Collaboration with Outside Initiatives

Participation in Initiatives

We participate in the following initiatives to promote sustainability.

Involvement in the United Nations Global Compact


In April 2009, ITOCHU Corporation joined the United Nations Global Compact, a global initiative to achieve sustainable growth for the international community. ITOCHU will fulfill our corporate mission of “Sampo-yoshi” in accordance with the United Nations Global Compact’s 10 principles covering human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact

Human Rights
  • Principle 1 Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
  • Principle 2 make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
  • Principle 3 Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
  • Principle 4 the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
  • Principle 5 the effective abolition of child labour; and
  • Principle 6 the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
  • Principle 7 Businesses are asked to support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
  • Principle 8 undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
  • Principle 9 encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
  • Principle 10 Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

Work with Global Compact Network Japan

ITOCHU is the corporate director of Global Compact Network Japan (GCNJ), the local network for the United Nations Global Compact in Japan. Our proactive participation in this work also includes sending employees to provide assistance with their activities.
The GCNJ learns from other companies’ practices and academics, and also consists of subcommittees for deliberations and exchanging ideas on specific topics concerning approaches and initiatives for sustainability. In FYE 2023, ITOCHU participated in the following subcommittees.

  • ESG Subcommittee
  • Reporting Research Subcommittee
  • Supply Chains Subcommittee

TCFD Consortium

ITOCHU announced its support for TCFD in May 2019, which encourages companies to disclose financial information related to climate change. By participating in the TCFD Consortium*, we will continuously engage in the appropriate disclosure of ITOCHU business risks and opportunities associated with climate change.

  • The TCFD Consortium established on May 27, 2019 by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Ministry of the Environment (MOE), and the Financial Services Agency (FSA) as a body for promoting discussion and deliberation among companies and financial institutions supporting the TCFD mission.

CDP (Climate Change & Water Security)

ITOCHU is actively providing information on ESG initiatives to various stakeholders around the world. As part of these initiatives, we participate in the CDP, an NGO that is recognized worldwide as a global standard for corporate environmental information disclosure. Since FYE 2014, we have been responding to the CDP’s climate change and water security questionnaires.

  • Please refer here[PDF] for our company’s latest answers to CDP Climate Change Questionnaire 2023 (Japanese Only).
  • Please refer here[PDF] for our company’s latest answers to CDP Water Security Questionnaire 2023 (Japanese Only).

Climate Change Campaign “COOL CHOICE” led by Ministry of the Environment

ITOCHU participates in the Ministry of the Environment-led COOL CHOICE climate change campaign to realize a decarbonized society. We are striving to adjust our air conditioning in the summer and winter and to switch off unnecessary electricity. We also conduct environmental conservation activities that all employees can do in their daily lives such as sorting waste and promoting recycling in the offices.

GX League formulated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

In 2022, ITOCHU expressed its support for the GX League Basic Concept established by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and has been actively involving and making proposals at the public-private councils regarding the concept of emissions trading, the carbon credit market, and the ideal way to trade credits in the GX League. Taking into account our involvement of the various initiatives during the preparatory period for the establishment of the GX League, we participated in the GX League, which began in earnest in April 2023. The GX League will take on the challenge of GX (Green Transformation) with a view to achieving carbon neutrality and social change in 2050, and will serve as a forum for collaboration among industry, government and academia to achieve sustainable growth. As a participating company, our company will continue to be actively involved in the league’s initiatives, including emissions trading, which is a concrete policy tool for decarbonization, and contribute to the virtuous cycle of the environment, economy and society, including climate change.

Japan Climate Initiative (JCI)

ITOCHU participates in the Climate Change Initiative, a network of Japanese non-governmental actors actively working to achieve the 1.5 degree target. This network gathers companies, local governments, organizations, and NGOs who support the idea of “participating from Japan on the front line of decarbonization.”

RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)

Please refer here for details of our activities.

GPSNR (Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber)

Please refer here for details of our activities.

KEIDANREN (Japan Business Federation)

  • Committee on Environment and Safety
  • 1% (One Percent) Club
  • Council for Better Corporate Citizenship (CBCC)
  • Committee on Responsible Business Conduct &
    SDGs Promotion
  • Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund /
    Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation

Japan Foreign Trade Council (JFTC)

  • Global Environment Committee
  • Social Contribution & ABIC Committee
  • Sustainability & CSR Study Committee

CSR Europe (Corporate Member)

ESG Disclosure Study Group

Stakeholder Engagement

Policy & Basic Approach

In our diverse range of corporate activities conducted worldwide, ITOCHU Group place strong emphasis on dialogues with various stakeholders. We provide information about the ITOCHU Group activities, and we value the opinions of our stakeholders, both expectations and concerns. For our sustainable growth, we reflect measures in our business activities to further advance sustainability on a company-wide basis.

Stakeholders Frequency Overview of Initiatives Main Methods of Dialogue
Suppliers, Customers, and Consumers Periodically
As Needed
We engage in fair and equitable transactions with business partners and comply with laws and ordinances. By building supply chain management that addresses social issues in human rights, labor and environment, we strive to provide safe and secure products and services to consumers.
Shareholders, Investors, and Financial Institutions Periodically
As Needed
We emphasize dialogue with our shareholders, investors, and other stakeholders from the perspective of achieving sustainable growth and enhancing corporate value over the medium to long term. We strive to reflect obtained inputs into our management strategies and financial and capital policies. Through commitment-based management, we expand corporate value and sustain a positive cycle through effective engagement.
Political Organizations, and Associations As Needed We aim for the settlement of social issues and the sustainable development of the international community. We do this by complying with various relevant laws and ordinances formulated by government agencies and local governments in Japan and overseas. In addition, we promote business in cooperation with government agencies, local governments and industry groups.
  • Participation in the government, the ministries related committees and councils
  • Activity through the trade association (Japan Business Federation, Japan Foreign Trade Council)
  • Click here for details
Local Communities, NGOs, and NPOs As Needed We understand that our business activities affect local communities. Accordingly, we contribute to the sound and sustainable development of local communities. We do this by aiming to solve social issues in communities such as the creation of jobs, development of infrastructure, improvements in living standards and development of the educational environment.
We strive to solve social issues through dialogue and collaboration with NPOs and NGOs.
Employees As Needed We endeavor to develop various measures and systems to realize decent work with aiming a company that is challenging but that does work worth doing.
We work to foster an organizational culture in which diverse human resources create opportunity of self-development and social contribution through their work.
  • Provision of information through the in-house Intranet and bulletins
  • Provision of opportunities to develop abilities through various training sessions and seminars
  • Provision of career counseling
  • Establishment of employee consultation desk system
  • Implementation of employee engagement surveys
  • Labor-union management meetings (including management meetings and settlement of accountings meetings)
  • General employee meetings at each company
  • Employee award system
  • Employee shareholding association
  • Health management
  • Business idea solicitation system

Reference Data FYE 2022: The Expense of Associations and Social Contribution

(Unit: 1 million yen)

Trade Association, Economic Association, Other Association 83 Social Contribution (Donation) 894 (119)
Political Association 30
Total 113

Third Party Opinion

Hidemi Tomita
Managing Director
LRQA Sustainability K.K.

The sustainability issues surrounding companies are extremely wide-ranging. These issues include climate change, biodiversity and human rights. Together with this, companies need to take initiatives across the entire value chains of their businesses. The businesses of general trading companies are diverse and international. Therefore, the breadth of those businesses and the diversity of stakeholders is extremely high compared to ordinary operating companies. That means it is not easy for general trading companies to respond to sustainability issues. In this environment, ITOCHU Corporation seems to be making steady progress in its initiatives to address difficult issues such as grasping and disclosing its greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the scope of its human rights due diligence, and introducing grievance mechanisms. As a result, ITOCHU maintains strong ratings in various ESG assessments.
ITOCHU’s initiatives are characterized by not only responding to these risks but also by proactively viewing SDGs as business opportunities based on its corporate philosophy of sampo yoshi (good for the buyer, good for the seller and good for society). In addition to entering new businesses such as decarbonization, ITOCHU is working on initiatives involving stakeholders from upstream to downstream like with Project Tree which is aiming to realize the traceability and sustainability of natural rubber. ITOCHU is also striving to create cross-industry frameworks such as the Japan Sustainability Fashion Alliance. These efforts constitute an approach suitable for the SDGs era. I hope that ITOCHU will listen to the voices of its various stakeholders and then respond appropriately to risks. I also look forward to it taking on the challenge of creating a better future and delivering new solutions to the world.