Third Party Opinions
Faculty of Economics, Sophia University
After having completed the doctoral program’s coursework without degree at the Graduate School of Economics of Sophia University, Yoshinao Kozuma obtained a position as research assistant at the Nagoya Institute of Technology, and was then invited to the Limperg Instituut (Inter-University Institute for Accounting and Auditing) in Amsterdam as a visiting researcher under a scholarship from the Dutch Ministry of Education and Science. He became an associate professor at the School of Management and Informatics at the University of Shizuoka, and associate professor at the Faculty of Economics at Sophia University, before assuming his current position. He has chaired and served as a committee member for numerous commissions and study groups on corporate social responsibility and the environment, for organizations such as the Ministry of Environment; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Cabinet Office; and Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
The Toray Group is making strides in practicing corporate social responsibility (CSR), and is positioning itself to comprehensively manage business opportunities and risks based on a growth strategy that aims to help build a more sustainable world. The Group has outlined its overall direction in the long-term corporate vision, AP-Growth TORAY 2020, which is driven by a medium-term management plan and integrated CSR Road Map.
This CSR Report outlines the Group’s efforts in fiscal 2015, which coincides with the middle year of both the medium-term management plan, Project AP-G 2016, and Fifth CSR Road Map, and good progress on both is being reported. Under Project AP-G 2016, the Group has increased net sales in the Green Innovation business and Life Innovation business by 16% and 10% (year-on-year) respectively, and is on track to achieve its targets for fiscal 2016.
Under the Fifth CSR Road Map, the Group has made significant progress by conducting a materiality assessment to identify 19 material aspects in its practice of social responsibility, as well as committing to regularly review the materiality analysis process and material aspects. This shows that the Group is taking a systematic and balanced approach to practicing socially responsible management, which should be commended.
The Fifth CSR Road Map has summarized the Group’s targets and results in the same manner since fiscal 2013, providing a crucial picture of the progress being made in practicing social responsibility. The road map describes the implementation leaders, key performance indicators (KPIs), scope of reporting, targets, and actual results in great detail, summarizing the Group’s efforts to practice social responsibility.
There are a number of issues that need to be addressed. The Group has yet to meet its targets for certain KPIs, specifically the number of major accidents and the percentage of companies achieving the legally mandated employment rate for persons with disabilities. Furthermore, the scope of reporting for KPIs has not yet been expanded to cover the entire Group. Additionally, the Group should disclose the KPIs it is using to assess its results for the 19 material aspects for practicing social responsibility.
Executive Director, CSO Network Japan
Following a career in the private sector, Kaori Kuroda worked for the Center on Japanese Economy and Business at the Columbia University School of Business and The Asia Foundation Japan Office, before joining CSO Network Japan in 2004. Since 2010, she has also held a position as Director of The Asia Foundation Japan Office. Kuroda was involved in developing the ISO 26000 guidance on social responsibility, representing the views of Japanese NGOs, and currently is a member of the Japanese working group for ISO 20400 guidance on sustainable procurement. She also serves as a member of the Saitama City CSR Promotion Committee and Japan Football Association (JFA) Committee for Social Responsibility, and as a Director of The Japan Society for International Development. Kuroda is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Building on more than 90 years in business, the Toray Group is successfully integrating its social responsibilities into its management philosophy and management strategies, and in the process generating strong business results. I would like to highlight several areas where the Group deserves to be commended.
Firstly, the Group has made great progress by identifying 19 material aspects in its practice of social responsibility for the medium- and long-term, through a materiality analysis process implemented in accordance with the G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This CSR Report includes a materiality matrix and a comparative table of material aspects and CSR Guidelines, while outlining the Group’s future direction for practicing social responsibility. At the same time, I hope that the Group will make even more of an effort to conduct dialogue with stakeholders, in reviewing the material aspects and determining the scope of reporting.
Secondly, the Group deserves to be commended for its efforts to develop human resources to sustain innovation. This personnel development is crucial to any effort to build a solid platform for creating innovation. The report highlights the Group’s discretionary research, which gives employees the freedom to explore their ideas, and the Toray School of Technology and Business, which aims to enhance personnel strengths on the manufacturing floor. Highlighting these initiatives will also help to further motivate its employees. I hope that the Group will continue to publicize its efforts to comprehensively pursue human resources development to support innovation, in conjunction with its hiring and development of diverse human resources.
I would like to mention the Group’s practice of social responsibility in its supply chain this year, again. Commendably, the Group is further enhancing its efforts by reviewing human rights issues in the global supply chain, and conducting supplier surveys and visiting with suppliers. I hope that the Group will engage in further dialogue with stakeholders throughout the supply chain.
In 2015, the international community made history by establishing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and agreeing on the Paris Agreement as a new framework for addressing climate change. This is a major commitment to realize sustainability in the world, and I hope that the Toray Group will continue to be a global leader and leverage the power of materials to create value.