In the spirit of “Trust and Sincerity” as stated in our Corporate Creed, Seven & i Group believes that the human rights of all stakeholders including customers, business partners, shareholders, local communities, and employees, are of paramount importance. We respect the human rights of all activities and aim to realize a society where human rights are respected, without tolerating unjust discrimination or harassment based on social status, nationality, race, ethnicity, tenet, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability, or any other reasons.
In order to understand the human rights of all people and fulfill our responsibility to respect human rights, we established the Seven & i Group Human Rights Policy on October 7th, 2021 based on international principles and standards on human rights*. This policy applies to all executives and employees, and we continuously encourage all of our business partners to support this policy and work together to respect human rights.
We establish a human rights due diligence mechanism in accordance with procedures set forth in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and strive to prevent or mitigate any negative impact on human rights. In promoting this policy and implementing human rights due diligence, we establish a group-wide organization at Seven & i Holdings and promote initiatives to respect human rights under the supervision of its board of directors.
We operate grievance mechanisms appropriately, including an internal reporting system, to prevent human rights violations and to provide access to remedies for those who have been negatively impacted. We will not tolerate or tacitly condone human rights violations by the Group companies or business partners, and if we receive a report or allegation that human rights are not being respected, we will appropriately investigate the matter and take steps to correct it or encourage them to do so.
We continue to report publicly our efforts and activities to respect human rights to all our stakeholders as needed to ensure transparency and act responsibly to achieve a sustainable society where human rights are respected.
April 14th, 2023
Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd.
Senior Managing Executive Officer
Chief Sustainability Officer
In the spirit of “Trust and Sincerity” as stated in our Corporate Creed*1, Seven & i Group*2 (hereinafter “we” or “us”) supported by all stakeholders including customers, business partners, shareholders, local communities, and employees, engages in business activities that contribute to the development of quality in the daily life and society. All our business activities rely on the people and society. To understand the human rights of all people and fulfill our responsibility to respect human rights, we set forth Seven & i Group Human Rights Policy in Octorber, 2021.
This policy, along with our Corporate Creed, is the foundation for all business activities of the Seven & i Group. We also believe that respect for human rights is inseparable from the preservation of the global environment, which should be shared with future generations. Through the implementation of this policy, along with our environmental declaration, “GREEN CHALLENGE 2050,” we work with our stakeholders to create sustainable society where human rights are respected.
We aim to be a sincere company that our business partners, shareholders and local communities trust.
We aim to be a sincere company that our employees trust.
The Human Rights Promotion Project has been established as a cross-Group organisation to promote the Human Rights Policy in the Group, and ongoing efforts are being made to implement it. The project involves the chairpersons of each of the four subcommittees under the CSR Management Committee (the Corporate Ethics and Culture Subcommittee, the Supply Chain Subcommittee, the Compliance Subcommittee, and the Environmental Subcommittee), as well as the Human Rights Education Center. The project promotes human rights due diligence initiatives, including identification of business-specific human rights issues, corrective actions, regular monitoring, and information disclosure. Meetings of the Human Rights Promotion Project develop plans of human rights initiatives and review the progress.
The Corporate Ethics and Culture Subcommittee under the CSR Management Committee regularly shares the progress on efforts related to human rights education. It advances activities aimed at having all employees of Group companies correctly understand and recognize human rights, along with fostering a corporate culture free of discrimination or prejudice. The Supply Chain Subcommittee under the CSR Management Committee requests that suppliers understand the Seven & i Group's approach to human rights and implement ongoing initiatives. The Compliance Subcommittee promotes the practice of employees' words and actions that respect the human rights of our suppliers. The Environmental Subcommittee promotes procurement activities that respect human rights based on sustainable procurement principles and policies.
In addition, the Human Rights Education Center conducts various awareness-raising and educational activities in cooperation with the human resource departments and CSR promotion departments of each Group company.
These human rights initiatives are reported and shared at the biannual meetings of the CSR Management Committee.
We have a human rights due diligence mechanism in accordance with procedures set forth in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct, and strive to prevent or mitigate any negative impact on human rights.
If it becomes clear that our business activities have caused or contributed to human rights abuse, we will work to correct and remedy the situation. Even if our business activities have not caused nor contributed to human rights abuse but if our products or services have been directly linked to the impacts through business relationships, we will encourage our business partners to correct and remedy the situation.
We recognize that its business activities may have an impact on human rights. We are committed to identifying the causes of negative impacts on people and society, and to reduce and remedy the negative impacts we identify.
In 2022, we conducted an assessment of the potential negative human rights impacts of our operations and those of our business partners. We conducted interviews and surveys of our own company and supply chain to identify human rights issues. We evaluate human rights risks and mitigate the risks by calculating and mapping the severity and likelihood of occurrence of the identified human rights issues based on human rights risk indicators published by international organizations and others. The identification of such human rights issues is conducted with the support and advice of external experts.
* For each human rights issue, " Possibility of Occurrence" and "Severity" were calculated and mapped.
* In calculating the possibility of the likelihood of human rights issues in each country, we used indicators published by international organizations such as BHRRC and ESG Data Model.
* For severity, scores were calculated based on scale, scope, and irremediability.
We identify human rights issues (and countries/regions) that we will focus on preventing and responding to. For those high-priority human rights issues identified we implement corrective measures within the group as well as education, training, and other activities aimed at prevention. For human rights issues in the supply chain, we continuously engage in dialogue and consultation with relevant stakeholders and disseminate guidelines to improve and enhance our efforts to respect human rights, and take corrective measures when risks become apparent.
Seven & i Group offers a variety of educational activities and employee training with the aim of creating a corporate culture in which everyone respects the human rights of all customers, business partners, people in local communities, and colleagues, and in which people are aware of all types of discrimination and prejudices and do not discriminate against others or tolerate such behavior.
Since 1987, we have joined the Tokyo Human Rights Awareness Corporate Liaison Committee (name at the time of joining, “Tokyo Corporate Liaison Committee for the Dowa Issue”) which comprises of 123 companies (as of April 2023), mainly companies headquartered in Tokyo. Through participation in the monthly conferences, we are working to further enhance human rights education and our awareness-raising system while mutually studying with member companies.
Seven & i Group companies provide awareness training to employees, including managers and part-time employees, on a variety of human rights issues such as basic approaches to human rights and harassment prevention.
In the fiscal year ending February 28, 2023, we are conducting e-learning on human rights for all employees to raise awareness of respect for human rights within all stakeholders. In addition, Seven & i Holdings is working to promote employee understanding through the utilization of our human rights awareness handbook “Human Rights for Everyone—Let’s Start by Learning” and “Normalization Support Guide” to further support the education of Group companies.
For example, Ito-Yokado conducts level-specific human rights awareness training when employees join the company or are assigned to a new store or local store, with training content matching job responsibilities. Employees come to recognize that human rights issues are easily happened in everyday life, and the training includes specific examples such as power harassment and sexual harassment as well as new developments and issues so that employees can apply what they learn to their daily activities. Seven-Eleven Japan and Seven & i Create Link also conduct basic human rights awareness training in a timely manner.
In addition, York educates all the employees on how to assist visually impaired persons and wheelchair users by using online video materials as they can access and learn at any convenient time.
We also conduct compliance training for suppliers and product development and procurement personnel of the Group companies to reduce and mitigate human rights issues in the supply chain. In the fiscal year ending February 28, 2023, we conducted online compliance training for suppliers and employees both internally and externally, with approximately 4,600 participants.
We have organized various working environments and implemented systems to reduce human rights risks within our group. We are proactively implementing initiatives for normalization, improvement of occupational health and safety, and diversity in order to create a pleasant and rewarding work environment for our employees.
To create a corporate culture in which each employee's human rights are respected in accordance with the Corporate Action Guidelines, each year the Seven & i Group solicits human rights slogans from all employees, including part-time employees, and their family members. In the process of coming up with human rights slogans, opportunities are created for employees to think about human rights, which raises their awareness of human rights issues. The most excellent slogans selected from among those submitted are announced to the employees through the Group's internal newsletter and on the intranet website, and are awarded prizes. The contest was held for the 32th time in the fiscal year ending February 28, 2023, and 21,292 slogans were received, marking yet another year with a large number of submissions. The slogans emphasized reconsidering the importance of human rights, touching on everything from personal feelings in one's daily life to musings from a broader perspective.
Seven & i Group places the highest priority on respecting and protecting human rights, and we ask our suppliers to understand and implement the Seven & i Group Business Partner Sustainability Action Guidelines. We hold briefing sessions on the Seven & i Group Business Partner Sustainable Action Guidelines and CSR audits in China and South East Asia, where CSR risks are considered to be high, only through live and on-demand distribution. Approximately 660 participants from 492 companies took part in the live broadcast.
In order to identify negative human rights impacts of our corporate activities and to promote continuous improvement, we conduct monitoring both within the Group and the supply chain, as well as collect internal and external information.
Seven & i Group conducts an employee engagement survey targeting employees of the Seven & i Holdings as well as Group companies. The survey includes questions asking people if they respect diversity or have seen or heard about problematic employee behavior in the workplace, and checks whether the human rights are respected in line with the Corporate Action Guidelines. The survey conducted in the fiscal year ending February 28, 2022, targeted approximately 73,000 employees working at 34 Group companies in Japan.
To ensure that suppliers understand the Seven & i Holdings Business Partner Action Guidelines, Seven & i Group administers a self-check sheet for suppliers that explains all of the specific requirements for compliance. The self-check sheet contains 61 questions, including human rights-related questions. For example, the questions ask whether or not factory employees have access to consulting desks and whether or not the company requests that its own suppliers comply with the Seven & i Holdings Business Partner Action Guidelines. Responses are entered into a database, and the data are used in the process for determining whether to continue doing business with the suppliers.
In addition, Seven & i Group conducts CSR audits of end manufacturing factories of the suppliers who produce Seven Premium, group’s private brand products, as well as Ito-Yokado's overseas direct import suppliers. The audits ascertain their level of compliance with the Seven & i Group Business Partner Sustainability Action Guidelines.
A third-party organization conducts the audits in line with Seven & i Holdings' original audit, which covers topics such as human rights and the work environment (16 categories and 117 check items). This was prepared by making reference to sources such as the ISO 26000 standard, the Japanese Business Federation's Charter of Corporate Behavior, and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. In the fiscal year ending February 28, 2023, CSR audits were conducted at 846 factories in 13 countries.
From the fiscal year ended February 28, 2017, the Seven & i Group has conducted questionnaire surveys of suppliers to confirm whether the speech and behavior of employees toward suppliers follow the Seven & i Holdings Corporate Action Guidelines. In these surveys, suppliers reply to questions anonymously. In the fiscal year ending February 28, 2022, a total of approximately 8,800 representatives of suppliers responded to questionnaire surveys issued by Group companies.
We regularly disclose our commitment to respect for human rights through our website, management reports, and other means of communication.
Seven & i Holdings has established the Groupwide Employee Helpline as an internal whistleblowing system for employees of our operating companies in Japan, their families, and retirees, to prevent conduct that could result in loss of public credibility and to ensure early detection, early remediation, and recurrence prevention. This is also a system that can be used in the event of human rights issues.
In addition, we have established a "Business Partner Helpline," as an internal whistleblowing system for consultation and reporting by directors, employees, and former employees of suppliers of domestic group companies. The helpline is operated by a third party with whom we have concluded an outsourcing agreement and a confidentiality agreement, thus the privacy of the person making the report or consultation is strictly protected. Upon receiving a report or consultation, we will confirm the facts and resolve the issue, if necessary, after obtaining the consent of the person consulting. In addition, the operation rules of the reporting desk stipulate that no disadvantageous treatment will be given to the person consulting or to those who cooperate in confirming the facts.
The Audit & Supervisory Board Hotline has been in operation since February 2019 for the purpose of receiving reports independent of management related to actions that could potentially result in the loss of social trust in which the directors, members of the Audit & Supervisory Board, executive officers, and other members of management for Group companies in Japan are suspected of being involved, and investigating them. When the Company receives a report, it quickly confirms the facts, and the members of the Seven &i Holdings Audit & Supervisory Board work together with the members of operating company Audit & Supervisory Boards to correct any violations that are found and strive to prevent a recurrence.