( This commitment was announced by the then president in August 2020. )
Creating a New Normal with the “Absolute Pursuit of Value Propositions”
Rapid changes are occurring in the environment surrounding the Daigas Group, including instability in international affairs and increasing social demand for decarbonization as part of efforts to combat climate change. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has even transformed the way we live our daily lives.
In terms of measures to tackle COVID-19 at the Daigas Group, in accordance with our “Business Continuity Plan (BCP)” to be implemented in the event of a large-scale disaster or accident, we began countermeasures in late January 2020, before setting up a task force on March 2 and rolling out a cautionary system. Subsequently, following the declaration of a state of emergency by the national government, on April 8, we moved to an emergency system under my leadership. Under our cautionary and emergency systems, we took measures including promoting working from home, staggered shifts, etc. and reducing and canceling business trips and events, in addition to ensuring thorough compliance with basic measures to prevent infection and halt the spread of the disease, including handwashing and the wearing of masks by employees. As a result, we have not been prevented from continuing our business activities. Furthermore, approximately 80% of our employees were able to work from home during the period when the state of emergency was announced, excluding employees for whom coming to work was necessary to maintain energy supply systems for gas, electricity, etc.
In addition, we also delayed payment deadlines for customers struggling to pay their gas and electricity fees for reasons such as their work being suspended or losing employment as a result of the spread of COVID-19.
We operate an infrastructure business that provides essential services for daily life, and our mission is to provide a stable and appropriate supply of gas and electricity to our customers. Looking ahead, we will take all possible measures to prevent infections as we continue our business operations.
Society cannot ever return to how it was prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. With that in mind, a new movement has begun, called “Build Back Better.” Our approach must not be to restore everything to its original state; instead, we must think in terms of building a new world.
In FY2021.3, our pursuit of value provided to our customers will remain unchanged. At the same time, we will take advantage of this opportunity to reconsider the type of value we offer, how we offer it, and other factors, as we refine specific initiatives from the perspective of creating a “new normal.” We will thoroughly identify what it means to have active involvement with our customers and society, and promote new endeavors targeting sustainable growth for the future, which will overturn convention and create a “new normal.” Based on these ideas, we settled on the “absolute pursuit of value we provide” as a slogan for our message to our employees.
Organizational Restructuring for Providing New Value
In order to continue to be the first choice of customers by striving to provide value from a customer perspective more than ever and conducting speedy business operations, our new affiliates, core energy business companies of the Group, commenced their business in April. By consolidating the businesses of Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. and existing affiliates, we will unite the unique strengths possessed by each company and provide one-stop, optimal service to our customers. Additionally, appropriately delegating authority and conducting decision-making closer to our customers will lead to speedy business operations.
In addition, we have established a new message to our customers, “Better servicing customers in closer communication for a brighter tomorrow,” to coincide with the start of the new structure. The message expresses our resolution to “realize future with our customers by pursuing value we provide right beside the customers.”
ESG Management to Solve Social Issues through Our Businesses
In April 2020, in line with our organizational restructuring, we established a the ESG Office in our Corporate Strategy Department to take on the mission of the CSR & Environment Department, in order to ensure the steady promotion of ESG management. With this organizational restructuring, we aim to promote “management that will continue to earn the trust of stakeholders” as set forth in the Long-term Management Vision 2030 and achieve ESG management that is more integrated with our business strategy, by assigning functions related to the promotion of ESG to the department responsible for business strategy. In 2007, the Company became the first Japanese utility to express its intention to join the United Nations Global Compact in a show of its support of principles to be respected by companies worldwide. In terms of our contribution to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) also, we are moving forward toward our vision for the future of the Daigas Group through our unceasing business activities.
In FY2021.3, we will take trends related to the strengthening of ESG (environment, social, and corporate governance) and resilience as business opportunities, as we expand our range of offerings aimed at finding solutions to social issues, including gas air conditioning systems, cogeneration systems , and fuel conversions at power generation facilities in factories, and we will also promote further innovation in terms of both digitalization and technological development. We will promote the increased usage of devices and equipment that use the IoT for useful functions for daily life, including the “Tsunagaru de function” to enable users to control their gas devices from outside the home and the residential fuel cell “ENE-FARM type S,” equipped with a “Tsunagaru Switch” that connects the remote control with a dedicated smartphone app.
Additionally, as we look to identify new styles of communication with customers for the “age of Post Covid-19,” we will also utilize the IoT and ICT in our contact with customers.
Aiming to Provide the Value Needed in a New Age
Going forward, the Daigas Group will continue taking steps to develop our businesses in a sustainable way, incorporating an ESG management perspective in various activities.
In terms of environmental considerations, as we look to achieve our target of reducing CO2 emissions by a cumulative total of approximately 70 million tons by FY2031.3, we will focus on areas such as developing and introducing devices of higher efficiency, acquiring renewable energy power sources, and developing low-carbonization technology. We have achieved 648 MW in renewable energy sources in Japan and overseas across 26 sites including the projects for which decisions have been made as of March 31, 2020, but we intend to achieve 1 million kW before long by focusing on offshore wind power generation and other energy sources. With regard to technical development, we will promote initiatives related to the utilization of renewable energy, low-carbonization, decarbonization, and the use of hydrogen, namely our experimental study on carbon-neutral methane, as we respond to issues our customers and society as a whole face in regard to climate change and their needs for low-carbonization solutions.
The Daigas Group will promote activities related to social considerations across the entire value chain, including identifying risks and initiatives related to human rights, appropriate labor practices, etc. At the same time, we will continue making fundamental improvements to our operations through digitalization and promoting workstyle reforms by further utilizing teleworking, etc.
In terms of strengthening corporate governance, we will maintain a sufficient level of information disclosure, while also further ensuring fair business practices, promoting diversity, and strengthening information security are completely implemented across the Group as a whole. Furthermore, in line with our organizational restructuring in April 2020, we changed the composition of the Board of Directors such that Outside Directors comprise no less than one-third of its members, in order to separate execution and supervisory duties, and strengthen both business execution functions and supervisory functions.
The Daigas Group intends to take full advantage of our total capabilities as a group and the merits of our new structure to further enhance our “value to provide” without being constrained by fixed ideas, by maintaining a keen awareness of the expectations of our customers and society and taking the time to consider our approach even as we move forward.