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ITOCHU Corporation has formulated an Environmental Policy covering the entire ITOCHU Group. ITOCHU is aware of the impact that its business activities may have on the global environment. We have thus built a framework for assessing the impact of the products we handle, and in particular before making new investment, in order to prevent environmental risk.
Environmental Management System
In 1997, ITOCHU Corporation became the first trading company to establish an environmental management system (EMS) based on ISO 14001, and we continue to work to improve our EMS. The system's aim is to comply with environmental laws and regulations, and take precautionary approaches to environmental risks. Specifically, the system controls and manages targets through a yearly PDCA (plan-do-check-act) cycle of setting targets for preventing environmental risk; evaluating and analyzing progress; and acting to achieve our targets.
ITOCHU Corporation's Environmental Management Organization
Our president has the ultimate responsibility for ITOCHU Corporation's environmental management organization. The president appoints a CAO who has complete authority for the environmental management system. Concrete management work is carried out by the CSR Committee, established to review environmental policies and perform annual reviews of corporate-wide activities. The CSR Promotion & Global Environment Department of the Corporate Communications Division serves as the CSR Committee's secretariat. Environmental managers, assigned to each division that is subject to environmental audits (59 total in fiscal 2013), and assisted by eco-leaders (260 total as of June 18, 2012), are responsible for promoting environmental conservation in their respective divisions.
Internal Environmental Audits
In fiscal 2012, In-house environmental audits based on ISO 14001 were carried out in 64departments. Findings from the audits, conducted over roughly six months, are instrumental in taking precautionary approach on the environmental risks. Audit teams are comprised of members of the CSR Promotion & Global Environment Department and employees qualified to serve as In-house environmental auditors (423 registered individuals), and carried out their work with an emphasis on auditing legal compliance. We have applied a new auditing approach – a combined format in which two or three departments were audited at once. This approach not only boosted audit efficiency but heightened audit effectiveness by encouraging mutual understanding of other departments.
Results of External Inspections
Each year, ITOCHU is inspected by the Japan Audit and Certification Organization for Environment and Quality (JACO) in connection to ISO 14001 certification. The fiscal 2011 inspection was to retain certification, and is performed in the first and second years of certification. Inspections in the third year are to renew certification, after which the cycle repeats itself each year. The outcome of the inspection was an overall “improvement” grade and continued certification, based on an acknowledgement of ongoing system improvement efforts by ITOCHU.