Management Approach

Human Rights Management


The SMM Group operates on a global scale, and we believe that this necessitates the responsibility to maintain respect for human rights in our business activities at all positions in the value chain.


As shown below, the SMM Group has established a policy on human rights, in accordance with the SMM Group Corporate Philosophy and the SMM Group Code of Conduct.

SMM Group Policy on Human Rights

The SMM Group’s policy on human rights, in accordance with the SMM Group Corporate Philosophy and the SMM Group Code of Conduct, has been established as follows.

  1. The SMM Group will comply with domestic laws and international standards relating to human rights and encourage persons within the Group, as well as outside parties over which the Group has influence, to work toward the realization of a society without human rights infringements.
  2. The SMM Group will not allow harassment or other incidents of a discriminatory nature within the Group and will make efforts to prevent such incidents from occurring among outside parties over which the Group has influence.
  3. The SMM Group will not engage in child labor or forced labor and will make efforts to prevent child labor or forced labor from occurring among outside parties over which the Group has influence.
  4. The SMM Group will show other considerations to human rights in addition to items 1-3 above within the Group and in relationships with outside parties over which the Group has influence.
  5. The SMM Group will establish appropriate measures and procedures for responding to human rights problems should they occur.
  6. The SMM Group will identify and stay aware of the current and changing state of human rights in the world, as well as the impact of corporations in the area of human rights, and carry out awareness-raising activities and other necessary measures on an ongoing basis.


These initiatives are promoted with the president as the person with ultimate responsibility. While ensuring that all employees receive the necessary awareness education, we properly monitor the situation by establishing a hotline and carrying out due diligence for human rights, then quickly and appropriately handle problems when they arise.
SMM established the SMM Group Policy on Human Rights in 2010. The SMM Group has constructed a Group-wide human rights management program that incorporates a human rights due diligence framework based on the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In FY2019, the SMM Group Policy on Human Rights was selected as the basic policy for 38 Group companies inside and outside Japan. We aim to build and operate a structured system to prevent and avoid complicity in either direct or indirect violations of human rights, and to make possible more appropriate responses, including access to remedies for concerns that arise.


Human Rights Due Diligence

The human rights management program covers SMM Group employees inside and outside Japan, the supply chain that the SMM Group is able to influence, and the local citizens in areas where the Group does business (see details of supply chain initiatives starting on Supply Chain Management).

1. Human rights management program for employees

A human rights management program for employees began full-scale operation in FY2014, and in FY2019 we carried out a survey focusing mainly on harassment at six business sites and Group companies in Japan and overseas.

2. Local communities in regions where the SMM Group does business

A third party regularly assesses the SDMP carried out by Coral Bay Nickel Corporation and Taganito HPAL Nickel Corporation. This has allowed us to check the SDMP efforts while understanding local needs through closer dialogue with the communities.

3. Human rights management program for indigenous peoples

In February 2019, we invited to Japan the leader of the indigenous people of the northern area of Mindanao Island, Philippines and we also assisted with holding events, such as a university symposium on indigenous human rights. Additionally, we held a dialogue with this indigenous leader at our Head Office as part of efforts to understand the rights of indigenous peoples and to promote mutual understanding between indigenous peoples and business operators.

Human Rights Seminars

Human rights seminars are held regularly and include lectures, education on human rights risks for employees scheduled to be posted overseas, and human rights education as part of training when promoted. The primary objectives are to deepen awareness of potential human rights issues in the workplace and to prevent problems from occurring. These seminars are held not only for officers and managers, but also for a broader range of employees including regular employees and limited-term employees.
Also, in order to prevent every kind of harassment, each workplace runs human rights education.
In addition to the above seminars, in FY2019 we newly designated December as Human Rights Month, and promoted diversity and held education on human rights companywide.
Going forward, we intend to further enhance human rights education. Education is conducted so that the manager of each business site talks directly to the employees about themes that should be touched upon at that particular site, and so that the management at each business site can communicate their thoughts to all employees.

Initiatives to Take on Issues and Provide Improvements

Issues in promoting the prevention of human rights violations include the difficulty in quantifying the results of education on the SMM Group Policy on Human Rights, further spreading the diversity promotion framework, and continuing to make employees aware of the SMM direct hotline.
In FY2019, harassment eradication initiatives were considered and put into practice at each business site and Group company. With regard to the three categories in human rights due diligence (employees, supply chain, and local communities), surveys were conducted on employees at sites where it was necessary, on-site interviews were held along the supply chain to ensure that all was going according to plan, and the direction to take for surveys of local communities around overseas business sites was considered.