AEON’s Policy and Efforts on Human Rights

Coincident with changing our corporate name to AEON CO., LTD.. (formerly Jusco Co. Ltd) on August 21, 2001, we renamed AEON Group as AEON. Ever since, our entire group is aimed at embodying AEON Basic Principles of "Pursuing peace, respecting humanity, and contributing to local communities, always with the customer’s point of view as its core. " We have since endeavored to achieve all of these by paying special attention to the daily implementation of an “ethical behavior”.

We believe that we have to be “truthful” to all the people related to AEON, by fulfilling ethical behavior as well as by complying with laws and regulations.

In April 2003, we set forth the AEON Code of Conduct. It summarizes the guidelines and standards that individual AEON People should follow in order to think and act in keeping with our philosophy that “everything we do, we do for our customers.”
Following this, we also formulated “the AEON Supplier Code of Conduct” (CoC) , our standards for suppliers in May 2003. AEON, together with its suppliers, will commit not only to the improvement of product quality, but also to conform to ethical standards of business in the overall process of production, and to comply with the legal requirements regarding the working environment.

In September 2004, Aeon became Japan’s first retailer to sign the United Nations Global Compact. In the same year, we also acquired SA8000 certification , an international standard related to human rights and labor conditions.

In September 2014, as one of our efforts to promote the corporate code, we established the AEON Basic Policy on Human Rights. At the same time, Aeon and three labor organizations, including the international labor body UNI Global Union, signed the Global Framework Agreement on labor practices, human rights, and the environment.
Further, given the recent developments in social situations worldwide, we revised Aeon Human Rights Policy in October 2018.
In 2019, we revised the Aeon Supplier Code of Conduct to place greater expectations on suppliers to proactively fulfill their societal responsibilities and has adopted Human Rights Guidelines for Aeon’s directly operated farms

AEON Basic Principles
AEON Code of Conduct
Our Commitment
Our Promise to Our Customers
Its Partners and AEON
Together with AEON People
Aeon Human Rights Policy
Aeon Human Rights Policy
AEON Report 2018 P34 Basic Approach –Aeon Human Rights Policy
Aeon’s Promotion Framework for Advancing Human Rights Training
AEON Report 2018 P114 Human Rights Training
AEON Supplier Code of Conduct (CoC)
AEON Supplier Code of Conduct
AEON Report 2018 P106-P109 Fair Business Practices
Aeon’s Human Rights Due-Diligence Initiatives

Since 2003, Aeon has been periodically conducting audits and risk assessments to all our outsoucing factories producing of TOPVALU brands to respect for human rights, preserve of the natural environment, and find social challenges, all in accordance with the Aeon Supplier Code of Conduct.

Before embarking on human rights due-diligence of entire Aeon Group's supply chain, we first reviewed our own activities and engaged in dialogue with stakeholders in 2018. Through this process, we prioritized initiatives to address three deficiencies and clarified key issues to be addressed.

As a first step, we updated the Aeon Human Rights Policy and revised the Aeon Supplier Code of Conduct (CoC) to conform therewith. We are currently addressing corporate social responsibility issues across our supply chains in their entirety.

Three priorities set through supplier assessments and communication with stakeholders:
  1. Expansion of scope (depth): Pertains to producers of raw materials. The top priority is fresh foodstuffs (agricultural products, livestock, and seafood). After evaluating fresh raw materials, we plan to evaluate deli items, processed foods, apparel, and household and recreational merchandise, in that order.
  2. Expansion of scope (breadth): Dissemination of and education on the Aeon Supplier Code of Conduct for suppliers of our group companies’ private brand merchandise.
  3. Monitoring of the treatment of foreign workers and foreign technical interns: Expansion of subject matter of audits and other assessments, including initiation of questionnaire surveys of outsourcing contractors.

Prioritization of efforts based on human rights risk mapping of fresh products

As our initial approach to supply chain, it was targeted at fresh food. Because unprocessed foodstuffs had not been previously a subject to Aeon Supplier CoC audits, CoC compliance of fresh foodstuff supply chains had never been verified yet. We accordingly designated audits of fresh foodstuff supply chains as our top priority. Additionally, we identified human rights of foreign workers, an increasingly serious problem in recent years, as a significant human rights risk and stepped up monitoring of the treatment them. Many foreign workers and foreign technical interns work at foodstuff production sites. We will confirm that their human rights are being respected by making sure they are, for example, properly employed, furnished with a safe working environment, and able to communicate with their employer’s management.

Stakeholder Engagement in 2018

In August 2018, we assembled three representatives from NGOs and three academic experts to discuss the results of an internal human rights impact assessment. They shared their opinions on a wide variety of topics, including best practices for conducting assessments, the importance of addressing child labor and other human rights problems at foodstuff production sites and accountability to customers with respect to supply chain issues.

In October, we met with UNI Global Union Asia & Pacific Regional Secretary Christopher Ng while he was visiting in Japan from Singapore. He shared his ideas on conducting human rights due-diligence through cooperation between labor and management. His input helped us to clarify issues to address through our future due-diligence initiatives.

Future Plans on Respect for Human Rights

AEON Report 2018 P110 “SA8000”Certification
Global Framework Agreement
Press Release on Conclusion of a Global Framework Agreement
AEON Report 2018 P118 Conclusion of a Global Framework Agreement and Implementation of Related Verification Activities.
Aeon’s Employees Health Management
Aeon Health Management Declaration
AEON Report 2018 P117 Aeon’s Employees Health Management
Agricultural corporation in the Aeon Group: AEON AGRI CREATE Co., Ltd.
All Aeon Farms are managed in line with Global G.A.P and have obtained third-party certification for the standard.
Aeon also proactively encourages suppliers to manage their farms according to Global G.A.P.
Press Release on Aeon will become the first to sell GLOBAL G.A.P. Number (GGN)-labeled products in Asia
In June 2019, we adopted Human Rights Guidelines for Aeon’s directly operated farms
Whistleblower Programmes -Aeon Code of Conduct hotline
Since 2004, Aeon Code of Conduct Hotline has served as an internal reporting system for employees to report non –compliance and improprieties, as well as for discussing various workplace issues that employees find troubling or difficult to discuss with their immediate managers. The Hotline handles a wide variety of reports and consultations and is available to all Aeon Group employees. The Hotline consists of two line: one for internal consultations, and one for reaching out to and consulting with external parties. The Corporate Ethics Team provides reports and consultations to the Group companies concerned as feedback. We rigorously enforce the rule that an investigation shall then take place within two weeks to ascertain the facts associated with each report consultation. The Corporate Ethics Team receives a report of the results, including corrective measures . In addition, the executive management team of Aeon Co.,Ltd. and the presidents of all Group companies receive weekly and monthly reports on all consultation matters.
This hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via E-mail and in 13 local languages.