Policy & Basic Approach
The ITOCHU Group Sustainability Policy
ITOCHU Group, conducting business globally under the spirit of “Sampo-yoshi,” the founding spirit and our Corporate Mission, considers that addressing global environmental and social issues is one of the top priorities in our management policy. We have formulated this policy based on The ITOCHU Group Corporate Guideline of Conduct, “I am One with Infinite Missions,” and The ITOCHU Group Code of Ethical Conduct for the realization of sustainable society.
Identification of Material Issues and Promotion of Businesses that Address the Social IssuesAs a member of the international community, we will identify and assess material issues where we can create the most social and environmental value for that can enhance the sustainable growth of both society and our business.
Establishment of Mutual Trust with SocietyWe will take necessary measures to ensure that we disclose accurate and clear information and expand the information we disclose, and maintain a communicative relationship with our stakeholders. In doing so, we aim to be receptive and responsive to the expectations and demands of society.
Strengthening Sustainable Supply Chain and Business Investment ManagementWe will promote sustainable business activities by preventing and continuing to give consideration to problems for the conservation of the global environment, climate change mitigation and adaption, pollution control, resource recycling, protection of biodiversity and ecosystems, and basic human and labor rights.
We will endeavor to effectively use resources (such as air, water, land, food, minerals, fossil fuels, animals and plants), respect human rights and consider occupational health and safety in the businesses where we invest and in the supply chains of the products we handle.
We request our business partners to understand and implement the concept of sustainability in the ITOCHU Group, and aim to build a sustainable value chain.
We will respect the legal systems of each country and international norms. We will strive to understand the cultures, traditions and customs of countries and regions around the world. We will then engage in fair and sincere corporate activities.
Education and Awareness of Employees to Promote SustainabilityWe believe that the promotion of sustainability starts with each and every employee. Therefore, we will take necessary measures to educate our employees on the material issues we have identified and nurture a sustainability mindset among the workforce. Every employee is expected to adhere to this policy by executing respective action plans drafted in alignment to this policy.
Member of the Board
Executive Vice President
Chief Administrative Officer
Established in April 2006
Revised in April 2022
Reference Guidelines and Principles for Promoting Sustainability
In promoting sustainability, we refer to international guidelines and principles such as The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in September 2015. The guidelines and principles we refer to are listed below.
- The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact
- GRI Standards
- International Integrated Reporting Framework(IIRC)
- ISO 26000 (Social Responsibility)
- TCFD Recommendations
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
- UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)*
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
- Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials
- OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
- The Environmental Reporting Guidelines issued by the Ministry of the Environment
- Keidanren: Charter of Corporate Behavior, Global Environment Charter
- Japan Foreign Trade Council: Shosha’s Corporate Environmental Code of Conduct, Supply Chain CSR Action Guidelines
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Following the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDGs set goals for sustainable development by 2030. The 17 goals address issues such as poverty, starvation, energy, climate change and social equality.
ITOCHU Group’s Concept of Sustainability
The founder spirit and corporate philosophy of our group is “Sampo-yoshi” (good for the seller, good for the buyer and good for society). That is, we aim to contribute to solving social issues by meeting the expectations and trust of our various stakeholders including business partners, shareholders and employees in addition to earning profit.
In April 2018, our company identified seven material issues that incorporate ESG aspects and two perspectives of the impact of social and business. Responding to critical issues (material issues) relating to sustainability also leads to opportunities for earnings in addition to reducing risks in our business. We recognize that our response to those material issues leads to a medium- to long-term improvement in our corporate value.
We will work on these material issues through our core business from the following three perspectives taking into account the current business environment around us. This initiative will allow us to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.
- Sustainable enhancement of corporate value: We have anticipated change seeing it as an opportunity in the course of the development of our group for over 160 years. We have expanded from being a company at the upstream of the industry to one that is also at the downstream and from handling raw materials to also being involved in retail. We have increased the scope of our influence with that. At the same time, we have developed while changing the composition of the products we handle and our business areas together with the times. Therefore, we believe that constantly creating new value beyond the boundaries of our existing business is especially important in improving the corporate value of our group. Our group recognizes the importance of providing new value in our products and services with the “market-in” idea to capture the needs of sellers, buyers and society by utilizing our strength in the points of contact we have with consumers in the consumer sector. Together with this we understand the importance of conducting our business activities taking into account the environment and human rights including in our supply chain.
- Climate change response: Climate change is one of the most urgent global environmental problems. As a group involved in business worldwide, we are striving to adapt to changes in the business environment due to climate change. At the same time, taking this as an opportunity for further growth, we recognize that formulating and implementing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050 and our specific response will lead to an improvement in our corporate value.
- Human capital management and diversity: Our group has inherited the corporate philosophy of “Sampo-yoshi” (good for the seller, good for the buyer and good for society). We are striving to secure and develop human resources who embody the idea of “I am One with Infinite Missions” in our corporate action guidelines. To achieve that, it is essential to implement a human resource strategy which maximizes the abilities of each of our employees regardless of their gender, nationality or age. Accordingly, we have shared examples of our work style reforms such as morning-focused work and health management and personnel measures within our group. We are now rolling out a unique human resource strategy to suit the business of each of our group companies. In addition, the whole of our group will come together as one to expand our corporate value. For example, we will provide meticulous support for issues in recruitment, human resource development and labor management in our group companies.
In April 2018, ITOCHU put forth Material Issues that incorporate an ESG perspective when we formulated the previous medium-term management plan. Addressing these Material Issues through our core business, we will contribute to a sustainable society. ITOCHU’s sustainability initiatives aim to fulfill our responsibilities for the society of today and the future. Also, these initiatives are contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)* adopted by the United Nations in 2015.
- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Targets for sustainable development to achieve by 2030, adopted in September 2015 by member states of the United Nations
We are creating new value by proactively exploring new technologies as we adapt to changing industry structures by venturing beyond existing business frameworks.
We are striving to adapt to the impact of climate change on our business activities, while also promoting business activities that contribute to a decarbonized society and seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We are developing a work environment where all employees feel proud and motivated, and where they can leverage their diversity to demonstrate their abilities to the fullest.
We are promoting respect and consideration for human rights in our business operations and ensuring stability in our business, while also contributing to the development of local communities.
We are striving to improve the quality of life for all people and are contributing to the creation of healthier and more affluent lifestyles.
We are contributing to the creation of a recycling-oriented society by giving consideration to biodiversity and other environmental issues while undertaking the effective utilization of resources as well as their stable procurement and supply, in line with demand in each country.
We are ensuring appropriate and efficient execution of operations through independent, objective, and effective oversight of management by the Board of Directors and increased transparency in decision-making.
Identification and Review Process for Material Issues
Since ITOCHU Corporation first identified Material Issues in 2013, we have conducted regular reviews based on trends in the international community and the expectations of stakeholders.
The Current Material Issues were identified in April 2018 in consideration of ITOCHU’s sustainable growth and the social impact of its business, based on changes in social conditions and the business environment, such as the adoption of the SDGs and the effectuation of the Paris Agreement, as well as ITOCHU’s corporate philosophy of “Sampo-yoshi.” While the original material issues focused on consideration for the environment and society (CSR), the revisions are based on “our efforts through core business,” “alignment with management strategy,” “medium- to long-term social change,” and “the addition of governance elements.”
The material issues’ selection process is as illustrated.
Material Issues’ Selection Process
Discussion Processes with External Stakeholders (Experts)
We received frank opinions from experts who have diverse backgrounds and expertise, who expressed their expectations for ITOCHU, such as “The ESG perspective is becoming more important in the future. Think about how society and the environment affect corporate activities in the medium to long term, and respond to social needs with ITOCHU solutions.” as well as opinions based on the investment environment and trends of other companies, and had lively discussions regarding the selection of material issues.
January 15, 2018