Response of Nissan Motor Company to Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, regarding the report by somo (Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations): “Automakers not driven by responsibility”

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Response of Nissan Motor Company to Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, regarding the report by SOMO (Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations): “Automakers not driven by responsibility”
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Nissan Motor Corporation to respond to the report by SOMO (Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations), “Automakers not driven by responsibility,” 24 February 2010, available here:     

The following is Nissan’s response:
15 March 2009
Thank you for your email.  I’m sorry this response is a little delayed, but we have been looking into this matter globally.
As I’m sure you know, automotive supply chains can be very complex, sometimes going four or more levels deep and involving hundreds of companies. It is very difficult for us to monitor Tier 5 organizations that supply Tier 4, and so on up the chain until it gets to the vehicle manufacturing plant. We cannot confirm at this point whether resources from the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are used in the development of parts or components for our vehicles.
That being said, as a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, Nissan is committed to promoting responsible corporate citizenship and we expect our suppliers to have that commitment as well. As an example of that expectation, I have attached (below) a portion of Nissan North America’s master contract for our direct suppliers which includes some very clear language about Nissan’s commitment to the Global Compact and that the contractor and subcontractors will comply with the Global Compact as well.
If you have any further information regarding the supply chain that begins in the Congo and winds up at a Nissan manufacturing plant, please let us know. We will investigate and take action as needed.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me or Motohiro-san if you have further questions.
Best regards,


Fred Standish

Nissan North America, Inc.


Corporate Communications

20. Compliance with Laws and Corporate Social Responsibility.
20.1 Contractor shall comply and shall ensure that all subcontractors comply with all applicable laws of countries and regions in which they operate, including, but not limited to, environmental, labor, child labor abuse, forced labor, working environment, anti-trust, unfair competition, consumer protection, and privacy laws and regulations.
20.2 Contractor shall comply and ensure that all Subcontractors comply with the concepts in the United Nations Global Compact (the “Global Compact”), which can be accessed at The “Core Values” of the United Nations Global Compact include:

Human Rights:

1. Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and

2. make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

Labor Standards:

3. Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;

4. the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor;

5. the effective abolition of child labor; and

6. the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.


7. Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;

8. undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and

9. encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.


10. Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

20.3 Contractor shall establish and maintain an effective and appropriate internal control structure and system in order to strictly comply with all the applicable laws as mentioned in Section 20.1 above and the Core Values.
20.4 Contractor shall notify Client immediately upon discovery of any apparent or threatened violation of any Applicable Law or actions inconsistent with the Core Values.
20.5 Contractor shall investigate such violation or actions as mentioned above without delay, and shall take remedial actions against such violation or inconsistent actions immediately. Concurrently, Contractor shall report to Client such investigation results and remedial actions.
20.6 Contractor shall indemnify, defend and hold Client harmless against any claim, damage or loss arising from, or in connection with, Contractor’s breach of this Article 20.
20.7 Client shall be entitled to terminate this Agreement without any liability to Supplier immediately upon written notice to Contractor, if Contractor’s breach of any of this Article 20 significantly undermines the brand image or goodwill of Client and its products.
20.8 Remedies available to Client as mentioned in this Article 20 shall be cumulative and in addition to any other or further remedies implied or available at law, in equity or under this Agreement.
20.9 Contractor further warrants that it has complied with and will continue, in performing hereunder, to comply with all applicable laws, including, but not limited to, the Magnuson-Moss Consumer Warranty Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, federal and state automotive and other safety requirements, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and (if the Services or applicable Purchase Order is made with reference to a government contract) the applicable provisions of the Armed Services Procurement Regulations, the Federal Procurement Regulations, and Executive Order 11246 of September, 1965. In the event that of any failure with respect to the foregoing, Client, at its option, may return the goods for correction or replacement at Contractor's expense, or may demand a full refund of all monies paid pursuant hereto. Contractor commits to fulfill all requests for content data on parts supplied to Client, including, without limitation, requests for NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) and AALA (American Automotive Labeling Act) documentation. Any costs incurred by Client as a result of Contractor's non-compliance may be charged back to Contractor.

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