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About Meiji

At a Glance

At a Glance

Get to know Meiji at a glance – from our core business to our most important numbers.

Pharmaceuticals

R&D

Medical needs are always diversifying – here's how Meiji is responding.

Society

Society-Oriented Goals

Targets of the 2023 Medium-Term Business Plan (effective until March 31, 2024)
KPI Results Target
FYE 3/2022 FYE 3/2024
All domestic Meiji Group employees to attend a human rights training (including e-learning) at least once annually
(Scope of aggregation: Consolidated domestic subsidiaries of Meiji Group)
Once(target employees :13,000/attendance rate:90%) at least once annually
All overseas Meiji Group employees to attend a human rights training (including e-learning) at least once by FYE 3/2024
(Scope of aggregation: Consolidated overseas subsidiaries of Meiji Group)
Trained for 3 consolidated overseas subsidiaries (target employees: 770 / attendance rate: 99%) at least once by FYE 3/2024
Hold an ESG session for investors, and dialogue with experts three times annually
(Scope of aggregation: Meiji Holdings)
ESG Meeting:once
ESG Advisory Board:twice
three times annually
All domestic Meiji Group employees to participate in social contribution activities at least twice annually (at least once each 6-month period)
(Scope of aggregation: Consolidated domestic subsidiaries of Meiji Group)
Participation rate at least once each 6-month period
First half year term:90% / Second half year term :92%
twice annually (at least each 6-month period)

Respect and Promote Human Rights

Meiji Group’s Basic Approaches to Human Rights

Meiji Group has declared respect for human rights in its Corporate Behavior Charter, and it manages its businesses based on the strong belief that all people are inherently free and deserve equal respect and rights. We will promote respect for human rights throughout the Group and fulfill the Group’s obligations.

Meiji Group Human Rights Policy

We established the Meiji Group Policy on Human Rights in 2016 and have been spreading awareness and implementing human rights initiatives. Subsequently, in March 2020, we revised our policy by clearly stating the Group's respect for international norms on human rights and its commitment to human rights due diligence. We are also working to disseminate this policy to employees in Japan and overseas through internal education on human rights.

On the topic of human rights considerations in the supply chain, in our Meiji Group Supplier Code of Conduct, we clearly state that the Group is committed to taking action against any potential human rights issues in the supply chain, including child labor and forced labor. We hold briefing sessions for suppliers and distribute leaflets to inform them of Meiji Group's expectations.

System for Promoting Respect for Human Rights

In the Meiji Group, the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), who is a member of Meiji Holdings' Board of Directos, is tasked by the President of Meiji Holdings to be responsible for and execute measures related to human rights. Under the supervision of the CSO, Meiji Holdings' Sustainability Management Department leads execution of each of these measures as the main organization responsible for sustainability.

The Meiji Holdings Executive Committee has assembled the Group Sustainability Committee, with the aim of unifying all of Meiji Group's various sustainability-related activities, including those concerning human rights. In July 2019, we established the Group Human Rights Meeting, whose members consist of relevant departments and outside experts, and initiated human rights due diligence activities. Meiji Holdings' Sustainability Management Department, the main department responsible for sustainability, serves as the Meeting's secretariat. The Group Human Rights Meeting has in turn set up sub-committees, each with its own individual area of responsibility. As well as this, they are investigating human rights-related issues, creating action plans for various initiatives, and taking necessary preventive measures. The Board of Directors at Meiji Holdings receives regular reports on these activities and supervises the effectiveness of activity processes and measures.

Figure: human rights management structure

Implementing Human Rights Due Diligence

We started human rights due diligence in FY2019 and it forms our commitment to human rights based on the Meiji Group Human Rights Policy. We make constant efforts to communicate with external stakeholders by: assessing the impact on human rights caused by the Meiji Group’s corporate activities and identifying issues; incorporating these evaluation results into procedures and implementing them for meaningful improvements; follow-up evaluations to review effectiveness; and timely and appropriate information disclosure. By continuous improvement through these processes, we will achieve both respect for human rights and sustainable growth of businesses.

Figure: Human Rights Due Diligence

Identifying Salient Human Rights Risks

In FY2019, we reviewed our entire value chain in the Food and Pharmaceutical Businesses and identified the salient human rights issues.

Figure: Identifying Human Rights Risks and Prioritizing
Salient Human Rights Issues
  1. - Common issues: Discrimination, Harassment, Freedom of association and rights to collective bargaining, Proper labor conditions and wages, Occupational health and safety, Working hours, Rights of foreign workers
  2. - Issues related to R&D: Access to information, Privacy rights
  3. - Issues related to procurement and manufacturing: Child labor, Forced labor, Human trafficking, Healthy lifestyle for local residents, access to water
  4. - Issues related to sales, distribution and consumption: Considering impacts of marketing on children, Customer and user health
  5. - Issues related to disposal: Healthy lifestyle for local residents, access to water

Initiatives for risk assessment, mitigation, and remedy

Our major initiatives in FY2021 were as follows.

1) Risk assessment and response in the supply chain
- Based on the results of a procurement questionnaire survey of 74 suppliers conducted in FY2020, we identified 40 suppliers needing stronger/improved initiatives and requested that they submit an action report. Individual dialogues were also held with two suppliers.
Sustainable Sourcing
- The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) is a non-profit organization established by chocolate manufacturers with the aim of eradicating child labor in cocoa cultivation in West Africa. In 2021, Meiji Co., Ltd. became the first Japanese company to join the ICI and will continue to contribute to the eradication of child labor and forced labor on cocoa farms.

2) Internal risk assessment and response
- Sustainability assessments of Group companies in Japan and overseas
We conducted sustainability assessments (using EcoVadis or original Meiji questionnaires) for 22 Group companies in Japan and three Group companies overseas. Companies with assessment scores falling below a certain level were required to attend interviews, and efforts have begun to correct issues found.
- Human rights issues relating to foreign workers
- Ascertaining the status of foreign workers at domestic directly-operated factories
In February 2020, we conducted a questionnaire on the presence of foreign workers at Meiji Co., Ltd. and Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd.'s domestic directly-operated factories and research institutes, confirming that there are no issues regarding employment contracts or labor management for directly hired foreign workers. In FY2021, interviews were conducted about indirectly employed foreign workers at 12 establishments. These interviews confirmed that no labor management issues were present.
- Establishment of guidelines for employment of foreign nationals
Surveys on the employment status of foreign nationals, which began in FY2019, were completed for all business offices within Japan, including at Group companies, and interviews were conducted for offices employing foreign nationals. With reference to this, we plan to compile the Guidelines for Employment of Foreign Workers in FY2022 to provide a better workplace environment for foreign workers, and to disseminate these guidelines throughout the Group.

3) Human rights education
We conducted an e-learning course on the topic of "Business and Human Rights," which included familiarization with the Meiji Group Policy on Human Rights. Approximately 12,000 Group employees within Japan and 770 Group employees overseas took this course.

Responding to Human Rights Related Laws and Regulations in Each Country and Region
In expanding our business globally, Meiji Group will comply with the laws and regulations regarding the working environment and human rights established in each country, and will act in good faith in all business activities.

Group Employee Training

We engage in education and training activities related to respect for human rights and prohibition of discrimination, prohibition of forced and child labor, prohibition of harassment, safe and healthy workplaces, respect for fundamental rights of employees, and more, based on the Meiji Group Policy on Human Rights.

In-Company Training

In FY2021, we provided e-learning on the topic of "Business and Human Rights" to approximately 12,000 employees in Japan, and conducted human rights education for around 770 employees overseas. The purpose of these initiatives is to familiarize employees with the Meiji Group Policy on Human Rights and raise awareness of human rights issues related to their daily work.

Training for Hiring Personnel

In Japan, we provide training on fair recruitment and selection to hiring personnel at our offices nationwide, and ensure compliance with prohibitions on discrimination in employment and harassment, and with respect for the fundamental human rights of applicants. In addition to respecting people's ability to work of their own free will, we also strive to prevent forced labor through clear advance presentation of working conditions (including work content, hours, rest periods, vacations, holidays, wages, salary increases, and provisions on retirement, etc.) and conclude of employment contracts. We also take action to ensure that all employees meet statutory minimum age requirements at the time of hiring in order to prevent child labor.

Stakeholder Engagement

Promote Stakeholder Engagement

We take every opportunity and use every means to engage in communications with important Meiji Group stakeholders (our customers, employees, business partners, shareholders and investors, global environment, and society). In this way, we answer the expectations of our stakeholders and fulfill our social responsibilities.

Employee Engagement

To achieve the Meiji Group 2026 Vision and be a company that can grow sustainably, we believe improving employee engagement is essential. Therefore, we regularly conduct the “Employee Opinion Survey.”

Communicate with Shareholders and Investors

We hold briefing meetings, IR events, and publish an informative IR website to keep our shareholders and investors up to date on the direction and strategies of the Meiji Group.
Since FY2019 we have held a large-scale ESG meeting for investors on an annual basis.

Dialogues with External Experts

We hold dialogues with outside experts, reflecting their opinions and recommendations in our vision, upcoming fiscal year plans, and business tactics.
As of FY2021, we have established a new ESG Advisory Board that meets twice a year, an evolution of our dialogue with external experts that had previously been held once a year. At meetings of this organization, we will receive advice from external experts on the Meiji Group's initiatives and facilitate an exchange of opinions with the CEO, CSO, and other internal Meiji team members to further strengthen our sustainability activities.

ESG Advisory Board meetings (August 2021 and January 2022)
External Experts
Takeshi Kamigochi
Senior Managing Executive Officer, Vice General Manager, Oil & Fats Business Unit, J-OIL MILLS, INC.

Mari Kogiso
CoCEO, SDG Impact Japan

Peter David Pedersen
Representative Director, NELIS

Environmental Communication

Each plant and research laboratory conducts reporting seminars and study groups to highlight our environmental initiatives for local citizens, local governments, elementary schools, and middle schools. In addition to covering our initiatives for water and air pollution and CO2 reduction, we also listen to feedback to incorporate into future activities.

Communicate with Our Customers

Food Segment

Our Customer Service Center strives to ensure customer trust and satisfaction through prompt, honest, fair, and appropriate service. The center receives a wide range of inquiries regarding products and services. We use this customer feedback to develop new, and improve existing, products and services.

Customer Service Center

Our Customer Service Center uses a proprietary system to record and analyze customer feedback. The center strives to respond politely and provide useful information to allow customers ease of mind in using our products. The center also shares information with related departments to develop and improve products and services for greater customer satisfaction.

Inquiries to the Customer Service Center by Subject (FYE 3/2022)
Content of Inquiries Number of Inquiries Composition Ratio
Product features 27,171 31%
Stores that handle products 21,981 25%
How to eat and store 17,289 20%
Food labeling and package design 7,066 8%
Sales promotion/campaign 5,313 6%
Foreign matter mixed in the product 4,615 5%
Others 3,674 4%
Total 87,109 100%
Investigation of customer satisfaction

Meiji’s Customer Service Center carries out customer satisfaction surveys with the aim of improving the quality of customer support.
- FYE 3/2022 Target: 95 points (out of 100)

Customer Satisfaction Survey Results
FYE 3/2018 FYE 3/2019 FYE 3/2020 FYE 3/2021 FYE 3/2022
Customer satisfaction points 91.1 90.8 91.3 92.2 91.0
Example of improvement in response to customer feedback
    Reflecting Customer Feedback to Improve Products
    <Products> Frozen Food, Meiji Pizza & Pizza (2PC)
    <Customer Feedback> Exterior back label (how to consume) is confusing.
  1. Label on the back says remove the frozen “pizza” from the interior bag. However, the interior bag is clear; I almost put it in my microwave.
  2. Caution! label text is all in red, making it difficult to read. Hard to see which point is the real point of caution.
    <After Improvement>
  1. Modified explanation. Changed “interior bag” to “interior clear bag.” Changed pull-out text next to the picture of the microwave to say, “remove from clear bag; do not wrap in plastic” (vs. “do not wrap in plastic” before change).
  2. Caution! label now in black text, using red text for important points only.

<Exterior back (top)>

Photo: Exterior back

Expiration Date Labelling on Ice Cream for the Consumer Market
Meiji has recently been receiving an increasing number of customer inquiries about the best-before date labelling of ice cream. In a consumer survey that we conducted in November 2019, respondents chose "Safe to eat" as being second only to "Tastiness" as priorities when choosing food products. "Safe to eat" was also the priority that increased the most for consumers over the previous year (see chart). In the survey, 75% of respondents answered that ice cream with expiration labels "Provides confidence" and 67% answered that they "Want expiration date labeling." Although the regulations allow best-before date labelling to be omitted from ice cream, in order to meet our customers' high expectations for food safety, we have maintained such information for all Meiji ice cream, including Meiji Essel Super Cup.

Graph of Priorities when choosing food products
Counseling Office for New Mothers

At Meiji’s counseling office for mothers with infants, nutritionist and national registered dieticians provide consultation on nutrition and childcare for babies and mothers. Making use of an abundance of information and experience, the counseling office gives valuable advice to new mothers, family members, and other persons engaged in childcare.

Breakdown of Inquiries to the Counseling Office for New Mothers by Subject (FYE 3/2022)
Content of Inquiries Number of Inquiries Composition Ratio
Breast-feeding 3,071 45%
Baby food 2,703 40%
Menstruation and health 541 8%
Growth and development 198 3%
Lifestyle and habits 137 2%
Mother and pregnant woman 66 1%
Others 31 1%
Total 6,747 100%

Pharmaceuticals Segment

Medicine Support Center

Meiji Seika Pharma’s Medicine Support Center uses a database to sort and analyze customer feedback. It takes customer feedback extremely seriously, and makes sure to share feedback with relevant departments to ensure better products.

Breakdown of Prescription Pharmaceutical Inquiries by Subject (FYE 3/2022)
Meiji Seika Pharma
Number of Inquiries Composition Ratio
Peripheral product information (packaging, expiration dates, insurance, etc.) 12,037 37%
Efficacy (efficacy, dosage and administration, pharmacology) 6,561 20%
Quality (quality, additives, stability, formulation changes) 5,427 17%
Document requests 3,967 12%
Safety (side effects, etc.) 3,832 12%
Requests 424 1%
Total 32,248 100%
KM Biologics
Content of Inquiries Number of Inquiries Composition Ratio
Document requests 739 54%
Peripheral product information (packaging, expiration dates, insurance, etc.) 254 19%
Efficacy (efficacy, dosage and administration, pharmacology) 197 14%
Quality (quality, additives, stability, formulation changes) 110 8%
Safety (side effects, etc.) 57 4%
Requests 8 1%
Total 1,365 100%
Measures to improve quality of customer support

With the aim of further improving customer satisfaction, Meiji Seika Pharma has undertaken an external evaluation of over-the-phone customer support at its Medicine Support Center.

We are aiming to promote appropriate usage of our pharmaceutical products by offering prompt and accurate information at all times. Through this we hope to contribute to even better medical care.
- Medicine Support Center quality target: 70 points

Medicine Support Center Evaluation Results
FYE 3/2018 FYE 3/2019 FYE 3/2020 FYE 3/2021 FYE 3/2022
External evaluation score (out of 100 points) 80.2 75.1 76.8 76.0 75.3
Improved aluminum sheet used for packing inhalation capsules

We incorporated patient feedback, changing the specification for cutting V-notches in the aluminum sheet to improve usability.
We develop new products to ensure greater levels of customer satisfaction.

Photo: Improved aluminum sheet of inhalation capsules
KM Biologics has altered the printed information for its hepatitis B Vaccine 0.5mL

When administering the 0.5mL hepatitis B vaccine to children under 10 years old it is possible to vaccinate two children with a single packet.* When vaccinating small children, for example during periodic vaccination, the vaccine lot number, expiration date, as well as the manufacturer name, are recorded in the mother and child’s health handbook. However, it is also possible to simply use the sticker appended to the product itself. We have received feedback that an extra sticker would be helpful, for use when administering the 0.5mL standard vaccine to two patients.

* Please make sure to adhere to any applicable warnings that come with the product.

<Details of improvement> The size of the stickers has been changed, and the number of stickers on each box has been increased from 6 to 8.

Adequate labeling is for customers simple to understand

The Meiji Group abides by the regulation and label products which is for customers simple to understand. The Meiji Group confirms the label on products adequate.

Photo: Oisii Gyunyu Labelling
Initiatives for appropriate information disclosure

The Meiji Group complies with laws and corporate ethics in advertising and promotion activities, providing information based on fairly stated content and phrasing to prevent falsehoods or exaggerations. We conduct activities report based on our Pledge to be a customer-oriented company.

Promote Social Contribution

Social Contribution Activities policy

In January 2021 the Meiji Group created the Meiji Group Social Contribution Activities Policy.
Our employees are helping to address various local issues, all the while contributing to sustainable development. It is our goal for each and every one of our employees to share a sense of participation in planning for society’s future.

Social Contribution Activities

The following is a breakdown of our social contribution activities and cost expenditures for FYE March 2022.

Social Contribution Activities*
Type of Social Contribution Activity Amount (Millions of Yen) Share of Expenditure (%)
Charitable Donation 243 8
Community Investments 2,379 86
Commercial Initiatives (incl. Sponsorship Support) 158 6
Total 2,779 100

* Scope of aggregation: Meiji Holdings, Meiji, Meiji Seika Pharma and KM Biologics

Breakdown of Social Contribution Expenditures*
Contribution Method Amount (Millions of Yen)
Cash Donation 224
Personnel Expenses (Volunteer-Related Expenses) 1,823
In-kind giving (products or services), Project Sponsorship 426
Management overhead 306
Total 2,779

* Scope of aggregation: Meiji Holdings, Meiji, Meiji Seika Pharma and KM Biologics

Activities by Topic

Meiji Group is actively engaging in social contribution activities, based on our Social Contribution Activities Policy's three core concepts of "activities to nurture people", "activities to assist society", and "activities to continue the world to the future".
"Activities to nurture people": We pursue activities in nutrition, food culture and sports to support the healthy growth and intellectual development of the children and youth who will be leaders of the future.
"Activities to support society": We pursue activities needed to support the healthy and stable lives of people in local communities involved in our business activities.
"Activities to continue the world to the future": We engage in activities to preserve the natural environment, conserve biodiversity, and encourage recycling of resources, looking ahead to the sustainable development and future of earth. We also engage in activities that support research and development tied to the creation of new health value.

Activities to Nurture People

Nutrition education activities

Our food education seminars at elementary and junior high schools began in 2005. These make use of both in-person guest teaching at schools, as well as online-lessons.

Photo: education activity

Activities to Support Society

The Meiji Happiness Fund

Established in March 2020, the Meiji Happiness Fund aims to raise awareness of sustainability, and instill a feeling of individual connection to social issues. The fund raises money twice annually through the generous, entirely voluntary participation of Meiji Group employees. In March 2022, 2,000 people from all across the Meiji Group took part. With funds raised, we donated approximately 54,000 Meiji food products to "Kodomo-Takushoku-Ouendan" (a food delivery program for children and families in Japan) in May 2022. Through this program, we will provide support to families across Japan facing lifestyle difficulties, which are worsening with the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: Meiji Happiness Fund
Cooperation with the All-Japan Food Bank Promotion Council

The number of families facing greater lifestyle difficulties than before COVID-19 is growing, and food banks face greater needs for support.
Meiji Group wants to help put a smile on the face of these children and their families, which is why we work with the All-Japan Food Bank Promotion Council, donating confectionery for children around important times of year, such as Children's Day, summer vacation, and Christmas. The donation in April 2022 marked our eighth donation, bringing the total number of donated confectionery and food products to 520,000.

Specialized formula business

We manufacture and supply a total of 18 types of specialized formula for babies born with congenital metabolism disorders that prevent them from drinking their mother’s milk, or regular commercial powdered milk. These include registered special milk, which is officially registered with the Japan Cooperative Project on Special Formula and subsidized by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, as well as other special formulas (non-registered, yet subsidized) designed for treatment of non-congenital metabolic disorders. We focus at all times on safe production and distribution.

Rare diseases drug for Dravet’s syndrome treatment, DIACOMIT®

Dravet’s syndrome is an intractable form of epilepsy occurring in infancy. The disease develops in one infant in every 40,000. The syndrome is a severe disease that has a major impact on patients and their families because it causes seizures, delays physical and mental development, and has a high mortality rate.
As there was no effective drug for Dravet’s syndrome treatment available, We launched DIACOMIT® Dry Syrup (oral suspension) and DIACOMIT® Capsule in 2012. We make efforts to provide accurate and timely information on the effectiveness and safety of this drug to healthcare professionals for the correct dosage to patients. Patients, their families, healthcare practitioners, and the government have high expectations for DIACOMIT®, and they regularly express their gratitude to us for the drug.

<Voices of outside experts>

Meiji Group’s efforts for children with intractable diseases.
Yushi Inoue, M.D.
Emeritus Director of Hospital Shizuoka Institute of Epilepsy and Neurological Disorders National Hospital Organization

A drug for the rare disease Dravet’s syndrome, DIACOMIT has been prescribed to approximately 500 children since launch in 2012.
Covering all cases, we have collected high-quality post-marketing surveillance, a rarity for many drugs.
Enlightenment tools have been developed to enable information provision that benefits illness understanding and treatment. Recently, I have the impression that it has become less difficult to manage the severe seizures associated with this illness, which may be attributable to the popularity of DIACOMIT.
Special formulas are vital to the lives of children with intractable diseases. We are grateful that the company is responded to social needs by continuing to offer these products.

Donations to the United Nations Population Fund

We established a partnership with the United Nations Population Fund Kenya branch in November 2020, and took part in a project between January and March 2021 to support the economic empowerment of 200 women and girls in Kibera, Nairobi-the largest slum in Africa.

Photo: Donations to UN populations fund
Photo: Donations to UN populations fund

Activities to Continue the World to the Future

Paper Drink Carton Recycling Campaign

Our employees take part in the Paper Drink Carton Recycling Campaign twice annually. Through this campaign we are aiming to foster greater environmental awareness among our employees.

Photo: Paper drink carton recycling Campaign
Biodiversity Conservation Activities

We are working together with various local governments and NPOs to conserve biodiversity, both in Japan and overseas. Our areas of activity include Meiji Group production sites, as well as the Meiji Group-owned “Meiji Group Nature Conservation Area Kumamoto Sunlight Forest.”

Photo: Silver orchid