Yakult Ethical Principles
The Yakult Ethical Principles have been established as the norm for all companies of the Yakult Group and its employees to engage in corporate activities in a proper manner based on the following three elements:
- ・Organizational ethics—pertaining to corporate activities
- ・Business ethics—related to the respective duties assumed by each company or employee
- ・Personal ethics—as an individual person
1Placing Customers First
We, through the practice of Shirota-ism, which represents the spirit of our founding, provide products and services that customers can trust and be satisfied with.
2Compliance with Social Norms
We are committed not only to complying with laws, regulations, and other rules in countries and regions where we engage in corporate activities, but also to respecting the respective cultures and customs therein and to conducting ourselves with good sense.
We actively disclose information to all stakeholders, such as customers, shareholders, employees, business partners, local communities, industry groups, public offices, and nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, so as to make the management transparent and engage in corporate activities that are trusted by society.
4Preservation of Information
We handle confidential information of our and other companies, and personal information of all persons concerned, including customers, in an appropriate manner and thoroughly maintain and manage such information.
5Resolute Stand against Antisocial Forces
We take a resolute stand against antisocial forces that threaten the daily lives of good citizens or proper corporate activities without bowing to pressure from them.
6Respect for Personality and Human Rights
We maintain a working environment where there is no discrimination based on such grounds as race, religion, creed, nationality, ethnicity, origin, educational background, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and health status, and also respect the personality and human rights of all individuals in all aspects of corporate activity.
7Contribution to Society
We are committed not only to playing and fulfilling a certain role and responsibility as a member of society, but also to implementing social contribution activities that should contribute to the development of society.
8Consideration for the Global Environment
We deeply understand that the protection of the global environment should be one of the most important tasks for every human being and conduct ourselves in consideration of the environment by saving resources and energy and recycling resources.
The Ethical Principles shall be followed by all companies of the Yakult Group.
Overseas companies of the Yakult Group shall be allowed to modify a part hereof in the light of laws, regulations, culture, customs and other relevant matters of the respective countries to the extent that does not conflict with the spirit of the Ethical Principles.
If any event in violation of the Ethical Principles occurs, the Representative Director of the relevant company of the Yakult Group shall, in resolving the issue, ensure the investigation of the cause and prevention of recurrence and, in addition, disclose the relevant information to the public in a prompt and accurate manner and take harsh disciplinary action against persons concerned including him/herself.
Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct provides details of how we should conduct ourselves everyday based on the establishment of the Yakult Ethical Principles. Our daily behavior is obligated to be in line with these Norms.
Our conduct outside of working hours may affect not only our personal lives but also the company's reputation. Therefore, we must be mindful of this Code of Conduct at all times.
This Code of Conduct provides the specific behavior or approach for all eight items of the Yakult Ethical Principles, and is briefly categorized into three sections: Basic Code of Conduct, Code of Conduct for Promotion of Corporate Activities, and Code of Conduct in Social Relations.
ⅠBasic Code of Conduct
- 1-1 Placing Customers First
- 1-2 Provision of Products that are Safe and Offer Peace of Mind
- 2-1 Compliance with Related Laws and Regulations
- 2-2 Compliance with Internal Rules, Regulations, etc.
- 2-3 Promotion of Fair and Sound Transactions
- 2-4 Self-Restraint with Regard to the Exchange of Gifts and the Entertainment of Customers
- 2-5 Respect for Local Cultures and Customs
ⅡCode of Conduct for Promotion of Business Activities
- 3-1 Disclosure of Corporate Information and Communication with Society
- 4-1 Protection of Confidentiality
- 4-2 Appropriate Use of Social Media
- 5-1 Resolute Stand against Antisocial Forces
- 6-1 Respect for Individuality and Diversity
- 6-2 Positive Working Environments
- 6-3 Zero Tolerance for Harassment
ⅢCode of Conduct for
Working with Society
Any company within the Yakult Group may change part of the Code of Conduct in line with its own business, dealings, or products and services. They may not however, specify content that is in any way contrary to the standards of the Code of Conduct.
ⅠBasic Code of Conduct
１．Placing Customers First
1-1 ［ Placing Customers First ］
Our business activities rely on customers understanding the usefulness and benefits of, and using, our products and services. Therefore, we must always serve our customers with sincerity and humility, keeping gratitude, wholeheartedness, and empathy in mind.
One of Yakult’s strengths lies in research centered on probiotics in the interest of people's health. Drawing on findings from such research, we must keep on placing customers first in our business activities to continue providing products and services that meet customer needs.
1-2 ［Provision of Products that are Safe and Offer Peace of Mind ］
The cornerstone of our business activities is the ongoing provision of products and services that gain trust from and satisfy customers, by making every effort to ensure safety not only in the research, development, and production processes but also in the shipment, store delivery, and home delivery phases.
If an accident or problem occurs that involves the products or services we provided, we will address it swiftly and appropriately without exception.
Consistently acting and responding in that manner will provide customers with peace of mind.
２．Compliance with Social Norms
2-1 ［Compliance with Related Laws and Regulations ］
Should a company or its employees violate any law or regulation, the company not only would be punished under the statute but also could completely lose credibility in society.
We must always comply with the laws and regulations of the jurisdictions where we operate.
2-2 ［ Compliance with Internal Rules, Regulations, etc. ］
We must perform our routine operations with the full understanding of and in compliance with corporate regulations and rules.
We also need to be thoroughly mindful of the morals and manners required of businesspeople, acting with integrity, responsibility, and accountability.
2-3 ［ Promotion of Fair and Sound Transactions ］
We encourage fair competition in a transparent and open environment and appropriate business dealings, without misconduct, profiting by unjustifiable means or imposing an unjustifiable burden on business partners. Purchase transactions must be made following proper procedures.
It is also essential to maintain a sound and adequate relationship when conducting transactions between the companies of the Yakult Group.
For the promotion of fair and sound transactions, various corporate systems and rules must be verified on a routine basis and reviewed where appropriate.
2-4 ［ Self-Restraint with Regard to the Exchange of Gifts and the Entertainment of Customers ］
It goes without saying that providing gifts, entertainment, and other benefits to public officials can be a crime (bribery). In addition, an increasing number of private-sector companies refrain from providing gifts and such to other companies too. No Yakult Group employee is allowed to, whether directly or indirectly, receive from domestic or overseas business partners and other parties—or provide domestic or overseas business partners and other parties as well as customers with—gifts and entertainment that are beyond what is acceptable and proper in society.
2-5 ［ Respect for Local Cultures and Customs ］
Close engagement with local communities is the cornerstone of every company. We, as a part of the local community, must respect local culture and customs and establish a good relationship with the respective local communities. We also must promote corporate activities while communicating and cooperating with the respective local communities.
ⅡCode of Conduct for Promotion of Business Activities
3-1 ［ Disclosure of Corporate Information and Communication with Society ］
Throughout management, we must disclose information required by society in an appropriate and timely manner and promote fair and transparent corporate activities. We actively provide accurate and useful information to all stakeholders such as customers, shareholders, employees, business partners, local communities, industry groups, public offices, and nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, while fostering interactive communication with them.
４．Preservation of Information
4-1 ［ Protection of Confidentiality ］
It is the fundamental duty of every employee to safeguard confidential information obtained during the course of their work. We must stringently protect not only the company’s trade secrets but also information on customers and business partners in compliance with applicable laws, regulation, and internal rules.
Furthermore, information on customers and business partners must not be used for any purpose that is not justifiable.
4-2 ［Appropriate Use of Social Media］
The popularization of social media has enabled anyone to spread information instantly to a large audience. Companies also use social media with greater frequency.
While making our lives richer and more convenient, social media occasionally cause serious problems as a result of misinformation or offhand remarks going viral. If such misinformation pertains to a company, that company may suffer damage to its reputation or other grave harm.
It is therefore essential that we use social media appropriately, whether for business or private purposes. When using it, we must be aware that we are Yakult employees and have the corresponding responsibility, bearing in mind the risk that information posted by a single person may cause unintended consequences to society.
５．Resolute Stand against Antisocial Forces
5-1 ［ Resolute Stand against Antisocial Forces ］
Antisocial forces, whether members or not of organized crime groups, threaten the daily lives of ordinary citizens and legitimate business activities. We stand firm against all antisocial forces without bowing to their pressure, eliminating and rejecting association with them in a resolute manner.
We never subscribe to and place advertisements on any magazines issued by antisocial forces, or provide money or goods to them. Moreover, we maintain a crisis management mind-set that allows no room for interference.
６．Respect for Personality and Human Rights
6-1 ［ Respect for Individuality and Diversity ］
The Yakult Group has a large number of employees, who come from all walks of life. Likewise, the Yakult business is supported by a variety of stakeholders, from customers to shareholders and business partners.
The personality and human rights of everyone we are involved with must be respected and their dignity not be violated. We embrace diversity in terms of race, religion, creed, nationality, ethnicity, origin, educational background, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, health status, and other personal attributes. In no cases do we tolerate discrimination based on those grounds in our business activities.
We respect each other's individuality to create a working environment in which everyone can realize their full potential and be accepted as who they are.
6-2 ［ Positive Working Environments ］
The safety and physical and mental health of employees should be prioritized above anything else. Also, it is equally important to create a rewarding working environment that meets the work-style needs of diverse people and is comfortable for everyone to work in. Yakult Group companies strive to achieve employee work-life balance by developing an environment in which employees can work with peace of mind and by establishing systems that allow them to choose work styles suiting their individual conditions.
6-3 ［ Zero Tolerance for Harassment ］
Harassment of various types, including workplace bullying and sexual harassment, has become a society-wide problem.
Any of these may directly cause the deterioration of the victim's physical and mental health, along with creating a hostile working environment by demotivating the employees and demolishing the workplace's order, among other things. In addition, if the victim files a lawsuit, not only the company sued but also the entire Yakult Group may suffer immeasurable damage in the form of direct and indirect financial losses and a blow to the corporate image, to name a few.
We must always be sensitive to other people's feelings so as not to engage in any kind of harassment. Should an incident of alleged harassment occur, the company will handle it paying due attention to the protection of privacy. If the allegation is substantiated, the company will take strict disciplinary action against the harasser.
ⅢCode of Conduct for Working with Society
７．Contribution to Society
7-1 ［ Promotion of Social Contribution Activities ］
Promoting social contribution activities is a corporate duty and responsibility to society. The Yakult Group undertakes various initiatives in this regard including: helping advance science and technology through symposia; engaging in community development by means of Courtesy Visit Activities, community safety watch, crime prevention activities, dispatch of guest lecturers, and health-related lectures; and endorsing the pink ribbon campaign.
We continue to actively implement social contribution activities as a good corporate citizen.
８．Consideration for the Global Environment
8-1 ［ Efforts to Preserve the Environment ］
The conservation of the global environment is one of humanity's greatest challenges. The issue needs to be tackled not only by national and local governments but also by companies and individuals in a proactive and ongoing manner. To create a sustainable society, companies have the duty and responsibility of conducting business activities in an environmentally conscious way, for example by developing products that contribute to the three R's (reducing, reusing, and recycling) and help save resources and energy, by producing and distributing such products in an eco-friendly fashion, and recycling resources.
Each and every one of us remains keenly aware of environmental issues in our daily lives, making efforts to help protect the environment.