The Sumitomo Chemical Group lists active participation in global initiatives as one of its Basic Principles for Promoting Sustainability. To promote sustainability (i.e. contributing to establishment of sustainable society through achieving sustainable growth of business.), 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 17,000 companies and organizations have signed on. We are one of 37 Global Compact LEAD companies in the world, recognized for our constant engagement with the UNGC and our business activities that comply with the UNGC’s ten principles.
We are participating in two action platforms: “Climate Ambition” and “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.”
In addition, at the September 2020 UN General Assembly, which coincided with the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and the 20th anniversary of the UNGC, we signed onto the UNGC’s A Statement from Business Leaders for Renewed Global Cooperation. The purpose of this statement was for the world’s business leaders to again emphasize the importance of international cooperation and global governance. The statement was presented to the UN Secretary-General along with a list of CEOs who signed on to it.
Gist of a Statement from Business Leaders for Renewed Global Cooperation
- This year, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the world is facing a range of crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and economic uncertainty.
- Against this backdrop, we as global business leaders commit to demonstrate leadership based on ethics, practice good corporate governance, and take measures to respect human rights so as to correct structural inequalities and injustices, by working together with all stakeholders in the spirit of renewed global cooperation.
- In making this commitment, we call on governments to protect human rights, ensure peace and security, and uphold the rule of law in order to ensure the prosperity of businesses, individuals and societies; to contribute to the welfare of people and the planet by strengthening international cooperation and national legal frameworks; and to enhance multilateralism and global governance so as to fight corruption, build resilience, and achieve the SDGs.
President Iwata’s Remarks Included in the UN Global Compact’s CEO Study (released January 16, 2023)
|"Nature positive is a concept or approach that encompasses carbon neutrality. Mitigating and reversing the loss of the components of nature, such as air, water and soil, is a pressing issue faced by humanity, and we should meet this challenge head-on, placing utmost and equal importance on each of those components."|
The 12th United Nations Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study
Participation in the WBCSD*1
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. Specifically, 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, 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 recommendations 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*2 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 its efforts, with the recognition that such disclosures reflect the demands of the current era.
In addition, 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 initiatives to seize climate-related opportunities.
October 2019: TCFD consortium announced green investment guidance
July 2020: TCFD consortium released TCFD Guidance 2.0
At the TCFD Summit in October 2022, the executive officer Toshihiro Yamauchi introduced the Company’s initiatives to address climate change.
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.
Participation in the Forum for the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD)
Sumitomo Chemical further promotes ecosystem conservation and the sustainable use of natural capital.*3 To enhance the disclosure of nature-related information, we support the vision of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and participate in the TNFD Forum, which is network comprising organizations and companies that have expertise related mainly to nature and finance in support of said activities. By participating in this forum, we work to further enhance nature-related disclosures.
- Capital formed by nature, including forests, soil, water, air, underground resources, and biological resources. Natural capital is a type of capital that is essential to supporting people’s lives and the infrastructure of companies.
An International Alliance to Solve the Plastic Waste Problem
Joining the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW)
The AEPW is an international alliance launched in January 2019 working to solve the plastic waste problem. Global companies associated with the plastic value chain have joined the alliance. As a member company, Sumitomo Chemical financially supports AEPW’s activities and also engages in the selection of projects undertaken in places around the world, verification of sustainability, and evaluation of impacts. In addition, we work with others through the AEPW framework on initiatives that would be difficult to undertake alone, such as projects to upgrade trash collection infrastructure in countries around the globe with high plastic waste emissions.
In addition, Sumitomo Chemical is deeply involved in activities that encourage solutions to the plastic waste problem through Japanese organizations via AEPW. We proactively participate in initiatives that discover and support startups that work to solve problems and webinars that consider what Japanese industries, government, and academia should do to solve the plastic waste problem with reference to successful examples of projects promoted around the world by AEPW.
A Domestic Alliance to Solve the Marine Plastic Waste Problem
Joining the Japan Clean Ocean Material Alliance (CLOMA)
CLOMA is a domestic alliance launched in January 2019 working to solve the marine plastic waste problem. By fostering cross-industry cooperation related to the plastic value chain, we are promoting activities to accelerate innovation as well as encouraging the sustainable use of plastic products and the development and adoption of alternative materials.
The Company is helping out with the planning of pilot tests that aim to improve the material recycling rate. In addition, to help solve the marine plastic problem through international cooperation, we are working with other members to offer solutions from Japan in light of the current state of Indonesia’s waste treatment situation and the policies of the Indonesian government.
Participation in Japan Partnership for Circular Economy (J4CE)
The J4CE was founded in March 2021 for the purpose of strengthening public and private partnerships, with the aim of further fostering understanding of the circular economy among a wide range of stakeholders, including domestic companies, and promoting initiatives. The organization collects examples of initiatives related to advanced circular economy, disseminates and shares data on the cases in Japan and overseas, shares information and forms networks related to a circular economy, and establishes places for dialogues to promote a circular economy.
Sumitomo Chemical introduces its initiatives to realize a circular economy, including plastic chemical recycling, on the J4CE website.
Our ICCA*4 Activities
The Sumitomo Chemical Group participated in the Energy and Climate Change Leadership Group 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 chemical Substance Policy and Health Leadership Group. We cooperate in conducting surveys related to regulatory trends around the world and mechanisms for relaying information on chemical substances contained in products. We also participate in working groups related to the harmonization with chemical substance categorization being introduced in Asian countries. Furthermore, we participated in a working group 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.
Participating in the Stakeholder Engagement Program Hosted by Caux Round Table Japan
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, Sumitomo Chemical endorsed the WEPs. In 2016, we helped found the WEPs Subcommittee in the Global Compact Network Japan (GCNJ (UNGC's local network)).
Fiscal 2022 GCNJ’s WEPs Subcommittee Meetings Overview
July 8, 2022
What are the WEPs? Latest trends
August 5, 2022
Power to put your own opinions into words by nurturing logical thinking × D&I
November 30, 2022
Case studies and panel discussion of three member companies
March 3, 2023
How to create workplaces where diverse personnel thrive
April 4, 2023
The significance of womenomics
Note: Conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic