Sustainability at Mitsui & Co.

Participation in Initiatives

United Nations Global Compact

United Nations Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact is a set of voluntary action principles for corporations proposed by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, in January 1999. He proposed a means to harness the creative powers of the private sector to fulfill the wishes of underprivileged people and meet the needs of future generations. It is neither a regulatory means nor a legally binding code of conduct, but rather a strategic policy initiative that encourages corporations to come together as global citizens to solve the various problems that could arise as a result of economic globalization. Participating corporations are asked to support and put into practice 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. As of May 2017, over 12,000 corporations, labor unions, and civil society organizations from around the world are participating in the UN Global Compact.

In October 2004 Mitsui & Co. signed and pledged its support for the UN Global Compact. Mitsui has been participating as a member of the Global Compact Network Japan and is complying with the principles as part of its own corporate guidelines. Currently Mitsui conducts a companywide survey every other year in order to check compliance with the UN Global Compact principles and is working to comply with and practice the principles on a global group basis.

Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact

Human Rights
  • 1. Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
  • 2. make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
  • 3. Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
  • 4. the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labor;
  • 5. the effective abolition of child labor; and
  • 6. the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
  • 7. Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
  • 8. undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
  • 9. encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
  • 10. Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

UN. Millennium Development Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a clear statement of global priorities and visions that need to be realized so that poverty can be eliminated and all people can enjoy dignity and equality of opportunity, with consideration given to balancing sustainable growth and the limits of the Earth.

Mitsui uses its capabilities in the five areas of marketing, financing, logistics, risk management, and IT process configuration to develop diverse business operations across nations and regions. As such, we believe that we can leverage these capabilities to make a wide-ranging contribution to the achievement of the 17 goals. We will strive to achieve, in particular, the goals related to our identified material issues in partnership with our stakeholders.

As a corporate member of Global Compact Network Japan, Mitsui will continue to raise awareness of the SDGs in its business organizations, to reflect the SDGs in our business strategies, and to ensure that our business activities are always guided by a determination to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

Here you can find the links between the Mitsui & Co.'s materiality and the 17 goals and 169 targets of the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs).

Mitsui & Co's Materiality

World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization that engages leaders from the worlds of business, politics, academia, and other sectors of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas in the spirit of global citizenship, through cooperation between the public and private sectors, for the improvement of the world situation.

As a partner company, Mitsui attends the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland every January.

Japan Foreign Trade Council, Inc.: Global Environment Committee, CSR Study Committee

As a member of the Global Environment Committee of the Japan Foreign Trade Council, Mitsui monitors energy use for all trading companies (shosha) and promotes reduce/reuse/recycle (“3R”) activities. We also gather information about new energy technology through our business activities and contribute to the development of the trading company sector's voluntary action plan for environmental initiatives for a low-carbon, recycling-oriented society.

Mitsui is also a member of the Japan Foreign Trade Council's CSR Study Committee, which studies CSR-related issues and conducts surveys and research about trends in Japan and overseas. We work with other members on such activities as the formulation and review of the Supply Chain CSR Action Guidelines based on the principles of the Shosha's Corporate Code of Conduct (code of conduct for trading companies).

Japan Business Federation (Keidanren): Committee on Corporate Behavior & Social Responsibility, Committee on Gender Diversity, Committee on Environment and Safety, Committee on Nature Conservation

Mitsui is a member of Keidanren's Committee on Corporate Behavior & Social Responsibility, which works to ensure ethical behavior by businesses, promote CSR, and expand and encourage social contribution activities by businesses and business people, including support for disaster recovery efforts. We are also a member company of the Committee on Gender Diversity, which implements the Action Plan on Women's Active Participation in the Workforce and formulates an action plan to urge employers to promote women to managerial and executive positions, and the Committee on Environment and Safety, which works toward the implementation of environmental policies designed to be compatible with economic activities, including the promotion of voluntary action plans and countermeasures relating to global warming, waste, recycling, and environmental risks. Moreover, since 2012 a Mitsui employee has been seconded to Keidanren's Committee on Nature Conservation, which works to conserve biodiversity and protect the natural environment.

Council for Better Corporate Citizenship (CBCC)

As a member of the Council for Better Corporate Citizenship (CBCC), which was established by Keidanren, Mitsui works to ascertain the views of various stakeholders, including overseas CSR-related organizations, by participating in presentations and seminars on CSR-related themes.

Japan Forum of Business and Society (JFBS)

Mitsui is a GOLD member of the Japan Forum of Business and Society (JFBS), an academic association that conducts academic research and discussion on the relationship between business and society, focusing on global trends and encouraging cooperative relations among academia, industry, government, labor, and NPOs/NGOs.

Japan Business and Biodiversity Partnership

The Japan Business and Biodiversity Partnership was established through a collaborative initiative by the Keidanren, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives) with the aim of promoting private-sector initiatives on biodiversity. As a member company, Mitsui promotes biodiversity conservation initiatives in partnership with NPOs, NGOs, research institutions, and other related entities in Japan and overseas. Furthermore, Mitsui contributes to conservation of biodiversity in its supply chains by promoting a sound resource-cycle policy in its business management focusing on the lifecycle of products and services.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®)

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) is an international nonprofit organization with members including environmental NGOs, private business corporations, and organizations representing indigenous communities. It promotes the sustainable management and use of the world's forests in consideration of environmental and societal aspects by certifying forests and the processes involved in the distribution and processing of lumber taken from those forests.

Mitsui has obtained FSC® forest management (FM) certification at all 74 of its forests, which total approximately 44,000 hectares, while Mitsui Bussan Forest Co., Ltd., a Mitsui subsidiary, has obtained Chain of Custody (CoC) certification for the processing and distribution of cut lumber. Mitsui is the biggest supplier of Japanese-grown lumber with FSC® certification. As a member of FSC Japan's Board of Directors, Mitsui is helping to promote the FSC® in Japan and to study and prepare principles, standards, and risk assessments for Japan.

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a nonprofit organization established to promote the sustainable production and utilization of palm oil through the conservation of tropical rain forests and biodiversity. Mitsui supports the RSPO's philosophy of contributing to sustainability through industry and has been collaborating on various business-based initiatives since joining the organization in 2008.