Mitsubishi Corporation

The CSR & Environmental Affairs Advisory Committee

MC's CSR & Environmental Affairs Advisory Committee is made up of ten external experts, and provides advice on the MC Group's sustainability activities from a multitude of perspectives. To deepen their understanding of MC's businesses, the members of the Advisory Committee visit MC business sites annually, in addition to participating in regular committee meetings. At the April 2014 meeting, the committee members gave their opinions on the status of MC's monitoring of sustainability risks, carbon management, supply chain management and initiatives in support of recovery efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Members of the CSR & Environmental Affairs Advisory Committee - Eiichiro Adachi (Counselor, The Japan Research Institute, Limited) / James E. Brumm (Former Executive Adviser Mitsubishi International Corporation) / Takejiro Sueyoshi (Special Advisor to the UNEP Finance Initiatives in the Asia Pacific Region) / Kaori Kuroda (Executive Director, CSO Network Japan) / Mizue Unno (Managing Director, So-Tech Consulting, Inc.) / Peter D. Pedersen (Co-founder, E-Square Inc.) / Hiroshi Kito (Professor, Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics, Sophia University) / Keiko Katsu (Freelance Newscaster) / Yasushi Hibi (Director of Japan Program, Conservation International) / Takeshi Okada (Advisor to the President, Waseda University) / Yasuhito Hirota (Chairperson Member of the Board, Executive Vice President, CSR & Environmental Affairs)

Comments and Suggestions from the April 2014 Meeting

MC's Monitoring of Sustainability Risks

  • It is commendable that MC strives to monitor and manage a comprehensive range of sustainability risks, while at the same time being engaged in a wide range of businesses globally.
  • We believe a company that is engaged as an operator in numerous global projects should do more than simply mitigate the negative aspects of their business through risk management. Rather, operators should also aim to create positive corporate value. The MC Group can gain a competitive edge by conducting a variety of business activities which exceed stakeholder expectations with regard to value creation.

Carbon Management

  • MC is engaged in a considerable number of businesses in the field of renewable energy. The Company should seek to convey its involvement in this field more emphatically to stakeholders in order to emphasize its commitment to the goal of achieving a low carbon society through its business.
  • Considering that global warming is a pressing issue, I strongly urge MC to establish greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. At the present time, it might be more practical to establish reduction targets based on efficiency indicators. In the future, however, I would suggest that MC consider setting reduction targets for its absolute amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Supply Chain Management

  • Although there are many merits to the CSR & Environmental Affairs Department's current approach of sending teams to visit local sites to confirm working conditions at facilities owned by MC's suppliers, it is also important to determine the specific points that should form the basis of these visits by seeking out the opinion of third parties and taking into account the characteristics of each site.
  • Because MC's business activities encompass such a wide array of fields, it might be helpful to establish a range of different supply chain management guidelines which factor in the specific dynamics of particular industrial sectors. When visiting sites, MC might also consider selecting partners in each industry, such as specialist NGOs, and conducting the visits together with them.

Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Efforts

  • I would like to express my admiration that MC has been implementing such impressive initiatives in support of recovery efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake. Looking ahead, it seems likely that disparities will start to become apparent among the different groups of people directly affected by the disaster, in terms of their access to recovery assistance. Therefore, it will be crucial to ensure that support activities extend far and wide among many different stakeholders.
  • There are many companies that report on their corporate philanthropy activities, but it seems that very few companies are able to clearly convey exactly what kind of positive impact those activities have on society. In the course of conducting social contribution activities, I believe that it is necessary for MC to set performance targets for each activity, and for subsequent philanthropic programs to be evaluated against these targets.