Actions on Materiality
Advise on Effective Function of Materiality (FY2018)
Advise on Effective Function of Materiality (FY2018)
Dialogue was held with five outside experts regarding the materiality the Daigas Group has worked on over the past three years. Through the dialogue, the experts evaluated the Group's CSR activities, with a focus on what the Group should take up as new themes and important issues as part of its efforts to review the materiality. The experts then pointed out fields where progress had been seen and issues to be tackled.
Views from a customer
Mr. Hideo Iida
Representative of organizers, Council of the Kansai Consumers' Association
Shift in themes aiming for improving the quality of people's lives and addressing their concerns
Osaka Gas saw its capital adequacy ratio standing at an impressive 51.5% in its financial statement for fiscal 2017, a result indicating that the Company's financial standing has been solid. The question is how the Company will use its financial resources backed by its strong financial footing. To get its value-creating management system rolling further, Osaka Gas must introduce new indicators that go beyond its conventional “boundaries,” when revising the current materiality.
In Japan, household spending is dwindling in recent years. Under these circumstances, consumers tend to be strict about product and service quality. Furthermore, their demand for leading care-free lives in their respective regions has grown strong amid the graying of society.
We hope that Osaka Gas, when introducing new materiality indicators, will attach importance not only to ensuring safety and sanitation in its gas business but also to improving the quality of people's lives and carrying out measures to dispel their concerns, including strengthening its housing support service called “Sumikata Service,” based on what the Company has achieved in the past.
Views from an expert on the environment
Dr. Koji Shimada
Professor, Department of Economics at Ritsumeikan University
Expectations placed on Osaka Gas attaining long-term environmental targets by choosing an environment-friendly energy mix combining natural gas and renewable energy sources
Osaka Gas has seen steady progress in its materiality in the general environmental sector during the three-year period between fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2017. The Company's environmental management efficiency, a comprehensive indicator gauging corporate environmental preservation efforts, improved from 60 yen per 1,000 m³ in fiscal 2015 to 52.5 yen per 1,000 m³ in fiscal 2017, representing an improvement of 12.5% and attaining the targeted 58 yen per 1,000 m³. The company has been striving further, setting medium-term environmental targets covering the period from fiscal 2018 to fiscal 2021.
Under its Long-Term Management Vision, Osaka Gas has set the goal of raising the amount of electric sources to be purchased through fiscal 2031 to 9 million kW, and reducing the cumulative amount of CO2 emissions to 70 million tons. If Osaka Gas achieves these targets by effectively combining its competitive natural gas business, which the company should retain as its primary business, to energy business based on renewable energy sources, it is capable of spurring world ESG (environment, society and governance) investment. I hope that a virtual business cycle for Osaka Gas will start to operate in the next fiscal year, with corporate growth assisted by its environmental protection and energy measures.
Views from an NGO
Ms. Kaori Kuroda
Executive Director of CSO Network Japan
Social contribution led through employees' daily lives, a system that goes beyond conventional system led by the company
The Osaka Gas Group has been credited with fostering next-generation human resources and supporting people tasked with invigorating local communities. The Osaka Gas Group has also been known as a corporate group active in social contribution projects. The degree of attaining the materiality targets the Group has set for its CSR activities has reached 100% in the past three years. Most remarkable among the Group's social contribution projects is the “Small Light Campaign,” a volunteer initiative led by employees to solve a range of problems facing local communities. It is incredible Under the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), companies are asked to present a new approach regarding the review of people's lifestyles—not one that relies on conventional value regarding production and consumption but one that respects each person's lifestyle value. It would be better for the Osaka Gas Group to establish a system in which each employee is encouraged to contribute to society through his or her daily lives as well as through the Company.
Views from a human rights expert
Ms. Emi Sugawara
Associate Professor at Faculty of Law, Osaka University of Economics and Law
Enhancing due diligence regarding human rights, rectifying remaining problems, and visualizing the operation of the grievance mechanism
The Osaka Gas Group has stepped up the assessment of suppliers regarding their human rights protection, and strengthened its engagement with business partners, mainly through study seminars, as a way of improving the level of human rights protection. At a time when the Osaka Gas Group has been expanding its value-chain network including overseas projects and electricity business, it is hoped that the Group will steadily carry out due diligence of potential business partners regarding their human rights protection efforts. Concerning the protection of customer privacy, issues are seen in handling personal information. It is regrettable that some incidents on mishandling of customers' information have occurred at the Osaka Gas Group. However, the Group has done all it could expeditiously and sincerely to support the affected customers. Following the incidents, group-wide training seminars have been held to prevent similar cases from occurring. The Osaka Gas Group has established a grievance mechanism which is open to business partners, a contact desk that can function independently. The grievance system allows feedbacks while maintaining the secrecy of the complainant. It is hoped that the grievance mechanism will become more transparent in its operation in the next business year, in doing so the reliability of the mechanism will be improved.
Views from an expert on diversity of human resources
Mr. Taro Tamura
Representative Director, Institute for Human Diversity Japan
Reviewing each materiality item from a fresh angle, promoting information disclosure, and taking necessary remedial steps
Disclosure has been promoted at the Osaka Gas Group regarding the main items of its materiality, identified in 2013. Remedial measures are in place regarding problems that have surfaced following the disclosure. Overall, the Osaka Gas Group has achieved the materiality targets. It would be better if information had been further disclosed. The Group, however, has more work to do in the field of diversity of human resources, with the exception of measures that have been taken to empower women. It is hoped that the Group will review each materiality item related to diversity from a fresh viewpoint, further promote information disclosure, and take remedial measures if necessary.
The current Medium-Term Management Plan calls for the Osaka Gas Group to expand the scope of its business fields and the scale of each business project as a means of responding to problems associated with the declining population of Japan. When choosing a new set of materiality items, the Osaka Gas Group should attach importance to strengthening due diligence regarding human rights protection involving overseas projects. In domestic operations, the Group should focus on establishing a sustainable business structure to ensure employment at companies that constitute the Group's supply-chain network.