The Kikkoman Group considers “compliance” a broad concept including not only meeting legal obligations but also acting on our own rules and social norms. In other words, we believe it is essential to meet the expectations of society. As the Kikkoman Group’s business becomes global, the importance of compliance is increasing. While carrying out business amid diverse culture and values, we will collect the necessary information and further strengthen the Group’s compliance system to fulfill our responsibility as a corporate citizen.
The Kikkoman Group Code of Conduct
The Kikkoman Group adopted the Kikkoman Group Code of Conduct in August 2002 to codify standards for the attitude and conduct expected of Group employees. Since then, Group companies have worked to ensure that the Code is well understood and thoroughly practiced.
The Kikkoman Group Code of Conduct, which commits Kikkoman employees to contribute to the development of society by fulfilling their work responsibilities with a sense of ethics and mission, consists of six principles: securing of safety and symbiosis with the global environment; business activities with fair and free competition; business information disclosure and promotion of communication; respect for human rights and establishment of happy working environment; observation of laws and regulations in Japan and abroad and maintenance of social order; and a positive social action program. In an effort to ensure that the Code is well understood and thoroughly practiced throughout the Group, Kikkoman has created English, Chinese, German, French, and Russian editions.
The Kikkoman Group Corporate Ethics Committee and the Group Corporate Ethics Hotline
The Kikkoman Group Corporate Ethics Committee was formed to ensure that the Kikkoman Group Code of Conduct is put into practice. With a total of six members including two outside experts such as outside lawyers as well as a director and officers from Kikkoman Corp., the Committee has overall responsibility for studying and implementing policies related to compliance.
The Kikkoman Group has established a Group Corporate Ethics Hotline and made it available for all employees of the Group companies in Japan. The Group Corporate Ethics Hotline consists of an external hotline that is managed by two outside lawyers, a shared Group hotline that is managed by Kikkoman Corp.’s Legal & Compliance Department, and hotlines at individual companies that are set up as needed. Reports are received via dedicated phone line, fax, email, and dedicated post office box. When the office receives a report, an internal investigation is conducted, corrective measures taken, and feedback provided to the individual who initiated the report. The Corporate Ethics Committee Regulation stipulates protection for whistleblowers against any backlash or disadvantage that might result from submission of a report.