Modern Slavery is a criminal offence under the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. It can occur in various forms including servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which include the deprivation of an adult or child’s liberty by another, collectively called Modern Slavery. Over 40 million people live in some form of Modern Slavery worldwide according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), 25 million of them are victims of forced labour. These inhumane practices should not be tolerated or assisted. Companies can play a major role in preventing Modern Slavery by firmly implementing human rights for all workers along their whole supply chain.
The following statement discloses the efforts Panasonic Energy Europe has put into effect to tackle Modern Slavery at our company sites and along our entire supply chain. Panasonic Energy Europe – in the following statement also referred to as ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’ – is committed to a work environment that is free from Modern Slavery in accordance with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015, especially Art. 54 ‘Transparency in supply chains’.
Panasonic Energy Europe published its first Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement in 2016. This third statement demonstrates our continuous effort to prevent Modern Slavery from occurring in our company and supply chain.
Panasonic Energy Europe is part of the global Panasonic Group which is head-quartered in Japan. Panasonic Corporation is one of the largest electronic manufacturers with 590 consolidated companies located globally.
Panasonic Energy Europe NV was established in 1974 and is the sales company for Panasonic’s consumer battery business in Europe; it predominantly distributes and sells batteries and battery chargers to European customers and consumers.
We are committed to creating ‘A Better Life, A Better World’, continuously contributing to the evolution of society and to the happiness of people around the world.
Our business is very diverse and covers different areas among consumer electronics, housing, automotive systems and business solutions. Our operations in these areas are driven by our four key business units:
As a global company we operate a highly complex supply chain, with suppliers located around the globe. For our main business – the manufacture and provision of electronic products – our supply chains include the sourcing of raw materials and minerals.
Under our top level Procurement Policy we operate our Supply Chain CSR Promotion Guidelines which outlines our basic stance on CSR procurement issues. Suppliers are expected to follow these guidelines which we communicate directly to them and which are also available at our website. Furthermore, we commit ourselves to the Panasonic Clean Procurement Policy, which highlights our principles for fair and ethics-based procurement.
With regard to the risk of sourcing conflict minerals, so funding organisations that be-have without proper regard for human rights or act otherwise unethically in conflict zones, we strive to adhere to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for responsible Supply Chain of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.
Our Policies. Our stance against Modern Slavery works alongside our policies to ensure a responsible supply chain. Panasonic has various procedures in place helping us to identify and mitigate risks as well as verifying the absence of Modern Slavery in our supply chain.
Our most important policy is the Panasonic Code of Conduct. It includes requirements to create a working environment defined by respect and human rights for all Panasonic employees. Furthermore, it states that Panasonic will not employ people against their will. To us, our goal is that not only everyone working for Panasonic but also those whose work relates to our company has read the Code of Conduct and acts according to its requirements.
Complementing our Code of Conduct is the Global Human Rights and Labour Policy. Both cover issues such as working hours, wages, humane treatment, prohibition of discrimination, protection of privacy, concern for the human rights of foreign workers, trainees, and younger labourers, the freedom of association and more. This way we ensure that our business activities contribute to a respectful environment where all employees are treated rightfully.
In our business and supply chain we strive for a continuous process of tracking and assessing the ongoing performance of our suppliers regarding human rights and labour issues. In a very dynamic and volatile environment it is important to reassess possible risks and respond to changes.
In the Slavery and Human Trafficking statement from last year we announced plans for future work for the coming years under 4 headings:
While good progress has been made on the first two subjects as already detailed above, slower progress has been made on the last two.
However the challenge to tackle Modern Slavery is a dynamic process that does not always follow a straight line. Having been made aware through the media of certain working conditions for employees in our supply chain in recent years, we appreciate the need to maintain a process of continual improvement in these risk areas. Panasonic is committed to bring increasing transparency to our supply chain to help ensure workers’ protection. We will continue to put our effort into the elimination of situations that allow any form of Modern Slavery to arise in our supply chain.
This statement has been approved by:
Panasonic Energy Europe NV.