Commitment to International Codes of Conduct
Efforts to Address the UN Global Compact
In March 2009, the Sumitomo Corporation Group signed the UN Global Compact and declared its support for the 10 principles, as this international CSR-related initiative shares the same values as our Corporate Mission Statement. We are raising the awareness of our officers and employees around the world regarding their purpose and making efforts to further increasing our corporate value by constantly seeking out areas of our business activities that can be improved in light of the values advocated by the 10 principles.
We are also actively participating in the activities of Japan’s local network, Global Compact Network Japan, as one of the board member companies. In fiscal 2017, we took part in working groups on: environmental management related to climate change, biodiversity and other environmental issues; reporting; human rights due diligence; SDGs; and SRI/ESG. Through this involvement, we acquire information on recent global trends in these areas, learn of examples of superior initiatives, and are provided insight from specialists. This knowledge is utilized to help the Company promote CSR.
What is the Global Compact?
The Global Compact (GC) was proposed by the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the World Economic Forum (in Davos) in 1999 and officially launched in 2000 at the UN Headquarters in New York. The GC is an initiative aimed at realizing the sustainable growth of the global economy through the voluntary participation of businesses in a worldwide network. The UN invites companies and organizations from around the world to join in the GC and currently has over 13,000 companies and organizations from approximately 160 countries participating. The GC has compiled 10 universal principles recognized by the international community based on international agreements in the areas of human rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption. Participating companies adopt the 10 principles into their business operations and strategies and are expected to assume responsible and creative leadership as a good corporate citizen for the purpose of achieving sustainable growth.
The Global Compact's 10 Principles
1.Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
2.make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
3.Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
4.the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
5.the effective abolition of child labour; and
6.the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
7.Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
8.undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
9.encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
10.Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
- We also support the Universal Declaraion of Human Rights, which the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact are derived from.
Seminar on Sustainable Development Goals
In September 2015, the UN Summit unanimously adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. These SDGs comprise 17 goals, encompassing such areas as renewable energy, innovation and infrastructure, climate action, and quality education.
The Sumitomo Corporation Group addresses social issues through its corporate activities, which include helping employees gain an in-depth understanding of the SDGs by hosting internal seminars with the aim of solving social issues. Since fiscal 2015, we have been inviting outside experts to conduct training on understanding the SDGs and considering their significance in helping resolve social issues through business activities. By the end of fiscal 2017, a cumulative total of over 250 employees of Sumitomo Corporation had participated, attending lectures given by these experts on the connections between the SDGs and business and the significance of collaborating with international organizations and NGOs. In addition, workshops were held to consider how the business world can contribute to the accomplishment of SDGs by combining the strengths of individual organizations with those of other organizations (internal organizations, other companies, international organizations, NGOs, etc.) guided by a medium- to long-term perspective. "Approaching business from the perspective of resolving social issues was in itself new to me," reported one employee who participated in the training. "As a member of a sustainable society, I felt a pressing need to gain a higher-level perspective in order to collaborate with diverse stakeholders," said another.
Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF)
KNCF, which was established in 1992 and is comprised of Keidanren member companies that actively work on nature and biodiversity conservation, supports nature conservation activities and promotes exchange with NGOs. Sumitomo Corporation is participating in KNCF as its member.
Japan Business and Biodiversity Partnership
The Japan Business and Biodiversity Partnership was established in 2010 to promote private-sector participation in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which covers conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. As a member of the partnership, Sumitomo Corporation supports the purpose of the Action Policy of the partnership and strives to conserve biodiversity.
Council for Better Corporate Citizenship (CBCC)
CBCC was established in 1989 with the support of Keidanren to provide support for activities that help Japanese companies to be accepted as good corporate citizens by communities in which they operate outside of Japan. As a member of CBCC, Sumitomo Corporation collects the latest information about CSR and engages in CSR dialogue with related organizations in and outside Japan.
Japan Foreign Trade Council, Inc. (JFTC): CSR Study Committee, Global Environment Committee, Social Contribution & ABIC Committee
Sumitomo Corporation participates in JFTC’s CSR Study Committee, which conducts trend surveys and collects information about CSR in and outside Japan. We collect information about supply chain CSR that is particularly important for trading companies operating their value chains worldwide.
We are also participating in the Global Environment Committee, which studies the development of low-carbon- and recycling-oriented societies and the responses to environmental laws and regulations; as well as in the Social Contribution & ABIC Committee, which works on cooperation in the expansion of ABIC activities and the exchange of information concerning social contribution activities in our industry.