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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; and
  • Personal ethics-as an individual person.
  1. 1

    Placing 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.

  2. 2

    Compliance 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.

  3. 3

    Transparent Management

    We actively disclose information to all stakeholders, such as customers, shareholders, employees, clients, local communities, industry groups, public offices, and non-profitable organizations, so as to make the management transparent and engage in corporate activities that are trusted by society.

  4. 4

    Preservation 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.

  5. 5

    Resolute 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.

  6. 6

    Respect for Personality and Human Rights

    We maintain a working environment where there is no discrimination due to race, religion, nationality, origin, academic history, gender, disability, or other private matters, and also respect the personality and human rights of all individuals in all aspects of corporate activity.

  7. 7

    Contribution 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.

  8. 8

    Consideration 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.

Supplemental Provisions

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.

Yakult Ethicial 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.
 We shall also be aware of this Code of Conduct at all times, since one’s behavior in private may adversely affect not only one’s own daily life but also one’s business duties.
 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. 

  1. Basic Code of Conduct

    1 Placing Customers First

    1-1 Placing Customers First
    1-2 Provision of Products that are Safe and Offer Peace of Mind

    2 Compliance with the Social Norms

    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

  2. Code of Conduct for Business Activities

    3 Transparent Management

    3-1 Disclosure of Corporate Information and Communication with Society

    4 Preservation of Information

    4-1 Protection of Confidentiality
    4-2 Appropriate Use of Social Media

    5 Resolute Stand against Antisocial Forces

    5-1 Resolute Stand against Antisocial Forces

    6 Respect for Personality and Human Rights

    6-1 Comfortable and Open Work Environment
    6-2 Prohibition of Sexual Harassment
    6-3 Prohibition of Power Harassment

  3. Code of Conduct for Working with Society

    7 Contribution to Society

    7-1 Promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility Activities

    8 Consideration for the Global Environment

    8-1 Efforts to Preserve the Environment

Each company of the Yakult Group is allowed to modify a part of this Code of Conduct according to its business category, trade form, and details of its products and services, provided, however, that no provision shall be in conflict with the Code of Conduct.

  1. Basic Code of Conduct

    I
    Placing Customers First

    1-1 Placing Customers First
    The uniqueness of our corporate activities continues to be our research in the area of utilizing beneficial microorganisms for people's health, which is also the basis of our foundation and development. In addition, we must provide good products and services by accurately understanding our customers’needs and looking at things from their position.
     It is essential to communicate with customers in order to have them understand our products and services well and ensure that they become loyal customers.

    1-2 Provision of Products that are Safe and Offer Peace of Mind
    Not only in the research, development and production phases, but also in the shipment, store delivery and home delivery phases,
     the securing of safety and the provision of products and services that customers can trust and be satisfied with is the basic policy of our corporate activities.
     Should any accident or problem arise from products or services provided, prompt and appropriate handling is necessary at all times. Consistency in such an approach and handling will lead to peace of mind for customers.

    2
    Compliance with Social Norms

    2-1 Compliance with Related Laws and Regulations
    If a company or any of its employees violates any laws or regulations, the company will be subject to legal sanctions and may also suffer significant loss to its public credibility.
     We must at all times comply with laws and regulations in countries and regions where we carry out any corporate activity.

    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.
     There are also morals and manners that should be observed as a member of society. We must conduct ourselves in a sensible manner, conscious of our responsibilities.

    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 clients.
     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
    The provision of gifts and entertainment to public servants may be considered a criminal act (bribery). Furthermore, there is an increasing tendency to voluntarily restrain such activities in private companies. No one connected to the companies of the Yakult Group must, directly or indirectly, receive from or provide to clients, persons concerned or customers gifts and entertainment outside socially-accepted norms or common sense.

    2-5 Respect for Local Cultures and Customs
    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.

  1. Code of Conduct for Promotion of Business Activities

    3
    Transparent Management

    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. Actively provide accurate and useful information to all stakeholders such as customers, shareholders, employees, clients, the local community, industry groups, public offices, and non-profitable organizations, in addition to interactive communications with them.

    4
    Preservation of Information

    4-1 Protection of Confidentiality
    Maintenance of confidential information that has come to knowledge in the course of performing business operations is a basic requirement in the performance of duties. Not only corporate information but also information on customers and clients must be strictly managed in accordance with relevant laws, regulations and corporate regulations.
     Information on customers and clients must not be used for any purpose that is not justifiable.

    4-2 Appropriate Use of Social Media
    In recent years, the diffusion of social media has enabled anyone to transmit information to the general public. Opportunities for companies to use social media have also increased.
     Social media make our life convenient, however, transmission of wrong information or careless statements may lead to serious problems. If such wrong information relates to a company, the company may encounter problems.
     Social media are used not only between friends and family members, but also among various people such as employees, customers, and clients. We must understand that information transmitted by an individual could affect society in an unforeseen way. When using social media, it is important to have self-awareness and responsibility as a staff member of Yakult even when they are used privately.

    5
    Resolute Stand against Antisocial Forces

    5-1 Resolute Stand against Antisocial Forces
    We must 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. Employees must never subscribe to or place an advertisement in a magazine issued by such anti-social forces, or present money or goods to them, and, in addition, must always have a sense of crisis management and be committed to not allowing interference by any anti-social force.

    6
    Respect for Personality and Human Rights

    6-1 Comfortable and Open Work Environment
    Personality and human rights must be respected, and we must strive to promote fair employment practices such as job creation for women and disabled persons. Also, we should create an open and free-spirited corporate culture by respecting the personality of respective employees and fostering human resources with initiative and creativity.

    6-2 Prohibition of Sexual Harassment
    Sexual harassment discourages employees from working, disrupts order at workplaces, and otherwise deteriorates the working environment. Never conduct such behavior.
     In the event of suspicion of sexual harassment, the company shall handle the matter while being mindful of the protection of privacy. If an act of sexual harassment is discovered, the company shall take strict disciplinary action.

    6-3 Prohibition of Power Harassment
    Power harassment refers to the behavior conducted by a person in the context of superiority in his/her workplace, such as a business position and human relations, which leads to mental and/or physical distress beyond the proper level of work duties suffered by his/her subordinate, or the deterioration of the entire working environment. We must never conduct such behavior.
     In the event of suspicion of power harassment, a company shall handle the matter while being mindful of the protection of privacy. If an act of power harassment is discovered, the company shall take strict disciplinary action.

  1. Code of Conduct for Working with Society

    7
    Contribution to Society

    7-1 Promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility Activities
    Corporations have a responsibility and obligation to society to take part in social contribution activities. We should positively undertake social contribution activities as a good corporate citizen.

    8
    Consideration for the Global Environment

    8-1 Efforts to Preserve the Environment
    Conservation of the global environment is one of the most important universal tasks to be addressed by not only the country and local municipalities, but also corporations and individuals, in a positive and continuous manner. While being conscious of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle), corporations have the role and responsibility to conduct corporate activities taking into account the global environment, in areas such as resource and energy saving, development, production and logistics of products in consideration of the environment, and reuse of resources.
     Each of us should have a heightened awareness in daily life at all times to progress our efforts in consideration of the environment.