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Activity Report 2018

Stable Supply of Resources & Materials

We work with suppliers, users, and business partners in Japan and overseas to engage in resource development, production, product distribution, processing, and recycling initiatives in various parts of the world. We also strive to build optimized supply chains through the improvement of infrastructure and logistics, including the development of railroad transportation and port facilities. At the same time, we work to identify sustainability priorities and achieve comprehensive improvements and solutions across the supply chain as a whole.

Activities for FY 2017 to Contribute to SDGs

We explain the themes set out under Mitsui & Co.’s Materiality, and how we have linked these to the SDGs to focus our efforts on tackling the SDGs’ 17 goals and 169 targets. We also introduce some of the specific activities we implemented during the fiscal year ended March 2018.

Business Area

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    Metals
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    Machinery & Infrastructure
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    Chemicals
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    Energy
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    Lifestyle
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    Innovation & Corporate Development
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    Corporate & Others

[Theme] Resource Development, and the Securing and Stable Supply of Materials and Food

Initiatives by Mitsui & Co.

Mitsui is building optimal supply chains spanning all stages from upstream to downstream, including production, distribution, processing, and logistics, and contributes to the stable supply of resources and raw materials, such as metals, chemicals, energy, and food resources. In our food business, against the backdrop of world population growth which is widening the gap between food supply and demand, and expanding regional imbalances in supply capacity, we promote business to ensure the stable and efficient supply of safe, reliable food resources. We place particular importance on traceability management for grain crops, such as wheat, corn and soybeans, starting at the production and collection phases.

Please scroll horizontally to look at table below.

Related SDGs (Target Numbers) Business Area Activities for FY 2017
  • ZERO HUNGER
    End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture (2.1, 2.4, 2.a)
  • GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
    Ensure healthy lives and promote well–being for all at all ages (3.8, 3.b)
  • AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
    Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (7.1, 7.2, 7.b)
  • SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES
    Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (11.c)
  • RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION
    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (12.2)
 
Metals
  • Stable supply of raw materials, such as nickel, cobalt, lithium and aluminum that are used in automotive manufacturing (automotive rechargeable batteries, hard metals, and lightweight materials). (7.1)
  • Continuation of the development and securing of a stable supply of iron ore (Australia, Brazil), coal (Australia, Mozambique), and copper (Chile). (12.2)
 
Machinery & Infrastructure
  • Contribution to LNG and other international resources and energy logistics through the stable supply of international ship space (sales of newly built ships and used ships, and chartered ships). (7.1)
  • Offering of LNG regasification services with a low environmental load through long-term chartering business for floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) (Pakistan). (7.b)
 
Chemicals
  • Securing of material ingredient sources for fertilizers and sale of products by engaging in phosphorus ore deposits development, etc. (Peru). (2.a)
  • Promotion of global high-function multimodal logistics for transportation of sulfur, as well as the sale of fertilizers, and the manufacturing and sale of raw materials and products for feeds, and agrochemicals (Japan, U.S. and Europe). (2.a)
 
Energy
  • Securing of crude oil, petroleum products, LNG, and other resources, as well as the diversification of supply sources and promotion of stable supply worldwide. In addition, promotion of the production of crude oil, natural gas, and other upstream assets (production: 243,836 boe per day (equity-share production in FY March 2018)). (7.1)
  • Development of LNG projects (Mozambique, U.S., etc.) and promotion of E&P business via affiliated companies (such as Australia, Middle East, Asia, Europe and U.S.). (7.1)
 
Lifestyle
  • Securing of food and promotion of its stable supply (grain trading volume: 20 million tons/year (FY March 2018)). (2.1)
  • Promotion of large-scale farms through equity participation in Agricola Xingu, etc. (Brazil). (2.1)
  • Contribution to the development of the Thai sugar industry through investment in Kumphawapi Sugar/Kaset Phol Sugar, and promotion of the stable supply of sugar within Southeast Asia. (2.1, 2.4)
  • Initiatives by MicroBiopharm Japan, including the long-term stable supply of anti-cancer drugs, the development of ingredients for new drugs designed to curb antibiotic resistance, the development of technology for targeted cancer drugs with reduced side-effects, and the exploration of compounds from natural microbial resources that have potential as new therapeutic drugs (Japan). (3.8, 3.b)
 
Innovation & Corporate Development
  • Increased supply of food resources through providing precision agricultural solutions (Canada, U.S., Brazil, Russia, etc.). (2.4, 2.a)
 
Corporate & Others
  • Promotion of the effective utilization of intellectual property assets that are held by domestic companies and research institutions. As a first step, the commercialization of lactobacillus L8020 and antimicrobial Etak, which were developed by Hiroshima University, by utilizing patents. (3.8)
  • Stable supply of round raw timber from Mitsui’s forests as fuel for the wood biomass power generation plant in Tomakomai, which commenced electricity sales in April 2017 (cumulative total of approx. 87,380 m3 as of March 2018, representing approx. 51% of total volume). (7.2)
  • Stable supply of ligneous resources through production of round raw timber from Mitsui’s forests, which constitutes about 0.1% of Japan’s entire wood consumption in terms of round timber (approx. 51,570 m3). (11.c)

[Theme] Promotion of Supply Chain Management

Initiatives by Mitsui & Co.

Mitsui has built diverse supply chains throughout the world to provide a wide range of functions and services. In conducting our business globally, we are fully aware of our responsibilities, such as complying with laws, respecting human rights, and maintaining safe and sanitary working conditions, giving consideration to reduction of environmental load, and ensuring consumer safety and confidence. Together with our business partners, we endeavor to solve various issues present in our supply chains in order to meet society’s expectations. Specifically, we conduct supplier surveys based our Supply Chain CSR Policy every year to check the status of our suppliers’ sustainability measures, and also conduct on-site surveys on certain suppliers.

Please scroll horizontally to look at table below.

Related SDGs (Target Numbers) Business Area Activities for FY 2017
  • DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
    Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all (8.7, 8.8)
  • REDUCED INEQUALITIES
    Reduce inequality within and among countries (10.2)
  • RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION
    Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (12.2, 12.4, 12.7)
  • PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS
    Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels (16.5)
 
Metals
  • Concluding of a MoU with Corporation Nacional del Cobre de Chile (CODELCO) with regard to the Responsible Copper Initiatives. Examining a framework for ensuring traceability through the copper industry value chain to realize a sustainable society. (12.2)
 
Lifestyle
  • At Mitsui Bussan I-Fashion, continuation of the procedures for obtaining written consent to observe its “Supply Chain CSR Policy” from suppliers with whom the company commences transactions for the first time (340 companies for FY March 2018, and a cumulative total of 5,352). (8.7, 8.8, 10.2, 12.7, 16.5)
  • Stable supply of wood products from T.M. Baikal (Russia) (approx. 110,000 m3 per year) (Japan, China, and Russia). (12.2)
  • Maintenance of FSC®/CoC certification (Mitsui’s Life Essentials Business Div., Forest Resources Marketing Dept.: FSC® C104107; Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania Pty. Ltd.: FSC® C107463) and PEFC/CoC certification, to promote responsible management and handling of forest resources. (12.2)
  • Maintenance of FSC®/CoC certification (by Mitsui Bussan Packaging: FSC® C009939) to ensure that the supply chain of certified paper promotes responsible forest resources management. (12.2)
 
Corporate & Others
  • Implementation of on-site surveys of supplier of oleochemical product in Malaysia. (8.7, 8.8, 10.2, 12.4, 12.7, 16.5)
  • Implementation of supplier questionnaire surveys concerning our Supply Chain CSR Policy (68 suppliers). (8.7, 8.8, 10.2, 12.7, 16.5)
  • Continuation of forest management and lumber production in accordance with FSC® certification and SGEC for all Mitsui’s forests (74 locations in Japan, approx. 44,000 ha), (12.2)

Resource Development, and the Securing and Stable Supply of Materials and Food

Initiatives through Business

Mitsui & Co. has built optimal supply chains, spanning all stages from upstream to downstream, including production, distribution, processing, and logistics, and contributes to the stable supply of metals, chemicals, energy, food and other resources and materials.
As part of its efforts, Mitsui engages in investment and trading business in such areas as oil, natural gas/LNG, to secure and supply the energy resources needed by industrial society. In particular, we participate in natural gas/LNG development projects in various parts of the world to ensure stable supplies of this clean energy resource. Our extensive involvement covers the entire value chain, from production to marketing. In addition, looking ahead toward the realization of the low-carbon society, we are engaging in the commercialization of renewable energy technologies, such as bio-fuels, and the creation of business models for hydrogen transportation and storage.
Mitsui actively participates in the development of iron and steel raw materials and non-ferrous metals resources. We endeavor to ensure stable supplies of mineral and metal resources, such as iron ore and copper, for Japan and other markets around the world. We are also building a supply network of metal scrap in preparation for the global recycling society of the future. With iron and steel products, we are building supply structures for infrastructure projects to meet buoyant demand in rapidly growing emerging economies. At the same time, we procure and supply iron steel products for a wide range of industrial sectors, including the motor vehicle industry and the energy sector.
In the automotive sector, we not only export vehicles, but also conduct local logistics business in respective regions, and have built a stable global chain spanning from production to finance. As regards our rail transport business, in addition to the export of freight cars and related equipment, we also engage in leasing business and other services to meet a variety of needs across the railroad value chain.

Initiatives for securing safety and quality of processed foods and beverage products

In our food business, against the backdrop of world population growth widening the gap between food supply and demand, and expanding regional imbalances in supply capacity, we strive to ensure the stable and efficient supply of safe, reliable food resources. We place particular importance on traceability management for grain crops, such as wheat, corn, and soybeans, starting at the production and harvest stages.
Specifically, the medical and nursing industries are facing various challenges, such as aspiration pneumonia in elderly patients with reduced swallowing ability, and improved nutrition for the elderly is being sought. Mitsui's affiliated companies supply processed food and beverage products for use in nutrition-improved medical treatments and nursing, and as a leading company in the field of elderly nutrition improvements, Mitsui continues contributing to finding solutions for societal issues. Mitsui is also a member of the Japan Processed Foods Wholesalers Association, and in the field of distribution, we are contributing to the supply of safe and reliable processed food products.

Current State of Implementation of Supply Chain CSR Policy

We attach great importance to interactive communication with suppliers. We also conduct supplier questionnaire surveys and on-site surveys based on our Supply Chain CSR Policy.

Company-wide uniform supplier communication forms

Beginning in the fiscal year ended March 2009, we started sending letters (in Japanese, English, Chinese, French, Spanish, and Portuguese) to all suppliers of Mitsui's business units, overseas offices, and subsidiaries (more than 45,000 suppliers in total) requesting their understanding and cooperation in regard to our Supply Chain CSR Policy, in a move to ensure that all Mitsui suppliers are fully aware of this policy. In addition, we conduct internal examinations in alternate years, to verify that the letters were dispatched to the suppliers.

Supplier questionnaire surveys

In promoting compliance with this policy, we consider interactive communication with our suppliers to be very important. We work to build relationships of trust, and strengthen our supply chain management by working jointly on ideas for improvements with our partners, wherever needed. For this reason, we regularly conduct questionnaire surveys targeting the suppliers of Mitsui and its subsidiaries to (1) confirm the status of their adherence to our Supply Chain CSR Policy, (2) confirm whether they have CSR policies related to such areas as "human rights and labor practices", "health and safety", "business ethics", and "environmental management", and (3) encourage understanding of Mitsui's Environmental Policy. Based on the results of the surveys, we provide advice and guidance to our suppliers, if needed.
In the fiscal year ended March 2012, Mitsui conducted supplier questionnaire surveys for coffee, cocoa, and other agricultural products (39 companies), as well as for consumer products such as apparel (153 companies). In the fiscal year ended March 2015, as part of a new initiative, we selected our main suppliers from all our business domains for the survey (72 suppliers in the fiscal year ended March 2015, 39 suppliers in the fiscal year ended March 2016, 50 suppliers in the fiscal year ended March 2017 and 68 suppliers in the fiscal year ended March 2018).

Supplier on-site monitorings

In the fiscal year ended March 2015, we conducted on-site monitorings of coffee bean farms in Brazil, in the fiscal year ended March 2016, suppliers of pulp and paper manufacturing resources, and in the fiscal year ended March 2017, suppliers of food material. In the fiscal year ended March 2018, our targeted suppliers were oleochemical product suppliers and we conducted an on-site monitoring to a factory and palm plantations of oleochemical company (Mitsui’s supplier) in Malaysia. In the on-site monitoring, we worked together with external experts to check operation site situations with regard to such areas as "environmental management", "human rights and labor practices", "legal compliance" and "quality control and traceability", and gave guidance and instructions as necessary. There was one monitoring carried out in the fiscal year ended March 2018, and no violations of our Supply Chain CSR Policy were found.

Implementation of Risk Assessment

When engaging in business with new suppliers, we conduct a survey based on our Supply Chain CSR Policy to assess various risks of social issues beforehand, and to ensure that all suppliers of Mitsui understand the said policy. As for the existing business and relevant suppliers, we also conduct regular supplier surveys based on the policy described above, in order to confirm the actual situation of business operations and identify suppliers with high risks in relation to social issues, such as climate change, biodiversity, environment management, human rights, and working environment.


More detailed information can be found in our Sustainability Report.

Sustainability Report 2018

P.39–47 “Stable Supply of Resources & Materials” (PDF 889KB)

  • Activities for FY 2017 to Contribute to SDGs
  • Resource Development, and the Securing and Stable Supply of Materials and Food
  • Promotion of Supply Chain Management