The report sets out the pillars of JT Group's human rights strategy, which is an essential part of the Group's business activities and one of three absolute requirements of its sustainability strategy.
In launching the report, Masamichi Terabatake, President and Chief Executive Officer of the JT Group, said: 'This important milestone for the UN and the global business community is an opportunity to highlight our progress and the ongoing process of embedding human rights into every area of our business.'
The JT Group has used the UNGPs as a framework for safeguarding human rights across nine identified salient issues. These cover child labor, environmental impacts, fair wage, forced labor, harassment and gender impacts, health and safety, health risk, non-discrimination and equality, and working hours.
'Protecting human rights is everyone's responsibility: across the private sector, government and civil society. We have a corporate responsibility to respect human rights, and we will continue to be committed to adhering to the UNGPs in every country we operate in,' added Suzanne Wise, JTI's Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs and Communications.
The below highlights some of the JT Group's contributions to respecting human rights globally.
ARISE - Achieving Reduction of Child Labor in Support of Education
Since 2011, the JT Group's ARISE program in Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Brazil has successfully removed 60,000 children from child labor, and placed them in formal and informal education;
Through its Agricultural Labor Practice Program, the Group conducted over 345,000 routine on-the-ground observation visits to farmers in 2020 alone; and
In 2019, the Group was named a 'leader' by the 'Global Child Forum(*)' in safeguarding and advancing children's rights.
Non-Discrimination and Equality
For the JT Group, diversity is about recognizing differences, whether it be age, gender, self-identification, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, religion or nationality, as well as experience and expertise. Inclusion is where these differences are valued and used to enable all our stakeholders to thrive;
Since January 1, 2021, JTI employees across the world, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or the way they become parents, have benefited from 20 weeks fully paid parental leave;
JTI's headquarters in Geneva has been Equal Pay certified for three years by the EQUAL SALARY Foundation for providing fairness and equal opportunity;
In 2020, PRIDE at JTI, an Employee Resource Group with over 600 members, was recognized for its contribution to furthering LGBT+ Inclusion by the Global Diversity List; and
JT achieved the highest-ranking Gold status in the 'PRIDE Index 2020' for the fifth consecutive year.
From the onset of the pandemic, the health and safety of the JT Group's employees, their families and communities became the Group's number one priority;
The JT Group fostered an agile approach when adopting new tools and technologies for health and safety trainings for its employees. The Group accelerated the roll-out of the LifeWorks App and the health portal site, Pep Up, which provide all employees with access to information and programs on mental, physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing; and
Due diligence has continued during the pandemic, through self-assessment questionnaires across the international tobacco business, a stop-gap measure for high-risk countries until it is possible to conduct on-site assessments again.
Japan Tobacco Inc. is a leading international tobacco company with operations in more than 130 countries. With approximately 58,000 employees, it manufactures and sells some of the world's best-known brands including Winston, Camel, MEVIUS and LD. The JT Group is committed to investing in Reduced-Risk Products (RRP) and currently markets its heated tobacco products under its Ploom brand and various e-cigarette products under its Logic brand. The Group is also present in the pharmaceutical and processed food businesses. For more information, visit https://www.jt.com/.