The Sumitomo Chemical Group lists active participation in global initiatives as one of its Basic Principles for Promoting Sustainability. To promote sustainability (i.e. help realize a sustainable society through business and achieve our sustained growth), we are actively participating in initiatives because we consider it important to work with a broad range of organizations, including various international organizations, national and local governments, companies, and industry groups.
Initiative Participation Record
Our UN Global Compact Activities
The Sumitomo Chemical Group joined the UN Global Compact (UNGC) in January 2005, as the first Japanese chemical company. The UNGC is a voluntary initiative that encourages participating companies and organizations to help create a global framework for realizing sustainable growth and take action as a good member of society by demonstrating responsible and creative leadership. It outlines ten principles related to protecting human rights, abolishing unfair labor practices, adapting to the environment, and preventing corruption, and over 13,000 companies and organizations have signed on. We are one of the 41 Global Compact LEAD companies in the world, recognized for our constant engagement with the UNGC and out business activities that comply with the UNGC’s ten principles.
In fiscal 2019, we participated in two action platforms: “Pathways to Low-Carbon and Resilient Development” and “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.”
In Pathways to Low-Carbon and Resilient Development, we participated in the Ambition Loop, which is a collection of case studies about public-private cooperation to create zero-carbon economic growth, and introduced our own activities.
In Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, we participated in regularly held online seminars and collected data on anti-corruption initiatives in each country. We also participated in and networked at the subcommittee meeting held in New York. In September 2019, we participated in the 11th annual UN Private Sector Forum and conducted networking and information sharing activities. During the same period, we also participated in the Climate Action Summit 2019 and the SDG Summit 2019 held at the UN and deepened our understanding of the latest sustainability-related trends in each country.
LEAD Company Certification Standards
- Participate in at least two UNGC action platforms, contribute to UNGC activities on an ongoing basis, and clearly demonstrate leadership in line with the Ten Principles and Global Goals
- Release an annual sustainability report detailing the progress of initiatives for the Ten Principles
Participation in the WBCSD*
The Sumitomo Chemical Group joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in 2006 and has participated primarily in activities related to addressing climate change.
Recently, we have broadened the scope of our activities while strengthening our alliances with member companies in the chemical sector. In 2018, we participated in formulating the Chemical Sector SDG Roadmap, which organizes sustainability-related fields and issues pertaining to the chemical industry using the SDG framework with the aim of realizing sustainability.
In addition, in 2019, we participated in the formulation of the WBCSD TCFD Chemical Sector Guidance. The guidance explains how to make effective disclosures using the frameworks of the TCFD recomendations for the chemical sector and details the fundamental elements needed to analyze scenarios.
This organization was established to advocate for business sector views on sustainable development. The group provides advice to help promote sustainability at international conferences, such as the World Economic Forum, the B20 Summit, and the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC.
Initiatives for TCFD* recommendations
The Sumitomo Chemical Group uses the framework of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations for disclosing information on addressing climate change and actively communicating our efforts, with the recognition that such disclosures reflect the demands of the current era.
Initiatives in line with the TCFD recommendations have only just begun globally. Going forward, through continual dialogue that is perpetuated by corporate disclosures and feedback from investors in response to said disclosures, we expect an international consensus to form about how data related to climate change should be disclosed. By participating in initiatives related to the TCFD recommendations amid this situation, we are collaborating on the creation of guidance through dialogue between investors and companies while learning best practices.
Our Efforts through Participation in External Initiatives
|June 2017||Supported TCFD recommendations concurrently with their publication|
|From August to December 2018||
Joined in the TCFD Study Group led by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
|Since December 2018||
Joined WBCSD TCFD Preparer Forum
|Since May 2019||
Joined the TCFD consortium established by Japanese industrial and financial communities
In October 2019 at the TCFD Summit, Chairman Tokura introduced the Company’s
This privately helmed special team was established by the Financial Stability Board, which comprises financial agencies of major countries, at the request of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors. The task force encourages companies to make disclosures related to climate change.
Participating in the New Global Environmental Initiative the Alliance to End Plastic Waste
The Sumitomo Chemical Group joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), launched on January 2019, as one of the founding members. The AEPW is a new alliance of global companies formed to advance solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean.
Given that plastics are useful materials widely used in every part of modern life, the AEPW will undertake a number of initia-tives in collaboration with such global organizations as the WBCSD to minimize and manage plastic waste in the environment. The goal is to invest $1.5 billion over 5 years, mainly in the following four key areas that we have been working in.
- Infrastructure development to collect and manage plastic waste and increase recycling
- Innovation to advance and scale new technologies that make recycling and recovering plastics easier and create value from all post-use plastics
- Education and engagement of governments, businesses, and communities to encourage action
- Clean up of concentrated areas of plastic waste already in the environment, particularly the major conduits of waste, like rivers, that carry land-based plastic waste to the sea
The Sumitomo Chemical Group has positioned contributing to the recycling of plastic resources as a material issue that management should address and has been working to develop various technologies to aid its efforts, especially those related to the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). Participation in the AEPW will prompt us to further accelerate its efforts to help end plastics waste in cooperation with other participating companies that share the same aspirations.
Our ICCA* Activities
The Sumitomo Chemical Group participated in the leader group for energy and climate change of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA). We contributed to joint international research related to helping reduce GHG emissions through chemical products and technologies. We also worked to promote the spread of the results of the research.
In addition, we also participate in the leader group for chemical substance policy and health. We conduct surveys related to regulatory trends around the world and mechanisms for relaying information on chemical substances contained in products. We also cooperate in promoting widespread product stewardship in each participating country, focusing on those in Asia. Furthermore, we participated in a task force on plastic waste problems and in discussions based on sound science related to problems surrounding microplastics and plastic substitutes.
This organization was established to harmonize the strategies of chemical industry associations and councils around the world through dialogue and cooperation. As the principal representative of the chemical industry, ICCA presents opinions to international organizations about key topics shared by its members and various activities of the chemical industry.
Our WEPs Activities
The “Women’s Empowerment Principles” (WEPs) are seven principles formulated collaboratively in March 2010 by the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), which is a voluntary commitment framework between companies and the UN, and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM, now UN Women). With companies taking proactive steps and positioning gender equality and female empowerment at the core of management, the expectation is that the WEPs will be applied internationally to promote the economic empowerment of women.
The Women’s Empowerment Principles
- Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
- Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and nondiscrimination
- Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers
- Promote education, training and professional development for women
- Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women
- Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy
- Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality
In 2013, the Sumitomo Chemical Group (under the President’s name) endorsed the “Women’s Empowerment Principles” (WEPs). Since 2015, we have participated in the annual WEPs forum held annually at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Furthermore, we have participated in the Global Compact Network Japan’s (GCNJ (UNGC’s local network)) WEPs Subcommittee as a leading company since its founding in fiscal 2016. Since fiscal 2017, we have conducted activities and messaging to support the specific initiatives of each participating company, referencing the seven WEPs to address issues related to empowering women in the workplace. Through these efforts, we are actively enhancing the international competitiveness of GCNJ signatory companies and thereby helping raise the bar for gender equality in Japanese society.
GCNJ’s WEPs Subcommittee Meetings Attended by the Company: Fiscal 2019 Activities
|1||July 18, 2019
|Intro to WEPs: latest international trends and impact on Japan||Asako Osaki
National Coordinator, We Empower Japan
|2||September 6, 2019
|Diversity that reverberates with top management||Haruaki Deguchi
President, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
|3||November 14, 2019
|Addressing investors’ ESG concerns: focusing on the activities of the 30% Club Japan||Minoru Matsubara
Resona Bank, Limited.
|4||January 16, 2020
|How to eliminate gender inequality in companies||Chizuko Ueno
Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo