Our Approach to Sustainability and Management Framework
Policies and Basic Approach
Mitsui & Co.'s corporate mission as defined in its Mission, Vision, Values (MVV) is to realize a better tomorrow for earth and for people around the world and to "Build brighter futures, everywhere." Based on the MVV, we regard sustainability initiatives as important management issues, and, in accordance with the Mitsui & Co. Group Conduct Guidelines —With Integrity, this policy and sustainability-related policies, place a strong emphasis on sustainability in our corporate management. Our Group will take on the challenge of addressing global issues and contributing to the realization of a sustainable society and economic growth through our business activities.
Identification of Materiality and Promotion of Initiatives
For the sustainable growth of both society and the company, we identify important business issues that impact the company and its stakeholders as material issues ("Materiality"). We put this policy into practice by formulating our business policies and strategies, including medium-term management plans and business plans, based on our Materiality, given that each material issue may become a significant source of both risks and opportunities in the medium to long term.
Role of the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors appropriately supervises the Company's sustainability initiatives, striving to enhance the Company’s corporate value in the medium to long term. Decisions on important issues related to sustainability are subject to final approval by or report to the Board of Directors, following a review by the Sustainability Committee and Corporate Management Committee.
Stakeholder Engagement and Information Disclosure
We regard dialogue with stakeholders as highly important. We strive to implement appropriate disclosure of information and respond sincerely and faithfully to the trust and expectations of our stakeholders.
This policy was approved by the Board of Directors.
Formulated November 2021
Relationship of corporate policies
- Environmental Policy
- Human Rights Policy
- Sustainable Supply Chain Policy
- Procurement Policies for Specific Commodities
- Health Management, Occupational Health & Safety Policy
- Social Contribution Activities Policy
Medium-term Management Plan 2023 —Transform and Grow: Six Corporate Strategies
- Strengthen business management capabilities
- Evolve financial strategy and portfolio management
- Personnel strategy
- Strategic Focus
- Strengthen profitability of core businesses and take on challenges in new businesses
- Sustainability management; Evolution of ESG
Mitsui & Co.'s Core Values
The former Mitsui & Co.* which was established in 1876, was disbanded as part of the dissolution of Japan's zaibatsu (industrial conglomerates) shortly after the end of World War II. The current Mitsui was founded by employees of the former Mitsui that shared the values of the original company: "Challenge and Innovation," "Open-Mindedness," and "Focus on Human Resources." The Mitsui of today continues to contribute to the creation of new value for society. The way we work and the way we think are still very much based on the values espoused by Takashi Masuda, the first president of the former Mitsui, and are reflected in our stance toward our work. The principles of Mitsui's approach to sustainability as social responsibility have always reflected its founder's values, a way of thinking unchanged to this day.
* Legally speaking, there has been no continuation between the former Mitsui & Co. and the current Mitsui & Co.
"Let not short term gains tempt your mind, seek only enduring prosperity by embracing grand aspirations."
"I started Mitsui with the goal of realizing trade on a large scale, not in pursuit of money, but from the desire to work."
"Mitsui has a pool of very talented individuals. This is Mitsui's most important asset."
Takashi Masuda, the first president of the former Mitsui
Sustainability Governance and Oversight
In the fiscal year ended March 2005, Mitsui & Co. established the CSR Promotion Committee (currently the Sustainability Committee) under the Corporate Management Committee to develop Mitsui's internal framework with respect to sustainability, and to work to raise sustainability awareness among employees. Reflecting the growing interest in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ESG in recent years, we established the Sustainability Committee in May 2017, in order to further clarify our unchanging stance toward creating new value for society through business activities and to pursue further mutual sustainability between society and the company. With the Sustainability Committee playing a central role, Mitsui promotes sustainability-related activities based on cross-organizational collaboration to meet the needs and expectations of society in relation to companies' social values and initiatives.
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 Corporate Management Committee and the Board of Directors. The number of cases related to management strategy, sustainability, and governance that were discussed by or presented to the Board of Directors in the fiscal year ended March 2022 was 28 out of a total of 96. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, the Board of Directors discussed and approved our "Sustainability Policy", and increased the number of regular reports at Board of Directors meetings to twice a year. The directors and corporate auditors, including external directors, also held free discussions on the theme of "Priority of Issues and Actions That Mitsui Should Tackle in the Medium to Long Term to Increase Corporate Value," which resulted in lively debate, including on ESG initiatives.
|Committee Chair||Makoto Sato (Representative Director, Executive Managing Officer, Chief Strategy Officer (CSO))|
|Vice Chairs||Yoshiaki Takemasu (Representative Director, Senior Executive Managing Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Compliance Officer)
Tetsuya Shigeta (Representative Director, Executive Managing Officer, Chief Financial Officer)
|Members||Deputy CSO, and the GMs of the Corporate Sustainability Division, Corporate Planning & Strategy Division, Human Resources & General Affairs Division, Legal Division, Investment Administrative Division, Corporate Communication Division, Finance Division, Investor Relations Division, and other employees and officers appointed by the Committee Chair as necessary.|
|Administrative Office||Corporate Sustainability Div., Corporate Planning & Strategy Div.|
The committee has the following duties
- Develop basic policies on the company's sustainability management and fundamental plans for activities to promote sustainability.
- Review and make proposals on the company's management policies, business activities, as well as policies and strategies of corporate divisions from the perspective of sustainability.
- Present proposals on company-wide policies and actions related to environmental (climate change, circular economy, environmental pollution, biodiversity, etc.), social (human rights, supply chain management, social contribution activities, etc.) or governance issue.
- Make proposals on sustainability-focused business activities (understanding risks and opportunities involved in business).
- Deliberate and establish the basic policy of the effective disclosure of information to stakeholders.
- Consider and present proposals relating to progress reviews and monitoring required for management.
- Configure and establish the internal structure for promoting sustainability management of the company.
- Identify the material issues to focus on each year for promoting sustainability management of the company and ensure progress on these.
- Respond to issues related to sustainability management, both internal and external to the company.
- Approve important matters (basic policies, business plans, etc.) relating to the Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund stipulated in Basic Policy of the Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund.
- Select proposals from applicants for the Environment Fund grants.
- Decide and report whether to support an exceptional acquisition of forests or the disposal of company owned forests, which is out of the scope of the guidelines on the acquisition of a new forest and disposal of company owned forests, based on Rules on the Management of Company Owned Forests.
Main Discussions at Sustainability Committee Meetings in the fiscal year ended March 2022
1st Meeting (April 14, 2021)
- Report on Category 10 & 11 of GHG Scope3 Estimation
- Free Discussion on GHG Long-term Goal Progress Disclosure
2nd Meeting (June 9, 2021)
- Report on Enhancement of ESG Information Disclosure (Materiality Action Plans/Sustainability Report 2021)
- Deliberations on Human Rights & Supply Chain Management/Formulation of Individual Procurement Policies (natural rubber, palm oil, wood materials/paper products)
- Free Discussion on Formulating the Internal Roadmap to Halve GHG Impact by 2030
3rd Meeting (August 5, 2021)
- Deliberations on Human Rights and Supply Chain Management/Approval of the Statement under the UK Modern Slavery Act for FY Mar 2021
- Deliberations on Renewal of Policy on Operation, Management, and Utilization of Mitsui's Forests
- Free Discussion on Results of Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund Verification and Proposal for Social Contribution Activities that Emphasize Social Impact through Participation of Employees and Officers
4th Meeting (October 13, 2021)
- Report on Development of GHG Reduction Contribution Calculation Tools
- Report on Circular Economy (Progress Report and Future Action Plan)
- Deliberations on Formulation of Sustainability Policy, Revisions to Environmental Policy, and Reestablishing Our Approach to Social Contribution Activities
5th Meeting (October 21, 2021)
- Free Discussion on Introduction of ESG Assessment in Executive Remuneration
- Free Discussion on ESG Day – Outline of Materials for Climate Change Part
6th Meeting (December 17, 2021)
- Deliberations on Social Contribution Activities that Emphasize Social Impact through Participation of Employees and Officers
- Report on Climate Change/Review of Internal Systems and Policies, and Deliberations on Future Response Policy
7th Meeting (February 9, 2022)
- Deliberations on Review of the System for the Environmental and Societal Advisory Committee from Next Fiscal Year Onwards (Proposal)
- Report on FY Mar/2022 Assessment by ESG Rating Agencies and Deliberations on FY Mar/2023 Response Policy
- Report on Business & Human Rights Activities Progress Report – Progress and Challenges with Human Rights Due Diligence
- Report on Natural Capital and Biodiversity
- Report on Activities to Promote Sustainability Management Activity Report for FY Mar/2022 and Action Plan for FY Mar/2023
Sustainability Advisory Board
*Honorific titles omitted
In order to address a broad range of sustainability-related issues, the Sustainability Committee decided to establish the Sustainability Advisory Board (the former Environmental & Societal Advisory Committee), made up of external experts on environmental and social themes. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, 14 consultations and exchanges of opinions were conducted on important themes in sustainability management.
Main content of consultations and exchanges of opinions and the number of times in the fiscal year ended March 2022
|External disclosure||Formulation of Sustainability Policy||1|
|Climate Change||Climate change initiatives||4|
|Human Rights, Supply Chain Management||Formulation of Specific Procurement Policies
Trading Partner Human Rights Risk Assessment
Supply Chain Management Handbook
|Mitsui & Co.'s Stakeholders||Response to NGOs||2|
|Social Contribution Activities||The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund||1|
Corporate Sustainability Div.
In April 2019, we established the Corporate Sustainability Division, whose role is to promote and drive company-wide sustainability management and to accelerate various initiatives on a global group basis. The Corporate Sustainability Division strives to raise sustainability awareness and share values at the Mitsui & Co. global group level, with the aim of contributing to the achievement of sustainable social and economic development in various countries and regions around the world, while also contributing to solving global environmental problems such as climate change.
Sustainability Promotion Officers
The Sustainability Promotion Officers have taken the initiative in organizing various sustainability awareness-raising programs, such as in-house sustainability seminars and lectures by speakers from partner companies and external experts, as well as workshops regarding sustainability within the actual business. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, we held online Sustainability Promotion Officers meetings on a quarterly basis, where we shared the policies and important matters related to new sustainability initiatives discussed and formulated by the Sustainability Committee, as well as other sustainability related topics.
Materiality Action Plans
Each Business Unit has a Materiality Action Plan that outlines specific initiatives to address the Materiality identified by the company and manages the progress of these initiatives. The Materiality Action Plan defines the content of each Business Unit's response plans, targets, and status of initiatives based on the recognition of issues and major risks and opportunities for each Materiality. It also shows how our business activities contribute to the SDGs, and identifies the SDGs that are highly relevant to each Materiality.
By regularly managing the progress of this Materiality Action Plan, we will implement the PDCA cycle to promote our Materiality initiatives and our efforts to achieve the SDGs.
Raising Awareness on Sustainability Management
Survey of employees
To help our employees work together to achieve our Materiality, we conduct an annual survey on Mitsui's Materiality with our employees and officers worldwide. 3,553 responses were received for the year ended March 31, 2022. The results of the survey confirmed that there was an increase in familiarity of the position of Mitsui’s Materiality, and in particular, the Materiality Action Plan formulated for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022 has deepened the understanding of the relationship between each individual’s work and Materiality, leading to action by each employee.
We have established a Sustainability Month, and have implemented several employee programs to encourage each employee to learn and think about sustainability and put it into practice. In the fiscal year ended March 2022, we released an interview with the President on sustainability, as well as holding a lecture on climate change by international environmental NGO WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Japan, a seminar on ethical consumption by an outside lecturer, a briefing on sustainability-related initiatives in Mitsui’s Forests, and offered a menu featuring sustainable seafood in the Head Office Cafeteria, and many employees from Japan and other parts of the world took part.
Sustainability Promotion Officers play a central role in organizing other internal sustainability-related seminars and other events.
Lectures on the company's sustainability management is conducted as part of introductory training for new employees, and briefing sessions on sustainability management are held for corporate departments, headquarter business units, regional business units and affiliates about 40 times a year for more than 3,600 employees in total. In this way, we have created opportunities for every employee to think about sustainability in their daily work and spread awareness.
Human Rights Training
At Mitsui & Co. we conduct various training programs on human rights to ensure that our own human rights policy is widely disseminated in the workplace and put into practice in our business. For more information on Human Rights Training, please refer to the following link.