CSR Advisory Board 2016
ITOCHU Corporation management and outside stakeholders held a CSR Advisory Board meeting at the Tokyo Head Office on February 17 to discuss sustainability. The CSR Advisory Board was set up to facilitate a dialogue with external stakeholders about whether the direction of ITOCHU's sustainability approach matches the needs of society within the context of the diversification and expansion of ITOCHU's business activities.
Based on effectuation of the Paris Agreement in November 2016 as an international framework for the promotion of measures against global warming, this year's board discussion focused on "Impact of Climate Change on Business Activities," "Material Issues and Promotion of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)," "Expansion of ESG Investment" and "Information Disclosure to Stakeholders." Specialists from the financial sector, NGOs and academia provided their frank opinions based on such matters as the investment environment and other companies' trends during the lively discussion. They also expressed their hopes for ITOCHU, stating that ITOCHU Corporation's business activities including those on renewable energy are contributing to the solution of social issues and they hope ITOCHU will continue addressing those issues by expanding its businesses, taking environmental changes, such as climate change, as business opportunities. The opinions and input that the advisors provided will be reflected in future sustainability promotion efforts and, through dissemination of information, lead to enhancing understanding among stakeholders about ITOCHU's business activities.
February 17, 2017
The Impact of Climate Change on Business Activities
Representative views of participants
The Paris Agreement is an international treaty that is legally binding and under which PDCA cycle is implemented by organizations on the United Nations' level. It is distinctive in that all nations, including developed and developing nations, make reduction efforts, and corporations and local governments are also involved in the implementation of countermeasures. There are moves which temporarily counteract the global momentum to address global warming, such as the policies of the Trump administration of the U.S. In the long run, however, as a common measure, the Paris Agreement will be more important than the political fluctuations of one country. ITOCHU Corporation's business activities — such as wind power generation in Europe that the company promotes jointly with the U.S. and CITIC, and the Karawang International Industrial City that is resistant to flooding and power outage and creates local employment- contributes to solving climate change and other social issues. I hope that the company will continue such activities by expanding its scale of business.
Initiatives on ESG investment in Japan were delayed compared to Europe. However, it has been making rapid progress, because of the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) that was signed with the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in September 2015. It has also resulted in growing concern about ESG investment. For example, investment managers evaluate companies based on ESG meeting and SDGs as the international framework. It is important to make quantitative, easy-to-understand explanations about measures for adapting to economic risks, such as the reduction of agricultural crop yield attributed to climate change, and contributions to social issues including the improvement of the quality of life of local residents.
Disclosure of ESG information is becoming mandatory globally. For example, the EU has put the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) into effect and the Financial Stability Board promotes climate-related financial disclosures. It is necessary to aim for solutions to global issues including climate change through our main business and disclose information about the company's strengths to investors and stakeholders in a way that is easy for readers to understand. I believe that the next-generation company workers will not only pursue profit but also try to obtain job satisfaction in view of such aspects as their companies' future visions, value creation and social contribution activities. I think dialogues with such next-generation workers are essential for the sustainable growth of a company.