Human Rights Initiatives
Policy on Human Rights
As a member of society, the Mitsubishi Estate Group is keenly aware of the importance of respect for human rights. To fulfill our responsibility to respect the basic human rights of all stakeholders, not only those involved in Group businesses, we set up the Mitsubishi Estate Group Human Rights Policy on April 1, 2018. The Policy was announced by the President & Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. following deliberation by the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd.
Respect for human rights is part of the Mitsubishi Estate Group Guidelines for Conduct, which all employees are expected to follow on a daily basis. These Guidelines stress the importance of respect for human rights and diversity, which means that employees show concern for human rights and the environment in the course of their business activities. The Human Rights Policy is intended to ensure that we, as a good corporation, understand that internationally mandated human rights are a bare minimum that we must go beyond, that we reaffirm the importance of supporting, protecting and respecting human rights and that we work to respect the fundamental human rights of every single person involved in the Group's businesses, throughout its supply chain. The Mitsubishi Estate Group does not tolerate any form of discrimination and human rights violations based on nationality, race, color, language, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, disability, birth, class or other status in its corporate activities, and is committed to ensuring equal opportunity.
Mitsubishi Estate Group Guidelines for Conduct (excerpt)
4. Respect for human rights and diversity
We respect human rights and believe that diversity maximizes value.
1.We respect human rights at all times.
2.We reject discrimination and harassment in any form.
3.We strive to establish a creative and competitive organization that safeguards and respects the beliefs of the individual as reflected in the diverse communities in which we work and live.
4.We foster an open corporate culture in which all employees are encouraged to speak freely.
Mitsubishi Estate Group Human Rights Policy (excerpt)
We uphold and respect international standards related to human rights. These include the International Bill of Human Rights, which sets out the fundamental human rights possessed by all the people of the world, and the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, which contains requirements concerning fundamental rights in the workplace (freedom of association, right to collective bargaining, prohibition of forced labor, effective abolition of child labor, and prohibition of discrimination in recruitment and occupation). Moreover, we have formulated this policy based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
We help ensure that respect for human rights is actively practiced in all business activities, and that such activities do not infringe on the human rights of other people. If such activities nevertheless result in a violation of the human rights of others, efforts shall be made to minimize the negative impact.
We carry out human rights due diligence in order to minimize any negative impact caused by human rights violations occurring as a result of the Group's business activities. We maintain a framework for human rights due diligence and make improvements to the framework on an ongoing basis or if problems arise in order to improve its efficacy.
Furthermore, in the event that the activities of a business partner or any other individual or organization affiliated with the Mitsubishi Estate Group directly have a negative impact on the human rights of others, even if we were not directly involved in fostering such a negative impact, we shall endeavor to make improvements together with stakeholders to ensure respect for human rights and eliminate all violations.
Human Rights Promotion Structure
The Human Resources Compliance & Diversity Promotion Office in the Human Resources Department of Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. implements activities to promote and ensure respect for human rights in collaboration with relevant departments of Group companies.
Mitsubishi Estate Group UK Modern Slavery Act Statement
Mitsubishi Estate has issued the statement to comply with Article 54 of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. The aim is to identify slavery and human trafficking risks in the Mitsubishi Estate Group and its supply chain, in addition to outlining the Group's initiatives to prevent and mitigate these risks.
The Human Rights Education & Diversity Promotion Committee Meets
Mitsubishi Estate holds an annual meeting of its Human Rights Education & Diversity Promotion Committee (chaired by the director in charge of human resources) to review the status of its human rights and diversity promotion initiatives, exchange views on ways to improve programs, review that fiscal year's activity plan and share knowledge on recent human rights conditions and promotion of diversity.
The Mitsubishi Estate Group has joined the Tokyo Industrial Federation for Human Rights, the Corporate Federation for Dowa and Human Rights Issues, Osaka, and the Mitsubishi Human Rights Enlightenment Council. In addition to participating in training on social integration and other human rights issues, the Group is committed to addressing human rights issues, and participates in activities such as information gathering to expand this training to Group companies.
Initiatives for Human Rights Due Diligence
Mitsubishi Estate has established the Human Rights Education & Diversity Promotion Committee and is working to ensure human rights are respected across the Group. The company also conducts human rights due diligence by looking at Group-wide issues and analyzing them by dividing the business into three areas: real estate development business, international business, and hotel business. In 2017, Mitsubishi Estate hired expert consultants and lawyers to conduct document-based research to assess human rights risk and identified the following as priority human rights issues.
- (1) Forced labor and child labor
- (2) Working conditions and working environments for employees
- (3) Safety of users
- (4) Discrimination against users
- (5) Impact on indigenous peoples and local communities
- (6) Breach of personal information
- (7) Working conditions and working environments for the workers of suppliers
Mitsubishi Estate Group Initiatives
The Mitsubishi Estate Group is working to prevent damage to health caused by excessive work, promote work-life balance, and prevent workplace harassment.
Initiatives in Real Estate Development Business
Launch of the Construction and Real Estate Human Rights Due Diligence Study Group
In September 2018, as a facilitator, Mitsubishi Estate launched the Seminar on Construction and Real Estate Human Rights Due Diligence Study Group, drawing participation from eight real estate and construction companies.
The United Nation's Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights call on companies to not only to avoid causing and exacerbating a direct negative impact on human rights, but also to avoid and reduce infringements of a wide range of human rights along the value chain. However, this requires efforts that encompass the supply chain, and there are limits to the impact that Mitsubishi Estate can have by itself. In light of this, Mitsubishi Estate launched a study group to develop mechanisms for human rights due diligence, in collaboration with other companies in the real estate and construction industries.
At the study group, participants identify the impact that business activities have on human rights and study relevant laws to address them, in order to fulfill the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights' requirement and taking responsible steps to "avoid infringing on the human rights of others" and "address adverse human rights impacts with which they are involved." In fiscal 2019, the study group has been conducting deliberations on specific human rights due diligence approaches, focusing on issues on construction materials (concrete forms) and foreign workers on construction sites.
Respecting the Human Rights of Foreign Technical Interns
The Group conducts interviews with foreign technical interns and requests its suppliers to instruct and make known to their associates, where it is assumed that many technical interns work, matters in the activities of technical interns that often go unnoticed, such as issues related to pay and daily life.
Using Sustainably-Sourced Timber for Structural Plywood Panels
The structural plywood panels*1 used in construction of offices and housing are made of lumber imported from Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia and Indonesia. NGOs and other institutions have said that procurement of some of these materials involves illegal logging, including the taking of indigenous peoples' lands and the destruction of the environment.
From the perspectives of human rights and environmental protection, the Mitsubishi Estate Group has started shifting to lumber that complies with the sustainability-oriented procurement code*2 (certified lumber/domestic timber) or equivalent since April 2020. The Group aims for 100% of structural plywood panels that it uses to comply by 2030.
- Framework composite boards used for concrete casting in the construction of buildings. Ready-mixed concrete is put into frameworks made from composite boards for the construction of concrete-based buildings.
- The code, in which international agreements and guidelines for sustainability in different sectors are used as a reference, specifies guidelines and methods of operation aimed at implementing sustainability-oriented procurement, among other matters.
Initiatives in International Business
When considering business activities in Asia, where there are many cases of human rights violations in general, the Group will conduct corporate human rights due diligence using checklists to confirm whether there were any issues such as forced evictions in the area. The result will be used in decision-making when participating in business activities.
Initiatives in Hotel Business
Royal Park Hotels and Resorts, the company which operates 13 hotels in Japan, introduced certified wine and Fairtrade coffee in fiscal 2019 in order to implement initiatives for the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Fair trade is an approach to trade that aims to improve the lives of producers and workers in developing countries that are in a weak position by consistently purchasing raw materials and products from developing countries at a fair price. As a hotel chain, Royal Park Hotels and Resorts endorses this approach and has introduced Fairtrade*1 and Fair For Life*2 certified wines at its full-service hotels (Sendai, Tokyo Nihonbashi, and Yokohama) and its premium limited-service The Series (Tokyo Shiodome and Osaka Kitahama), and Fairtrade coffee at its full-service hotels (Sendai, Tokyo Nihonbashi, and Yokohama).
The company has also provided information on Fairtrade products to restaurants occupying its hotels as tenants.
- Fairtrade certification
A system that certifies product raw materials comply with the economic, social, and environmental standards stipulated by Fairtrade International, including guarantee of minimum prices, safe working environment, and preservation of soil, water resources, and biodiversity, in their production, export and import, processing, and manufacturing, and that the raw materials and products of developing countries are traded under fair terms and conditions.
- Fair For Life certification
A certification system for fair trade and responsible supply chains by ECOCERT (established in 1991 in France), a world-leading certification organization with 23 branches around the world which provides a variety of organic certifications for agricultural and other products in over 80 countries.
Establishment of Help Line
The Mitsubishi Estate Group has set up a helpline as a way for its employees to report any compliance issues including human rights violations, breaches of Code of Conduct and Guidelines for Conduct. It is available to Group full-time temporary and part-time employees. Investigation and fact confirmation are carried out concerning each report received and response measures are taken as necessary to improve the workplace environment. The Company's Legal & Compliance Department receives the reports through an external contractor and works with the Group companies that are subject of the reports, while protecting the privacy of the callers and whistleblowers, guaranteeing confidentiality and ensuring they receive no unfavorable treatment in the workplace. A dedicated compliance helpline has also been set up for external users such as suppliers and other business partners.
In-house Educational Activities
Ongoing Human Rights Programs
The Mitsubishi Estate Group provides training on human rights as part of its training for new employees on an ongoing, Group-wide basis. New employees learn about the Group's approach and initiatives on human rights as well as its Human Rights Policy, deepening their understanding of human rights.
Mitsubishi Estate carries out management career training on the prevention of workplace harassment including bullying and harassment and the reporting procedures for such incidents. Human rights lectures are also given every year to executives such as the company's president, directors and department managers, as well as Group company presidents. The human rights lecture in fiscal 2019 was presented by an attorney on the theme of Responding to LGBT from the Corporate Perspective in order to promote active participation by diverse human resources and was attended by 90 employees.
Moreover, the Group provided new hire joint training to 350 new hires from 24 Group companies, as well as a lecture to explain regulations on the prevention of sexual harassment, which has been held annually since fiscal 2017. Mitsubishi Estate and some Group companies also organized training on themes such as social integration. These training sessions all sought to cultivate a greater sense of human rights by raising participants' awareness of discrimination.
Mitsubishi Estate's human rights training (fiscal 2019)
- Power harassment
- Sexual harassment (including LGBT issues)
- Maternity harassment
- Social integration
- Issues faced by people with disabilities
- Hate speech elimination act
- Business and human rights
Calling for Human Rights Education Slogans
The Mitsubishi Estate Group solicits suggestions for human rights education slogans every year. The winning entry will be published in mec's, the Group's communication magazine, providing an opportunity for readers to reflect on human rights.
Regular Dialogue with External Stakeholders
Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. engages in regular exchanges of opinions and dialogue with stakeholders, including NGOs and experts, in order to appropriately address a variety of issues, particularly human rights and environmental problems in its own operations and supply chain. The input obtained through these dialogues is used to improve and upgrade initiatives.