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Respect for Human Rights

Basic Approach to Respect for Human Rights

Ӱҵrecognizes that respect for human rights is our corporate responsibility, and one of the most important, fundamental requirements of our business activities. Ӱҵestablished the Charter of Business Conduct as our global code for conducting business activities, to realize our corporate philosophy of human health care (hhc). The Charter of Business Conduct states that we will respect human rights wherever we do business.

We enacted the ӰҵHuman Rights Policy to complement the Charter of Business Conduct and to show Eisai’s specific policies that underpin our corporate responsibility for respecting human rights.

Human Rights Policy and Our Commitment

Eisai’s Human Rights Policy was formulated based on the international norms on human rights* which are recognized globally. It was issued in March 2019 with the approval of the Executive Committee, which is the highest decision-making body for business execution, and the consent of the Board of Directors. As stated in the policy, we are committed to respecting internationally recognized human rights, supporting the 10 Principles as a signatory of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, and implementing initiatives in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In addition, this Policy stipulates that all business partners, including suppliers, should respect and not infringe on human rights.

* The international norms on human rights:

  • International Bill of Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights)
  • ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
  • UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

ӰҵHuman Rights Policy

Governance System

We have established a cross-organizational "Business and Human Rights" Project in order to carry out activities that respect human rights based on the Human Rights Policy. This project consists of working groups that practice activities in each organization and the “Business and Human Rights Steering Committee”, consisting of the Chief Talent Officer, who is the chairman and responsible for the implementation and management of the Human Rights Policy, as well as the person responsible for Compliance and Risk Management, the Corporate Officers for General Affairs and Environmental & Safety, and Corporate Communications & ESG. The project secretariat responsible for promoting the project activities includes representation from the Sustainability Department, General Affairs and Environmental & Safety Department, Global Human Resource Management Department, and Corporate Compliance and Risk Management Department.

In 1980, we established the Human Rights Awareness Committee within Eisai, which mainly deals with awareness raising activities to eliminate various kinds of discrimination and harassment at workplaces at Ӱҵand its network companies in Japan. The “Business and Human Rights” Project is a newly established project to quickly respond to international trends and legislation on respect for human rights in each country based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The project and the “Human Rights Awareness Committee” are working together to promote respect for human rights.

Human Rights Due Diligence

In accordance with the Human Rights Policy, we perform human rights due diligence for rights holders related to our business such as "patients and the people in the daily living domain (including clinical trial participants)", "employees" and "business partners (including suppliers)" . Human rights issues for these key rights holders were assessed based on magnitude of potential impact and likelihood, through analyzing case studies from the pharmaceutical industry to date. This analysis highlighted which human rights issues could present the most material risk to our business.

The identified eight significant human rights-related areas are access to medicines, human rights of patients, human rights of clinical trial participants, product safety and quality, ethical marketing, health and safety of employees, workplace environment, and human rights of business partners including suppliers. In addition, global warming caused by greenhouse gas has a negative impact on consumers, and environmental pollution by business partners causes health hazards to local residents. Therefore, "environmental impact" related to our business was added as one of the important human rights issues.

The "Business and Human Rights” project team works annually with the Human Rights Awareness Committee to assess these key issues, prioritize these issues, identify potential risks and take steps to mitigate them. For our stakeholders, we are addressing these challenges as follows:

Human rights of patients and the people in the daily living domain

Ӱҵrecognizes that improving "access to medicines" in developing and emerging countries is an important human rights issue that must be addressed and is actively promoting initiatives to address the issue in partnership with governments, international organizations, non-profit private organizations, and others. For more information, please refer to the "Initiatives for Improving Access to Medicines" section of our website.

Human rights of clinical trial participants

Clinical trials are an indispensable process for assessing the safety and efficacy of new drugs and delivering superior novel drugs to the world. It is the responsibility of pharmaceutical companies to respect the human rights of those who participate in such clinical trials and give the utmost consideration to safety. Therefore, before we begin clinical trials, we perform due diligence to identify all possible potential safety risks and take measures for them in advance. We strictly adhere to compliance and ethics based on the guidelines of ICH (International Council for Harmonization of Pharmaceutical Regulations) and regulatory authorities in each country. In addition, in all clinical trials, it is stipulated as a guideline to comply with regulations such as ICH-GCP (Good Clinical Practice) and the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law and to carry out activities with high ethical standards. In particular, when conducting the first clinical trial in humans, we have established a system in which a committee independent of the new drug development project evaluates the entire proposed clinical trial in advance. The committee evaluates the clinical trial implementation plan, the clinical trial implementation system, and the quality of investigational drugs and risk management from an ethical and scientific point of view, and then decides whether we conduct clinical trials of new drugs or not.

Furthermore, in order to provide comprehensive and equitable access to treatment options, we have made diversity in clinical trials one of our core commitments and are committed to maximizing clinical trial access for all patients regardless of ethnicity, race, sex, age, socio-economic status, gender identity, geographic location, or physical ability.

Human rights of employees

Ӱҵrecognizes the importance of creating Employee-Friendly Environment where human rights and diversity are respected in order for employees to work in a healthy and rewarding manner. Therefore, we are committed to prohibiting all discrimination related to race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity, preventing harassment, facilitating the participation and advancement of female employees in the workplace, and developing a work environment and systems for decent work.

For details, please refer to the pages on Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DE&I), Employee-Friendly Environment, Health Management, and Occupational Safety and Health in the "Relationship with Our Employees" section of our website.

We have also signed the United Nations Global Compact, which states that “businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining” of employees and we engage in ongoing labor-management consultations with labor unions in an effort to resolve various issues between labor and management. 

Human rights of business partners

We have created "Code of Conduct for Business Partners" that summarizes sustainability-related matters that we would like our business partners to comply with. Human rights-related items in the Code of Conduct require business partners to prohibit forced labor and child labor, provide a workplace free from discrimination and harassment, respect freedom of association, comply with regulations on working hours and minimum wage, and provide a safe and healthy working environment. The process of action is introduced in the "Human Rights in the Supply Chain" section.

The table below summarizes the risks identified and the actions for major rights holders in fiscal 2022.

Initiatives to address human rights issues in FY2022

*You can scroll to the left or right here

Rights HoldersPriority IssuesActions and Achievements

Patients and consumers

  • Improving access to medicines*1
  • Participation in a global program for the control of lymphatic filariasis (LF)*2 led by WHO (World Health Organization) by providing LF medicines free of charge for the treatment and infection prevention of people in low-income countries and regions
  • Mycetoma disease awareness activities in Sudan
  • Promotion of research and development of new therapeutic agents for infectious diseases such as neglected tropical diseases and malaria that are prevalent in low-income countries
  • Continued participation in Access Accelerated, IFPMA's global initiative to improve access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries

Employee

  • Discrimination and harassment prevention



  • Promotion of decent work


  • Promotion of health maintenance and improvement activities*3
  • Labor-management cooperation
  • Strengthening and reinforcing the human resource system
  • Compliance training, e-learning, etc. on discrimination and harassment prevention
  • Workshops to deepen understanding of disabilities and to create a society in which people can play an active role regardless of their disabilities
  • Promotion of dialogue within the organization and visualization of activities using the Engagement Survey Tool (Wevox)
  • Monitoring and correction of long working hours
  • Expansion of flexible work styles that are not restricted by time or location
  • Achievement of non-smoking policies at all offices and promotion of initiatives towards 100% implementation of medical checkups and improvement of health literacy based on ӰҵHealth Declaration
  • Continuous labor-management consultation meetings (14 times in fiscal 2022)
  • Strengthening and reinforcing the human resource system in response to the diversification of employee values, diverse work styles, and changes in the environment.

Suppliers

  • Respect for human rights in the supply chain
  • Evaluation of the sustainability of business partners using the EcoVadis platform*4 and strengthened engagement with business partners by providing feedback on the results.
  • Confirmation that the carnauba wax used to coat tablets is a certified product by the company in the country of origin (Brazil)

Human Rights Due Diligence in the Supply Chain

Child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking

Child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking in the supply chain are internationally considered human rights violations for which there should be zero tolerance. We are conducting risk assessments of purchased raw materials from the perspective of the geographic location of the country of origin and the industry in order to verify the potential negative impact on human rights indirectly through the purchase of pharmaceutical raw materials.

Child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking in the supply chain are internationally considered human rights violations for which there should be zero tolerance. We are conducting risk assessments of purchased raw materials from the perspective of the geographic location of the country of origin and the industry in order to verify the potential negative impact on human rights indirectly through the purchase of pharmaceutical raw materials.

Raw materials with high risk

Carnauba wax, which is used to coat〶tablets, was the subject of a purchased raw materials traceability survey due to concern about the risk of forced labor and the working environment in its place of origin. As a result, we were able to identify the company of origin in Brazil and confirmed that the raw materials were certified by a certification organization (Fair for life).

Japanese Technical Intern Training Program

It has been pointed out that the Japanese Technical Intern Training program has human rights risks such as wage, working hours and sexual harassment, and has been cited by the US Department of State as constituting forced labor. We consider this to be one of the important human rights issues in Japan, and in interviews with our business partners for feedback on sustainability evaluation, we request confirmation of the employment of foreign technical intern trainees and a report on their employment status.

Measures to mitigate potential adverse effects of human rights, labor and health and safety in the supply chain

By implementing a sustainable procurement program, we are working to prevent potential negative impacts on human rights, labor and other issues in the supply chain. In the program, we require our major suppliers to respect human rights to the same standard as Eisai, by complying with the ӰҵGlobal Code of Conduct for Business Partners (hereinafter referred to as the "Code of Conduct"). The labor and human rights requirements in the Code of Conduct include prohibition of forced labor, prohibition of child labor, compliance with laws and regulations in the employment of young workers, prohibition of discrimination, fair treatment, prohibition of harassment and other inhumane treatment, strict adherence to minimum wages, observance of legal working hours, and freedom of association. In addition, to monitor compliance with the Code of Conduct, we conduct on human rights, labor, and environmental risk assessments using the EcoVadis platform. We strive to prevent potential human rights risks by engaging individually with suppliers whose assessment results indicate risk concerns and seeking corrective measures based on mutual agreement.
Below are examples of priority improvement points commonly identified as a result of analyzing EcoVadis assessment.

  • Setting Human Rights Policy, HSE (Health, Safety, and Environment) Policy, and Labor Practices Policy
  • Improvements to the policy to meet the requirements of international standards
  • Reporting documents, such as annual reports, or publishing the results of implementation on the website
  • Environmental Policy Development and Disclosure of Environmental Initiatives

Results of efforts to mitigate potential human rights risk in FY2020-2022

Supply chain of production sites in Japan

From FY2020 to FY2022, we implemented sustainable procurement targeting direct material suppliers, including contract manufacturers in our plants in Japan, as one of the objectives to prevent potential negative human rights impacts in the supply chain. Written agreements for the Code of Conduct were received from 132 domestic and international Tier-1 suppliers (coverage: 93.8% of total transaction value) and 69 major Tier-2 suppliers. In addition, 74 Tier-1 suppliers (73.3% of total transaction value) and 35 Tier-2 suppliers were assessed for sustainability by EcoVadis. As of the end of FY2022, no companies were considered high risk based on labor, human rights, and environmental assessment results. For the two companies identified as high risk in FY2020-2021, we have interviewed them by FY2021 and confirmed that improvement measures have already been completed. We have conducted individual interviews with 30 companies over a three-year period with the goal of improving the level of sustainability throughout the supply chain through engagement with suppliers.

Supply chain of overseas production sites

In FY2022, sustainable procurement at our overseas plants (Vizag Plant in India and Suzhou Plant in China) started and we received agreements from our major direct material suppliers regarding their compliance with the Code of Conduct. For suppliers whose labor and human rights scores in the EcoVadis sustainability assessment results did not meet our standards, feedback will be provided sequentially for corrective actions in FY2023. The Hatfield Plant in the U.K.  confirms agreement to the Code of Conduct  with suppliers at the time of contracting and plans to conduct sustainability assessments of major suppliers starting in FY2023.

Grievance Mechanism

The Compliance Counter (hotline for reports and consultation) accepts all types of reports and consultations, including harassment or other human rights issues. We take appropriate measures after conducting investigations as necessary, while paying attention to confidentiality and the prohibition of retaliation regarding matters that have been reported or consulted.

In addition, we have set up a contact point to receive consultations and reports from business partners regarding compliance issues related to our business and employees. A mechanism to address human rights risks that may arise in the supply chain is also under consideration.

Education and Training

We believe that respect for human rights must be firmly established as a corporate culture in order to fulfill our corporate responsibility for respecting human rights. In order to thoroughly implement business activities based on respect for human rights, we continue to raise awareness of human rights among officers and employees of Ӱҵand network companies.
In fiscal 2021, we conducted online human rights awareness training on risk cases of global human rights, understanding and practice of the "Human Rights Policy," and discrimination issues. In addition, we held a lecture by outside LGBT parties as lecturers for the purpose of sharing the thoughts, worries, and feelings of LGBT people and eliminating bias for minority employees such as LGBT.

In FY2022, we conducted online human rights awareness training with the theme of "promoting a workplace where all employees can work with vitality”. In addition, a lecture was given by a person with disabilities from outside the company to "share thoughts, concerns, and feelings of people with disabilities, leading to to activities that respect human rights"

Regarding harassment prevention, we are thoroughly implementing e-learning and compliance training. We are also incorporating human rights training into our stratified training programs for new employees and newly appointed organizational managers.

As legislation is being enacted globally to make corporate human rights due diligence mandatory, we held a seminar by an external expert for those in charge of departments related to business and human rights, focusing on the draft European Union Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, which was submitted to the European Parliament in 2022. The importance of steadily advancing efforts in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights was shared as a response to legislation.

Results in FY2022

  • Online human rights awareness training: 5,147 participants
  • Live and streamed lectures on disability: 6,875 attendees (including duplicates)
  • Conducting hierarchy-specific human rights awareness training for new employees and organizational managers
  • Solicited entries for human rights slogan: number of applications 1,752
  • Lecture by an external expert on the proposed EU Directive on human rights and environmental due diligence

Eisai’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

To comply with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015, which came into force in the United Kingdom, ӰҵEurope Ltd. released the following statement in June 2022:

Engagement

In order to collect the latest information on human rights issues in Japan and overseas, share those information among companies, and solve the issues, we believe that it is important for us to cooperate with other companies and work with human rights NPOs and NGOs. We joined the sustainability frameworks, such as BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), the Global Compact Network Japan and PSCI (Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative), at which we participate in several seminars and human rights-related subcommittee activities. This enables us to keep updated on the latest global trends in human rights and acquire know-how regarding human rights due diligence and leading practices for promoting respect for human rights. we are committed to addressing respect for human rights under the collaboration with other companies and organizations through the sustainability frameworks.