Our Code of Conduct

Living our Codes of Conduct

Our Codes of Conduct guide us to conduct business ethically and be a responsible corporate citizen. To ensure that the codes are communicated effectively throughout the entire business, we run various training courses for employees.

Our employees sign an acknowledgment form to show their commitment to following our Codes of Conduct.

We continuously review and update our Codes of Conduct to improve our standards, and the latest revision took place in 2018. In our international tobacco business, we have digitalized the Code into an accessible, easy-to-read document, including a decision-making guide to assist employees in making the right choices. It is now available in 37 languages, and we provide printed booklets for those with limited internet access.

Training and communication

We continued to provide training on the Codes of Conduct to our employees online and face-to-face in 2021. We provide training programs to all employees, regardless of their employment status (e.g. directly or indirectly employed, full or part time).

In our Japanese operations, 99.5% of employees completed the online courses *C.

In our international tobacco business, we continue our effort to ensure the highest standard across our business operations. We use an interactive Code of Conduct video in multiple languages to guide our employees to make the right choices. As part of our annual focus on training, we rolled out a completely revised and updated global anti-bribery and corruption training.

Compliance survey in Japan

In order to better implement compliance in our workplace, each department in our Japanese operations makes Compliance Action Plans every year. These Action Plans are rolled out on a yearly basis, which means that we base the plans on the results of the compliance survey and the status of our initiatives in the previous year.

We conduct a compliance survey every year. In 2021, 96.6% of employees completed the survey. The survey outcomes are analyzed by the JT Legal and Compliance Division, and reported to the head of each department while ensuring confidentiality. Next, the JT Legal and Compliance Division develops an Annual Compliance Action Plan based on the results of the analysis. The relevant departments then introduce a remediation plan to address any issues raised, using quantitative targets to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan.

Living our Codes of Conduct

Based on the 2021 survey results, we acknowledged that preventing harassment* and installing mechanisms to support compliance with applicable laws and regulation are issues to be prioritized. We have made progress in the area of harassment prevention from past initiatives. In 2020, we started the trainer’s training program which trained employees in group companies to be instructors for harassment prevention. For 2021, we made harassment self-evaluation check tool available as a trial for companies that needed improvement in harassment prevention. We will continue to make every effort to make improvement on company priority issues by providing employees with relevant trainings and programs.

* Harassment includes sexual harassment and bullying.
Reporting concerns

Reporting concerns

Across the JT Group, each of our operating companies has specially trained members who handle compliance matters. If an employee is concerned about a potential violation of our Code of Conduct, they can contact their line manager, HR lead, or a member of the compliance team. We also provide an external concern-reporting service, run by an independent provider and available 24/7. In addition, the Audit & Supervisory Board Members in our Japanese operations have established a consultation and reporting contact independent of business operations. Every reported concern and investigation report is treated on a strictly confidential basis, and retaliation against anyone reporting a concern will not be tolerated. Employees can file a report anonymously if they prefer. Our approach is explicitly described in our internal policy and employee handbook so that our employees can be aware of their rights and free from fear.

Reporting concerns
* In our Japanese operations, we distribute a Reporting Concerns Booklet to all employees with detailed information about the process for reporting concerns.
We believe that everyone should be able to raise concerns and have their voice heard, even if they do not have access to a company computer and/or the company network. That’s why we ensure secure access to reporting system for all of our employees, at all times and from anywhere.

We offer multiple communication channels for employees, customers, and business partners to confidentially raise concerns about potential violations of our Codes of Conduct or policies. We review all concerns raised, launch investigations as needed, and take appropriate corrective actions.

Employees are informed about our Reporting Concerns Mechanism through various channels, including the JT Group intranet. In our Japanese operations, the Mechanism is available in four languages (Japanese, English, Vietnamese, and Nepalese) to meet the needs of our diverse workforce.

Any concerns are then dealt with by specially trained contact persons, who all follow a mandatory face-to-face training course.

Our international tobacco business successfully reached the first anniversary since the implementation of the upgraded reporting concerns tool, for raising concerns through a voice messaging system. Together with the existing email system, this makes it easier for our employees and business partners to report concerns of misconduct. The tool is available in more than 70 countries in more than 50 languages.

In 2021, we received 706 reports across the JT Group. In the case of proven violations of our Codes of Conduct, we took appropriate action in the form of dismissal, verbal or written warnings, financial penalties, or other measures.
Revenue breakdown by business segment