The Shin-Etsu Group carries out ESG1 activities as an integral part of our business. We have made significant progress in our initiatives regarding climate change, by announcing our support for the recommendations offered by the TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures)2 in May 2019 and by joining the TCFD Consortium3. We are continuing to pursue thorough energy-saving activities as we have done previously, and we are also working to analyze the risks and opportunities that climate change can bring to our businesses. This report features detailed information on our initiatives related to climate change.
We are currently taking initiatives for respecting human rights as a priority agenda for action. The Group has conducted its business at its sites around the world always on the basis of respecting human rights of all individuals. In May 2019, we established “The Shin-Etsu Group Human Rights Policy” to codify our approach to management based on the respect for human rights, and we have thoroughly disseminated the Policy and made it known to all Group companies. We are also currently conducting human rights due diligence4. As we move ahead, we will continue to adhere to the relevant international codes of conduct5 and promote activities that respect human rights in order to instill an abiding sense of respect for human rights among Group companies worldwide.
Contributing to the SDGs
In order to achieve sustainable development of human society and raise its quality of life while reducing the burden on the environment, it is crucial to maximize efficiency. I believe that the Group has a significant role to play in this regard. Carrying on from the previous fiscal year, we continue to aim toward “Contributing to the SDGs6” as one of our management objectives for FY 2020. The 17 goals of the SDGs illustrate the challenges faced equally by us all in the 21st century. We always bear in mind the need to resolve SDG-related issues as we carry out our daily duties, and also as we engage in capital investment, develop new products and pursue new areas of business. Over 94% of capital investment projects at Shin-Etsu Chemical in FY 2019 were conducive to the SDGs. We believe that our product offerings facilitate the achievement of the SDGs, and the SDGs will in turn facilitate our business. For the parallel pursuit of sustainable development of human society, improvement of its quality, and greater lessening of the burden on the environment, we believe that it is essential to maximize efficiency. We have an extensive product range, including polyvinyl chloride resin that is used as an essential material for infrastructure investment, semiconductor silicon wafers that support our advanced information society, and silicone resins that are employed in a wide range of applications. In 2019 we launched several new products, which include quartz cloth, thermoset ultra-low dielectric resin, heat sinks and gallium nitride which meet 5G requirements. Connectivity, resource efficiency, productivity advancement, smart infrastructure, and health enhancement are the key themes that we are working on. In this endeavor, we commit ourselves to applying and improving what we have and produce and innovating further throughout our operations.
We will strive to maximize efficiency and contribute to the SDGs in all aspects, be it in expanding the range of uses for existing products or in developing new ones.
Approaches to Fair Corporate Activities, Environment, and Safety
Since 2010, the Group has been a member of the UN Global Compact and has carried out initiatives to put into practice its 10 principles that cover four main areas: human rights, labor standards, environment and anti-corruption. In February 2018, we signed on, as the first company to do so, to the Tokyo Principles for Strengthening Anti-Corruption Practices established by the Global Compact Network Japan7. Our signing on to the Tokyo Principles is compatible with our stated intention to “comply with all laws and regulations, and conduct fair business practices” indicated in our Business Principle. It also contributes to the achievement of the Goal 16 of the SDGs: "Peace, justice and strong institutions." We will incorporate the Tokyo Principles into our daily operations by sharing them throughout the Group and maintaining the anti-corruption norm as a key element in our corporate activities. Further, in accordance with Responsible Care®8 Global Charter, we are continuously striving to ensure environmental conservation and to improve occupational safety and health as well as process safety and prevention. In FY 2019, a total of 22 Group offices, globally, conducted their business activities in compliance with the Charter through such means as carrying out audits of environmental and safety management.
Human Resource Development
We have been running all the plants as hard as we can. We do so with our strong commitment to safety and quality. We have highly motivated people working day in day out to deliver our commitments. Our success comes from the energy and passion of all those team members. By enhancing the employee experience, we foster a culture where everyone is respected and valued, and has an equal opportunity to contribute. We invest in our employees through managerial interactions, various training programs and career development opportunities. We are proud of our colleagues who work with a strong sense of purpose.
As above, I have introduced some aspects of the ESG activities that we are engaged in. These activities are explained in greater detail in each chapter of this Report. I would appreciate it if you could refer to them.
The role of our Group is to provide such materials of value as would be considered vital in improving people's quality of life and in solving issues the market is facing. Our goal is to realize "Shin-Etsu Everywhere." We will work to achieve sustainable growth alongside other members of society through our products serving their roles at all locations, in all industries and within all finished products. We would greatly appreciate your continued understanding and support as we move ahead.
Yasuhiko Saitoh, President,
An element of CSR defined by investors and others to evaluate a company's CSR efforts. E is Environment, S is Social and G is Governance.
2 TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures)
This task force deals with the disclosure of information on climate change, and was established in September 2015 by the FSB (Financial Stability Board). The FSB is an international organization that monitors the state of international finance and plans measures and regulations to govern it. In December 2017, the TCFD announced its recommendation that companies should analyze their own risks and opportunities based on multiple medium and long-term climate change scenarios (varied future climate scenarios with a rise in temperature of 2°C or less), and to disclose information regarding the degree to which finances will be affected.
3 TCFD Consortium of Japan
This group was established in May 2019, led by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Financial Services Agency, and the Ministry of the Environment. Companies, financial institutions and other organizations that are in agreement with the TCFD recommendations join forces in this consortium. All participating parties share the aim of promoting initiatives for disclosing corporate information effectively, as well as encouraging accurate decisions to be made based on this information in investments made by financial institutions and similar organizations.
4 Human rights due diligence
Measures to be implemented by corporations to identify, prevent and correct the adverse impacts on human rights. They include formulating policies on human rights, assessing the impacts of corporate activities on human rights, tracking of performances and disclosing information.
5 International codes of conduct
These include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ILO international labor standards, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact.
6 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)
International Goals for a Sustainable and Better World by 2030, as described in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the UN Summit in September 2015. It consists of 17 goals and 169 targets.
7 Global Compact Network Japan (GCNJ)
Global Compact Network Japan (GCNJ) is the local Global Compact network branch that has been set up to actively work as a CSR platform in Japan. It aims to disseminate the United Nations Global Compact's mission and various key principles to management levels within companies and organizations through such means as CSR education designed for people in management, organizing study groups with different themes as well as holding various symposia. As of March 2019, more than 300 Japanese companies/groups are participating in GCNJ.
8 Responsible Care®
Activities whereby each company that handles chemical materials on a voluntary basis commits itself to improving health, safety and environmental performance in all the life-cycle processes from the development of chemical materials through manufacture, distribution, usage, final consumption and disposal up to recycling, and then making public the results of its activities and continuously engaging in dialogue with the local community and the public, while striving to maintain good communication with society. The Group signed and put into practice the Responsible Care® Global Charter of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) in 2006. Furthermore, in 2014, we also signed the revised Responsible Care® Global Charter issued by the ICCA.