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Promotion of Businesses Helping Prevent Climate Change

Climate change is a major issue for the world today, growing more pressing by the day. In 2015, the Paris Agreement was concluded as an international framework for restricting emissions of greenhouse gases and helping to prevent climate change. It centered the discussion on the duties and contributions of not just the state and government, but companies and other members of the private sector. Later that same year, the U.N. announced their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a list of 17 globally-shared social issues collected by the U.N.’s 193 member countries, to be prioritized leading up to 2030.

There have also been greater calls for companies to disclose the impact of climate change on their business activities and create concrete policies for overcoming this impact, such as by following the disclosure guidelines for climate-related financial information announced by the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD).

For this reason, Sojitz Group has incorporated prevention of climate change into our Key sustainability Issues (Materiality), established to meet the demands of the global community, respond to stakeholders’ expectations, and achieve sustainability for Sojitz and society at large.

Sojitz’s Targets for Prevention of Climate Change

Reduction target for CO2 emissions
Reduction target for CO2 emissions by Sojitz Group companies in Japan, including Sojitz Corporation:
Annual reduction of 1% of specific consumption, year-on-year.

Business Helping to Prevent Climate Change (1) – Renewable Energy Business

In the long-term, the Paris Agreement seeks to “hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2℃ above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels.” It establishes a framework whereby all countries must update and submit their reduction targets every five years. As for Japan, the government has said that by 2030, they will reduce greenhouses gas emissions from 2013 levels by 26%.

As the global energy mix has continued to change in response to these reduction targets, the cost of generating electricity from renewable sources has fallen dramatically in the last 10 years as a result of improvements in legal systems and supply chains. In certain areas, such as the Middle East and South and Central America, it is now cheaper to generate power from renewable sources than from fossil fuels. As a result, expansion of renewable energy as a business is accelerating. Sojitz knows that not the entering renewable energy industry and other up-and-coming growth markets poses a risk to the competitiveness and sustainability of our IPP business. For this reason, we are working to build renewable energy businesses in solar energy, wind power, geothermal energy, and biomass.

For more information about solar power generation and other renewable energy business

Business Helping to Prevent Climate Change (2) – Green Polyethylene Business

One of the CO2 reduction policies named by the Japanese government at the signing of the Paris Agreement called for the promotion of plant-based plastics. The government has set usage targets of 760,000 tons by 2020, and 1,970,000 tons by 2030.

Sojitz Group company Sojitz Pla-Net Corporation acquired rights to the exclusive sale in Asia and Oceania of “green polyethylene”(*), a sugarcane-based plastic manufactured by major South American chemical manufacturer and long-time Sojitz business partner Braskem. While Pla-Net had been developing these sales on both fronts, the signing of the Paris Agreement is expected to bring further growth in these markets, and Pla-Net has now concluded a contract which extends their exclusive distribution contract for an additional 3 years from 2017 and expands the amount of green polyethylene they handle significantly.

Green polyethylene packaging

* Green polyethylene
A registered product of Braskem, this sugarcane-derived plastic is used mostly as a raw ingredient for plastic bags and containers. The sugarcane absorbs CO2 while it is growing, negating any CO2 produced when the product is incinerated for disposal and making it a “carbon neutral” plastic. This means that when you include the CO2 emitted in production and transport, green polyethylene produces 70% less CO2 than conventional petroleum-based polyethylene.

■Sojitz Pla-Net Corporation website:
  http://www.sojitz-planet.com/en/index.html

■Sojitz Pla-Net Corporation’s page on green polyethylene (Japanese page):
  http://www.sojitz-planet.com/jp/news/pdf/news20170929_02.pdf

For more information on the green polyethylene business:

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