The previous article, “The importance of SDGs in business,” showed that the SDGs are essential for management strategies, with society as a whole moving in line with these goals.
In this this article, we will explain how Murata Manufacturing is engaging in the SDGs, and how this is increasing our corporate value and market competitiveness through an interview with Katsuya Imagawa (on left in top photo) and Keiko Hosomi (on right in same photo) at Murata's Sustainability Department, responsible for promoting the achievement of the SDGs.
Markets and policies are becoming centered around the SDGs
Imagawa and Hosomi first pointed out the social background as factors why Murata started engaging in the SDGs.
Imagawa: After the Lehman Crisis, social value transformation has accelerated at a dash. Then, after the SDGs and the Paris Agreement were adopted in 2015, I believe businesses became bound to review their non-financial values. In other words, not only pursuing profits but also a company's contribusions to sustainable comunities determine their corporate value.
Hosomi: At the same time, one of the factors is that Murata’s business scale has expanded and our social responsibility to the environment, including our environmental load, has increased over the past few years. As a matter of course, we have been engaging in CSR until now, but my impression is that we did so with a strong sense that CSR is equivalent to social contribution. The SDGs, on the other hand, have a much greater direct influence on a business since they include measurable goals and a specified time frame. Policies and legal systems as well as markets have begun revolving around the SDGs.
Imagawa: At first, we discussed how to redefine CSR when first starting to work on the SDGs. We reframed Responsibility, the 'R' in CSR, as “Response & Ability,” that is, the “ability of a business to respond to communities.” Accordingly, we reached a common awareness that CSR is a universal concept, and we should see the SDGs as an extension of it and focus on responding to changes in the current times.
The SDGs serve as guidelines for management strategies for business growth
What actual steps have been taken to promote the SDGs?
Imagawa: For the first step, instead of “trying to keep up with competitors,” we focused on plotting management strategies for “how to provide value to communities in the future and enhance our corporate value.” Although we used the SDGs as guidelines, that is not all. Based on megatrends such as the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report and other relevant information, we plotted our management strategies with respect to what is important for Murata and our stakeholders.
Hosomi: The result was 11 key issues in line with ESG. We set the following: “Strengthening climate change measures,” “Resource circulation” and “Prevention of pollution and management of chemical substances” as environmental goals; “Safe and secure workplace and health management,” “Respect for human rights and diversity,” “Coexistence with local communities” as social goals; and “Fair business transactions,” “Information security,” “Business continuity management” as governance goals.
Murata set goals using the SDGs as guidelines and has started to move forward. In Part 2, we will illustrate specific initiatives and how they will contribute to improvement in corporate value and market competitiveness.
- Continue reading:Murata’s Value Creation through SDGs (Part 2)