The Mitsubishi Electric Group established Policies on Respect for Human Rights in September 2017 and declared its commitment to ensure human rights responses that match international norms. In particular, we are striving to implement measures to prevent and mitigate adverse impacts on human rights. To do so, we are conducting due diligence on human rights in conformance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and creating a corrective mechanism in the event it comes to light that a company’s action or involvement has inflicted an adverse impact on human rights.
In fiscal 2019, the Mitsubishi Electric Group will launch human rights due diligence initiatives by identifying and evaluating impacts on human rights (a human rights impact assessment) at all company sites. We will also explore ways to improve the mechanism for receiving grievances from those who have suffered a human rights violation and provide an avenue for relief (a grievance handling mechanism). At the same time, all suppliers along our supply chain will be requested to strengthen their human rights responses as part of their initiatives to promote CSR procurement.
In fiscal 2020 and beyond, we will promote these initiatives further, and plan to create a system that also includes the supply chain in preventing and mitigating adverse impacts on human rights. The program will include follow-up evaluations of the initiatives for human rights responses.
In fiscal 2017, Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. and Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Systems Europe Ltd. issued a statement in response to the Modern Slavery Act that was enacted in the UK with the aim of eradicating forced labor, human trafficking, and other such acts that constitute "modern slavery." Continued efforts will be made to ensure information disclosure and strengthen relevant initiatives. Due consideration is also given to the UK Gender Pay Gap Report.
Lecture on "Respect for human rights and the active participation of diverse human resources"
Mitsubishi Electric provides ongoing training programs regarding human rights to new employees and newly appointed managers, as part of its efforts to ensure a healthy workplace environment that is free of discrimination or harassment.
Particular emphasis is placed on harassment prevention training for newly appointed managers, as they bear an important responsibility as managers to maintain and improve their workplace environment. The programs include not only lectures that provide information about sexual harassment, power harassment and "maternity harassment," but also lectures that allow managers to identify any harassment issues in the workplace, such as by introducing specific case examples of harassment.
Those who attend the program actively engage in creating a comfortable working environment for employees, by making certain there are no harassment issues in their workplace, as is their responsibility as managers.
Mitsubishi Electric provides a human rights awareness training program to all new employees, with a view to developing an organizational culture where a diversity of people work actively with mutual respect for each other.
In one instance, we organized a human rights training program for members of the CSR Expert Committee (Head Office management departments) with Mr. Shimotaya, Managing Director of Sustainavision Ltd. and an expert in human rights issues, as guest lecturer, to deepen understanding of trends in worldwide human rights issues and international human rights norms.
Additionally, for new employees who have just become full-fledged members of society and newly appointed managers, a program has been implemented that promotes understanding of the basic principles of human rights and Mitsubishi Electric's human rights initiatives, and that includes lectures on specific issues regarding human rights, such as harassment, discrimination against disabled people, and the Dowa social integration issue.
Through such programs, we are striving to raise awareness of human rights in the minds of new employees from an early stage after joining the company, so when they are assigned to their workplace, they can act with a sense of respect for human rights while engaging in their daily duties.
Strategic Planning and Corporate Communication
MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC EUROPE B.V.
Within the MEU Corporate office I am in charge of our CSR activities and follow CSR related developments in Europe, for example as the representative in the JBCE CSR Committee in Brussels.
One topic within the Human Rights sphere that has been very prominent lately is the prevention of slavery, which even in this day and age is wide-spread. While several European countries have issued related legislation, the most notable and comprehensive law in this context is the Modern Slavery Act, which came into force in the UK in 2015. It requires companies to investigate their operations and supply chains for existing acts of slavery as well as to take actions to prevent them from occurring in the future. Since 2016 companies also have the obligation to publicly issue an annual Modern Slavery Statement in which they for instance have to state the actions taken in the previous year to combat Modern Slavery. As MEU we of course take the prevention of slavery very seriously and for example have introduced an e-learning program, which educates our colleagues about where and how to spot signs of slavery in the modern day work environment.