Japanese cosmetics producer Shiseido [4911:JP] released a new Group Procurement Policy, which expanded responsible procurement requirements for suppliers in key sustainability areas including environment and human rights, as reported by ESG Today on February 15. The new policy outlined a set of criteria for suppliers to follow, covering the prohibition of discrimination, abuse, harassment, forced labor, human trafficking, child labor, and the provision of safe work environments and healthy facilities. Additionally, the policy includes environmental protection standards in terms of biodiversity preservation, waste reduction, resource conservation, recycling, and pollution prevention.
The move came amid the Japanese government’s plan to draft guidelines for human rights due diligence as early as this summer, in a move to help enterprises detect and prevent human rights violations in their supply chains. The planned guidelines would provide best practices for probing potential rights violations and principles for evaluating risks. Under the guidelines, companies would be advised to require their suppliers to take corrective actions if there are instances of forced labor, otherwise, they should terminate collaborations with these suppliers. On February 14, Japanese beverage manufacturer Kirin Holdings [2503:JP] announced it will withdraw from its business in Myanmar and abort its joint venture with a military-linked partner, as the country’s human rights situation has been deteriorating since last year.