Implementation Date: April 14, 2017
The United Kingdom passed the Modern Slavery Act in March 2015—a clear indication of rising global moves toward human rights related legislation at the supply chain level. In such an environment, and with the overseas production ratio of the TDK Group rising above 80%, the need has definitely emerged for responses keyed to the international trends. To more thoroughly explore the proper approach for TDK in addressing human rights within its supply chain, two outside experts were invited to take part in a study session addressing that very theme.
Learning from Frontline Human Rights Responses
For this study session, welcomed as speakers were Mr. Takeshi Shimotaya of Sustainavison Ltd., a figure with penetrating insight in the field of global human rights issues, and Mr. Masaki Wada of Energetic Green Co., Ltd., a man with a long history of promoting CSR procurement at corporate frontlines. Five TDK employees also took part, including two corporate officers in charge of procurement and CSR.
TDK clearly declares its posture of respect for human rights within the Group’s Code of Conduct, moving to fulfill those social responsibilities rooted in close consideration of human rights, workplace environments, and other crucial matters in all procurement transactions as well. In fiscal 2016, three important themes were established within one of our CSR issues: Consider the Societal and Environment Impact of the Supply Chain. This was a move to bolster the Group stance on that front. In the wake of passage of the UK Modern Slavery Act, the TDK Group Policy on Human Rights was formulated in August of 2016, followed by regular disclosure of the status of approaches under the guidelines.
This study session was positioned to further expand the depth of initiatives advanced to date to more closely zero in on the future. The idea was to acquire outside perspectives to help determine specific areas demanding keener attention, rethinking our conventional approaches to widen the channels of mutual understanding. The talks by Mr. Shimotaya and Mr. Wada were both presented from their respective specialized viewpoints. They sought to profile international moves toward human rights friendly legislation, the status of forced labor, child labor, and other illicit practices confirmed worldwide, the rising global attention to Japan and the supply chains of Japanese companies in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, and other relevant developments. At the opinion exchange following the main session, brisk discussions ensued with TDK personnel in attendance. Key queries included how to establish more pronounced awareness of CSR throughout the Group as a whole, and what approaches to adopt upon difficulties in achieving the understanding of such matters from suppliers.