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Our Basic Approach and Strategy

Approach to materials procurement

Unicharm has operated the business in line with the Unicharm Group CSR Procurement Guidelines which were established in 2009 for the purpose of maintaining fair and impartial relationships with all suppliers. The guidelines incorporate provisions relating to applicable laws, human rights, industrial relations, environment and product safety such as “the abolition of child labor,” “the elimination of discrimination” and “the promotion of measures against global warming” as stated in the U.N. Global Compact.

By working closely together through mutual communication with suppliers, we are sharing and establishing an understanding of Unicharm's responsible procurement approach, philosophy, specific activities and requests for cooperation towards safety and the environment.


At our overseas locations, only rolling out best practices from Japan is not sufficient given more dramatic changes in awareness and regulations on safety and the environment. So we are also gathering information from the local market and promoting materials procurement closely in tune with local market conditions as well, and thus aiming to build business relationships that fulfill the quality, functionality, safety, environmental and service requirements of product lines in overseas markets. In addition, we are promoting procurement activities with a particular emphasis on crisis management. When starting new business transactions overseas, we make efforts to establish a sound understanding and dissemination of Unicharm's stance and approach toward procurement including compliance with laws and social imperatives and due consideration to human rights and labor and thus call for the cooperation of the partners in environmental and ethical areas.


In October 2017, we established the Basic Policy of Procurement promoted from the Unicharm Group CSR Procurement Guidelines in response to increased expectations towards the sustainability initiatives of global companies and to prevent human rights and labor problems throughout the supply chain. At the same time, the Unicharm Group Sustainable Procurement Guidelines were established as a subdivision of this Basic Policy of Procurement to express our intentions towards the prevention of child labor and forced labor, the prohibition of discrimination, the right to the freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, reductions in excessive working hours, minimum wages, health and safety standards and the prevention of corruption. These policy and guidelines cover all business partners that conduct business with the Unicharm Group around the world, and we have worked to ensure awareness, primarily through the International Labor Standards (ILS) Promotion Group established at production subsidiary Unicharm Products Co., Ltd. However, this group changed its name to the ESG Promotion Group in 2019 with the aim of including all social difficulty issues, including the environment, and will continue promoting initiatives so that social responsibilities can be fulfilled throughout the supply chain.

We will work towards safe and secure procurement based on legal compliance going forwards so that suppliers can understand the intent of these policy and guidelines.

Basic Policy of Procurement

Basic Policy of Procurement


The Unicharm Group will make efforts to fulfill its corporate social responsibility and implement its fair and equitable corporate activities.


1. Compliance with Laws and Regulations, and Social Norms

(1) Comply with related laws and regulations, and social norms, in purchasing activities.

(2) Provide business partners with fair and equitable opportunities for competition in purchasing activities, regardless of nationality, size, or track record.

(3) Require business partners to implement appropriate management of information obtained in purchasing activities.


2. Giving Due Consideration to Human Rights and Labor

(1) Engage in purchasing activities with corporations which place importance on respect for human rights.

(2) Engage in purchasing activities with corporations which give due consideration to the appropriateness of labor practices.

(3) Respect the importance of engaging in purchasing activities with corporations which promote appropriate employment practices.


3. Environmental Responsibility

(1) Value corporations which understand the importance of, and promote, environmental conservation in purchasing activities.

(2) Emphasize environmentally friendly raw materials in purchasing activities in an effort to achieve a recycling-oriented society.


4. Procurement of Safe and Secure Products and Materials that Provide Peace of Mind

(1) Choose products and materials for which safety has been confirmed in purchasing activities.

(2) Choose economical and high quality materials and products in purchasing activities.

(3) Emphasize the ability to manufacture and supply products that meet requirements in purchasing activities.


5. Development of Relationships of Mutual Trust

(1) Cultivate a relationship and trust with business partners within the scope of social norms.

(2) Strive to enhance business performance mutually through exchange of essential information with business partners.

Sustainable Procurement Guidelines

Unicharm Group Sustainable Procurement Guidelines


These guidelines define the ethical standards that Unicharm wants all of its suppliers to adhere to, in order to help realize sustainable procurement. We expect all of our suppliers to understand and comply with the intent of these guidelines.


1. Compliance with laws and social imperatives

1) Legal compliance

■Comply with laws and regulations (antitrust laws, personal information protection laws, subcontracting laws, etc.), as well as social imperatives related to individual country and region.

2) Fairness in transactions and prohibition of bribery

■Comply with laws related to fair trading, fair competition and antitrust.

■Prohibit all stakeholders from offering or accepting bribes (monetary or non-monetary benefits) and from abusing superior bargaining position.

3) Management and protection of information

■Comprehensively manage and protect confidential information and build a structure that prevents information leakage.

■Use suppliers' intellectual property rights only after concluding appropriate contracts and do not use them illegally.

■Properly handle personal information.


2. Giving due consideration to human rights and labor (Refer to the Unicharm Group Policy on Human Rights.)

1) Respecting the International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization (ILO) declaration

■Respect the International Bill of Human Rights (the Universal Declaration of Human rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) and the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

2) Respecting human rights

①Prohibition of child labor

■Do not employ children who do not meet the minimum age requirement.(A child is defined as any person younger than 16 years of age, unless local minimum age law stipulates a higher age for work or mandatory schooling in which case the higher age requirement applies.)

②Prohibition of forced labor

■Do not employ any form of forced or inhumane labor, hold a person in slavery or servitude or engage in human trafficking.

■Employ only people who voluntarily wish to be employed and do not restrict their rights to freely leave their jobs.

③Prohibition of discrimination

■In recruitment and employment, do not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, religion, physical impairment, etc.

3) Prohibition of inhumane treatment

■Respect the human rights of employees and do not subject them to inhumane treatment such as physical abuse, physical punishment, harassment, physical oppression or sexual abuse.

4) Fair employment

①Working hours

■Comply with the working hours set forth by the local laws and regulations of individual country and region (excluding crises and emergency situations).

②Proper compensation

■Pay employees in compliance with local compensation-related laws and regulations on minimum wage, overtime work, piecework pay, etc.

■For overtime work, pay a wage premium in accordance with the local laws and regulations of the individual country and region.

③Ensuring health and safety

■Clearly identify potentially dangerous locations related to work and take preventive actions and implement workplace safety measures.

■To prepare for emergencies, take steps such as confirming the reporting requirements in the event of an emergency, establishing rules for notifying employees and installing fire detectors.

④Respecting freedom of unionization and the right to collective bargaining

■Do not, in any way, obstruct employees' right to form a labor union using legal and peaceful means in accordance with applicable laws.


3. Responsibility to the environment

1) Environmental conservation

①Legal compliance

■Comply with the environment-related laws and regulations of the individual country and region.

■In accordance with local laws and regulations, submit the required administrative reports when necessary and retain records.

②Control of substances that are harmful to the environment

■Control discharge of harmful substances that can cause air pollution, water quality degradation, etc.

■Control discharge of harmful substances that can cause soil contamination.

■Control discharge of waste generated during manufacturing, product usage and end-of-life disposal.

③Promotion of resource conservation and recycling

■Strive to conserve resources, manage waste and promote recycling.

■Improve usage efficiency of energy (such as electricity and fuel).

■Strive to consume sustainable resources such as alternative energy sources.

④Promotion of global warming countermeasures

■Identify substances that contribute to global warming, assess their emissions and retain records.

■Control discharge of substances that contribute to global warming.

2) Promoting procurement of sustainable raw materials (Refer to the Forest-derived Raw Materials Procurement Guidelines.)

■Prohibit use of illegally logged lumber.

■Do not consume natural-resource-derived raw materials such as lumber and water excessively but utilize resources in step with the cycling speed at which nature recovers.


4. Procurement of safe and secure products and materials (Refer to the Unicharm Group Materials Safety Guidelines.)

1) Supplying safe materials

■Report component composition including the content of chemical substances deemed harmful by the Unicharm Group.

2) Supplying materials that are high in quality and for which the supplier has large supply capacity

■Submit safety data sheets (SDS) for materials.

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