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. In addition, we instituted the Canon Group Human Rights Policy in 2021 and 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 prohibition 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 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 CFO holds the responsibility as the executive of human rights, while the sustainability, legal, and human resources divisions of Canon Inc. serveas 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 mechanisms, 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.
(1) formulation/review of the Human Rights Policy; (2) undertaking human rights due diligence; (3) institution/operation of grievance mechanism; (4) conducting human rights awareness training; (5) addressing human rights risks in the supply chain; and (6) stakeholder engagement.
Based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct, we undertake human rights due diligence across the Group, as one activity under the Risk Management Committee. Each Canon Inc. division and Group company identifies and evaluates the potential adverse human rights impacts in their respective business activities, including the supply chain, and identifies the salient human rights risks. Subsequently, the promotion secretariat aggregates, analyzes and evaluates those risks, and through stakeholder engagement, identifies salient human rights risks for Canon. In assessing human rights risk, we also refer to the human rights risk country/region index provided by the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA).
Additional measures have been initiated to prevent or mitigate salient human rights risks identified by Canon Inc. divisions or Group companies where it is believed current actions are deemed insufficient.
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|
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
|Health damage or
accident caused by
Canon has an internal reporting system at nearly all Group companies worldwide through which our employees can report specific human rights concerns in the local language. Canon also strives to make the reporting system known through the company intranet and training programs.
In addition, Canon has a point of contact in our website for external stakeholders to report specific human rights concerns about Canon’s corporate activities.
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. The facts in any whistle-blowing case are investigated, where it is received. If Canon judges that there is a problem, with appropriate steps and procedures, Canon works to remedy such problem and prevent any recurrence.
In 2022, Canon received 110 cases concerning human rights-related issues (discrimination/harassment, wages, working hours, etc.). Out of these 110 cases, 21 cases for which Canon completed investigations as of the end of 2022 required remedying.
The industry body of which Canon is a member also has a grievance mechanism through which Canon’s stakeholders can report specific human rights concerns.
Since 2021, we have been carrying out an online learning program for employees to instill basic knowledge about business and human rights and raise awareness of Canon’s human rights initiatives.
We extended this program to Canon Group companies in Japan in 2022. A total of 33,100 people completed the course, for a participation rate of 98.2%.
The employee handbook issued by Canon Vietnam aims to further improve the working environment and help deepen the mutual understanding between the company and employees. It includes items such as the Canon Group Code of Conduct, the RBA Code of Conduct, and internal rules of Canon Vietnam, including respect for human rights.
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 corporate activities. In 2022, to identify salient risks for Canon as part of human rights due diligence, we engaged in dialogue with the Canon Workers’ Union representing 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 the protection of privacy, which are considered to be human rights risks for employees in particular. A broad range of opinions were also exchanged on the topics of changes in work styles due to greater telecommuting and men taking childcare leave. The dialogue helped to identify salient human rights risks for Canon. The workers’ union introduced the risks it was evaluating and pointed to examples of flexible work styles developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The dialogue served to deepen mutual understanding, with both sides confirming their desire to maintain such dialogue.
We have instituted a system to accurately ascertain the working hours of employees at overseas production sites deemed to be subject to a notably high risk of excessive overtime work. Actual results on working time management, including overtime work, are reported annually to the HR division of Canon Inc. Work guidelines were introduced to Canon Group production companies based in Asia in 2015 as part of human rights risk-related initiatives. In 2022, we overhauled these guidelines to make them consistent with RBA standards, extending them to all our overseas Group production companies.
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.
We utilize the RBA’s Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) to evaluate the risk of human rights violations at 57 Canon Group production sites worldwide. While the SAQ did not confirm any significant violations, it can help to identify if a site makes use of child/forced labor, or disrespects workers’ freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. In 2022, we held a dialogue with representatives of foreign workers, since such workers’ working conditions didn’t meet the RBA standards. An external RBA audit was also conducted at 16 production sites in Japan and overseas. The audit did not reveal serious violations regarding labor or health and safety, including human rights at these sites, but we revised internal rules and procedures to address any deficiencies indicated due to differences between the requirements under the RBA Code of Conduct and rules and procedures based on local laws and regulations. The results were shared with Group companies to promote related improvements. We also organized internal and external (RBA) audits of the companies that provide catering, security and other services as contractors, with the results being applied to guide related improvements. Canon Group employees follow a variety of religions. Related measures we take to respect religious practice include putting places of worship inside the workplace, and enabling consultations on religious customs in the workplace about prayers, worship, attire or meals, as well as setting rules on how to approach such issues.
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.
We use the RBA’s SAQ at Canon Group domestic and overseas production sites to confirm there is no risk of forced labor or any unreasonable restrictions on workers’ movements on the site or while at work.
We have formulated the Canon Supplier Code of Conduct, which is based on the RBA Code of Conduct, to promote sound procurement activities that take proper account of labor, health and safety and environmental concerns, and management systems. We have collected a letter of agreement concerning adherence to the RBA Code of Conduct from our major suppliers. In addition, we conduct annual checks of our major suppliers using the RBA’s SAQ as part of efforts to prevent in our supply chain the use of any child/forced labor, unreasonable movement restrictions, or excessive working hours, alongside good health and safety measures. We also perform our own checks on some major suppliers, which may include conducting a local audit.
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.