The two theme were set for this time, one is "Information Disclosure" that has been required more than ever before, and the other is "CSR message communication" that is important for being a company that the society needs. Three external speakers were invited while about 15 staffs from relevant divisions participated. (Held on November 6, 2012.)
Eiichiro Adachi, Counselor, The Japan Research Institute, Limited
Keiichi Ushijima, Manager, CSR Promotion Dept. CSR Div., Hitachi, Ltd.
Norifumi Okita, General Manager, CSR Dept., Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
First, Mr. Adachi from The Japan Research Institute, Limited explained the global trend. Then, Mr. Ushijima from Hitachi, Ltd. and Mr. Okita from Ajinomoto Co., Inc. introduced their specific activities.
Mr. Adachi, who has provided Toyota with the Third-party Opinion for the Sustainability Report for two years, expressed his expectation for Toyota's further information disclosure. He indicated that the days in which just product appeal can make a company competitive are coming to an end and careful consideration on information disclosure and corporate reputation is becoming indispensable. As the background, he introduced an UK example that the ethical consumer has been increasing, who is highly concerned about the production process whether it involves in child labor or conflict mineral. In addition, he pointed out that so-called Japanese traditional communication that remaining own good deeds unknown could limit its message delivery globally, and stakeholder engagement should be in place as a precondition of CSR communication.
Mr. Ushijima from Hitachi, Ltd. introduced their information disclosure that sets a clear target reader. For their information disclosure, Hitachi firstly sorted and defined the target readers, then tried to disclose information according to each readers needs such as contents, language, media or search features on the web, etc. It was impressive to learn that Hitachi operates their CSR activities collaborated with overseas affiliates that share tasks in one's respective realms of expertise, and moreover the subtle nuance of English wording for the information disclosure has been taken a due care by Hitachi native staff. Another striking word was that Hitachi creates its sustainability report with the spirit that it is the president's annual presentation.
Mr. Okita from Ajinomoto Co., Inc. mainly introduced their CSR message communication in an international stage. Ajinomoto participated in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) held in Brazil in June 2012 with the delegation led by Corporate Executive Deputy President Yutaka Kunimoto. At the conference, they exhibited their CSR activities at a pavilion and gave a presentation in the GC forum. They also issued leaflet for the Rio+20 to introduce their initiatives in an easily-understandable form along with the three social challenges identified; Global Sustainability, Food Resources, and Healthy Living. Mr. Okita mentioned that they shared information and communicated with employees after returning to Japan in addition to those with local employees in Brazil. We were inspired by their active CSR message communication of to the society. At the same time, we sympathized to know that Ajinomoto has spent considerable time and effort communicating CSR internally.
Many participants expressed that they have learned a lot from the same "corporate" representatives with concrete experience even the sector is different, and there was active Q&A session. Toyota is going to continue this initiative and try to make the best use of what we learned to improve its CSR activities.