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Respecting Human Rights

Kubota Group Human Rights Policy

The Kubota Group hereby declares as its Human Rights Policy that it supports international standards with regard to human rights and respects these as our birthright of all people.
The Kubota Group respects the human rights of all people affected by its business activities in accordance with the procedures outlined in “The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.”

Monitoring by the Kubota Group Group Risk Management Committee

The Kubota Group is obliged to promptly understand the possibility of causing or contributing to any negative impact on human rights through its own business activities, and/or having any negative impact on human rights through its business relationships and is to deal with them appropriately. We regard respect for human rights as an important prerequisite for business continuity, and the Kubota Group Risk Management Committee receives reports on our efforts to respect human rights, monitors our activities, and issues instructions on our activities as appropriate.

Human Rights Advancement System

In Japan, Kubota has a Human Rights Advancement Planning & Coordination Committee headed by by a director in charge.Its members at each Kubota site are promoting activities based on the human rights advancement activity policies. At the beginning of each fiscal year, a meeting is held gathering the committee members of all sites.
Besides the committee members, a human rights advancement leader is appointed at each site, who leads the human rights advancement activities of the site.

  • Human Rights Advancement Planning & Coordination Committee

Human Rights Due Diligence

To fulfill the responsibility for respecting human rights as a company, the Kubota Group continuously promotes human rights due diligence as we recognize it to be an essential process for business activities.
Human rights due diligence is the process of identifying and assessing any actual and/or potential negative impact, and preventing and mitigating it. The Kubota group carries out the process in accordance with UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

  • Human Rights Due Diligence

Human Rights Risk Assessment

In March 2023, the Kubota group assessed the potential for negative human rights impact on stakeholders in its business activities and value-chains (risk assessment). A risk assessment meeting was held and brought together 32 managers from various departments, including administration, control, procurement, manufacturing, logistics, constructions, and general corporate duties of Kubota Corporation and some Kubota group companies.

The assessment was supported by Caux Round Table Japan, a non-profit organization, in order to enhance its appropriateness, by ensuring the participants were involved in discussions based on their understanding of business and human rights, and third-party perspectives were also taken into account to promote discussion.

Human rights issues covered at the risk assessment and the result are shown as below.

■ Human rights issues discussed and covered at the risk assessment
  • Decent wages
  • Freedom of association and collective bargaining
  • Land, property and housing rights
  • Decent working time
  • Forced labor
  • Security forces and human rights
  • Discrimination in the working place
  • Child labor
  • Indigenous peoples' rights
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Migrant workers
  • Right to privacy
  • Access to remedy risk
■ Process to identify human rights issues
  • Investigate human rights issues related to the Kubota Group‘s business and supply chains.
  • The ESG Promotion Department and other general managers shall confirm the relevance of the investigated human rights issues to the businesses and supply chains for which they are responsible, based on understanding of both ‘Business and Human Rights’ and actual operations.
  • Identify human rights issues that may occur in a specific business activity referring to advice by third parties.
■ Human rights issues identified through the risk assessment

Through the risk assessment, the following human rights issues within the group operation and across our supply chain were identified.

  • Decent wages
  • Decent working time
  • Discrimination in the working place
  • Migrant workers
  • Access to remedy risk
■ Human rights issues have been identified in the management policy or others
  • Discrimination (Nationality, Race, Age, Sex, Sexual orientation, Gender identity, Disability, etc.)
  • Forced labor
  • Child labor
  • Harassment (Sexual harassment, Abuse of authority, etc.)

The Kubota group considers it necessary to incorporate changing business and social conditions into its continuous risk assessment process. Through the identification of stakeholders who may be affected by negative impact arising from the business activities of the Kubota group and value-chain, and engagement with those parties, the Kubota group shall acquire a deeper knowledge of our salient human right issues and make use of said knowledge to subsequently take appropriate action in that regard.

Human Rights Education

Aiming to create a harassment-free, conducive workplace environment, Kubota plans and provides human rights education programs for all employees, including President and Directors, every year, based on the human rights advancement activity policies. The human rights education program can also be accessed from overseas via a video conference system.
The human rights education programs include rank-based training for new employees and at each site. In addition, to ensure ease of access for participants, we continued to offer training via e-learning. All Kubota employees (in terms of the total number of participants) in Japan received human rights education through internal training or training offered by external organizations.

[Results of Internal Training in 2022]

Internal training External training Total
Kubota 17,405 people 272 people 17,677 people
Group companies in Japan 10,880 people 86 people 10,966 people

Major Internal Education Programs

Training for management executives 1,246 people (including presidents, etc. of Group companies in Japan)
Training for new employees 1,804 people (including those from Group companies in Japan, etc.)
Training for newly appointed foremen 15 people
Training for newly appointed supervisors 43 people (including those from Group companies in Japan, etc.)
Seminar for harassment consultation office personnel 210 people (including those from Group companies in Japan, etc.)
e-learning courses on human rights advancement 15,989 people (including those from Group companies in Japan, etc.)
  • The figures include temporary and re-hired employees.

Major Education Themes

  • Prevention of harassment
    [Includes prevention of sexual harassment, abuse of authority (power harassment), mistreatment of employees with child-rearing or long-term family care responsibilities (maternity harassment, care harassment) and bullying or indirect disadvantaging of sexual minorities (LGBTQ*1, SOGI*2, etc.)].
  • Training for superiors in responding to reports of harassment and promoting two-way communication
  • Social discrimination (Dowa) (such as online discrimination towards minority groups (e.g. Buraku), etc.)
  • Issues facing the disabled (Act to Advance the Elimination of Discrimination against the Disabled, the disabled employment ratio, etc.)
  • Issues facing foreign residents in Japan (hate-based harassment, etc.)
  • UK Modern Slavery Act
  • The supply chain and human rights (SDGs)
  • Results of surveys on CSR awareness
  • Revision of the employment regulations, etc. associated with the revision of the Equal Employment Opportunities Act and the Child Care and Family Care Leave Act
  1. *1.Acronym of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning
  2. *2.SO (sexual orientation), GI (gender identity).

Major External Training

Kubota also encourages its employees to proactively participate in seminars hosted by corporate organizations addressing human rights issues and government organs.

The 43rd Human Rights and Dowa Issue Corporate Awareness-Raising Seminar hosted by the Executive Committee*3: A total of 44 participants (including those from Group companies in Japan)
The 53rd Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Summer Seminar hosted by the Executive Committee*3: 21 participants (including those from Group companies in Japan), etc.

  1. *3.Hosted by Osaka Prefecture, Osaka City, Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute, etc
  • Human Rights Training for Management Executives (Dec. 24, 2020)
    (Topic: Evolution of the IT Revolution and Corporate Management: From a Human Rights, Cyber Security, and Information Literacy Perspective)
    (Speaker: Suehiro Kitaguchi, Professor/Senior Staff, Human Rights Research Institute, Kindai University)

  • e-learning materials on human rights advancement

Consultation Office System

Harassment Consultation Office Personnel Seminar (Aug. 4-5, 2020)
(Lecturer: Keiko Miki, CEO, Atelier M)

As remedial action for victims of human rights violation, Kubota established Hotline a whistleblowing system that includes the use of outside lawyers and consultation office systems at each of its bases, including those overseas, thereby enabling it to respond swiftly to any issues that may arise.

Number of cases reported on human rights issues (including harassment) in 2022: 63

[Whistleblowing System (Kubota Hotline)]

We distribute pocket cards with contact details and introduce such offices through the Company intranet, posters, email magazines, human rights seminars, and so on.

[Consultation Office System in Japan]

Each year, Kubota holds a seminar for harassment consultation office personnel inviting external lecturers, with the aim of improving their counseling ability and preventing secondary victimization. A total of 210 employees took part in this seminar in 2022, using a web-based system.
The seminar focused on enabling the participants to take prompt and appropriate action against many types of harassment, such as sexual, power, or maternity harassment, or harassment against sexual minorities, without causing any disadvantage to the informant.

Activities to Raise Human Rights Awareness

In order to enhance awareness of human rights, Kubota invites human rights-related slogans from all Japan-based employees, including those from Group companies in Japan, every year, and awards excellent slogans during Human Rights Week, which is celebrated every December.
In 2022, entries were received from a total of 24,450 applicants (an application rate of 91.6%) and the best slogan from each business site was posted on a long strip of paper.

Human Rights Week Activities at Each Base

  • Installation of banners (Hanshin Plant)

  • Installation of banners (headquarters)

  • Installation of standing signboards (Keiyo Plant)

  • Awarding the winner of the human rights slogan contest
    (Group company in Japan)

  • Implementation of human rights training
    (Group company in Japan)

  • Implementation of human rights training (Sakai Plant)

Protection of Privacy

From the perspective of respecting human rights and protecting privacy, Kubota conducts several inspections each year for each base to ensure there are no insufficiencies in investigation tasks such as credit surveys, and there are no problematic contents or descriptions from the perspective of human rights violation included in the investigation reports.

Respecting Human Rights throughout the Supply Chain

Kubota declares in the Kubota Group Charter for Action, “we do not permit forced labor or child labor, and also request our business partners to comply in this regard.”
Also, in its CSR Procurement Guidelines, Kubota declares that it does not permit forced labor or child labor, and also requests that its suppliers comply in this regard. The Guidelines also clearly prohibit the use of conflict minerals, which are a source of funds for armed insurgents.
In May 2017, the Kubota Group released its Group statement with regard to the UK Modern Slavery Act, and has updated its statement each year, which can be seen on our website.
For employees in Japan, explanation is provided during their human rights education programs. At overseas Group companies, the business site heads of each company provides explanation to the employees.

CSR Procurement

Handling of Conflict Minerals

Policy on conflict minerals

Tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold, and their derivatives (“conflict minerals”) produced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its adjoining countries are the source of funds for armed insurgents, who have repeatedly committed inhumane acts in these countries. This is a major social issue of concern related to human rights, the environment, etc. in the supply chain.

As a part of its efforts to implement ESG management, Kubota promotes banning of the use of conflict minerals, which serve as a source of funds for the armed insurgents, and promptly takes steps to discontinue their use in the unlikely event that it becomes clear they are being so used.

Kubota seeks mutual understanding regarding this issue with its business partners, which are a part of the supply chain, and requests their cooperation in surveys and audits conducted by Kubota.

Activities
Written Inquiry

We use a conflict minerals reporting template (CMRT) to mainly confirm whether our suppliers are using conflict minerals, to identify smelters, and to gauge what kind of initiatives they are employing to address the issue of conflict minerals. We endeavor to improve the accuracy of the information we receive by asking our suppliers to resubmit the report if their answers are insufficient. In FY2022, 100% of the templates we sent out were returned.

Addressing Risks

For suppliers that do not have a conflict minerals procurement policy in place, we request that they establish one. Furthermore, we carry out additional investigations and conduct due diligence on suppliers we deem to be high risk.

Response Unit

Guided by our policy on conflict minerals, our activities are implemented company-wide through the Committee for Conflict Minerals, which comprises members from the ESG Management Division and Procurement Division.

Democratic Republic of the Congo and Adjoining Countries

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighboring countries

Statement for UK Modern Slavery Act

Kubota has released its statement according to the UK Modern Slavery Act and has updated it each year, which can be seen on the below link.

External Related Organizations

Kubota participates in the external organizations below and is working to create a discrimination-free society.

  • The Corporate Federation for Dowa and Human Rights Issues, Osaka (also participating in Shiga, Wakayama, Hyogo, Chiba and Hiroshima)
  • Osaka City Corporate Human Rights Promotion Council (with related organizations in each municipality)
  • The Center for Fair Recruitment and Human Rights Advancement
  • Multi-Ethnic Human Rights Education Center for Pro-existence
  • Osaka Career Support & Talent Enhancement Plaza
  • Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute, etc.