In September 2015, the UN unanimously adopted 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.”
We have decided to donate to four organizations that are addressing social issues and to provide them with continuous support.
We took the Group's 150th anniversary, which we celebrated in May 2021, as an opportunity to make the donations, with the aim of supporting organizations addressing social issues proactively, towards achieving our corporate philosophy, "For People, Society and the Earth." We selected recipients of the donations from among organizations engaged in activities consistent with our corporate philosophy to solve social issues, with a particular focus on those that support children, students, or refugees, while also considering their relationships with us, among other factors. By continuing to support organizations addressing social issues, we will strive to solve various social issues and contribute to building a sustainable society.
International Volunteer University Student Association, a specified non-profit organization (Japanese)
Under the vision of "a society to live together," this organization plans and implements volunteer activities for solving social issues, with the leading role played by approximately 2,500 students from 80 universities across Japan as its members.
Katariba, an approved specified non-profit organization
This organization engages in activities to deliver various educational opportunities to children with the aim of creating a society where "No matter what environment they grew up in, they should be able to develop their motivation and creativity to make their own future."
Japan Association for Refugees, a specified non-profit organization
This organization supports refugees who have fled to Japan from conflicts, human rights abuses, or other forms of persecution, so that they can live in a new land with a sense of security, aiming to build an inclusive society.
WELgee, a specified non-profit organization
This organization co-creates shared value for Japanese society and those refugees who have fled to Japan, aiming for a society where refugees and Japanese can build a future together, regardless of their circumstances.
We have developed "MEX" (Mitsubishi Materials E-Scrap EXchange), a new platform for the E-Scrap business, and have started our operation on December 20th, 2021. This is the first achievement of the Business DX in MMDX (Mitsubishi Materials Digital Business Transformation), the digitization strategy we pursue.
By taking advantage of the Mitsubishi Process for continuous copper smelting*, a unique copper smelting technology that has achieved the industry's top environmental impact reduction performance, as our strength, we have long accepted and processed E-Scrap (such as discarded circuit boards of various electronic devices containing high concentrations of gold, silver, copper, palladium, and other valuable metals) and currently boast the world's number one E-Scrap acceptance and processing capacity of approximately 160,000 tons annually. The E-Scrap market is expected to continue to grow, and we plan to further increase the E-Scrap acceptance and processing capacity to approximately 200,000 tons annually by the end of fiscal 2031.
Against this backdrop, we have started operation of "MEX," a new platform for E-Scrap trading, starting on December 20th, 2021, to further improve our customer service. "MEX," which was developed as part of the MMDX initiative, is equipped with many features making use of the latest digital technology. First, customers are provided with around-the-clock access to all information required for E-Scrap trading. It has an inquiry feature that accepts questions anytime and allows interactive communication by dealing with frequently asked questions using e-mail or a chatbot under development capable of automatic responses. Our platform also has enhanced security by such means as adoption of two-step authentication. These various improvements will facilitate use of this platform by overseas customers and other customers who were not readily able to use our platform. In addition, we plan to make further functional additions through future updates.
We aim to be an accessible partner for all customers in Japan and overseas by offering our long-standing experience and high technological capabilities through "MEX."
We have revised the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target for the group, including direct emissions by the business operator (Scope 1) and indirect emissions resulting from the use of supplied energy (Scope 2), in pursuit of reducing GHG emissions by 47% by FY2031 (compared to FY2014) and to virtually zero, or carbon neutrality, by FY2046.
In March 2021, we set a mid to long-term target for our group to reduce GHG emissions by 17% by FY2031 (compared to FY2014) and to become carbon neutral by FY2051. A month later, the Japanese government announced a GHG emissions reduction target of 46% by FY2031 compared to FY2014, and actions on climate change are becoming increasingly important. Under the circumstances, we revised the reduction targets for our group and decided to take on new initiatives as follows to reinforce our actions on climate change.
*Please note that the targets published above do not include the cement business, for which business integration with UBE Corporation was conducted in April 2022. Specific effective GHG reduction measures for the same business will be established by the new company after the business integration.
As of December 1, 2021, we have established a fundamental policy regarding sustainability.
To clarify our attitude for actively and positively promoting sustainability as a Group based on our Corporate Philosophy and Vision, we have newly established a Sustainability Policy. This policy is positioned as a superordinate policy governing rules and policies relating to sustainability.
Based on this policy, we have also established a Human Rights Policy and a Procurement Policy. We consider respect for human rights to be the foundation of the business activities of the Mitsubishi Materials Group, and we will work to expand and deepen our initiatives by respecting the principles enshrined in international human rights instruments. We will also strive for sound procurements.
Furthermore, we have established provisions in the Sustainability Policy and Human Rights Policy regarding the promotion of diversity and inclusion. We embrace diversity and acknowledge its importance in creating new value by promoting it as a source of sustainable growth within the Group. To that end, we will renew existing targets or set new ones concerning the ratio of women, non-Japanese, and mid-career employees etc. in managerial positions and strengthen our initiatives through various measures.
We are pleased to announce our participation in the Green Innovation Fund Project/Development of Next-Generation Solar Cells (the Project) by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as a company commissioned by EneCoat Technologies Co., Ltd. (EneCoat Technologies), which it finances through the MMC Innovation Investment Limited Partnership (our CVC).
A perovskite solar cell is a type of solar cell formed by applying a layer of perovskite crystal* on a substrate, and it is expected to become widely used as the next-generation solar cell because it is lighter than the crystalline silicon solar cells commonly used at present, enables the thickness to be reduced to about 1/100, and can be folded or bent for installation in various places. EneCoat Technologies, a startup originating from Kyoto University, is working on its development. EneCoat Technologies is also developing a low-lead solar cell by replacing the lead contained in perovskite solar cells with an alternative material.
We financed EneCoat Technologies in May 2020 through our CVC and we are examining collaboration with them regarding technologies that will contribute to improving the durability of perovskite solar cells and development of the peripheral materials required for eliminating lead.
In the course of these developments, EneCoat Technologies has recently been selected for the Project based on the theme "development of technology for the practical application of perovskite solar cells featuring a high degree of installation freedom." Towards adopting solar power generation in places where installation of the existing types of solar cells has not been possible, such as for example on the roof of a small factory or a wall of a building with low load capacity, the Project aims to achieve the practical application of perovskite solar cells, which not only realize weight reduction and provide sufficient flexibility for installation on curved surfaces of buildings but also compare favorably with existing types of solar cells in terms of performance including conversion efficiency and durability. We participate in the Project as a company commissioned by EneCoat Technologies and work on the development of peripheral materials to reduce costs and improve performance for the purpose of facilitating the wide use of perovskite solar cells.
We signed the United Nations Global Compact (hereafter "UNGC") and were registered as a participating company as of March 22, 2022. In addition, we have joined the Global Compact Network Japan, the UNGC's local network in Japan.
The UNGC is a voluntary initiative in which companies and organizations act as good members of society and participate in the creation of a global framework for realizing sustainable growth by demonstrating responsible and creative leadership. The companies and organizations that sign the UNGC are required to observe and practice the Ten Principles in the four areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption, which are set forth by the UNGC.
The Group’s vision is to "become the leading business group committed to creating a sustainable world through materials innovation, with use of our unique and distinctive technologies" based on its corporate philosophy of "For People, Society and the Earth" and we intend to more actively and positively promote sustainability as exemplified by the establishment of a new Sustainability Policy as of December 1, 2021.
We will support the Ten Principles of the UNGC and practice them in our business activities, thereby contributing to the realization of a sustainable society.