Initiatives for Human Rights

Basic Approach

Concerning respect for human rights within NGK Group business activities, our relationship with employees has been governed by the NGK Group Code of Conduct, and our relationship with suppliers has been governed by our Supply-Chain CSR Guideline. In April 2021 we established the NGK Group Human Rights Policy as a separate policy on human rights. This not only clarifies our messaging both inside and outside of the company, but accelerates our efforts to respect human rights.

Related Policies and Approaches

Statement on the UK Modern Slavery Act

We have disclosed our UK Modern Slavery Act Statement based on the Modern Slavery Act passed by the United Kingdom in 2015.

UK Modern Slavery Act Statement

Respect for the Human Rights of Children

The NGK Group is aware that there are a variety of impacts that corporations can have on children. In addition to signing the UN Global Compact, we support the Children’s Rights and Business Principles, respect the rights of children through our business activities, and engage in social contribution activities and other efforts to promote children’s rights.

Social Contribution Activities

Compliance with Local Labor Laws

The NGK Group complies with the laws of each country and region concerning labor and occupational safety and health.
We have also established a reporting mechanism for whistle-blowing and consultation to handle possible violations.
Regarding child labor and forced labor, we use sources such as official public documents to confirm the age of candidates before they are hired. To date, we have found no cases of child labor or forced labor through the regular surveys.

Management System

In April 2020, we established the HR Committee as a cross-sectoral, deliberative body chaired by the executive in charge of the HR Department and tasked with ensuring that corporate activities have a stronger focus on human rights and that important personnel issues are addressed by the NGK Group as a whole.
The HR committee coordinates and cooperates with related committees and departments on initiatives for ensuring respect for human rights, according to their content and importance. At the same time, the managing director of the HR department regularly reports to the Board of Directors concerning the status of their implementation, and the Board of Directors overseas the status of implementation.

FY2021 Activities

In FY2021, we focused on the following human rights initiatives.

April 2021 Disclosed NGK Group Human Rights Policy
August 2021 Revised NGK Group Human Rights Policy
November 2021 Newly formulated and disclosed Statement on the UK Modern Slavery Act
October 2021 Conducted investigations into human rights-related grievances at Group companies in and outside Japan during the first half of FY 2021 (human rights related grievances at NGK headquarters are investigated and recorded on a case by case basis)
December 2021 to March 2022 Conducted a Human Rights Due Diligence survey of NGK headquarters, and all group companies in and outside Japan

Specific Initiatives

Initiatives for Due Diligence Processes, Assessment, and Rectification

The NGK Group is making a variety of efforts to identify, prevent and mitigate practices within the NGK’s business operations that negatively impact human rights. The HR Committee has verified this approach and reported to the Board of Directors.

Self-Assessment by Each Group Company

NGK and a total of 39 Group companies in and outside of Japan, conduct a 55 question self-assessment survey based on the RBA* Code of Conduct which looks at the three categories of labor, safety and health, and ethics.
As a result, no violations of the laws or regulations of each country were found. On the other hand, there were some issues identified which do not comply with the RBA Code of Conduct.
We have already made improvements to address some of these minor matters (such as providing health and safety information in a language employees can understand). For matters like hiring procedures and working hours, we are aware that these are issues and are considering how to address them in light of the laws, norms, and customs of each country.

Responsible Business Alliance: Focusing primarily on the electronic equipment industry, the RBA establishes standards and conducts audits with the aim of promoting safe working environments, worker protection, and environmental responsibility.

Human Rights Risks to Employees

Concerning human rights risks to employees, we collect information through our internal whistleblowing system, and receive reports from Group companies once every 6 months through the Human Rights Grievance Survey. In FY2021, we received 52 reports related to human rights (harassment, labor-related, etc.) from the entire NGK Group. We are handling these with fact-finding investigations, rectification, instruction, and warnings. Once every two years we also conduct a Corporate Risk Survey (CRS) to identify latent risks.

Risks to Supply Chain

For our supply chain, every year we ask all suppliers, including new suppliers, to submit a written agreement to comply with our Supply-Chain CSR Guideline. Moreover, in FY2021 we conducted a self-assessment survey to ascertain the level of understanding of, and status of activities related to, CSR procurement at our approximately 700 suppliers in Japan.

NGK Group’s Supply-Chain CSR Guideline

Grievance Mechanisms and Remediation / Remedy Framework

This diagram shows our grievance mechanisms, remediation, and remedy framework. Grievances related to human rights are handled by the ESG Management Committee or Compliance Committee.

Education Concerning Human Rights

NGK conducts various types of training, through seminars and e-learning, for executives and all employees, with the goal of improving their level of understanding for respecting human rights in our corporate activities.