Mitsubishi Materials Group's Business Activities and the SDGs

We engage in business activities on a global scale, in accordance with the Mitsubishi Materials Group’s Philosophy “For People, Society and the Earth.” As part of those activities, we are contributing in various different ways to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) spearheaded by the United Nations (UN).

Universal long-term goals for the international community

In September 2015, all 193 members of the UN signed up to the 2030 Agenda, a plan to eliminate poverty, unfairness and injustice wherever possible, protect the environment, and create a better future. One of the key features of the agenda was the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which set out a vision for how the world should be by the year 2030. Following on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which the international community had been working on for 15 years since 2001, the SDGs are positioned as universal goals applicable to all countries.
Rather than relying solely on national governments, the SDGs also require companies and members of the public to take action all over the world. The SDG Compass is a guide to show companies how they should be using the SDGs, published jointly by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), UN Global Compact, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). It provides the following explanation.
"Unlike their predecessor, the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs explicitly call on all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solve sustainable development challenges. The SDGs have been agreed by all governments, yet their success relies heavily on action and collaboration by all actors.
The SDGs present an opportunity for business-led solutions and technologies to be developed and implemented to address the world's biggest sustainable development challenges."

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The group's business activities and the SDGs

The Mitsubishi Materials Group is a diversified materials manufacturer with the corporate philosophy "For People, Society and the Earth." We are also committed to achieving our vision - "We will become the leading business group committed to creating a sustainable world through materials innovation, with use of our unique and distinctive technologies, for People, Society and the Earth."
The adoption of the SDGs by the UN has reaffirmed that we are going in the right direction with our business activities as a group, and provided us with a springboard from which to assess critical long-term risks and opportunities, in terms of issues that we need to address and the path we need to take in the future.
Of the 17 goals set out under the SDGs, numbers 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 7 (affordable and clean energy), and 5 (gender equality) in particular tie in with areas in which we are implementing priority initiatives.
We intend to incorporate the SDGs into our strategies from the point of view of both increasing the competitiveness of our existing business, and creating new products and businesses. We will also be actively working with a wide range of outside partners, as we strive to create value over the medium to long term.

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Outline of the SDGs

Based on the philosophy "No one will be left behind," the SDGs set out 17 sustainable development goals and 169 specific targets.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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Goals that tie in with our priority initiatives

  Goal 1 [Poverty]
Goal 1 [Poverty]
End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  Goal 2 [Hunger]
Goal 2 [Hunger]
End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
  Goal 3 [Health]
Goal 3 [Health]
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  Goal 4 [Education]
Goal 4 [Education]
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
 Goals that tie in with our priority initiatives Goal 5 [Gender]
Goal 5 [Gender]
Achieve gender equality, and empower all women and girls
  Goal 6 [Water and sanitation]
Goal 6 [Water and sanitation]
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goals that tie in with our priority initiatives Goal 7 [Energy]
Goal 7 [Energy]
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  Goal 8 [Economic growth and employment]
Goal 8 [Economic growth and employment]
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
Goals that tie in with our priority initiatives Goal 9 [Infrastructure, industrialization and innovation]
Goal 9 [Infrastructure, industrialization and innovation]
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation
  Goal 10 [Inequalities]
Goal 10 [Inequalities]
Reduce inequalities within and among countries
  Goal 11 [Sustainable cities]
Goal 11 [Sustainable cities]
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goals that tie in with our priority initiatives Goal 12 [Sustainable consumption and production]
Goal 12 [Sustainable consumption and production]
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  Goal 13 [Climate change]
Goal 13 [Climate change]
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  Goal 14 [Marina resources]
Goal 14 [Marina resources]
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  Goal 15 [Land resources]
Goal 15 [Land resources]
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss
  Goal 16 [Peace]
Goal 16 [Peace]
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  Goal 17 [Implementation]
Goal 17 [Implementation]
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

(Source: "The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Japan's Implementation" International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)

Supplying materials as backbone for infrastructure, industry and innovation worldwide

As a diversified materials manufacturer, we continue to supply basic materials indispensable to the world. With continuous innovation, we supply a wide range of products, systems and services that support designed to save energy, conserve resources and contribute to cleaner processes, as well as infrastructure development and industry all over the world.
In addition to developing products and technologies in each businesses, at the Central Research Institute we also carry out research and development on a long-term perspective with accumulating technologies such as "material analysis technologies," "basic technologies to support materials, process and products development," and "core technologies of reaction processes, metals, processing, interface, thin films." We are particularly focused on developing environmental products and technologies as a priority area over the medium term.
We are involved in collaborative activities with major universities. Meanwhile, we help to develop human resources for the future of scientific research.

Targets closely linked to our initiatives*

  1. By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes. with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities. (Target 9.4)
  2. Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending. (Target 9.5)

* Specific targets set out under each of the 17 goals listed in the SDGs.

Research and development spendinggraph

Contributing to a recycling-oriented society from a global perspective

We are constantly thinking about ways to effectively use and reuse the limited resources we need for manufacturing, and engage in recycling operations in every business field. As well as making full use of the resources and materials that nature has given us, we recycle waste and byproducts in an effort to help create a sustainable world.
Contributing to a recycling-oriented society is positioned as a key element of our corporate philosophy, vision and management strategy, in terms of creating value that will help to resolve social issues.
As a result of our strategy of "pursuing a recycling-based society" under our previous medium-term management plan, we have made it a priority to make better use of urban mines (E-Scrap, including waste substrates from electronic devices). We now have world-leading E-Scrap intake and processing capacity within the group, and are steadily increasing the amount of E-Scrap that we process.
We are continuing to work on further advances in recycling technology, and to develop more efficient means of collection and processing, so that we can expand possibility of resources recycling.

Targets closely linked to our initiatives

  1. By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse. (Target 12.5)

E-Scrap processing capacitygraph

Expanding renewable energy supply and striving to improve energy efficiency

We have a long history of supplying renewable energy. Our business in this area dates back to 1898, when we developed the Nagata Hydroelectric Plant to supply power to Osarizawa Mine in Kazuno, Akita prefecture (opened as a gold mine, and later run as a copper mine, before closing in 1978). Making the most of the technology we had built up through our mining business, we later moved into geothermal development, commenced operations at the Ohnuma Geothermal Plant in the same area in 1974. We currently have hydroelectric plants in six locations, geothermal plants in two locations, and large-scale solar power plants in five locations. We are also working on new geothermal projects in five locations in Japan.
At the same time, we are promoting to use harness ground-source heat, which is regarded as a promising new source of renewable energy. We have developed a commercial system that runs on heat pump technology, and have already supplied over 100 systems domestically. We are also developing technology that will improve work efficiency.
Regarding energy efficiency at key production facilities, we set out the goaltoward 2020, and steadily aim to achieve it.

Targets closely linked to our initiatives

  1. By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. (Target 7.2)
  2. By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. (Target 7.3)

Creating more opportunities for women to maximize their potential

We are committed to promoting greater roles for female employees, for the purpose of "securing domestic workforce under declining birth rate circumstance," and "creating new added value from diverse human resources working together."
We formulated Basic Principles on Women's Empowerment in September 2015. In order to steadily take three steps, "securing and retaining female employees," "expending career options," and "enabling women to play a greater role in the company," we set out specific measures and targets for us to achieve by the year 2020. These activities are based on three key perspectives: "creating a better corporate culture," "raising awareness amongst female employees and reforming career options," and "improving systems and working environments."
We regard promoting greater roles for women as part of our efforts to reform our corporate culture. We think it important to create a company where not only women, but also diverse human resources such as the elderly, disabled people, people from abroad, etc., can work together effectively and healthily both in body and mind.
Instead of ending up with a temporary surge in momentum, we are determined to continue implementing activities on an ongoing basis.

Targets closely linked to our initiatives

  1. End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere. (Target 5.1)
  2. Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women. (Target 5.b)

In-house dialogue based on the SDGs

We are using the SDGs as a guideline to clearly illustrate the needs of the international community (and the global market) over the medium to long term.
In fiscal 2017, after the CSR Department worked with related departments to explore how the SDGs tie in with our business and make use of them, the CSR Department also communicate with each business division and top management. Also we held a stakeholders' meeting with outside experts. The CSR Department analyzed the results and then shared its findings with members of the CSR Committee and related departments. As a result, the activity strengthened awareness of just how important it is to have a long-term perspectives for management and operations. We hope incorporate such viewpoints more effectively into our business activities in order to tackle social issues.

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