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Environment

Environmental Management

Policies and Basic Approach


Mitsui & Co. has established, maintains, and operates an Environmental Management System based on ISO14001 and various international guidelines as the basis for an active response to environmental and societal problems through the business activities of its global group. In order to promote initiatives to conserve the global environment in our business activities, we have established an "Environmental Policy" consisting of our guiding principles and action guidelines with regard to the environment. We will promote our Environmental Policy to all executives and employees through environmental education and awareness building. In addition, we will fulfill our accountability to society by proactively disclosing information on our environmental activities.

Environmental Policy

Guiding Principles

Under our Mission, Vision, Values, we at Mitsui & Co. have set our goals to realize a better tomorrow for the earth and its people to "Build brighter futures, everywhere." In order to realize this mission, we have included initiatives to "create an eco-friendly society" among our material issues (our important management goals).
Mitsui & Co. will make every possible effort towards realizing sustainable development as part of our aim to create harmony between the economy and the environment on a global group basis.

Action Guidelines

Mitsui & Co. will design, periodically evaluate, and continually improve appropriate risk management systems that include our response to climate change, nature conservation in consideration of biodiversity, and pollution prevention. These systems will cover the business activities that we undertake as a global group. At the same time, we will strive to ensure the development and dissemination of technologies with a low impact on the environment, and further reinforce our responsibility with respect to the environment. Accordingly, we have set out the following Action Guidelines.

1. Compliance with relevant environmental laws and regulations
We will comply with various relevant environmental laws and regulations, as well as all agreements signed by the company for promoting business activities.
2. Efficient utilization of resources and energy*
We will strive to reduce the burden on the environment in our business activities through the efficient utilization of resources, energy, and water, as well as the thorough reduction, reuse, and recycling of waste, including harmful substances, and its proper disposal.
3. Environmental care for products and services offered, as well as existing and new businesses
We will give the utmost consideration to the environment to the extent technologically and economically feasible by exercising an appropriate degree of influence in enlisting the understanding and support of involved business partners, as well as by evaluating the impact that we have on the environment, not only in the prevention of pollution, but also on such issues as climate change and the conservation of biodiversity.
4. Contribution to providing industrial solutions to environmental issues
We will engage in business activities with the goal of providing rational and permanent industrial solutions, and contribute to the realization of sustainable development by exploiting our individual abilities and the collective strengths of our organization in cooperation with our global partners.

* This includes improvements in efficiency and reduction of the use of such resources and energy.

Formulated in 1998
Revised in August 2020

Shinichiro Omachi
Representative Director, Executive Vice President
Chief Strategy Officer (CSO)
Chairperson of the Sustainability Committee

Goals and Targets


Targets and Performance of Efforts for the FY Mar/2021

Targets for the year FY Mar/2021

  1. Reducing energy consumption intensity by 1% or higher on average per year for the Head Office and subsidiaries and offices in Japan.
  2. Improving the waste recycling rate at our Head Office and our owned office buildings to at least 90% by 2030.
  3. Reducing the amount of paper resources used at our Head Office and all offices in Japan by 50% or more by 2030 compared with that in the fiscal year ended March 2020.
  4. Striving to enhance the appropriate management of hazardous waste at the Head Office.

Results of FY Mar/2021 initiatives

  1. Reduced energy consumption intensity by 37.1%, from 0.112 MWh/m2 in the previous fiscal year to 0.070MWh/m2.
  2. Improved the waste recycling rate by 3.4%, from 82.2% in the previous fiscal year to 85.6% .
  3. Reduced paper usage (paper usage per employee) by 58.6%, from 7.18 thousand sheets per person in the previous fiscal year to 2.97 thousand sheets per person.
  4. Began monitoring and disclosing the emission of nitrogen oxides (NOX) sulfur oxides (SOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) at the Head Office.

Sustainability Governance and Oversight


Sustainability Management

The Sustainability Committee works under the Executive Committee to plan, formulate and provide proposals on basic management policies, business activities, and corporate policies and strategies related to environmental management.
The Sustainability Committee is structured so that its activities are appropriately supervised by the Board of Directors, and matters discussed by the Sustainability Committee are regularly discussed and reported to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.

Officer in charge Shinichiro Omachi (Representative Director, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, Chairperson of the Sustainability Committee)
Deliberative body Sustainability Committee
Positioning
  • A subordinate committee of the Executive Committee, which is the decision-making body
  • Important matters related to environmental management that have been deliberated by the Committee are discussed and reported to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.
Department in Charge Corporate Sustainability Div.

Please refer to the links below for more information on Mitsui’s Sustainability Management Framework and the activities of the Sustainability Committee.


Our Approach to Sustainability: Sustainability Governance and Oversight

Our Approach to Sustainability: Sustainability Committee

Environmental Management System

 Plan-Do-Check Act of Environmental Management System Plan-Do-Check Act of Environmental Management System

We set environmental targets under our Environmental Policy and conduct periodic reviews of the progress and processes. In conducting these reviews, we have introduced an Environmental Management System (EMS) based on ISO14001, and are striving for continual improvement. Through this system, we aim to comply with environmental laws and regulations, prevent environmental risks including those related to climate change, and promote environmental conservation-oriented business. Specifically, in order to recognize the impact that our business activities may have on the global environment and to prevent environmental risks, we have established a system to assess the impact of the products we handle and especially new business investments in advance. In addition, the system is operated and managed by implementing the PDCA cycle, which involves evaluating and analyzing the progress toward the set goals and reviewing the plan.

Status of Acquisition of ISO 14001 Certifications

ISO14001  

Mitsui maintains an environmental management system based on ISO14001 and various international guidelines as the basis for an active response to environmental and societal problems through the business activities of its global group. We acquired ISO14001 certification in 1999. The certification was last renewed on February 23, 2020 and is valid through February 22, 2023. Since the fiscal year ended March 2017, we have been working to strengthen our compliance with ISO14001: 2015, which includes integration with business processes, initiatives in response to business risks and opportunities, and an increased emphasis on stakeholder perspectives.

Standards Covered

ISO14001, ISO26000, the GRI Standards, the Equator Principles, the World Bank Procurement Policies and Guidelines, and the IUCN guidelines

External Audit

Every year, ISO14001 certification audit is carried out by Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA). Since acquiring certification, we have undertaken annual audit in a three-year cycle: Maintenance audits in the first and second years, and a renewal audit in the third year. We undertook a maintenance audit in the fiscal year ended March 2021, for which we successfully maintained certification.

Internal Environmental Audit

Every year, we hold an internal environmental audit based on ISO14001. As part of this audit, we have designated 19 departments as high priority and 10 departments for low priority. The designations were decided based on the prioritized management criteria in consideration of environment-related laws and regulations and in accordance with the amount of environmental/social risk and the business content. In the fiscal year ended March 2021, we carried out internal environmental audits at 21 departments - all 19 high priority departments and two departments selected from the low priority departments. No non-conforming matters or matters requiring improvement were identified, and we confirmed that the environmental management system is being properly operated. As part of internal environmental audits, the Corporate Sustainability Division works alongside the Sustainability Promotion Officers at each department to verify and appraise each department’s legal compliance, progress with targets, level of contribution, and processes, and to link this to ongoing improvements and further improvements to the environmental management system.

Management of Consolidated Subsidiaries

Based on comprehensive assessments that take into account such factors as the type of industry and impacts on the environment and ecosystem, we have selected 34 key subsidiaries in Japan and overseas that need environmental priority management, from a total of 280 target companies. We encourage these companies to acquire international standard ISO 14001 or introduce environmental management systems in accordance with international guidelines, and promote the establishment of reliable management systems. As of the end of March 2021, out of the 34 priority subsidiaries, 9 have acquired ISO14001 certification. Aside from these companies, 9 subsidiaries located in Japan and overseas have also acquired ISO14001 certification.

Response to Environmental Accidents

During the fiscal year ended March 2021, there were no environment-related incidents at Mitsui or our subsidiaries in Japan and overseas.
Any accident is promptly reported to the relevant units, and comprehensive steps are taken to prevent recurrence, beginning with the identification of the actual cause of the accident and an assessment to determine appropriate corrective and preventive measures.

ESG-Related Risk Management

In conducting business, we have put in place a system to ensure that utmost consideration is given to the environment and society in projects at all stages, including at the launch of a new business, during operations, and even during the exit stage. In regard to environmental and social risks, including climate-related risks, the Sustainability Committee discusses policies and measures to deal with such risks and implements them after reporting to and receiving approval from the Management Committee and the Board of Directors.


ESG-Related Risk Management: Management of Environmental and Societal Risks

Environmental Accounting

  • Climate change risk mitigation costs: Industrial waste recycling cost at Head Office: 20 million in Japanese Yen
  • Research and Development expenses for climate change risk mitigation (Grants for the establishment of an evaluation method for supporting measures to strengthen reporting ability of climate change in developing countries): 4.5 million in Japanese Yen(April 2018 - March 2021)

Initiatives


Compliance with Environment-Related Laws and Regulations

Our efforts to meet our corporate social responsibilities and keep pace with the expansion of those responsibilities include the creation of compliance assurance mechanisms based on our environmental management system. We also use training programs and other methods to ensure that our employees understand and comply with various environmental laws and regulations in Japan and overseas.

At the start of each fiscal year, officers at each department identify environment-related laws and regulations that are relevant to the operations of their units, and conduct a compliance assessment every half year. In addition, an internal environmental audit or environmental self-check process is carried out every year to confirm that environmental management systems are being applied effectively. Mitsui and its subsidiaries whose activities could have significant environmental impacts, have acquired certification under ISO14001 or equivalent standards, establishing secure and effective environmental law compliance mechanisms.

During the fiscal year ended March 2021, there were no reports of violations of environmental laws and regulations. There were also no major penalties or non-monetary sanctions imposed on our organization for violations of environmental laws and regulations.

Energy Conservation Law

From the viewpoint of compliance and environmental conservation, we abide by the Energy Conservation Law (Act on Rationalizing Energy Use), and conduct environment-minded business activities through promotion of energy conservation in offices and energy usage improvement related to transportation.

Waste Disposal Law

Mitsui operates in compliance with the Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law (also referred to as the "Waste Disposal Law" or "Waste Law"). In order to properly manage the disposal of industrial waste generated through logistics operations and general waste from business activities, we have formulated a workflow in connection with the handling of industrial waste and general waste from business activities and prepared FAQ documents. Such tools and documents are utilized by relevant divisions and departments. We also hold periodic internal seminars to increase awareness and understanding of proper waste disposal practices, covering such matters as the selection of waste management subcontractors and manifest compilation and management. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, we held an online seminar on the Waste Disposal Law, which was attended by approximately 250 officers and employees of the Company and our affiliated companies.

Other Major Environmental Laws and Regulations

In promoting business activities, we comply with various environmental laws and regulations which includes, but not limited to, the following:
Act on Special Measures Concerning Promotion of Proper Treatment of PCB Wastes/Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons/Water Pollution Prevention Act/Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act/Act on the Promotion of Sorted Collection and Recycling of Containers and Packaging/Act on Promotion of Recycling and Related Activities for Treatment of Cyclical Food Resources/Air Pollution Control Act/Offensive Odor Control Law/Poisonous and Deleterious Substances Control Act/Fire Service Act/Industrial Safety and Health Act/REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) regulations

Environment-Related Training

As we work to accelerate environmental initiatives across the global group, it is vital that we raise the environmental awareness of each of our officers and employees at all levels. Through initiatives such as holding regular seminars and environment law training sessions, and regularly publishing in-house newsletters related to the environment and society on the intranet, we work to raise awareness of environmental issues among officers and employees of Mitsui, its subsidiaries, and its affiliated companies. Furthermore, we also work on initiatives to gain specialized knowledge through ISO14001 Provisional Auditor Training and other programs.

Lectures and Training Seminars Held in FY Mar/2021

Please scroll horizontally to look at table below.

Title Number of Attendees Target Audience Outline
E-learning Training Seminars on Environmental Laws and Regulations Approx. 310 Officers and employees of Mitsui and affiliated companies Basic knowledge on environmental laws and regulations, key law amendments, etc.
Online seminar on the Waste Disposal Law Approx. 250 Officers and employees of Mitsui and affiliated companies Basic knowledge on the Waste Disposal Law, industrial waste treatment methods, precautions, etc.

Green Procurement

With regard to our office activities, we have been carrying out initiatives on a non-consolidated basis to promote carbon neutral electricity consumption and reduction of paper consumption and waste emissions through the use of containers with a low environmental impact, and will continue to promote green procurement.

Making Electricity Use Carbon Neutral across All Business Locations in Japan (Using Renewable Energy-Derived Credits)

As one of the concrete measures aimed at realizing our 2050 vision, all power supplied to our new Head Office, which we relocated to in May 2020, meets RE100* criteria. This has been achieved by mainly procuring energy from the Fukushima Natural Gas Power Plant (Shinchi, Soma, Fukushima Prefecture), a facility which has Mitsui as one of its main investors, and by applying renewable energy-derived credits generated by the biomass power generation of our affiliate company Konan Utility Co., Ltd. ("Konan Utility"). We have also applied credits generated by Konan Utility and Mitsui's Forests to the electricity used in all offices and training centers in Japan, enabling us to make all business locations in Japan carbon neutral.

* RE100 is an international initiative whereby member companies aim to procure 100% of energy consumed in business operations through renewable energy sources. The RE100 criteria defines the amount of electricity that can be accounted for as renewable energy, taking into account the systematic differences between countries.

Use of Containers and Packaging Materials with Low Environmental Impact Based on Life Cycle Assessment

Containers and utensils with environmentally conscious design Containers and utensils with environmentally conscious design

Since the relocation to the new Head Office in May 2020, we have been using the life cycle assessment to ensure that containers and packaging used at the employee cafeteria and cafe have a low environmental impact. Paper cups with an original, environmentally conscious design are used for all takeaway drink containers. They have been designed so that even cold beverages can be enjoyed without using a straw. For utensils, we use biodegradable plastic developed in collaboration with an affiliated company. Products such as disposable chopsticks and chopstick stands are made using FSC® -certified wood and thinned wood materials from our company-owned forests "Mitsui's Forests.". For example, at the cafe corners located within work areas, we supply grab-and-go style green tea in cartons with an original design (cylindrical paper containers) made from Japanese wood and thinned wood materials. In addition, we refrain from using disposable containers for the drink delivery service used to supply meeting rooms, etc. Through these kinds of initiatives, we have made efforts to reduce our impact on the environment regarding both use and disposal.