Canon respects the human rights of all stakeholders involved in its business activities, including employees and business partners.
Based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Canon respects the human rights of all stakeholders involved in its business activities, including employees and business partners.
Since its foundation in 1937, Canon has been committed to respecting humanity, treating all employees in a fair and equal manner, without discrimination based on social status, gender, age or occupation. In 1988, following half a century of operations, we established kyosei as our new corporate philosophy, and reiterated our commitment to promoting respect for humanity as a global aspiration, working together with stakeholders around the world in that pursuit.
Considering recent social demands for responding to human rights based on international standards, Canon established the Canon Group Human Rights Policy in the name of the Chairman & CEO in 2021. Canon will continue to promote efforts to respect human rights.
The Canon Group Human Rights Policy expresses Canon’s commitment to respect human rights and to take measures to protect human rights under the corporate philosophy of kyosei, which we embed into our operational policies and procedures.
It stipulates that Canon will conduct human rights due diligence, establish and operate a grievance mechanism, conduct awareness training, and engage in dialogue with stakeholders in addition to respecting internationally recognized human rights, including the prevention of child labor, forced labor, unreasonable restrictions on movement and excessive overtime work, and also the respect for freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.
The Human Rights Policy is published in Japanese and English and is communicated to employees and stakeholders in each country and region via our website.
Since Canon’s founding in 1937, all employees have been treated the same on a fair and equal basis, without any discrimination due to status, gender, age or occupation. This stance was based on a complete respect for humanity.
Following half a century of operations, we adopted our corporate philosophy of kyosei in 1988. kyosei is the aspiration to create a society in which all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, live and work together for the common good. It sets the goal of human happiness and prosperity above the profits earned by any single company or nation. kyosei expresses our commitment to and global aspiration for a respect for humanity and makes clear the company’s firm stance to working together with stakeholders around the world to achieve this.
This policy expresses Canon Group’s commitment to respect human rights and to take measures to protect human rights under the corporate philosophy stated above, which we embed into our operational policies and procedures.
Canon seeks to contribute to our stakeholders’ understanding of the international circumstances surrounding human rights. By cooperating with surveys and audits conducted by Canon, as well as with our responses to the risks uncovered through our initiatives, we encourage our stakeholders to join Canon in addressing human rights issues.
Chairman & CEO
Date of establishment 10/15/2021
At Canon, the Executive Vice President holds the responsibility as the executive of human rights, while the sustainability, legal, and human resources divisions of Canon Inc. serve as the promotion secretariat, pursuing human rights initiatives in cooperation with the procurement divisions. The promotion secretariat formulates an overall plan for human rights initiatives, establishes and operates grievance mechanism, conducts stakeholder engagement, and reports important matters to the executive in charge. From 2022, potential human rights violation risks have been identified as a significant risk by the Risk Management Committee established by resolution of the Board of Directors. Each Canon Inc. division and Group company is implementing initiatives to prevent and mitigate human rights risks. The results are evaluated annually by the Risk Management Committee and reported to the CEO and Board of Directors.
In 2021, Canon (1) established the Human Rights Policy; (2) carried out human rights due diligence by identifying human rights risks for Canon; (3) established a grievance mechanism; (4) conducted human rights awareness training; and (5) addressed human rights risks in the supply chain. In preparation for these activities, we also engaged in dialogue with Sancroft International Ltd., a British sustainability consultancy, to gain insights from external experts.
In 2021, based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct, Canon implemented human rights due diligence throughout the entire Group.
To implement human rights due diligence, each Canon Inc. division and Group company worked within the framework of the Risk Management Committee to first identify and evaluate the potential adverse human rights impacts in their respective business activities, including the supply chain, and identified the salient human rights risks. Subsequently, the promotion secretariat aggregated, analyzed and evaluated those risks, and through stakeholder engagement, identified salient human rights risks for Canon. In assessing human rights risk, we also referred to the human rights risk country/region index provided by the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA).
Within the human rights risks that may arise in Canon’s business activities, 11 of those were identified as salient human rights risks, which include discrimination based on such factors as race, gender, or religion, harassment, child labor, forced labor, unpaid wages/low wages, excessive overtime work, occupational health and safety, and protection of privacy. As shown in the table below, various measures are taken to prevent and mitigate these risks.
Canon also assesses human rights risks for new businesses. For example, when conducting M&As, we review the status of compliance with laws and regulations related to labor standards and health and safety as part of our due diligence, to ensure that there are no serious human rights risks in the company newly joining the Group.
|Rights-holders||Measures taken by Canon|
|Salient human rights risks associated with Canon’s business activities||Discrimination
based on such
factors as race,
gender, or religion
|●||Diversity and Inclusion|
|Harassment||●||Prevention of Harassment|
|Child labor||●||Respect for Human Rights in the Supply
|Forced labor||●||Respect for Human Rights in the Supply
|●||Respect for Human Rights in the Supply
|●||●||Prevention of Excessive Overtime Work
Respect for Human Rights in the Supply
|●||●||Occupational Safety and Health
|●||●||Protecting Personal Information|
|●||Addressing the Issue of Responsible
|●||Protecting and Conserving the
|Health damage or
accident caused by
Canon has established an internal reporting system at nearly all Group companies worldwide through which employees can report specific human rights concerns in the local language. We also strive to make the reporting system known through the company intranet and training programs. In 2021, we received 103 reports related to human rights (discrimination/harassment, wages, working hours, etc.) through the internal reporting system. Of those with an investigation completed as of the end of 2021, 21 cases were identified that needed to be addressed or resolved. For these cases, the necessary corrective action is taken along with measures to prevent recurrence.
In addition, we have established a point of contact in our website for external stakeholders to report specific human rights concerns in Canon’s corporate activities.
In both internal and external contact points maintain the privacy of informants and allow them to report anonymously to ensure that they do not suffer unfair treatment as a result. Canon takes appropriate steps to remedy the situation following an investigation of the facts in each case.
The RBA, of which Canon is a member, offers a grievance mechanism called the Worker Voice Platform through which Canon’s stakeholders can report specific human rights concerns.
In conjunction with the establishment of the Canon Group Human Rights Policy, we carried out an e-learning program for employees with the aim of instilling basic knowledge about business and human rights and widely informing Canon’s human rights initiatives. In 2021, a total of 23,313 Canon Inc. employees completed the program (92.5% participation rate), which was open to all staff. From 2022, the program will be rolled out successively to Group companies.
The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct states that it is important for companies to engage with stakeholders at the time they identify the actual or potential adverse impact caused by their corporate activities. In 2021, to identify salient human rights risks for Canon as part of human rights due diligence, we held dialogues with the Canon Workers’ Union that represents our employees in Japan. In the dialogue, we confirmed the recognition of the workers’ union on discrimination based on such factors as race, gender, or religion, harassment, excessive overtime work, occupational health and safety, and protection of privacy, which are considered to be human rights risks for employees in particular. We also widely exchanged opinions on human rights risks, and the results were reflected in identifying salient human rights risks for Canon. The workers’ union also presented specific examples of flexible work styles during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the dialogue, we were able to deepen mutual understanding, and confirmed our commitment to continue the dialogue.
Canon conducts thorough age verification at the time of employment and has guidelines in place for when an employee is found to be under the minimum working age.
Canon conducts self-inspections using RBA’s Self- Assessment Questionnaire at its domestic and overseas production sites to confirm that there is no risk of forced labor or unreasonable restrictions on movement.
Canon has established a system to accurately ascertain the working hours of employees at overseas production sites, where the risk of excessive overtime work is considered to be comparatively high. The operational status of this system is reported annually to the human resource division of Canon Inc. In addition, in 2015, we established labor guidelines in accordance with social conditions in local areas and the human resource management regulations of each Group manufacturing company to ensure thorough compliance.
As stated in the Canon Group Human Rights Policy, Canon respects freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining in accordance with the local laws and regulations of each country and region. We also strive to address various labor issues by promoting dialogue between labor and management. For example, the labor agreement between Canon Inc. and the Canon Workers’ Union commits both sides to work in good faith to peacefully resolve issues in a timely manner.
In line with the principle of respect for humanity that Canon has followed since its foundation, Canon not only prohibits discrimination on such factors as gender or occupation, but also maintains a zero-tolerance policy on harassment, which it communicates to all management executives and employees.
In addition to sexual harassment and abuse of authority (power harassment), Canon Inc.’s employment rules and Harassment Prevention Provisions prohibit other forms of harassment, including maternity harassment. These provisions have been disseminated throughout Group companies in Japan, and many have instituted similar rules based on them.
In a further effort to maintain a comfortable workplace environment, Canon Inc. and its many Group companies in Japan have established a Harassment Hotline. Confidentiality surrounding employee consultations is strictly maintained and a firm guarantee against unfair treatment is provided to victims and informants.
In terms of preventing harassment, regular liaison meetings are held for persons responsible at Canon Inc. operational sites and Group companies in Japan, enabling the operational status of hotlines to be monitored and shared. Meeting participants review procedure manuals and share knowledge on how to respond to reports of harassment.
In 2021, Canon established the Canon Supplier Code of Conduct, which adopts the RBA Code of Conduct, and is promoting its procurement activities taking labor, health and safety, environment, and management systems into account. We have collected a letter of agreement confirming adherence to the RBA Code of Conduct from our major suppliers. In addition, to prevent child labor, forced labor, unreasonable restrictions on movement, and excessive overtime work and to ensure occupational health and safety at suppliers, we conduct yearly self-assessments using the RBA’s Self-Assessment Questionnaire.
Canon is also working with suppliers and industry bodies on responsible mineral sourcing initiatives.
Canon continuously monitors compliance with the content set out in the Canon Group Human Rights Policy. We also pursue ongoing efforts to improve our identification and assessment methods for human rights due diligence, and periodically review them throughout the Group. We also review the Group’s human rights initiatives in accordance with social demand, dialogue with stakeholders, and Canon’s business operation.
Canon discloses information to comply with requirements of the Modern Slavery Act, which mandates enterprises to publish annual statements verifying the risks of forced labor, human trafficking and child labor in their operations and supply chains.