Revision of Code of Conduct
The world is seeing more severe problems in all aspects of society while Japan has been experiencing a super aged society and frequent natural disasters. In light of these, we revised our Code of Conduct last year with a view to realizing a sustainable society for Kagome's survival, looking to the environment that requires a "mutual support" spirit and framework.
The new Code of Conduct consists of three pillars: "mutual support," "respect for human rights" and "fairness," and it is considered pivotal for the daily activities of Kagome Group employees, indicating how they should behave as corporate citizens as Kagome set its sights on becoming a "Strong company capable of sustainable growth, using food as a means of resolving social issues" by 2025. We will seek to raise awareness of the revised Code of Conduct and maintain high ethical standards as we fulfill our social responsibilities in compliance with laws, regulations, international rules and the spirit of our Code of Conduct.
The Kagome Code of Conduct
Established on October 3, 2018
In recent years, worsened social issues are threating the international community and the economic order by taking the forms of anti-globalism, protectionism, and nationalism. Sustainable society is a prerequisite for corporations to thrive into the future.
In Japan, the nation of a super-aged society with frequent natural disasters, self-help and public assistance are not enough. We need to come up with the spirit and the system of "mutual aid" to fill the void in between.
Under such circumstances, Kagome declares its active involvement in social issues as a part of the Vision 2025. We accelerate coalition with local governments, other companies, and NPOs to achieve this goal. Unfortunately, our work place is not immune from harassment including sexual one and abuse of power, which are simply unacceptable. We need to address these issues. Furthermore, we must re-commit ourselves to comply with fair business practices, to stand firmly against the reported scandals by major companies.
Based on the recognition above, the Kagome Group establishes the Code of Conduct, a signpost of day-to-day actions and decisions for each one of us. This Code helps us to achieve the Vision 2025, "a strong company of sustainable growth, resolving social issues with foods," and encourages us to fulfill our social responsibility with high ethical standards including compliance with laws and rules, and the spirits behind such regulations.
■ Code of Conduct
1. Mutual aid
(The system of mutual aid)
In regard to the social issues that cannot be solved through self-help and public assistance alone, we choose a target what we can do, and we proactively engage in the system of mutual aid.
(Collaboration with stakeholders)
Social issues cannot be solved on our own. We look for willing stakeholders who share the goal with us, and we carry out collaborative action.
(Mutual aid within the regional community)
As a member of the regional community, we make mutual support and mutual assistance toward the sound development of the regional community.
2. Respect for human rights
(Respect for individuals)
We respect individuals and their privacy. We mutually recognize the various skill sets and diversity of employees as Kagome's most valuable assets.
(Prohibition of discrimination)
Each person is treated fairly and equally in the workplace. Discrimination is an infringement of human rights and is strictly prohibited.
(Measures against harassment)
We nourish a corporate culture that prevents and stops all forms of harassment, both inside and outside of our company. We never look the other way.
We follow the norms of society and organizations, always keep our promises, and never engage in fraudulent acts.
We never conduct or engage in transactions using a dominant bargaining position or are complicit in exploitation.
We quickly disclose accurate information in an easy-to-understand format for higher transparency of the corporate activities.
Compliance promotion system
The Kagome Group has established a Compliance Committee, under the supervision of the Joint Risk Management Meeting chaired by Kagome's President. The Compliance Committee, which is chaired by the Executive Officer with responsibility for overseeing compliance, undertakes the verification of compliance promotion and monitoring status. The results of the Compliance Committee's deliberations are reported to the members of the Management Meetings via the Joint Risk Management Meeting. The Legal Affairs Office, which functions as the committee's secretariat, plays the central role in day-to-day compliance operations. Kagome established the Kagome Compliance Hotline, which is accessible to all domestic Group employees, and through which reports can be made and guidance given with regard to illegal or suspicious activities (including harassment and corruptions such as bribery) in the workplace. This system incorporates an internal direct line to the Compliance Committee's secretariat, as well as an external hotline to an outside law firm. To encourage employees to use these contacts without hesitation, the identities of those making reports are kept strictly confidential on the condition that they can be contacted by the hotline.
Kagome takes steps to protect the privacy of employees who make reports to ensure that these employees do not suffer any adverse consequences. We quickly conduct investigations based on the information received and take appropriate countermeasures. In such cases, respecting the principle that whistleblowers and other related parties cannot be identified, we share information internally so as to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. In FY2021, the Kagome Compliance Hotline was used 15 times, and each case was resolved.
Kagome fully recognizes the importance of compliance in relation to Group companies located overseas. In FY2014, an overseas internal reporting system was introduced, and the scope of this system has been gradually expanded to include the Group companies located in the U.S. and Australia.
We will continue to strive to prevent and rapidly identify illegal activities through the appropriate operation of the Kagome Compliance Hotline.
In the event of compliance-violation, we will endeavor to accurately gather the facts and investigate the root cause, and take the facts seriously and carry out strict actions to thoroughly prevent recurrence as well as appropriately discipline the employees involved in the violation.
In FY2021, there was no case leading to legal measures, such as bribery or corruption.
Initiatives to maintain rigorous compliance
Having formulated the Kagome Group Compliance Implementation Rules, Kagome Group in Japan implements thorough compliance throughout the Group. At domestic Group companies, the legal affairs department, which serves as the secretariat of the aforementioned Compliance Committee, leads these efforts. Compliance implementation activities include not only the preliminary checks in compliance-related cases and the dissemination of compliance-related information, but also in-house compliance training conducted on an ongoing basis using group training and e-learning for new employees and new managers that incorporate awareness raising, case studies, and group discussions.
In recent years, as an initiative for anti-corruption, which has become an important worldwide issue as indicated in the SDGs, we evaluated the bribery risks of overseas subsidiaries, and formulated the Kagome Group Corruption Prevention Policy to complement the Code of Conduct. In addition, in response to the expansion of business areas such as smart agriculture, we are reviewing the export control system in order to achieve an appropriate import & export control from a security perspective in terms of international peace and security maintenance. We strive to prevent corruption by conducting regular audits on the status of compliance and operation, with the monitoring results reported to the Board of Directors.