NAVER, founded in 1999, is a Republic of Korea company that operates the country’s largest search engine. It is also known for its communications services, including LINE Messenger, used by over 200 million users worldwide. The company is active in a dozen countries across the globe.
The company has made a commitment to support users with disabilities. It works with social enterprises to provide employment for people with disabilities and reports the number of its own employees with disabilities. It also discloses how the economic value it generates is distributed among stakeholders.
The company has programmes covering tech skills for IT developers, as well as training in artificial intelligence (AI) and data management for teachers. The company has also supported remote learning centres during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NAVER clearly discloses how responsibility for cybersecurity is managed at the senior level in the company. It follows best practice for monitoring, responding to and reporting on security incidents. The company also discloses information regarding government requests for data. NAVER also discloses its mechanisms for reporting online harms to children and options for controlling sensitive content for children.
The company should disclose additional information about its existing skills development initiatives, for example metrics on participation and impact. The company can also consider supporting digital literacy.
NAVER should demonstrate how it practises open innovation and should consider supporting non-profit and underrepresented start-ups. It should also demonstrate how it supports inclusive and ethical innovation by reporting the number of its women employees engaged in technical roles. Additionally, it should report how ethics are considered in its research and development (R&D) activities.
Core social indicators
The core social indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
NAVER commits to respecting human rights and the ILO core labour rights. However, it does not have a publicly available policy statement that expects its business relationships to commit to respecting the ILO core labour rights. The company reports its potential human rights issues. But it does not disclose a process to identify, assess and take action on the salient human rights risks associated with its operations and with its business relationships. However, the company does engage with stakeholders impacted by its potential human rights issues. Furthermore, the company has a grievance mechanism, accessible to both workers and external stakeholders, to raise human rights concerns and complaints.
The company states in its ESG report that it creates a safe and healthy workplace. However, it does not have a publicly available policy statement committing to respect workers’ health and safety. Furthermore, the company does not specify that it does not require workers to work more than regular and overtime hours. It also does not disclose the percentage of its workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements, and it provides no relevant evidence in relation to paying its workers a living wage. In relation to workforce diversity, the company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender. However, it does not disclose other indicators of diversity per employee category.
NAVER discloses a global tax strategy. However, it does not state that an executive or board-level group or individual oversees this strategy. Furthermore, it does not disclose income tax payments in individual tax jurisdictions. Although the company states in its ESG Report that it is politically neutral, it does not disclose its approach to lobbying and political engagement in a publicly available policy statement. Similarly, NAVER takes steps to identify and address bribery and corruption and has a grievance mechanism for stakeholders to raise concerns and complaints. But it does not prohibit bribery and corruption in a publicly available policy statement.