Message from the President

Realizing the Sojitz Group’s Corporate Statement through Sustainability Initiatives

The Sojitz Group Statement is “The Sojitz Group creates value and prosperity by connecting the world with a spirit of integrity.” We believe that carrying out initiatives to realize the company’s corporate statement will lead to greater sustainability. While advancing these initiatives, it is important to be fully aware of the factors which make up the sort of management environment that enables us to do our jobs.

Cooperation with People around the World to Generate “Two Types of Value”

The Sojitz Group works with partners to create businesses needed in regions worldwide. We address the expectations of our many partners and local communities through such businesses, many of which have the goal of resolving social and environmental issues.

Our afforestation and woodchip business in Vietnam is a prime example of this. We provide free seedlings to local plantations, and then purchase the mature trees. This business model has enabled a cycle that creates new jobs for local residents, supports the use of sustainable forest products, and gives Sojitz a stable source of reasonably priced forest products.

Sojitz will focus on pursuing future growth and creating new value with greater speed moving forward—a trajectory which calls for us to prioritize “two types of value.” One is the value we give back to society by providing solutions to develop regional and national economies, industries, and ways of life; the other is the value Sojitz gains when we expand the foundations of our business such as our talent pool or business expertise, increase our competitiveness, or pursue other avenues towards sustainable growth for our company. Maximizing both of these overlapping types of value has been our aim in the past and it remains our goal for the future. Corporations without the capacity to generate profit can only offer limited social contributions. If we can continue to generate sustainable profit, we will be able to play a more substantial role in contributing to society. In 2016, Sojitz provided aid to areas affected by the earthquake in Kumamoto. In the future, we shall become a company capable of producing even greater value, as we deeply desire to increase the scope of our contributions.

As a Member of the International Community, Pursue Sustainability through Responsible Conduct

As social and environmental issues worsen due to factors such as population growth and companies expand their global presence, the people of the world are focusing their expectations and concerns on corporations. Companies must comprehend the mid-to long-term issues addressed in resolutions calling on corporations to act responsibly, such as the Paris Agreement calls for companies to take responsible action and within the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), a list of goals drafted by the U.N. to address social development issues by 2030. Additionally, in their pursuit of sustainability, corporations must keep in perspective any large changes related to their corporate activities. Sojitz endorsed the United Nation’s Global Compact in 2009 to demonstrate its commitment to responsible corporate behavior. It is a commitment to meet the expectations of the international community.

Sojitz Group has established 6 Key Sustainability Issues (materiality) to pursue in each business sector based on its corporate statement and international standards such as SDGs.

In order to uphold Sojitz’s corporate statement and realize sustainable growth, the Medium-term Management Plan 2020 incorporates Sojitz’s approach to sustainability to a greater degree than in previous years. As a means of integrating solutions to environmental and social problems with the development of Sojitz’s business, we will set and monitor targets in line with our Key Sustainability Issues.

Sojitz has also established the “Sustainability Challenges” as part of its long-term vision for sustainability.

Sojitz strives to meet stakeholder expectations by maximizing its “two types of values” through these sustainability initiatives.

Key sustainability Issues (Materiality)

Sustainability Challenge

Diversity”--An Indispensible Force in Creating New Value and Prosperity

In order for the Sojitz Group to create new future value and prosperity in a diverse world, I believe each and every employee must understand and respond to the diversity of people and values in the constantly shifting global market. For example, we should not limit ourselves to viewing markets from Japan’s perspective alone, but train ourselves to see the world from the other party’s perspective.

Within the Sojitz Group, we aim to realize both a rewarding and fulfilling work environment by promoting the diverse strengths of each individual employee with his or her own unique values. In doing so, we will generate new value and further support our employees’ achievements. We will also work to expand measures related to the promotion of women in the workplace to reach our goals of 1) increasing the number of female career-track hires to 30% (22% as of April 2016) and 2) double the number of female managers by 2021 from the number in March 2016.

Sojitz’s Contribution to Society

In recent years, stakeholders have come to pay special attention to corporations’ activities and approach to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria. Corporations are being asked to clarify their role in society and to provide a clear explanation of the value that they can contribute. As president, I take it upon myself to present Sojitz’s vision and to provide due explanation to all of you, our stakeholders.

Going forward, we will pursue dialogue with our stakeholders and sincerely work towards generating value. We hope you will continue to look forward to Sojitz’s activities in the future.