Introducing the Brother Group Principles of Social Responsibility
The Brother Group Global Charter (Global Charter) was established in 1999 and lays the foundation for Brother's global activities. All Brother companies and employees must base their decisions and actions on the guidelines set out in Global Charter. In order to meet the requirements of Global Charter, particularly with regard to responsibilities towards stakeholders including customers, Brother has implemented an active CSR management program.
As the role of corporations has become more significant in achieving a sustainable society, the demands and expectations of stakeholders towards the Brother Group have increased.
In response, Brother has adopted "Principles of Social Responsibility" (the "Principles") to publically express how we fulfill our social and ethical duties.
Rigorous implementation of the Principles will ensure that Brother meets its social responsibilities in the countries and regions where we operate and will enhance Brother's CSR management.
We aim to make Brother an even more globally recognized and unified corporate brand which is truly trusted by our customers and stakeholders. Moreover, we hope that Brother will enjoy a long and successful future in a sustainable and ethical society.
Brother Industries, Ltd.
January 27, 2012
The Brother Group Principles of Social Responsibility
A. Fair working conditions
In recognition of the importance of providing fair working conditions, the Brother Group respects people and recognizes fundamental human rights and expects people working and employed by the Brother Group ("Associates") to act in the same way.
- Non-discrimination and Non-harassment
The Brother Group does not tolerate acts of discrimination or harassment. In particular, the Brother Group does not:
- unlawfully discriminate against anyone based on, for example, race, sex, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy, political affiliation, union membership, marital status, nationality, ethnic background, religion, or disability; or,
- violate a person's dignity by engaging in harassment or abuse (on any grounds or in any form), corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or threat of any such treatment.
- Fair and lawful labor practices
The Brother Group strives to comply with all local laws and regulations, instructions of competent authorities or appropriate local industry practices in relation to working conditions including hours, wages and benefits (including minimum wages) and overtime hours.
- Freedom of association
The Brother Group respects the rights of employees in each country in which we operate to associate freely with others, join or not join labor unions, seek representation and join workers' councils in accordance with local laws and regulations.
- Child and forced labor
The Brother Group does not tolerate or engage in illegal labor practices. In particular the Brother Group does not:
- use forced labor or involuntary prison labor;
- require Associates to hand over government-issued identification, passports or work permits to Brother as a condition of employment (except temporary hand over for identification confirmation or government formalities);
- knowingly employ any persons below the age for completing compulsory schooling in accordance with local laws;
- knowingly employ persons under 15 years old (or 14 where the law of the country permits); or
- assign Associates under the age of 18 to work that is likely to jeopardize their health or safety.
- Clearly defined disciplinary policies
The Brother Group shall clearly define disciplinary policies and procedures and communicate these policies and procedures to its employees.
- Whistleblowing system
Each Brother Group company shall establish a whistleblowing system and encourage Associates to report any violations of these Principles, other company policies, local laws and regulations. The Brother Group does not authorize Associates to retaliate against persons for making a good faith report of a violation and, where appropriate and if permitted by local laws, shall ensure the anonymity of any whistleblowers.
B. Health and Safety
- Health and safety at work
The Brother Group will comply with all laws and regulations applicable to providing a safe and healthy workplace for our Associates.
The Brother Group protects the health and safety of Associates in the workplace by:
- evaluating and controlling potential safety hazards including physically demanding work, electrical and other energy sources, fire, vehicles, and exposure to chemicals and other biological and physical agents;
- providing properly designed and well maintained workplaces and appropriate protective equipment;
- implementing safe work procedures and systems and providing ongoing training and systems designed to prevent, manage, track and report occupational injury and illness; and
- implementing strategies and response procedures for emergency situations and events including evacuation procedures, drills and recovery plans.
- Sanitation, food and housing
The Brother Group will provide Associates and any third parties who work at our premises with clean toilet facilities and clean water, and where provided, food preparation and eating facilities will be sanitary.
Where provided, dormitories shall be well maintained, clean and safe, and equipped with appropriate emergency exits, hot water for showering, adequate heat and ventilation and personal space, all according to applicable local standards.
C. The Environment
In order to help society to achieve sustainable development, the Brother Group shall adopt its environmental protection policy and strive to reduce the impact of our business on the environment in all aspects of our activities and at every stage of a product's lifecycle, from design, development, manufacturing, customer usage, and disposal, to reuse and recycling. The Brother Group will obtain any environmental permits and licenses required and comply with all applicable international and domestic environmental laws and regulations including restrictions on the use of certain substances.
D. Ethical and respectable business practices
The Brother Group will act with the highest integrity and ethics in all aspects of our activities.
- Fair dealing
The Brother Group will comply with the anti-trust and competition laws of the countries and regions which apply to our operation and will not engage in any acts which will restrict or distort free and fair competition. In purchasing goods and services, Brother will select suppliers impartially and upon fair conditions.
- Proper advertising
The Brother Group shall uphold and comply with applicable standards of advertising and the Brother Group will refrain from knowingly using any misleading or inaccurate advertising.
- Improper advantage
The Brother Group shall not engage in any form of corruption, extortion or embezzlement. Bribes or other means of obtaining undue or improper advantage are not to be offered or accepted.
- Reporting and recording accurate corporate information
The Brother Group shall record and report all necessary information including accounting records promptly and accurately, and retain them properly.
The Brother Group shall make accurate and timely disclosure of financial status and information on business operations to shareholders, investors and applicable capital markets to facilitate informed investment decisions in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
Moreover, the Brother Group shall require Associates to ensure that statements of a personal nature appearing in newspapers or magazines, and on radio, television, video or via the internet will not give the appearance of speaking or acting on Brother's behalf.
- Information management
The Brother Group has rigorous information management systems and ensures that Associates will not unlawfully disclose confidential information relating to the Brother Group companies, other organizations or our customers to third parties without consent.
- Protection of personal information
The Brother Group respects the privacy of our customers, business contacts and Associates and has developed safeguards designed to limit access to their personal information in accordance with local privacy laws. The Brother Group safeguards private information, including personal data, lists of our customers and employees and does not authorize our Associates to share private information, unless it is done in accordance with local data protection laws and our applicable privacy policies or otherwise with permission, as appropriate.
- Policy against insider trading
Associates shall not become involved in illegal insider trading. Illegal insider trading is generally to trade securities while in possession of material, non-public information about the security.
- Protection of intellectual property rights
The Brother Group shall endeavor to secure, maintain, and expand the Brother Group's intellectual property rights (including but not limited to patent rights, trademark rights and copyrights) and the Brother Group will respect the intellectual property rights of third parties. The Brother Group and Associates shall not intentionally infringe the intellectual property rights of others.
E. Management System to implement these Principles
The Brother Group will establish a management system to implement these Principles as follows:
- each Brother Group company shall implement its own code of conduct which, together with other company rules, satisfies the standard set by these Principles and require its Associates to comply with such code;
- each Brother Group company shall, according to its organization, clarify the department responsible for implementation of its code of conduct;
- each Brother Group company shall give regular training to its employees with respect to compliance with its code of conduct;
- each Brother Group company shall perform periodic auditing to ensure conformity with these Principles; and,
- each Brother Group company shall correct in a timely fashion any deficiencies identified by periodic audits.
The senior management in charge of the legal section at Brother Industries, Ltd shall be responsible for ensuring implementation of these Principles by each company of the Brother Group and the management systems as well as reviewing the status of the management system on a regular basis.