In its Business Philosophy, Sumitomo Chemical affirms its commitment to creating new value by building on innovation, contributing to society through its business activities, and developing an invigorating corporate culture and continuing to be a company that society can trust. Based on this three-part philosophy, we have identified our material issues that we will address as management priorities.
First, we have identified our material issues for sustainable value creation, which comprise two sets of material issues—those for social value creation and those for future value creation. We have classified four items—reduction of environmental impact, food issues, healthcare, and ICT innovation—under material issues for social value creation, while categorizing technology innovation and research and development, digital innovation, and diversity and inclusion as material issues for future value creation.
Furthermore, regarding the items that serve as the foundation for continuing our business—occupational safety and health, operational safety and disaster prevention, product safety and quality assurance, respect for human rights, promotion of employees’ well-being, compliance, and anti-corruption—we have been making group-wide efforts and will continue to work on them as management priorities.
We have set key performance indicators (KPIs) for initiatives related to our material issues. With the use of KPIs, we manage and disclose the progress of those initiatives, while also promoting dialogues with stakeholders in and outside the company, to enhance and accelerate our sustainability efforts. Regarding those item serving as the foundation for business continuation, we will continue to proactively make disclosures on our initiatives and outcomes and step up our efforts.
Material Issues for Sustainable Value Creation and the Foundation for Business Continuation
The items serving as the foundation for business continuity are elaborated in the following sections:
Process for Identifying Material Issues to Be Addressed as Management Priorities
When identifying our material issues, we selected the issues that we considered, based on our Corporate Philosophy, as what the Group should address and compared them with those societal issues identified in the Sustainable Development Goals and various international guidelines related to sustainability. We also referred to external experts’ advice as well as what we learned by engaging in various initiatives and communicating with stakeholders.
We have a belief that resolving issues through our business and creating both social and economic value is as important as continuing our business to achieve it. Based on this view, we have defined the material issues identified as related to the former as the material issues for sustainable value creation, and the material issues for the latter as the foundation for business continuity.