Modern Slavery Statement 2023
For the financial year ending 31 March 2023
For the financial year ending 31 March 2023
Toyota (GB) PLC (“TGB”) and Toyota Financial Services (UK) PLC (“TFSUK”) (together (“we” or “Toyota”)) continue to implement and endorse responsible business practices to ensure compliance with all applicable modern slavery legislation and to uphold the integrity of our brands, ‘Toyota’ and ‘Lexus’. This statement sets out the actions we have taken to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking within our businesses and supply chains.
We work closely with our UK manufacturing operations, Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Limited (“TMUK”), to share best practice and experience. We are continuing to publish TMUK’s statement on the TGB website alongside our own to ensure customers, suppliers and other stakeholders have transparency in understanding our approach to modern slavery.
Defining Modern Slavery
The term “modern slavery” encompasses the offences of slavery, servitude, forced, compulsory labour and human trafficking. The Home Office have confirmed that in 2022 there were 16,938 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK, which represented a 33% increase compared to figures in 2021. The Government are particularly concerned that modern slavery could occur throughout an organisation’s procurement activities and highlight sectors such as mining, construction, healthcare, and logistics to be high risk.
Despite the challenges in identifying modern slavery, there are generic indicators often present. While this is not exhaustive nor conclusive, these can help to identify potential victims. Victims may appear anxious or fearful and may isolate themselves from others. They could be threatened with violence, potentially having injuries that they are unable to explain to others. They may have very few possessions, including a lack or absence of normal identification documentation. Further, they may not be allowed to travel on their own or appear to be in a controlling relationship.
Toyota manufactures and distributes both Toyota and Lexus vehicles and offers financial services. With this goal, Toyota has generated a global presence and is one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers.
Toyota’s vision is constantly evolving. We are working towards the offering and availability of diverse mobility solutions and a more sustainable world, both within the business and in the vehicles we manufacture. Our “Beyond Zero” ambition is at the forefront of this. Currently, we offer four different electrified powertrains and plan to build 40 new or updated electric vehicles by 2025 aimed to reducing or removing tailpipe emissions.
We are exceptionally proud of our Worldwide Official Mobility Partnership with both the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees in our mission to give freedom of movement to humankind.
As the ultimate parent company of both TGB and TFSUK, Toyota Motor Corporation (“TMC”) set the direction and principles which its subsidiaries follow. These principles consist of conducting business with honesty and integrity, respecting people and maintaining good relationships through open and fair communication. TGB and TFSUK ensure this approach is adopted and implemented by senior management at a national level.
TGB is the national sales and marketing company for Toyota and Lexus in the UK, focused on managing the franchise retail network, supporting customers and the sale and marketing of Toyota and Lexus parts and vehicles. Most of our vehicles are sold to customers through our appointed retailer network but we are increasingly responding to customer demands by selling direct to customers using our online channels and other online partnerships. Additionally, we supply private corporations and public sector organisations with fleets of vehicles to support their business needs. We manage relationships with our aftermarket suppliers, ensuring they share our values and work with us to uphold the integrity of our brands.
TFSUK offers and provides finance products and solutions, such as Hire Purchase products. These finance products are for new and used vehicles and for private and business customers. TFSUK’s finance products are available for Toyota brand and Lexus brand vehicles or any other brand vehicles. TFSUK operates under its primary trading names ‘Toyota Financial Services,’ ‘Lexus Financial Services’ and ‘RedLine’. TFSUK is not an insurer but in a capacity of an insurance mediator TFSUK offers specific insurance types covering Total Loss Asset Protection and Minor Damage Protection.
We maintain a clear and comprehensive Modern Slavery Policy which is reviewed, updated, and approved by the Board of Directors regularly.
Our Policy reiterates our zero-tolerance approach to human rights infringements and reinforces our seven Guiding Principles.
Our Policy forms part of the induction process for every individual that works for us. We require all staff to read, understand and comply with this Policy to foster an ethical corporate culture.
TGB’s Sustainable Purchasing Guidelines which documents our expectations towards suppliers are clear in stating that the business does not tolerate forced labour or any other form of modern slavery including human trafficking.
We hold all our contractors, suppliers and other business partners to the same high standards. We include relevant prohibitions against modern slavery in our tendering and contracting processes. We place clear obligations on suppliers to hold their own suppliers to the same high standards. Where appropriate, we grant ourselves rights to audit and terminate supplier relationships where necessary and require our suppliers to do the same.
It is the responsibility of every individual in any part of our business or supply chains to prevent, detect and report modern slavery. We have a reporting system which supports internal reporting as well as reporting via in-management route, and in both cases supports anonymous reporting. The Board of Directors have overall responsibility for ensuring compliance with this policy and are supported by the wider Legal and Compliance teams.
Our Procurement and business teams are critical in conducting supplier due diligence. In every instance a check will be done on suppliers’ financial status. A company’s financial status can be a key indicator for assessing risk.
Before the restraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, TGB would undertake numerous Modern Slavery audits every year. With restrictions now lifted, we have renewed this effort by returning to physical audits. So far in 2023, we have completed supplier audits and a further two are in the planning stage.
Whilst TFSUK’s business is primarily the provision of financial services and not the direct provision of physical goods, TFSUK require their partners to comply with modern slavery laws and clearly oblige its suppliers to do so under their service contracts.
Both TGB and TFSUK can reasonably be considered low risk companies for modern slavery. This is largely because the discreet activities carried out and many of those employed by both companies cover predominantly professional and administrative services. We have identified and acknowledged that there is a degree of exposure to modern slavery situations for those who support our businesses for example service providers that maintain our office building and facilities. We assert that such exposure remains relatively low risk considering our assessment of the service providers and our applicable policies and processes.
Many of the companies that supply us fall within the scope of section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and are obliged to produce their own Modern Slavery Statements, making them aware of the requirements they must follow and thereby reducing risk. It is our intention in the next reporting year to widen the scope of our reporting and enhance our focus on the customer journey.
We are proud of the comprehensive training we provide to all our staff. This training comprises of a mandatory e-learning module that is required to be completed annually. This equips all staff with the awareness and skills to identify and report any acts of modern slavery, within and outside of the workplace.
Our Whistleblowing Policy provides all staff with a simple process for reporting suspected instances of modern slavery. This sets out the procedure in which a concern can be raised internally or via a third party whistleblowing helpline. Reports can be made anonymously and every concern is thoroughly investigated and protection and support are provided for whistleblowers.
Our Standard Terms and Conditions
The Terms and Conditions on which we engage with suppliers afford us rights of audit and termination should any incident of modern slavery occur. Looking forward, we will continue to develop our terms and conditions to ensure that they are always updated and afford maximum protection.