Respect for Human Rights

Our Policy

INPEX supports international standards such as the International Bill of Human Rights, the International Labor Standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the principles of the United Nations Global Compact. To demonstrate the stance on respect for human rights and fulfill the responsibilities, INPEX established and announced the INPEX Group Human Rights Policy in May 2017. In accordance with that policy, INPEX takes measures to address the human rights of all stakeholders including the supply chain in each country and region where INPEX conducts business. Our Human Rights Policy prohibits all forced labor and child labor and confirms our respect for freedom of association and protection of the right to organize.

To comply with the United Kingdom Modern Slavery Act 2015, each year since FY2016 INPEX has released a statement on the Company website to disclose the policies, systems, and measures for preventing slave labor and human trafficking within the Company and throughout the supply chain.

Embedding Human Rights into Our Approach

INPEX’s approach to human rights is outlined in the INPEX Group Human Rights Policy approved by our Board of Directors. The director in charge of compliance, who is appointed by the Board of Directors, chairs the Compliance Committee, and reports to the Board of Directors on human rights-related risks and performance.

According to the INPEX Group Human Rights Policy, Corporate Social Responsibility Principle, Business Principles, and Code of Conduct that applies to all executives and employees of the INPEX Group, all executives and employees are required not only to comply with laws and regulations but also to respect social norms and act with high moral values. Our Code of Conduct, in particular, makes the following statements concerning human rights.

  • We recognize that human rights are important rights that derive from the dignity of individuals, and we respect the human rights of individuals in relevant countries.
  • We respect international human rights codes, and we pay attention not to be involved in any act that may infringe human rights.
  • We do not discriminate based on factors such as race, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, creed, religion, birth, nationality, disabilities, or educational background.
  • We do not force employees to work against their will, and we do not cause children to work.

The Compliance Committee, which consists of directors, and executive officers, is chaired by the director in charge of compliance, meets regularly to ensure strict compliance with corporate ethics and the Code of Conduct. The General Administration Unit manages day-to-day responsibility for human rights and serves as the secretariat of the Compliance Committee. It also regularly holds liaison meetings of representatives from each business unit to promote the above-mentioned human rights initiatives, including the prevention of harassment.

Human Rights Due Diligence in Operator Projects

For projects in which we serve as the operator, we have included human rights clauses in the terms and conditions of procurement contract. In particular, for the Ichthys LNG Project in Australia, we have performed human rights due diligence on contractors by including human rights-related questions in the tender document for the selection of new contractors or suppliers.

For projects in which we participate as a non-operator, we have performed questionnaire survey of the operators of each project in 2020 to confirm the status of their human rights initiatives.

Salient Human Rights Risks

We invited an external human rights expert to conduct a human rights risk assessment on our operated projects. The key objectives of the assessment were as follows.

  • Identify salient human rights risks
  • Identify issues for human rights risk management

The assessment used the HRIA (Human Rights Impact Assessment) tool, which draws on RepRisk's database and documents from Verisk Maplecroft and other research organizations.

The salient human rights risks identified are:

  • Child labor
  • Forced labor
  • Impact on cultural heritage and traditional culture
  • Infringement on the rights of local community
  • Discrimination in recruitment and employment
  • Environmental damage impacting local community

This assessment also analyzed the management system control, including the PDCA cycle and monitoring, as well as how the INPEX Group Human Rights Policy should be. It also included consideration of good industry standard and practice. As a result, no material gaps were identified in the assessment. Notwithstanding, we continue to enhance our management system.

Human Rights Initiatives

We apply IFC Performance Standards as our standards. For both new and existing projects, we conduct studies in the regions where we operate on possible environmental and social impacts including labor issues and human rights, identify risks, and implement prevention, mitigation and monitoring. In Australia, more than 250 dialogues were held with government, industry, business, and community stakeholders in 2020. We conduct studies and assessments in advance of decommissioning on the environmental and social impacts of abandoning wells and removing facilities, fully consider the safety of local community and the environment, and takes appropriate measures with the consent of local residents.

Audit of Contractor in compliance with IFC Performance Standards

In Australia, INPEX’s key contractors who are engaged in the Ichthys LNG operations and its Phase 2 construction activities are required to have their Human Resources/Industrial Relations Management Plans (HRIRMP) in place in accordance with INPEX’s requirements. Contractors compliance with their HRIRMPs are monitored and reviewed through regular meetings and assurance activities. HRIRMP is compliance to International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards 2 – Labor and Working Conditions, including child labor, forced labor, working conditions and grievance mechanism

In 2020, INPEX conducted an audit of a contractor who is performing work in the fabrication yard in Batam, Indonesia. The review was focused on checking the level of compliance with the IFC Performance Standards 2.

The audit did not identify any non-compliance of the IFC Performance Standard 2 and was assessed that the contractor has the necessary systems, processes, plans and procedures in place to identify and eliminate any potential breaches within their direct workforce and any other employees engaged at the fabrication yard. The review recommended that the contractor share findings with INPEX from annual ethics audits on their subcontractors and labor suppliers to provide continued visibility and transparency moving forward.

Human Rights Impact Assessments

For the Abadi LNG Project in Indonesia, we examine and evaluate the human rights requirements of the IFC Performance Standards, as part of our ongoing environmental and social impact assessments. Our effort to address human rights in each process of the environmental and social impact assessments date are summarized as below.

Year Processes Efforts and initiatives
2019 Selection of evaluation items

Collect and analyze existing data of below items:

  • Impacts on vulnerable groups (women, children, the financially vulnerable people, the elderly, and people with disabilities)
  • Impacts on the local people’s traditional customary law-based way of life (culture, customs, means of livelihood, etc.), sacred sites, cultural heritage.
Baseline Survey
  • Performed FGD (Focus Group Discussion), Household Surveys, and KII (Key Informant Interview) to understand the current status of vulnerable groups in the affected communities and their traditional customary ways of life (culture, customs, means of livelihood, etc.), sacred sites, cultural heritage, and land rights.
2020 Impact assessment
  • Performed impact assessments on vulnerable groups and traditional ways of life during construction and operation phase.
  • Developed impact mitigation measures and monitoring plans based on these impact assessments.

In 2021, we plan to continue to consult with local authorities on the results of the impact assessment, impact mitigation measures, and monitoring plans. In addition, we plan to develop internal regulations and documents related to human rights, including the requirements of VPSHR (Voluntary Principles on Safety and Human Rights), and establish a Social Management System.

Human Rights Due Diligence

Since FY 2016, the Company has been conducting human rights due diligence at domestic and overseas sites as part of efforts to enhance its human rights management. We found some human rights risks in the form of poor complaints handling processes of our suppliers and other business partners. These risks were also reflected in questions asked in the previously mentioned self-assessments conducted by major suppliers. From that time, we have continued discussions with each site to ensure implementation of the PDCA cycle through the following.

Desktop Investigation
  • Identify five potential cases of human rights violations in the oil and gas sector over the past year through the analysis on the database of RepRisk, a provider of the ESG risk research and analysis: Child labor, forced labor, freedom of association, right to collective bargaining, employment discrimination, social discrimination
  • Classify the country risk of the areas in which we operate into three levels: high / medium / low risk based on documents issued by Verisk Maplecroft and other research organizations
Interview Surveys
  • Conduct surveys and interviews, with reference to the Global Compact Self Assessment Tool for the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact, at all INPEX business sites to understand the status of responses to human rights risks identified through the desktop investigation
Examination and Implementation of Action Plans
  • Confirm the status of the management of human rights risk based on the assessment as mentioned above
  • Provide feedbacks on the results of the assessment to each business site and discuss future actions, such as widely disseminating the INPEX Group Human Rights Policy and providing human rights education
  • In an effort to strengthen respect for human rights based on the results of the assessment, continue to provide human rights education to employees

Raising Awareness of Human Rights

To deepen awareness of the importance of taking into consideration the human rights of various stakeholders in day-to-day operations, we conducted human rights training for all executives and employees in FY2017 and has been continuing the training for all new employees since FY2018. We participate to the IPIECA*1 Human Rights Working Group and collaborate on activities, including review of human rights due diligence in the supply chain and information-sharing on the prevention of modern slavery, such as child labor and forced labor. There were no occurrences of serious violations related to discrimination or human rights abuse in FY2020.

  1. *1IPIECA
    The global oil and natural gas industry association for environmental and social issues

Grievance Mechanism

The Company sincerely responds to grievances from all stakeholders, both internal and external, at all the domestic and overseas businesses. Internally, we have developed and are operating a Whistle-blower System for the early detection of compliance violations of human rights, discrimination, and harassment. In FY2020, we received five grievances related to human rights, discrimination and harassment, all of which were handled appropriately in accordance with the Whistle-Blowing Rules.

We have set up designated page for inquiry and grievance on our website to respond to opinions from external stakeholders, including local residents and business partners in a timely and appropriate manner. In addition to the website, we also provide support in Indonesia in the local language by telephone. In 2020, no human rights complaints were received in the country where we operate, namely Japan, Indonesia and Australia.

Dialogue between Labor and Management

We promptly recognize discrimination, human rights, harassment and other issues, and minimize related risks. We have also established a grievance system to comply in good faith with our compliance obligations. In addition, the labor agreement with the INPEX labor union stipulates that the union possesses three labor rights (the right to organize, the right to bargain collectively, and the right to act collectively). Opportunities for discussions on labor issues between management and labor representatives are provided at overseas offices as well. We strive to maintain and develop a healthy labor and management relationship by regularly providing opportunities for their representatives to exchange views and ideas on a wide range of issues, including not only labor issues but also challenges and the future outlook of the Company. In addition, in Japan, labor and management meetings are held twice a year jointly by the five labor union branches, and close communication and dialogue between labor and management is also conducted at the branch level.

We provide appropriate notification in advance of any operational change that will significantly affect employees. No complaints have been received so far since the union was formed in October 2008.