Material Issues / Governance

Business and Human Rights

Approach and Policy

The business activities of the SMM Group affect the human rights of its stakeholders, particularly local residents and indigenous peoples, employees in the supply chain, and employees of the SMM Group. Further, stakeholders associated with our Group may be involved in adverse impacts to human rights.
Our Group supports the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and, in accordance with our Group’s human rights policy, promotes initiatives to uphold human rights, including the implementation of due diligence and the operation of grievance (remedy) mechanisms.

Promotion Structure

The Diversity Subcommittee and the Human Rights Subcommittee, which are subordinate organizations of the Sustainability Committee overseen by the Board of Directors and chaired by the president, report regularly to the Committee on their activities and reflect them in the Group policies and procedures to promote initiatives. We particularly focus our efforts in the three areas of employees of the SMM Group, local residents and indigenous peoples, and employees in the supply chain, who are the stakeholders affected by the Group’s business activities.

Promotion Structure

Regarding the human rights of employees of the SMM Group, the Diversity Subcommittee, with the Human Resources Department serving as its secretariat, works with business divisions and operational divisions in the Head Office to address human rights issues through our organizational structure.
Regarding the human rights of local residents and indigenous peoples, and supply chain (including employees therein), the Human Rights Subcommittee, with the Sustainability Department serving as its secretariat, works with business divisions and operational divisions in the Head Office to address each group of stakeholders.
Our efforts include the formulation of policies, due diligence, and operation of a grievance (remedy) mechanism in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (see figure below).

Business and Human Rights Initiatives Process Diagram

Human Rights Due Diligence Initiatives

Our Group supports the UN Guiding Principles and conducts human rights due diligence (DD) in accordance with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct, and others.
We seek to cease, prevent, and mitigate adverse impacts on human rights as expressed in the ILO Core Labor Standards (10 conventions in five areas: effective approval of freedom of association and workers’ right to collective bargaining; prohibition of all forms of forced labor; effective elimination of child labor; elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation; safe and healthy working environment). As human rights risks in the business value chain, we promote initiatives with particular emphasis on three areas: Employees of the SMM Group1, local residents and indigenous peoples,2 and supply chain (including employees therein),3 which are impacted by our business activities.

Grievance Mechanism: Membership in JaCER

SMM has joined the Japan Center for Engagement and Remedy on Business and Human Rights (JaCER)1 established in 2022 as a founding member (regular member). JaCER is an organization that aims to support and promote the redress of grievances of member companies from a professional standpoint by providing a non-judicial Engagement and Remedy Platform for grievance redress based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. They also established an Advisory Board consisting of external experts and an Advisory and Mediation Panel and Investigation Panel consisting of independent expert individuals and organizations.
In addition to existing mechanisms such as the Whistle-blowing System (Speak Up System),2 the Group will also utilize the platform provided by JaCER to operate a more transparent and effective grievance (remedy) mechanism.
• Grievances received by JaCER about the Group: 0 (FY2022)


Outline of SMM Group’s human rights policy (The Sumitomo Metal Mining Group Policy on Human Rights

Our Group’s Approach to Respect for Human Rights

Our Group takes utmost care not to infringe on the human rights of all people, avoids causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through our business activities, and works toward correcting and remedying any such situation that may arise. Further, if a stakeholder is involved in adverse impacts on human rights, we will encourage that stakeholder not to violate human rights and cooperate through corrective or remedial actions.

Human Rights Issues within the SMM Group

SMM Group’s human rights policy sets forth its commitments on fundamental human rights issues, including respect for children’s rights and prohibition of child labor, and prohibition of discrimination, harassment, and bullying on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, and other factors. We are also committed to respecting human rights based on international norms such as the International Bill of Human Rights, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and the Mining Principles of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM),* an industry organization for which we are a member. In the unlikely event of a conflict between applicable laws and regulations and international norms on human rights in the regions in which we operate, we seek ways to respect international norms while complying with the laws and regulations.

Internal and External Communications of the Human Rights Policy

We have produced educational materials in video format available to all SMM Group employees, which includes an overview of the policy, messages from top management, and commentary from experts, and share them in internal human rights training and other programs. In addition, to ensure that our stakeholders, especially our business partners, understand our approach and efforts to respect human rights, we communicate Sumitomo Metal Mining Group’s Sustainability Procurement Policy, established in line with our human rights policy.