Basic Concept of Respect for Human Rights
We recognize that respect for human rights is one of the most important and fundamental requirements of our business activities and is our corporate responsibility. Eisai established 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 must respect human rights wherever we do business.
We enacted Eisai Human 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
The Human Rights Policy was formulated based on the international norms on human rights * which was recognized globally. It was issued in March 2020 after 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 member 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 human rights and not infringe.
* 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
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 Chief Compliance Officer, the Vice President of General Affairs and Environmental & Safety, and the Vice President of Corporate Communications & ESG. The project secretariat responsible for promoting the project activities includes representation from the Sustainability Department, General Affairs and Environmental & Safety Department, Talent Innovation Head Quarters, and Corporate Compliance and Risk Management Department.
In 1980, we established the Human Rights Awareness Committee within Eisai, which mainly deals with raising awareness activities to eliminate various kinds of discrimination and harassment at workplaces in Eisai and its network companies in Japan. The “Business and Human Rights” Project is a newly established project to quickly respond to the international trend and legislation of 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 our stakeholders related to our business such as "patients and consumers (including clinical trial participants)", "business partners ( including suppliers)" and "employees". Human rights issues for these key stakeholders 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 consumers:
We recognize that improving “access to medicines” in developing and emerging countries is an important issue to be addressed, and we are continuously committed to it. In addition, we provided support for Covid-19 infection control in developing countries in order to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on access to medicines.
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 human, 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.
Human rights of employees:
We continue to work on respect for diversity, prohibition of all discrimination regarding race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity, prevention of harassment, facilitation of the participation and advancement of female employees in the workplace, and development of work environment and systems for decent work. However, in Japan compare to other countries, there are still more diversity-related issues such as gender, nationality, sexual minority, etc. As a countermeasure, we have set a KPI to increase the ratio of female managers to 30% or more in order to promote the active participation of women and hold lectures and training to eliminate prejudice against LGBT. In addition, we respect freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, and we continue to hold labor-management consultations with the labor union and work in concert to resolve a wide range of issues between labor and management. From FY2020 to FY2021, we have taken a number of steps to prevent employee from infection by Covid-19, which was a major risk factor for employee health.
Human rights of business partners:
We have created "Code of Conducts 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 in fiscal 2021.
Initiatives for human rights issues for major stakeholders in fiscal 2021
*You can scroll to the left or right here
Patients and consumers
・Improving access to medicines*2
- Participation in a global program for the control of lymphatic filariasis (LF)*1 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
- Supply of infection control protective equipment for resuming LF control activities in the endemic countries delayed due to the spread of COVID-19 infection
- 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
・Covid-19 infection prevention
・Promotion of decent work
・Promotion of health maintenance and improvement activities*3
- Recommendation of remote work and off-peak commuting
- Compliance training*3
- Lectures and training on LGBT
- Promotion of dialogue within the organization and visualization of activities using the Engagement Survey Tool (Wevox)
- Monitoring and correction of long working hours, achievement of smoking cessation at all offices, 100% medical checkups, improvement of health literacy
- Continuous labor-management consultations meeting (15 times in fiscal 2021)
- Sharing issues regarding the medium-term business environment and promoting various working environment improvements
|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.
- Start of traceability survey for evaluation of the working environment of raw material production area for carnauba wax used as a coating for tablets
Please see “Initiatives for Lymphatic Filariasis” on our website.https://www.eisai.com/sustainability/atm/ntds/lymphaticfilariasis/index.html
Please see "Initiatives for Improving Access to Medicines" on our websitehttps://www.eisai.com/sustainability/atm/index.html
Please see "Health Management" on our websitehttps://www.eisai.com/sustainability/society/employee/health_management/index.html
Ecovadis' global platform that provides enterprises with sustainability assessments for their business partners.
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 Eisai and 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. We also recruited human rights slogan to foster awareness of human rights. In addition, we held an online conference between Eisai network companies to share the status of efforts to respect human rights within the Eisai Group, to discuss points for improvement, and to learn good practices.
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.
In fiscal 2021, we worked to spread respect for human rights through the following educational and training activities.
・Online human rights awareness training: 5,071 people attended on the themes of human rights risk cases, understanding and practice of the “Human Rights Policy”, and discrimination issues
・An online lecture on LGBT: 4,839 people attended
・Human rights awareness training by rank for new employees and organizational managers
・Solicited entries for human rights slogan: number of applications 1,436
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, Eisai Europe Ltd. released the following statement in May 2021:
Human Rights in the Supply Chain
１．Child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking
Child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking in the supply chain are considered human rights violations that should be no tolerance internationally. 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. Carnauba wax, which is used for coating tablets, has been pointed out as the risk of forced labor in the raw material production area and concerns about the working environment, so we have started to investigate the traceability of the raw material we purchase. In the next step, we plan to carry out on-site risk investigations in collaboration with our business partners.
In addition, it has been pointed out that the Japanese technical intern training system has human rights risks such as wage, working hours and sexual harassment as the US Department of State has pointed out that it is 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 the employment status.
２．Measures to mitigate potential adverse effects of human rights, labor and health and safety in the supply chain
In the process of implementing sustainable procurement program, we are working to prevent potential negative impacts on human rights and labor in the supply chain. In the program, we request our suppliers to comply with the Eisai Global Code of Conduct for Business Partners, which sets out the minimum requirements for human rights, and we request that they agree to comply and submit a signature form. The next step is to use the EcoVadis platform to monitor compliance with the Code of Conduct regarding human rights / labor and environmental risk assessments. The final step is individual engagement by holding meetings with suppliers that are judged to be at risk based on the assessment results and requesting corrective action with mutual agreement. Since environmental pollution at our business partners' factories is regarded as a potential human rights issue that may harm the health of local residents, we are also confirming their efforts on environmental pollution measures.
３．History of activities by year
We are conducting sustainable procurement for direct material suppliers including manufacturing contractors of our manufacturing plants in Japan, one of the purposes of which is to prevent potential adverse effects on human rights.
In fiscal 2019, we launched a sustainable procurement project. This project is responsible for assessing overall sustainability, including human rights and labor, in the supply chain. For the sustainability assessment of our business partners, we have adopted the EcoVadis platform from the viewpoint of the objectivity of the assessment and the suitability for continuous monitoring of compliance with the Code of Conduct.
In fiscal 2020, we held the first briefing session for suppliers to explain our policy on human rights and sustainability, and we requested suppliers to submit an agreement to the Eisai Global Code of Conduct for Business Partners. We received consent froms 43 of the 44 suppliers for main direct materials that participated in the briefing. They are Tier-1 direct material suppliers and Tier-2 manufacturing companies, when the Tier-1 suppliers are wholesalers / trading companies, We conducted individual interviews with the suppliers that do not meet the standards set by us in the evaluation score on the EcoVadis platform, and confirm corrective actions based on mutual agreement. Out of the 34 companies asseessed for sustainability by EcoVadis, one supplier was judged to be at high risk in terms of labor and human rights scores. We had a meeting with the company and confirmed that corrective action had already been completed. No significant human rights risk such as forced labor or child labor was found in any company assessed.
In fiscal 2021, we provided sustainable procurement to 108 major domestic and overseas suppliers of our manufacturing plants in Japan. We held supplier briefings twice for domestic business partners. Of the 107 domestic and overseas suppliers, 93 have submitted consent forms to comply with our Code of Conduct. 64 suppliers were assessed by EcoVadis and one supplier of them was judged to be high risk based on the labor and human rights scores. We interviewed the company and confirmed that corrective action had been completed. No significant human rights risks were found at the companies that conducted the assessment.
In FY2020 and FY2021, the sustainable procurement program was implemented for 151 major domestic and overseas suppliers of our plants in Japan, covering more than 98% on volume of dealings basis. 98 suppliers of them were assessed human rights risk. We conducted interviews with two companies that had potential human rights risks base on the assessment and we confirmed that the corrective actions already had been taken.
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.