Message From the Chairperson of the Sustainability Committee
Toward the realization of a sustainable society, Mitsui & Co. will contribute to a brighter future filled with aspirations.
Takashi Masuda, the first president of the former Mitsui & Co., stated, "Let not short term gains tempt your mind, seek only enduring prosperity by embracing grand aspirations." We have inherited these values of looking toward the future and the commitment to societal and corporate sustainability. Those values constitute an unshakeable foundation for the Mitsui of today.
The realization of a sustainable society has become an urgent global priority, as evidenced by the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 by the United Nations, and the growing importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects to various stakeholders. We are told that, in order to prevent climate change from having a severe impact on the Earth, and on people’s lives, we need to limit the increase in temperature compared with the level before the Industrial Revolution to 1.5-2°C. International efforts are now accelerating, including calls for the achievement of greenhouse gas emission reduction targets under the multilateral framework of the Paris Agreement.
With the aim of contributing to solving such problems, in July 2018, Mitsui announced that it would no longer accumulate new thermal coal assets for coal business that discharges a large amount of greenhouse gas. We also set the target of increasing the portion of our renewable energy based power generation capacity to 30% by 2030. In December 2018, we expressed our support for the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which was established under the auspices of the Financial Stability Board.
In addition to the growing international importance of sustainability, we are also aware of the continual change in megatrends with the potential to affect our business activities. In response to these changes, we decided to review the Materiality (material management issues) that we identified in March 2015. While taking into consideration international frameworks such as the SDGs, as well as the perspectives of both a wide range of stakeholders and the potential impact on our business activities, we also engaged in active discussions within and beyond Mitsui. This process culminated in the announcement of our new Materiality in April 2019.
The newly identified five material issues are: "Secure sustainable supply of essential products", "Enhance quality of life", "Create an eco-friendly society", "Develop talent leading to value creation", and "Build an organization with integrity". These constitute the basis for conducting all of Mitsui's business activities and promoting sustainability management with a focus on social and corporate sustainability.
Furthermore, we enhanced the functions of the Sustainability Committee established under the Corporate Management Committee, and in order to accelerate sustainability management initiatives on a global group basis, we created the Corporate Sustainability Division that plays the role of promoting and driving sustainability management on a company-wide basis.
The corporate mission of Mitsui is to "Strive to contribute to the creation of a future where the aspirations of the people can be fulfilled." Under that mission, we will continue to respond to the trust and expectations of all stakeholders, including our customers, business partners, the countries and regions in which we engage in business activities, and our shareholders. Moreover, through a wide range of business activities, we will contribute to sustainable economic and social development on a global scale, as well as to finding solutions to global issues, such as climate change.
Executive Vice President
* Legally speaking, there has been no continuation between the former Mitsui & Co. and the current Mitsui & Co.