Respect for Human Rights
INPEX supports international standards such as the International Bill of Human Rights, the International Labor Standards of the International Labor Organization, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the principles of the United Nations Global Compact. In May 2017, we issued the INPEX Group Human Rights Policy to clearly define our commitment to respect human rights and provide a compass for fulfilling our responsibilities in this regard. In accordance with that policy, we implement measures to address the human rights of all stakeholders in each country and region where we operate, including stakeholders in our supply chains. Our Human Rights Policy prohibits all forced labor and child labor and affirms our respect for freedom of association and protection of the right to organize.
To comply with the United Kingdom Modern Slavery Act 2015, since FY2016 we have annually released a statement on our website to disclose the policies, systems and measures that we have in place to prevent slave labor and human trafficking within the Company and throughout the supply chain.
Embedding Human Rights into Our Approach
Our approach to human rights is outlined in the INPEX Group Human Rights Policy approved by our Board of Directors. The director in charge of compliance, who is appointed by the Board of Directors, chairs the Compliance Committee, and reports to the Board of Directors on human rights-related risks and performance.
The INPEX Group Human Rights Policy, Sustainability Principles, Business Principles, and Code of Conduct require all INPEX Group executives and employees not only to comply with laws and regulations but also to respect social norms and act with high moral values. Our Code of Conduct makes the following statements concerning human rights.
- We recognize that human rights are important rights that derive from the dignity of individuals, and we respect the human rights of individuals in relevant countries.
- We respect international human rights codes, and we are careful to avoid being involved in any act that may infringe human rights.
- We do not discriminate based on factors such as race, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, creed, religion, birth, nationality, disabilities, or educational background.
- We do not force employees to work against their will, and we do not cause children to work.
The Compliance Committee—which consists of directors and executive officers—meets regularly to ensure strict compliance with corporate ethics and the Code of Conduct. The General Administration Unit manages day-to-day responsibility for human rights and serves as the secretariat of the Compliance Committee. It also regularly holds liaison meetings of representatives from each business unit to promote the above-mentioned human rights initiatives, including the prevention of harassment.
Human Rights Due Diligence
Since FY2016, we have been conducting human rights due diligence at domestic and overseas sites as part of efforts to enhance our human rights management. We discovered some human rights risks in the form of poor grievance handling processes of our suppliers and external business partners. These risks were also reflected in questions asked in the self-assessments of major suppliers. Since then, we have continued discussions with each site to ensure implementation of the PDCA cycle through the following actions.
- Utilizing the database of RepRisk—a provider of the ESG risk research and analysis—identify potential instances of human rights violations in the oil and gas sector in the following five areas: child labor, forced labor, freedom of association and right to collective bargaining, employment discrimination, and social discrimination.
- Classify the country risk of the areas in which we operate into three levels (high/medium/low) based on documents issued by Verisk Maplecroft and other research organizations.
- Conduct surveys and interviews—with reference to the Global Compact Self Assessment Tool for the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact—at all INPEX business locations to understand the status of responses to human rights risks identified through the desktop investigation.
- The survey content was reviewed in February 2022.
Examination and Implementation of Action Plans
- Confirm the status of management of human rights risks, based on the assessment mentioned above.
- Provide feedback on the assessment results to each business site and discuss future actions, such as widely disseminating the INPEX Group Human Rights Policy and providing human rights education.
- Continue to provide human rights education to employees to strengthen respect for human rights based on the assessment results.
Human Rights Due Diligence in Projects
For the projects in which INPEX serves as the operator, we manage social and environmental risks—including human rights-related risks—based on the IFC Performance Standards, which are a globally recognized benchmark for environmental and social risk management. Compliance with these standards within Ichthys LNG operations is monitored through regular reports and audits. The set of standards includes IFC Performance Standard 2 – Labor and Working Conditions, which covers child labor, forced labor, working conditions, and grievance mechanisms.
For projects in which we participate as a non-operator, in FY2020, we surveyed the operators of each project to confirm the status of their human rights initiatives.
Salient Human Rights Risks
INPEX invited an external human rights expert to conduct a human rights risk assessment on our operated projects. The key objectives of the assessment were as follows:
- Identify salient human rights risks
- Identify issues for human rights risk management.
The assessment used the Human Rights Impact Assessment tool, which draws on RepRisk’s database and documents from Verisk Maplecroft and other research organizations.
The salient human rights risks identified are:
- Child labor
- Forced labor
- Impact on cultural heritage and traditional culture
- Infringement on the rights of the local community
- Discrimination in recruitment and employment
- Environmental damage impacting local community.
This assessment also analyzed management system controls, including the PDCA cycle and monitoring, as well as the ideal form of the INPEX Group Human Rights Policy.
In the first quarter of 2022, we conducted surveys and interviews at our sites in Japan and, for the first time, the USA. The survey in Japan showed improvement in the management of child or forced labor risks. The assessment in the USA considered salient human right risks and checked practices for managing those risks. While our assessments found no material risks, we nonetheless continue to enhance our human rights risk management.
Human Rights Initiatives
INPEX is committed to creating processes and systems to identify and address modern slavery risks in our operations and supply chain.
In FY2021, our Australian subsidiaries issued their first Modern Slavery Statement in compliance with the Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018. INPEX personnel have participated in a human rights working group with other resources industry members, helping to devise the questions for a self-assessment questionnaire that is designed to standardize the assessment of suppliers’ modern slavery risks. We have since integrated this assessment into our own supplier selection process.
As an initiative in Japan and at our overseas offices, we posted human rights awareness posters at our operational sites to spread our human rights policy to our suppliers.
Going forward, we will further incorporate modern slavery risk management in our policies, processes, and operational management.
Human Rights Impact Assessments
For the Abadi LNG Project in Indonesia, we examine and evaluate the human rights requirements of the IFC Performance Standards as part of our ongoing environmental and social impact assessments. Our efforts to date for addressing human rights in each process of those assessments are summarized as below:
Efforts and initiatives
Selection of evaluation items
Collected and analyzed existing data on:
We plan to develop internal regulations and documents related to human rights, including the requirements of the VPSHR (Voluntary Principles on Safety and Human Rights), and establish a Social Management System.
Raising Awareness of Human Rights
To deepen awareness of the importance of considering the human rights of various stakeholders as we go about our day-to-day business, we conducted human rights training for all executives and employees in FY2017 and have continued providing the training for all new employees since FY2018. As a member of the IPIECA9 Human Rights Working Group, we collaborate on activities such as reviews of human rights due diligence in the supply chain, and information sharing on the prevention of child labor, forced labor, and other forms of modern slavery.
There were no occurrences of serious violations related to discrimination or human rights abuses in FY2021.
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Risk Mitigation Efforts
We take the following actions to mitigate risks identified through our human rights due diligence:
- Review of salient human rights risks and questionnaire content: we regularly conduct these reviews so we can more precisely monitor the risks and the actions to address them.
- Interview follow-up: we conduct follow-up interviews at sites where areas requiring improvement were identified in the initial interview.
We actively respond to grievances from all stakeholders—both internal and external—at all our domestic and overseas businesses. Internally, we have developed and are operating a Whistleblower System for the early detection of violations of human rights, discrimination, and harassment. In FY2021, we received six grievances related to human rights, discrimination and harassment, all of which were handled appropriately in accordance with the Whistleblowing Rules.
We have a dedicated page on our website for handling inquiries and grievances from external stakeholders—including local residents and business partners—and we respond to their feedback in a timely and appropriate manner. We provide additional support in Indonesia by facilitating telephone calls in the local language.
In Australia, a procedure has been established for community engagement and grievance handling to appropriately address inquiries and grievances received from local communities concerning human rights and compliance.
In FY2021, no human rights complaints were received in the countries where we operate, namely Japan, Indonesia, and Australia.
Dialogue between Labor and Management
Our labor agreement with the INPEX Labor Union stipulates that the union possesses the right to organize, the right to bargain collectively, and the right to act collectively. Our overseas offices also have forums for discussions on labor issues between management and labor representatives. We strive to maintain and develop a healthy labor and management relationship by regularly providing opportunities for these parties to exchange views and ideas on a wide range of issues in addition to labor issues, such as challenges faced by the Company and future prospects. In addition, in Japan, biannual labor–management meetings are held jointly with five labor union branches, and close communication and dialogue between labor and management is also conducted at the branch level.
We provide appropriate notification in advance of any operational changes that will significantly affect employees. No complaints have been received from the union since it was formed in October 2008.