Human Rights Policy
As a global financial services group, Mizuho has long committed itself to growing together with our customers in a stable and sustainable manner and bringing together our group–wide expertise to contribute to the prosperity of economies and societies throughout the world.
Mizuho is aware that creating lasting value, and realizing our vision to be the most trusted financial services group with a global presence and a broad customer base, requires us to pursue corporate activities in a manner that is in harmony with societal expectations. Mizuho realizes our potential to impact human rights throughout our own operations and business relationships.
Mizuho commits itself to respecting internationally recognized human rights in our "Mizuho Code of Conduct".
This Human Rights Policy sets out in further detail the content of this commitment to meet our responsibility to respect human rights, pursuant to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, throughout our global operations. It is approved by our Board of Directors.
The policy applies to all officers and employees of the Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. group companies.
Mizuho expects its business partners to share our conviction to uphold the corporate responsibility to respect human rights.
2. International Standards
In addition to ensuring compliance with applicable laws wherever we operate, Mizuho's approach to human rights is based upon the International Bill of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work ("ILO Declaration") and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
In the event of discrepancies between internationally recognized human rights standards and domestic laws, Mizuho will follow the higher standard. Where domestic laws conflict with international standards, we will seek ways to respect the principles of internationally recognized human rights.
We strive to carry out appropriate due diligence activities to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts of our operations, and will continue to further integrate human rights into our existing corporate processes.
Mizuho is a signatory to the UN Global Compact and respects the social responsibility guidance standard ISO 26000.
3. Our Employees
Mizuho is committed to treating all employees with dignity and to ensuring respect for their human rights. We assign the highest priority to fulfilling our responsibility to provide a healthy and safe working environment for our employees.
We are guided by principles such as those in the ILO Declaration, including as regards nondiscrimination, the prohibition of child labor and forced labor, and freedom of association and right to collective bargaining.
We offer equal employment opportunities to all, promote diversity and inclusion and do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind, including on the grounds of gender, nationality, race, age, ethnic origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
We value an open dialogue with our employees and have established robust employee consultation systems to create a supportive work environment. We are making every effort to provide a framework that maintains impartiality while protecting the rights of employees when addressing concerns or responding to complaints.
Mizuho has established a Committee for the Promotion of Human Rights Education, and will work diligently to build the capacity of each employee with respect to their own rights and those of others.
4. Our Clients
Mizuho recognizes that as a financial services provider, we can contribute to or be linked with adverse human rights impacts by way of our business relationships in all sectors. Mizuho strives to perform adequate due diligence to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts associated with our business operations, using our leverage where appropriate.
We have prepared several industry sector policies and will supplement these in the future as needed. These policies provide guidance on evaluating and assessing clients and transactions with respect to environmental and social risks, including potential adverse human rights impacts relevant to the sector.
Mizuho Bank implements the Equator Principles to manage its environmental and social risks when providing finance for projects. The Equator Principles require a project to give appropriate consideration to indigenous peoples' rights and labor conditions, and to conduct consultation with locally affected communities. Mizuho Bank applies its in–house Equator Principles Implementation Manual to project related financing transactions which fall under the Equator Principles' scope.
In our asset management businesses, Mizuho Trust & Banking and Asset Management One accept and implement the "Principles for Responsible Institutional Investors ≪Japan's Stewardship Code≫" for "responsible institutional investors" to fulfill their stewardship responsibilities. In addition, these entities are signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), pursuant to which they engage with investee companies and monitor fund management companies with respect to ESG related issues.
5. Our Suppliers
Mizuho's operations are supported by a network of suppliers providing goods and services, such as office supplies, computer systems and outsourced labor. For certain of these, we undertake annual processes to assess suppliers' adherence to the responsibility to respect human rights. Where necessary, we take action appropriate to the circumstances.
We are aware of the need to develop a more robust approach and to take steps forward in this area. We will make efforts to communicate this policy to our suppliers in a phased manner and request our suppliers to uphold a standard of respect for human rights commensurate with this policy.
6. Communication, Engagement and Disclosure
We are committed to disclosing our progress on our human rights journey. We will track and periodically report on our activities with respect to human rights via our website.
Mizuho will continuously work on establishing appropriate mechanisms to ensure rights holders have access to remedy when needed. Concerned rights holders can bring to our attention their concerns through our branches, headquarters, call centers, designated telephone lines and via our website.
Mizuho places emphasis on engagement with our stakeholders and strives for transparency and responsiveness. We have benefited from the views of stakeholders in the drafting of this policy and devising of our implementation strategy. We are committed to remaining engaged with stakeholders and to revising the text of this policy when appropriate.