Human rights due diligence process
In accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we have established a human rights due diligence* process to ensure that we respect the human rights of all stakeholders affected by our business activities.
- *Human rights due diligence is an appropriate and ongoing corporate commitment to human rights.
Mapping human rights risks
We have mapped human rights issues that are at risk of negative impacts due to our business activities. Based on the human rights due diligence process, we have identified and evaluated the actual and potential human rights impacts of these risks.
For potential risks, we will take appropriate measures to mitigate them and for actual human rights impacts, we will work to solve the problems by removing negative impacts and if necessary, provide appropriate remedies to the victims.
The mapping items will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
- *The risk assessment criteria were changed in FY 2021 to conform to our risk management.
Identification and assessment of
negative human rights impacts
As part of our human rights due diligence, we conduct assessments to identify human rights risks in key segments.
The key themes and segments and assessment results for the FY2021 assessment are as follows.
|Key Themes in Assessment||
List of assessment results
|Category||Domestic / Overseas||Number of Targets||Companies Assessed||% of Total Assessed||Companies with Identified Risks||% of Total Assessed Where Risks Have Been Identified||Companies with Mitigation Actions Taken||% of Risk with mitigation Actions Taken|
|Major Suppliers||Domestic / Overseas||111||111||100%||6||5%||6||100%|
|Store Management / Sales Agent*1||Domestic||95||87||92%||11||13%||11||100%|
|SoftBank and our subsidiaries*2||Domestic||165||116||70%||26||22%||26||100%|
|SoftBank affiliates, etc.||Domestic||24||21||88%||1||5%||1||100%|
- *1Shop business is conducted only in Japan.
- *2subsidiaries have at least one employee
Human rights assessment for the value chain
As part of our value chain initiatives, FY2020 and onwards, we have been conducting ongoing self-assessments of our major suppliers and sales agents who operate SoftBank stores and YMOBILE stores, which are our main sales channels and points of contact with customers, regarding their human rights initiatives and whether they are complicit in human rights abuses. In cases where human rights risks are identified in this assessment, efforts are being made to resolve and correct the problem. The assessment will be conducted regularly, and we will continue to monitor and propose improvements in order to further reduce risks.
From FY2020, we have adopted the Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ*1) developed by the United Nations Global Compact Network Japan (GCNJ) in 2017 to conduct surveys.
After analyzing the survey results, we promote improvement of initiatives together with suppliers and monitor the status of items identified as requiring improvement.In addition, in FY 2021, we conducted a “High Risk Management Questionnaire*2” to suppliers of each company using the same format as that of KDDI Corporation, with which we are promoting collaboration in sustainability procurement activities.
Global Compact Network Japan “CSR Procurement Self-Assessment Tool Set”
Sales agents operating stores
Self-assessments were conducted for 87 sales agents operating more than 90% of all SoftBank stores and Ymobile stores nationwide.As a result, no apparent human rights impacts were found.On the other hand, for the 11 companies where potential human rights risks*3 were observed, we asked them to make improvements to items for which their efforts were insufficient and to request surveys of their suppliers as risk mitigation measures.
We also asked all agencies that conducted parallel surveys to further promote their efforts by introducing examples of human rights initiatives and providing other reference information.
- *1The SAQ is designed to be shared among buyers and suppliers regardless of industry, by identifying 9 core items based on international guidelines such as the 10 principles of the Global Compact and ISO 26000, as well as CSR questionnaires from specific industries.
- *2Questionnaires on human rights, environment, and other important issues in line with current trends, other than company policies and guidelines (code of conduct)
- *3Definition of potential human rights risks: Any of the following
① Insufficient recognition of laws, regulations, and norms for 3 or more of the 7 important themes
② Cases in which the survey of suppliers is insufficient and it is not possible to ascertain whether suppliers are avoiding complicity in human rights abuses.
Human rights assessment for group companies
Self-assessments on human rights were conducted for our company and 166 domestic and overseas subsidiaries, for 34affiliated companies. As a result, no apparent human rights impacts were found. On the other hand, for the 34 companies (including 2 affiliates) where potential human rights risks* were observed, we asked them to make improvements to items for which their efforts were insufficient as well as to address the value chain and to request investigations of their suppliers as risk mitigation measures.
We will continue to implement these measures on a regular basis and strive to further reduce risks through continuous monitoring and improvement proposals.
- *Definition of potential human rights risks: Any of the following
① Insufficient recognition of laws, regulations, and norms with regard to three or more of the seven key themes
② Cases in which responses indicate that suppliers have not been fully investigated and it is not possible to ascertain whether or not they have avoided complicity in human rights abuses.
Human rights assessment for Joint Venture investees
In addition to human rights assessments for existing business activities, we also conduct human rights assessments for new business activities from the perspective of respect for human rights. The assessment items cover important issues related to human rights, such as prohibition of forced labor, prohibition of discrimination, prohibition of harassment, respect for the right to organize, and prohibition of child labor, and passing the assessment has become one of our investment criteria.
Human rights assessment for our employees
As part of our human rights due diligence, we conduct personnel interview measures and surveys with employees and take direct or indirect remedial measures when problems are found.
Conduct HR interviews with employees
Our human resources department has conducted personnel interviews with employees from 2015 to 2021 (total of 26,100 employees) in order to understand the conditions of our employees.
If any risks related to human rights were found during these interviews, we promptly took remedial action in cooperation with the relevant departments.
We will continue to place importance on dialogue with employees to understand the actual situation at workplaces and make improvements.
Conduct human rights survey of employees
In 2021, we conducted a survey of 25,500 employees to promote understanding of human rights and to confirm whether there were any human rights violations in the workplace. As a result, we did not receive any responses that would require redress for human rights violations in the workplace.
On the other hand, for the 11 items that emerged from the survey results that could be human rights risks, we have formulated and implemented measures to reduce the risks.
In addition, we are working to prevent human rights violations by providing information on consultation services in conjunction with the questionnaire survey. The results of the survey are disclosed to employees, and we will continue to conduct the survey every year for continuous monitoring to detect damage caused by human rights violations and promptly provide remedies.
Investigation on possible business human rights risk topics
Since FY2020, as part of our human rights due diligence, we have conducted a survey on efforts to reduce human rights risks, focusing on themes where business-related human rights risks are assumed to be particularly high. The survey was conducted in the form of interviews conducted by human rights staff with managers in charge of the subject themes, and included confirmation of on-site business processes and operational realities that are difficult to ascertain through quantitative questionnaires.
Based on the advice from experts, the themes we focused on are as follows.
- Personal data management
- Consideration for the elderly, children and juniors, and people with disabilities
- Safety management for contractors involved in the construction of base stations and other facilities
Personal data management
As a telecommunications carrier, we hold personal data, including information about ourselves and about our customers and their use of our services.We recognize the management of such personal data as a human rights issue specific to our business.
As a result of this investigation, we have confirmed that we are appropriately managing personal data through the following measures.
Person in charge and organizational structure
The CDO (Chief Data Officer) is responsible for formulating policies and regulations regarding personal data, monitoring their operation and providing employee training. And in order to handle personal data from diverse perspectives such as laws and regulations, public opinion, and customer sentiments, we have established a specialized organization across the company.
Preventing human rights violations through privacy impact assessments
When using privacy information, we strive to prevent human rights violations by assessing not only whether the information will benefit our customers and serve the public interest, but also whether it will infringe on privacy and cause disadvantages to our customers.
In 2021, we conducted information security / cyber security e-learning training for directors, employees, accepted seconded employees, contracted employees, temporary employees, and part-time employees.
the elderly / children and juniors / people with disabilities
As a telecommunications carrier that provides public services, we believe that we have a responsibility to provide services that all users can use with peace of mind. In particular, the support and protection provided by telecommunications carriers is effective in respecting the human rights of older people, children and junior citizens, and people with disabilities.
As a result of this survey, we have confirmed that we are taking the following actions to ensure that we are appropriately taking care of these people.
|Measures to support the elderly||Kantan smartphone 2|
SoftBank's Kantan Smartphone 2, for which we decided the specifications and entrusted the production to a device manufacturer, was developed to help hesitant users shift from feature phones to smartphones, and to protect elderly people from criminal behavior.
|Protection of children and junior generations||Kids Phone 2 / Junior smartphone|
To respect the rights of child users in their formative years, we have developed and provide Kids Phone 2 for elementary school students and Junior Smartphone for older children as devices and services designed with safeguards geared to each age group while protecting users from behavior that infringes human rights in networks.
|Protection of people with disabilities||Assist Guide|
To respect the rights of children in need, we provide Assist Guide, a smartphone app that helps to facilitate their everyday life.
Safety management for constructors involved in the construction of base stations and other facilities
We are actively upgrading our wireless base stations to further improve the quality of our calls.
Cell phone wireless base stations are often installed on steel towers and buildings, so it is important to create a system to protect the safety of workers and ensure reliable operation at the site. Therefore, we positioned the safety of workers involved in base station construction as a human rights risk specific to the business, and confirmed that appropriate measures were being taken through the following initiatives.
Implementation of human rights awareness activities
Human rights awareness training
The SoftBank Code of Conduct stipulates the respect for human rights and the prohibition of discrimination and harassment, and we conduct human rights enlightenment training for employees in order to foster an awareness of respect for human rights within the company. In addition to training for new employees and new managers by job level, employees in managerial positions and above receive regular training on how to deal with reports of bullying and harassment, as well as consultations, and training at the time of appointment.
In November 2021, we received the highest “Gold” rating on the PRIDE Index*, an evaluation index for LGBTQ initiatives, for the fifth consecutive year.
- *Indicators developed by the voluntary organization “work with Pride” For more information, please click here.
List of training programs (FY2021)
|Training title||Training conducted||Training type|
|Pledge to the SoftBank Code of Conduct||All employees||Other|
|Compliance training for new employees||New employees / Mid-career employees||e learning training|
|Harassment Prevention Course (Power Harassment and Sexual Harassment)||All employees||e learning training|
|Harassment prevention course (LGBTQ)||All employees||e learning training|
|New Management Training||New management positions||e learning training|
|Compliance Test||All employees||e learning training|
|Compliance Magazine (sexual harassment etc.)||All employees||email delivery|
|Questionnaire on human rights (study part)||All employees||email delivery|
|New: Harassment Prevention Course (Racial Harassment)||All employees||e learning training|
|New: Harassment Prevention Course (Remote Harassment)||All employees||e learning training|
|New: Harassment Prevention Course (Vaccine Harassment)||All employees||e learning training|
Raising awareness among group companies
In an initiative to mitigate human rights risks for subsidiaries and affiliated companies, we provide self-assessment tools on human rights and request individual companies to improve their human rights systems based on the results of the self-assessment tools.
The Company also provides information to support the human rights promotion measures of each Group company, including information on the Company's human rights due diligence activities, human rights awareness content for employees, and periodic provision of relevant information to those in charge of human rights.
We will continue to check the status of human rights initiatives at each group company, and through interactive provision of information and sharing of know-how, we plan to continue to raise the level of human rights promotion activities throughout the group.