Stakeholder engagement across the JT Group is conducted under our the 4S model, which requires us to fulfill our responsibilities to our four stakeholder groups. We are working towards a Group-wide approach to stakeholder engagement on sustainability issues, and within our international tobacco business, we have begun to systematically seek and address feedback on issues relevant to our business sustainability from our various stakeholder groups. We continue to develop our approach to stakeholder engagement as part of developing our new sustainability strategy.
Trade and business associations
In general, we are members of national industry and business associations in the countries where we operate as well as being members of regional and international organizations that represent the interests of the sectors in which we work. These include, but are not limited to, KEIDANREN (Japan Business Federation), Tobacco Institute of Japan (TIOJ), Confederation of European Community Cigarette Manufacturers (CECCM), European Cigar Manufacturers Association (ECMA), Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA), Japan Frozen Food Association, and Japan-EU Business Dialogue Round Table.
Engaging with governments and regulators
We seek an open dialogue with governments and regulators so we can provide our point of view on regulations that affect our business and society. We have made a number of submissions to governments highlighting the negative consequences of extreme regulation, including plain packaging of tobacco products. At the same time, we put forward more proportionate alternative solutions to help achieve legitimate public policy objectives.
Within our international tobacco business, we have clear guidelines for political engagement and an anti-bribery policy that is embedded within our Code of Conduct. We comply with all applicable requirements pertaining our relationship with governments, for example with the UK Bribery Act and the EU Transparency Register.
Collaborations, memberships, and endorsements
Collaborating with others helps us to address our sustainability challenges. It also fosters innovation and bridges any differences in opinion there may be between us and our stakeholders.
Product safety and product responsibility
In Japan we have formed Youth Smoking Prevention Councils with representatives of local government, police, the Tobacco Retailers Association, and other tobacco companies.
Corporate governance and transparency
We are a member of the UK-based Institute of Business Ethics and CEB Compliance & Ethics Leadership Council and TRACE. We are also a member of the Business Ethics Research Center in Japan, which helps corporations consider ethical issues in the workplace.
Respecting human rights
We are a member of the Industrial Federation for Human Rights, Tokyo. The JT Group is a member of the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing (ECLT) Foundation, and in 2014 signed the ECLT Foundation's Pledge of Commitment and Minimum Requirements on combating child labor. Our international tobacco business is also a member of the UN's Child Labour Platform. We support Human Rights Watch in its efforts to improve legislation and bring higher standards of protection to farm workers in the U.S.A. We are also a member of the U.S.A.-based Farm Labor Practices Group, a multi-stakeholder organization that focuses on improving conditions for farm workers in the U.S.A.
Laws and regulations
Our international tobacco business is a member of BusinessEurope, a group that campaigns on issues affecting businesses in Europe. We sit on multiple working groups, including one on the European Union's Tobacco Products Directive and another on plain packaging of tobacco products.
In 2015 our international tobacco business became a full member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). We now sit on three of ICC's policy commissions –intellectual property, marketing and advertising and trade and investment. We are also members of ICC BASCAP.
The JT Group has been reporting its Group-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change information to CDP since 2012, and water information to CDP since 2015.
Employee development and talent management
Our international tobacco business now has the highest level certification from the Top Employers Institute. The Global Top Employer status is given to organizations that demonstrate the high standards of HR practices and employee offerings across the globe.
Our Japanese domestic tobacco business is a key member of the Tobacco Institute of Japan and complies with the institute's self-regulatory marketing standard.
Workplace health and safety
Our international tobacco business is a member of the European Council on Health and Safety and the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).
Other sustainability-related memberships
Our international tobacco business is a member of a CSR task force in Switzerland led jointly by two business federations, Economiesuisse and SwissHoldings. Our role on the task force is to represent members of Groupement des Entreprises Multinationales (GEM), a Geneva-based association that brings together more than 85 multinationals to present their views to governments and authorities on topics such as tax, business development, sustainability, and employment. The task force aims to have an input into Swiss government proposals to develop action plans and binding rules on CSR.
For more information about stakeholder engagement, please refer to the Sustainability Report FY2017.