Special Feature Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Promote Efforts for Recognition, Understanding and Penetration of SDGs
The Daigas Group is committed to solving social issues through its business activities and contributing to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For these commitments to be fulfilled, the Group believes it is essential to enhance and diffuse employees' recognition and understanding of the SDGs. Starting in FY2018, the Daigas Group has been undertaking activities aimed at encouraging its employees to lead a life and work while taking into consideration social issues and the SDGs.
Promote Efforts for Recognition, Understanding and Penetration of SDGs
- In-house Efforts
CSR Seminar for All Employees
News anchorwoman Hiroko Kuniya and SDG Partners CEO Kazuo Tase were invited to the Daigas Group's FY2018 CSR seminar, and about 190 employees “comprising both executives and rank and filers” participated in the seminar. Both guests talked about the importance of the SDG activities conducted by each employee, and the additional value companies could create by incorporating SDGs into their management strategies. In a survey conducted among the employees who attended the seminar, 92% of those polled said they could contribute to the attainment of the SDGs through their work and private activities.
- In-house Efforts
Round-Table Talks under the Title of “Daigas Group's Efforts to Attain SDGs—Each Action for Helping Curb Climate Change—”
The Daigas Group has been undertaking activities aimed at achieving the SDGs by promoting business activities addressing climate change. To clarify issues to be addressed in its further SDG efforts, the Group has held a round-table talk with the attendance of experts familiar with the SDGs.
- Mr. Junichi Fujino
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
Principal Policy Researcher
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
- Mr. Tomonori Honda
Safety science division in the field of energy
Advanced Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Research Group
- Ms. Yuka Matayoshi
Mizuho Securities Co., Ltd.
Market Strategic Intelligence Department
- Megumu Tsuda
General Manager of CSR & Environment
Department, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
Create Innovation, Deepen Communication and Enhance Motivation through SDGs
Mr. Fujino: SDGs is a key part of the United Nations' document titled “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” adopted by the General Assembly in September 2015. The document's preamble described the 2030 Agenda as “a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.” Behind the wording is a sense of crisis shared by UN members toward our planet based on the perception that human activities may have already surpassed the capacity of the Earth. The 2030 Agenda calls for the global community to share 17 goals to be achieved by 2030, followed by review and assessment of the results. The agenda envisages employing a back-casting approach in working out solutions. SDGs have become akin to a universal language, as they are used in dialogue with various stakeholders. The concept of SDGs can become an important factor when Osaka Gas ponders their meaning for society and the services to be provided to customers toward 2030. Employees of Osaka Gas can refer to the SDGs when discussing how to make their company a company of pride.
Ms. Tsuda: Since its foundation, Osaka Gas has undertaken its business activities with the aim of improving people's lives by lighting the town with gaslights and easing the burden of housework with gas stoves. These activities reflected our strong desire to help people. The characteristics of people working at Osaka Gas as conveyed in three slogans may have motivated our past actions. These three slogans, which also highlight our strength, are “a spirit of active involvement,” “a pioneering spirit” and “genuine sincerity.” We are proud of what we have done in the past. By utilizing SDGs effectively, we can accelerate innovation. SDGs can become a source of motivation for employees of Osaka Gas and a prime mover of the Company.
Mr. Fujino: Initially, Osaka Gas focused on achieving Goal 1 (ending poverty), Goal 2 (ending hunger) and Goal 5 (achieving gender equality). The Company has become what it is now by contributing to attaining these goals. Why not study how Osaka Gas has become what it is now and what mission it should fulfill toward 2030, while utilizing the SDGs?
Present Proposals on Social Mechanisms, including Lifestyles, and Mobilize All Know-How to Reduce CO2 Emissions
Mr. Honda: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a means of curbing climate change has become an essential business element. It is important for Osaka Gas to manage its emission-cutting goals and their results. Equally important is accurately recognizing the status quo, reviewing these goals whenever necessary, and incorporating an environmental action mechanism in society so that you can take an appropriate approach to environmental issues. One good example to which I want to draw your attention is putting forward lifestyle proposals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, I want Osaka Gas to think how the Ene-Farm service can contribute to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, not in terms of statistical energy efficiency but in term of how it could be effective in improving people's lifestyles. I expect Osaka Gas to find new ways of utilizing the Ene-Farm and forging a mechanism for that purpose.
Ms. Tsuda: The process by which we are to achieve the goals is important. If the goals are not attained, we will come up with the next steps to be taken and check whether the goals that had been set reflected the reality. If judged necessary, the PDCA cycle will be put into place. We have visited customers and proposed solutions after analyzing how they had used gas appliances. If we mobilize all the know-how we have acquired through these solutions, we believe we can come up with a new proposal for addressing issues related to climate change.
Mr. Honda: It is hard to make a long-term forecast through 2050. But why don't we present an idea of how our company should be in the future? This may be all the more important despite the expected difficulty of making a long-term forecast. If we demonstrate that we are really serious, we can reach a starting point for discussion, on themes including whether the accumulated technologies are usable and which direction we should take.
Ms. Tsuda: We would like to think together with young employees concerning how our company should be toward 2050. The innovation we are to pursue is not an extension of what we are doing now. What we need is “discontinuous” innovation. I believe what society aims to achieve is what is sought under the SDGs. Therefore, we want to work consistently to reach the SDGs.
Promoting Information Disclosure and Dialogue, and the Process of Reflecting Them in Management Strategy are Important
Ms. Matayoshi: To build a sustainable society under the SDGs, not only a policy-oriented approach but also a change in money flow is necessary. Under these circumstances, investment indicators being used to evaluate companies based on ESG (environment, society and governance) have become a core framework in the capital market for achieving the SDGs. Especially important for energy companies heavily reliant on fossil fuels is enhanced information disclosure concerning the environment. A dialogue method as a means of addressing how information disclosure should be and enhancing corporate value has been a focus of discussion.
Ms. Tsuda: What companies had to do concerning information disclosure in the past was limited to disclosing financial information, which shows the company's “explosive power” and “muscular power.” Now, however, companies are required to disclose nonfinancial information, which shows the company's “internal organ” power that leads to sustainability. This is my perception.
Ms. Matayoshi: Information to be disclosed for evaluation is mainly data. Osaka Gas, however, should disseminate its vision concerning how the Company will recognize and respond to possible risks and opportunities deriving from uncertain factors to the investing public through dialogue. Furthermore, it is important for the Company to reflect what it has obtained through the dialogue in its management strategy. Mobilizing all options available is crucially important for the Company to solve not only climate change issues but also various social issues at the same time. In that sense, Osaka Gas should step up publicizing the fact that the active use of highly energy-efficient natural gas is instrumental in attaining the SDGs.
Ms. Tsuda: We will further analyze the risks and opportunities related to climate change and deepen our dialogue with investors, focusing on business strategies. Thank you very much for attending this panel discussion today.