Rengo states in our Corporate Philosophy that we will “Act always with integrity, maintaining high ethical standards and ensuring strict legal compliance.” Compliance does not only entail simply complying with the letter of the law; Rengo also strives to understand the purpose of laws and regulations in the background to their text and to meet the expectations and demands of society in order to practice fair and good-faith management.
Systems for Promoting Compliance
Rengo’s Ethics Subcommittee has formulated policies on compliance with laws and regulations, and related duties are performed by the Legal Affairs Department and Compliance Promotion Office. Compliance promotion managers are appointed at all divisions, plants, and mills to coordinate with each other and further enhance compliance activities. Furthermore, Group companies are carrying out similar activities.
In June 2014, Rengo and some Group companies received cease-and-desist orders and surcharge payment notices from the Japan Fair Trade Commission in regard to violations of the Antimonopoly Act. Rengo’s appeal was rejected in February 2021, but we have filed litigation rescinding the trial decision, and proceedings are still underway.
Rengo conducts training and education to raise the compliance awareness of each and every employee. From FY2012, this training has focused primarily on the Antimonopoly Act and has been provided to employees of Group companies as well.
Rank-specific training includes training on the basic concepts of compliance for new employees when joining the company and lectures on compliance as a whole on occasions such as the promotion of employees to plant managers or managerial positions. In addition, regular lectures by legal advisors are conducted at the beginning of meetings attended by directors, general managers, and Group companies’ top management.
In order to prevent violations of laws and regulations, Rengo, separate from the ordinary business reporting route via immediate superiors, established consultation helplines inside and outside the company (within a law firm) so that employees can report and consult on compliance matters, by telephone, email, in writing, or other means. Furthermore, the external helpline can also be used by employees of Group companies. In cases of whistleblowing, we strictly protect the privacy of whistleblowers, and at the same time handle issues appropriately so that whistleblowers are not treated unfairly.
Since FY2017, personnel have visited business sites in Japan, verifying the status of compliance with the Antimonopoly Act, the Act against Delay in Payment of Subcontract Proceeds, Etc. to Subcontractors, and other laws and regulations, checking for incidents of harassment, gathering information and sharing opinions regarding relations with local communities, and furthering understanding and awareness regarding compliance. In FY2020, due to changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, only one division was visited, but we plan to continue conducting visits, including visits to Group companies, in the future.
Protecting Intellectual Property
Rengo recognizes the importance of protecting its own intellectual property and observing the intellectual property rights of other companies, and has therefore established a dedicated department for handling these issues. We also conduct investigations with the aim of securing rights for our own intellectual property and preventing violations of the intellectual property rights of other companies, and we strive to utilize and manage intellectual property rights appropriately. We post educational materials regarding intellectual property and investigative materials regarding the technical fields in which we are active on our intranet. We also have established opportunities for educating sales personnel and research and development personnel. In FY2020, we received zero right violations warnings.