Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement 2022

In the following statement, ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’ refers to the Panasonic Group. Scope of Reporting - Fiscal 2022 (1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022)
Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.

Panasonic is committed to a work environment free from modern slavery, in accordance with the laws and regulations of the respective countries in which
we operate. We are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships. We do not knowingly use modern slavery
in any of the products we use or services we supply. We are striving to improve our internal regulations, guidelines, and partnership agreements to bolster management and ensure modern slavery is not taking place anywhere in our own business or in our supply chains. As an international company we understand our responsibility in supporting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 8 ‘Decent work and economic growth’ and especially target 8.7, which states:

 

Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.

 

Panasonic Connect Europe GmbH (Panasonic Connect) is committed to make efforts to confront Modern Slavery at its sites and along its entire supply chain, in accordance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. This is Panasonic Connects first Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement.

Our Business

Panasonic Connect is part of the global Panasonic Group, which is head-quartered in Japan and one of the largest electronic manufacturers with 523 consolidated companies located globally. 


As the key element of our Basic Business Philosophy, we have the basic concept of the “a company is a public entity of society.” This is also the very essence of the Panasonic Group’s sustainability. As we stand at historical turning points in many areas today, Panasonic Group will continue to promote sustainability management globally and to contribute to the future of society. Our business is very diverse and covers different areas among consumer electronics, housing, automotive systems and business solutions.

 

See Panasonic Group Data (Fiscal Year ended March 2022)

panasonic group data March 2022

As the key element of our Basic Business Philosophy, we have the basic concept of the “a company is a public entity of society.” This is also the very essence ofthe Panasonic Group’s sustainability. As we stand at historical turning points in many areas today, Panasonic Group will continue to promote sustainability management globally and to contribute to the future of society. Our business is very diverse and covers different areas among consumer electronics, housing, automotive systems and business solutions. Our operations in these areas are driven by our five key business units:

LifesyleRefrigerators, microwave ovens, rice cookers, washing machines,
vacuum cleaners, personal care products, air-conditioners for
residential, and commercial use, air to water heat pump system,
ventilation, perflation and air-conditioning equipment, air purifiers,
air purifier/sterilizers, freezing or refrigerating showcases, lighting
fixtures, lamps, wiring devices, solar photovoltaic systems, fuel cells,
compressors, bicycles, nursing care services
ConnectAircraft in-flight entertainment systems and communications
services, electronic components-mounting machines, welding
equipment, projectors, professional AV systems, PCs and tablets,
solutions for various industries, installation/operation/maintenance
services, supply chain management software
EnergyCylindrical lithium-ion batteries for in-vehicle use, dry batteries,
primary/secondary lithium batteries, nickel-metal hydride batteries,
lithium-ion batteries, storage battery modules/systems .
AutomotiveAutomotive-use infotainment systems, head-up displays,
automotive speakers, automotive switches, advanced driver
assistance systems (ADAS) and related devices, systems and
devices for xEVs, Interior rear-view mirrors
IndustryRelays, switches, power supplies, touch panels, motors, sensors,
laser markers, capacitors, inductors, resistors, circuit board
materials, semiconductor device materials, molding compounds,
LCD panels

 

Panasonic Connect was established in October 2021. Before October 2021, it was part of Panasonic Marketing Europe GmbH. Panasonic Connect is the exclusive distributor for Panasonic Connect products in the UK.

Our Commitment to Human Rights

The Panasonic Group has defined our Panasonic Group Human Rights and Labor Policy (Human Rights and Labor Policy) with reference to the international standards listed below. In keeping with this policy, we set rules within the Group, set up systems to promote the policy, and promote concrete initiatives toward achieving working environments that both respect human rights and provide meaningful work. The Panasonic Group’s Code of Ethics & Compliance (Code of Ethics & Compliance), to be made promises that each employee in the Group must fulfill, also includes “respect for human rights” as a part of “our social responsibilities” and we make effort to enlighten them to all our employees.

 

Main international standards used as reference:

  • The United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
  • The United Nations’ International Bill of Human Rights (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights)
  • ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work

Our Supply Chain

The Group promotes activities with its global business partners across its entire supply chain to fulfill its Corporate Social Responsibility rising global demand for socially responsible procurement—taking into account the environment, human rights, fair labor conditions, and fair trade—we, the Panasonic Group, strive to conduct our business with suppliers in a way that not only provides excellent technology and quality but also fulfills our social responsibility in the areas of human rights and responsible employment, occupational health and safety, green procurement, clean procurement, compliance, and information security. For our main business – the manufacture and provision of electronic products – our supply chains include the sourcing of raw materials and minerals. 

In April 2022, we established the “Rules on Supply Chain Compliance” to strengthen our efforts to promote CSR in the supply chain. This rule stipulates the basic policy regarding supply chain compliance and internal rules for its implementation. In addition to a thorough implementation of procurement operations, management reviews are conducted on a regular basis. 

Before starting a transaction, we present the “Panasonic Supply Chain CSR Promotion Guidelines” (hereinafter referred to as “the CSR Guidelines”), which cover the Group’s supply chain compliance policy, to suppliers. Conducting “CSR Self-Assessments” based on the CSR Guidelines is a condition for initiating transactions. The CSR Guidelines are in accordance with international norms and principles regarding human rights, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. 

We require that suppliers comply with the CSR Guidelines in the Master Global Purchasing Agreement as a contractual obligation.


In addition, even after the start of transactions, we regularly let them submit the results of CSR Self-Assessments, and we conduct audits to confirm compliance status.

Our Supply Chain

Due Diligence Process for the Prevention of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.

Recruitment

Our Human Rights and Labor Policy includes a clear prohibition of “any and all forms of forced labor” and the Group is promoting initiatives meant to ensure the creation of inclusive workplaces where there is no forced labor by following international standards such as those of the ILO as well as all laws and regulations applicable to our business activities or dealings, and our own rules established within the Group. Our Human Rights and Labor
Policy also includes a clear expectation to work toward the effective eradication of child labor. When we hire employees, in addition to complying
with all applicable laws, we also require the staffing firms, suppliers, and other companies we work with to do the same. We also do not permit any midnight work, heavy labor, or dangerous labor for employees under 18 years old.

Training

We have made opportunities (including when first starting work and upon promotion) to make sure employees know about the topic of respect for
human rights included in our Code of Conduct. In April 2022, we revised the Panasonic Code of Conduct to what is now called the Panasonic Group Code of Ethics & Compliance, adding a separate new chapter, Respecting Human Rights.

In addition to ensuring that this is well-known, we are use e-Learning and other means to offer continuous education to all our employees.

Our procurement departments at Panasonic Group conduct CSR procurement training for our procurement staff members, who will be able to fulfill our social responsibilities when it comes to procurement activities, by teaching them about the company’s approach to CSR, and they create opportunities to gain knowledge about procurement compliance.

Access to Remedy

To make it possible for us to respond quickly to remedy any complaints we receive related to human rights violations, we established a global hotline (supporting 31 languages) as a point of contact where our employees or external partners can report any compliance violations, they have become aware of, including those issues involving human rights or labor. This hotline uses an external, independent system that prevents that identity of the person reporting being revealed, and we have internal rules in place such that we are careful to protect the confidentiality of such reports and to make sure that the person reporting the violation does not suffer any acts of retaliation and detrimental treatment.

Suppliers

We, the Panasonic Group, adhere to international norms and principles, such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and require suppliers to affirm them. To show our approach to CSR procurement and clearly convey the requirements to suppliers, we have established the CSR Guidelines, and we share them at the start of transactions. The contract obligates suppliers to comply with the guidelines. The CSR Guidelines stipulate the following provisions, while taking into account laws, regulations, and principles of international norms:

  1. Labor rights: Prohibition of forced labor or child labor, appropriate
    working hours, decent wages, humane treatment, elimination of
    discrimination, freedom of association
  2. Occupational health and safety: Training to ensure workplace safety
    and emergency preparedness, safety measures for machinery and
    equipment, and occupational health and safety rules for facilities
  3. Environment: Compliance with the ”Panasonic’s Green Procurement
    Standards”
  4. Ethics: Prohibition of corruption and bribery, and promotion of fair
    business and responsible mineral procurement
  5. Information security: Prevention of information leaks and protection
    against computer and network threats
  6. Product quality and safety: Creation of a product quality
    management system, provision of accurate product and service data,
    and maintenance of product safety
  7. Contributions to society: Contributions to society and local
    communities
  8. Management systems

CSR Self-Assessments and Audit for Suppliers

In an effort to follow the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Panasonic Group’s own policies on human rights and labor, created with reference to those principles, the Group requires our suppliers to perform CSR Self-Assessments so promote due diligence on human rights, including identifying and assessing the impact of human rights in our supply chain. These CSR Self-Assessments are structured around the CSR Guidelines, and we require that all new suppliers conduct one before we begin doing business with them. We also require our existing suppliers to conduct them regularly, every one, two, or three years, depending the assessment results.

We had conventionally requested that our suppliers complete these CSR Self-Assessments by hand, but we began making them available in an online survey format since last fiscal year, which has successfully reduced the load on both our suppliers and the Group and also improved the efficient collection of and accuracy of the self-assessments. From the time last fiscal year that we collected surveys again based on risks up until June of this year, we have received CSR Self- Assessments from some 8,000 companies, roughly 60% of our suppliers.

Commitment from suppliers

We, the Panasonic Group, require that suppliers affirm the Panasonic Group’s Code of Ethics & Compliance and the Panasonic Group’s Human Rights and Labor Policy, and we make it mandatory, at the start of transactions for materials and components for the manufacturing of Panasonic products, to conclude a Master Global Purchasing Agreement that stipulates compliance with the CSR Guidelines. In addition, we stipulate in the CSR Guidelines a
respect for human rights as expressed in United Nations norms and principles, an evaluation of the status of suppliers’ human rights initiatives and the
implementation of prevention / mitigation / corrective measures, a request for compliance with tier 2 suppliers, and a request for cooperation with the
Panasonic Group’s Human Rights Due Diligence.

The template of our Master Global Purchasing Agreement obliges suppliers to comply with the CSR Guidelines. In addition, to obtain commitments from our suppliers in all cases, we will obtain pledges of compliance from existing suppliers in line with the revision of our CSR Guidelines.

Continuous Improvement Activities for the Future.

Some of Panasonic’s supply chains fall in high-risk areas, and we are very much aware that there are serious risks in those areas with respect to human rights and labour. Given the complexity of these supply chains, completely eradicating Modern Slavery at all our suppliers will take time and effort. We are committed to making sustained initiatives against the problem of Modern Slavery.

 

This statement has been approved by:

Hiroyuki Nishiuma
Managing Director
Panasonic Connect Europe GmbH