholder dialogues and our participation in the 2016 United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights, we reformulated our view on human rights and announced the Fuji Oil Group Human Rights Policy in April 2017.

Management system

Under the supervision of the ESG Representative, the Sustainability Development Group promotes Group-wide efforts to raise awareness of human rights issues, to identify and manage human rights risks, and to ensure that human rights are respected at all workplaces and business sites.
Key human rights risks are incorporated into our material ESG issues.*1 The Sustainability Committee,*2 an advisory body to the Board of Directors, monitors the progress and results of initiatives.

Specific initiatives

Educational, promotion and awareness activities

The Fuji Oil Group promotes educational and awareness activities on business and human rights.
We designated the week of December 10, international Human Rights Day, as Fuji Oil Group Human Rights Week to raise awareness among all Group employees on our Human Rights Policy and the issue of business and human rights. In FY2021, we sought to raise internal awareness by issuing leadership statements on business and human rights and distributing articles and e-mail messages explaining the Group’s approach and initiatives.

A leadership statement posted on our internal communication site
* The C“ESG”O position was discontinued in April 2022 and changed to ESG Representative.

Business and human rights e-learning video

Human rights due diligence


The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which present the fundamental principles in this respect, clearly state that businesses also have the responsibility to respect human rights. The principles require that businesses comply with all the applicable laws and regulations. This corporate responsibility consists of three components: policy commitment, human rights due diligence, and remediation. The Fuji Oil Group specifies our “implementation of the responsibility to respect human rights” in the Group’s Human Rights Policy, and conducts human rights due diligence as part of our responsibilities.

Impact assessment process

The Fuji Oil Group conducts human rights impact assessments following the process advocated by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and with guidance from outside experts to identify and evaluate the possible adverse impacts of our business activities on human rights and to identify priority key issues. We conducted our first human rights impact assessment in FY2016, and second assessment in FY2020, to identify our human rights risks. During the second assessment in FY2020, we received guidance from BSR, a third-party expert on business and human rights.
In the first stage, based on BSR’s expertise, we identified human rights risks based on the nature of the Group’s business and our operating locations.
In the second stage, we conducted interviews with relevant in-house parties to incorporate as much information from our actual operations as possible. In this stage, done in collaboration with BSR, we identified six categories where our business can have a human rights impact: 1) Occupational health and safety, 2) Human rights of supply chain workers, 3) Diversity and inclusion (D&I) and human rights in the workplace, 4) Food safety, 5) GRC,* and 6) Climate impact on human rights.
In the third stage, following expert guidance, we selected three categories of human rights risks to address as priority issues: 1) Occupational health and safety, 2) Human rights of supply chain workers, and 3) D&I and human rights in the workplace. These identified risks have been reported to our executive team. We carry out medium-term initiatives to reduce these risks and disclose our progress to stakeholders through sustainability reports and other channels.

  • * Governance, risk, and compliance

Results of 1st and 2nd human rights impact assessments and progress on addressing risks identified in 1st assessment

In-depth look at risks identified in 2nd human rights impact assessment

Risks identified in 2nd human rights impact assessment Special points to confirm/consider (recommended by experts) Actions FY2021 Results
Occupational health and safety

Relevant stakeholder group:
  • Prevent spread of infection during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Strengthen management system by third-party assessment
  • Continue applying strict measures to prevent infection in the workplace
  • Continue to improve our occupational health and safety management system by incorporating perspectives of third-party organizations
  • Promoted staggered working hours, remote work, flextime system
  • Carried out group COVID-19 vaccination at business sites
  • Carried out joint remote audits of individual companies which included safety officials from regional headquarters
Human rights of supply chain workers (focusing on working environment on plantations, occupational health and safety, non-discrimination, and equal opportunity, forced and child labor, and land rights)

Relevant stakeholder group:
Supply chain workers
  • General: Establish supplier code of conduct that applies to all suppliers and expand grievance mechanisms
  • Palm oil and cocoa: Implement measures based on sourcing policies and medium-to-long-term targets
  • Soy: Formulate sourcing policy and establish monitoring system
  • Ensure suppliers are well informed of supplier code of conduct
  • Evaluate effectiveness of revised palm oil grievance mechanism
  • Monitor human rights due diligence trends in the EU and apply to the supply chain in a timely manner
  • For child labor risks in West Africa, conduct traceability and mapping, promote the Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS), and participate in educational assistance program
  • Establish and disclose responsible sourcing policy and KPIs for soybeans and soy products
  • Establish and disclose responsible sourcing policy and KPIs (especially to empower women) for West African shea kernels
  • Formulated and published the Supplier Code of Conduct, which was distributed to suppliers
  • Addressed the increase in number of grievances
  • Established a Sustainable Development Team as a hub for ESG information (in Fuji Europe Africa B.V.)
  • Implemented initiatives to end child labor in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire
  • Formulated the Responsible Soybeans and Soy Products Sourcing Policy, set and disclosed KPIs
  • Formulated the Responsible Shea Kernels Sourcing Policy, set and disclosed KPIs
D&I and human rights in the workplace (harassment, forced labor)

Relevant stakeholder group:
  • Strengthen system for promoting D&I globally
  • Strengthen harassment prevention measures
  • Identify and reduce forced labor risks
  • Promote diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) globally
  • Consider possible mechanisms/systems for identifying and addressing human rights issues in the workplace
  • Identified human rights issues in each region and incorporated in our material ESG issues for FY2022
  • Conducted anti-harassment lectures in management training
  • Posted informational posters on harassment prevention during Human Rights Week, informed and raised awareness among managers

Grievance mechanisms

Internal hotline system for employees

We have established a whistleblowing hotline system* for employees of Group companies inside and outside Japan and employees of some cooperating companies.

Grievance mechanism for our supply chains

In May 2018, we established and announced a grievance mechanism* based on our Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing Policy. We set up a grievance mechanism webpage in English on the Fuji Oil Group website to announce the mechanism and its progress.

Review of initiatives (expert dialogue)

From 2016 to 2020, the Fuji Oil Group held annual dialogues with business and human rights experts to seek advice on our human rights initiatives. In FY2021, we did not carry out a talk-format dialogue. Instead BSR, our Human Resources Department and our Sustainability Department discussed specific measures to deal with human rights in the workplace (harassment, forced labor), which was identified as a risk in the 2nd human rights impact assessment. During the discussion, we considered how to ensure an effective, comprehensive human rights risk management system.

Related documents