CSR at Mitsui & Co.
Participation in Initiatives
United Nations Global Compact
The United Nations Global Compact is a set of voluntary action principles for corporations proposed by the 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 ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor standards, environment, and anti-corruption. As of April 2016, over 12,000 corporations, labor unions, and civil society organizations from around the world are participating in the Global Compact.
In October 2004, Mitsui pledged its support for the 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 company-wide survey every other year in order to check compliance with the Global Compact principles, and is working to comply with and to put into practice the principles on a global group basis.
Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact
- 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 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.
UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
In May 2008, Mitsui became a signatory to a proclamation promoted by then U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, which encourages businesses to take action toward the attainment of the United Nations MDGs by 2015.
With the approach of the MDG deadline in September 2015, the United Nations held the Sustainable Development Summit, at which it announced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a post-MDG program. The SDGs consist of 17 goals with 169 targets based on the concept of three-way harmony between the economic, society, and the environment. As a member of the Global Compact Network Japan, Mitsui is engaged in a range of activities, including research on recent initiatives by businesses and educational initiatives concerning the Global Compact. At the same time, placing high priorities on SDGs targets, Mitsui pursues subsidy programs closely connected to its business (with funds earmarked for external organizations), aiming to enhance business value via the provision of solutions to environmental and societal issues. In this way, we work toward the development of a sustainable society.
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization, which 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 the only Japanese corporate member of the Oil & Gas Community of the World Economic Forum, Mitsui participates in discussions about important issues concerning the oil and gas industry.
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 reuse/reduce/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. In addition, we work actively to raise awareness and gather information by hosting study groups and presentations by experts on environmental laws and regulations.
Mitsui is also a member of the Japan Foreign Trade Council, Inc.'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 activities that include the formulation and review of 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. Mitsui is also a member of 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 warming, waste, recycling, and environmental risks. Moreover, since 2012, a Mitsui & Co. 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
The Council for Better Corporate Citizenship (CBCC) was established by Keidanren (Japan Business Federation). As a CBCC member, 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
Mitsui is a GOLD member of the Japan Forum of Business and Society (JFBS), an academic association which conducts academic research/discussion on the relationship between business and society focusing on global trends with encouraging cooperative relationship among academia, industry, government, labor and NPO/NGO. Human resource development of young researchers and practitioners is another major topic for the forum.
Japan Business and Biodiversity Partnership
The Japan Business and Biodiversity Partnership was established through a collaborative initiative by the Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives) with the aim of boosting private sectors to promote 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 bio-diversity in its supply chains, through promoting a sound resource-cycle policy in its business management, focusing on the lifecycle of products and services .
Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) is an international non-profit organization with members that include environmental NGOs, private business corporations, and organizations representing indigenous communities. It promotes the sustainable use of the world's forests 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, while Mitsui Bussan Forest Co., Ltd., a Mitsui & Co. subsidiary, has obtained Chain of Custody (CoC) certification for the processing and distribution of cut lumber. Mitsui & Co. is the biggest supplier of Japanese-grown lumber with FSC® certification. As a member of FSC Japan's Board of Directors, Mitsui & Co. is helping to promote the FSC® in Japan, and to study and prepare principles, standards and risk assessments for Japan.