Nichirei Corporation invited Professor Mika Takaoka of Rikkyo University to read, and offer her opinion on, the Nichirei Group CSR Report 2016 in both its condensed and full versions (most of each is included in the “CSR/Environment-related Practices” section of the Nichirei Group’s English-language website.
Third-party opinion of the Nichirei Group CSR Report 2016
College of Business
Overall, I believe that the Nichirei Group CSR Report 2016 presents a good account of the Nichirei Group’s mission of “Looking at people’s lifestyles and providing true satisfaction.”
As stated in the “Message from the Board of Directors,” the Group has an ongoing policy of developing and expanding new areas of business with a genuine commitment to those consumers who are its customers. Further, the message emphasizes the fact that the most important way in which the Group contributes to society is through its businesses, an approach I highly commend.
Turning to the Group’s environment-related initiatives, I note that they cover a broad range. The point I should like to applaud here is the Group’s decision to set nationwide worksite targets in its next medium-term business plan (fiscal 2016-2018). The aim is to reduce total CO2 emissions from fiscal 2009 levels, in line with the decision to enhance cooperation on climate change reached in Paris at the 21st Conference of the Parties in December 2015.
I also applaud the Group for working together with its supply chain partner companies to ensure sustainable procurement of raw materials-although it should be noted that no mention is made of this in the English-language version of the report. Since the Group procures raw materials from around the world, it is essential that the biodiversity and water resources of each region be considered, steps be taken to prevent pollution, and the efficient use of resources be incorporated as a key principle of the Group’s business activities. I hope that the Group will continue to increase the raw materials subject to these initiatives.
In connection with the Group’s social contributions, when I toured the Group’s Funabashi No. 2 Plant I had an opportunity to observe measures to ensure that safe products are made available to customers. At the plant, advanced equipment and systems are used not only to improve food safety and defense, but also productivity. High marks go to the Group’s quality assurance capabilities, and I trust that the measures undertaken at the plant will be extended to all the Group’s domestic and overseas processing plants.
The Nichirei Group also pays serious attention to employee satisfaction. It is committed to promoting employee diversity, for which purpose it organizes a group-wide Diversity Promotion Conference three times a year. Moreover, since the report states that many female employees were promoted to management and section chief positions in fiscal 2014 and 2015, I would like to see targets for the ratio of women in management positions published in next fiscal year’s report.
Hope for the future
If the Group’s corporate social responsibility-related activities are to experience ongoing improvement and be relevant, it is essential to adopt a plan-do-check-act-PDCA-cycle. Thus, in its next report, I hope the Group will consider including an action plan. It should include the main CSR activities considered important, the goals of those activities, as well as the details of relevant initiatives, measurable targets, time frames, and levels of achievement.
Response to the third-party opinion
and Vice Director
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Professor Takaoka for her valuable comments about the Nichirei Group CSR Report 2016, and her evaluation of the Nichirei Group’s initiatives.
Earlier this fiscal year, Professor Takaoka was given a tour of a food processing plant and logistics center, where she saw, first hand, the careful attention paid in connection with the safety and security of our products and services. We asked her to assess the Group’s business-driven initiatives and its approach to promoting sustainable procurement and environmental conservation. This we did to help us better fulfill our obligations as a corporate group involved with food, so that we might continue enhancing our CSR-related activities.
Given that we are in the process of revising the Group’s six obligations as set in our basic CSR policy, and reorganizing our priority tasks accordingly, the action plan proposed by Takaoka for CSR initiatives is well timed. We will draw up a strategy and implement a PDCA cycle before presenting the activities we propose to conduct.
It is also our intention to continue our dialogue with stakeholders, while striving to grow, together with the communities in which we operate, as a corporate group that is widely respected and trusted.