April 18, 2017

Corporate Japan focusing on global sustainability despite setbacks

Written by Takahiro Shibuya

This article originally appeared on Nikkei Asian Review.

TOKYO — Under the leadership of President Donald Trump, the U.S. setback in the fight against global climate change, as well as the move toward protectionism, is threatening efforts by corporations to pursue their social responsibilities. But Japanese companies are increasingly aware of their mission in society as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approach.

ANA Holdings last year conducted due diligence for the first time exclusively for the risk of possible violation of human rights by itself and its suppliers. Chikako Miyata, an official in charge of promoting corporate social responsibility, said the review has made the major air carrier face the growing risk of human rights abuses.

The research identified a factory that cooks in-flight meals, as well as a group company doing aircraft interior cleaning and other jobs, as posing that particular risk. Workers at these labor-intensive workplaces are mainly foreigners hired through the airline’s contractors or sub contractors. ANA instructed these agencies to be strictly compliant with rules, including regarding work hours of on-site staff members.

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