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College of Business, Rikkyo University
Professor, PhD in Economics
In April 2021, the Japan Post Group celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding. As mentioned in the message from its top management, over the course of 150 years, despite changing times, the postal service has always supported the development of local communities. Reading this report, you can understand that the Japan Post Group is committed to creating new value through its business activities and contributing to the creation of a sustainable society, including care and consideration for the environment.
Here are three points that I rate highly about this report.
The first point is that the Group formulated and published the new Medium-Term Management Plan, JP Vision 2025, which was announced in May 2021. The content of the plan is very ambitious, describing a vision of securing freedom in business management, investing in new business operations, transforming the Group's business portfolio, and improving capital efficiency. In terms of sustainability-related aspects, in addition to promoting ESG investment, it states clearly that the Group will aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. As the first step toward this goal, the Group will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by expanding its introduction of electric vehicles (EVs) between FY2021 and FY2025, and has set the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 46% (in comparison with FY2019) by FY2030. The vision also outlines efforts to increase the ratio of female employees in management positions as part of the Group's efforts to promote diversity. By positioning sustainability in the new Medium-Term Management Plan, the effectiveness of the Group's efforts will be dramatically enhanced. I rate the Japan Post Group's sincere attitude and commitment to realizing a sustainable society highly.
The second point is the establishment of a sustainability promotion system. In January 2021, the Group's CSR Committee (an advisory body to the Management Meeting) was reorganized into the Sustainability Committee, chaired by the executive officer in charge of the Corporate Planning Department, with the Sustainability Promotion Office established as its administrative office. The Group has also established mechanisms for promoting sustainability management as a unified group, holding Group Sustainability Liaison Committee meetings with membership consisting of executive officers in charge of the Corporate Planning Department of each Group company, with the aim of enhancing group-wide sustainability promotion.
In addition to publishing numerical data on human resources and the environment as in the past, the report also deserves recognition for progress in disclosing information relating to corporate governance.
The final point is that the Japan Post Group's sustainability activities have already reached a high level. As one suggestion for the future, perhaps the Group could devise ways to conduct activities more effectively within the fantastic framework that they have created. For example, in April 2019, the Group established the Japan Post Group Human Rights Policy, and published details of the Japan Post Group's approach to procurement activities--in compliance with the 10 principles of the four areas stipulated under the United Nations Global Compact--in the report in order to help business partners understand and cooperate with this content, including the Human Rights Policy. Next time, the Group could conduct a procurement questionnaire survey of its business partners. The Group has also set greenhouse gas emission targets for 2030 and 2050 covering Scope 1 (emissions directly emitted by the company) and Scope 2 (emissions associated with the use of electric power, etc., supplied by other companies) but the report stated that Scope 3 (emissions through supply chain and investments) were not included. I think that in the future the Group will calculate Scope 3 emissions in order to obtain SBT certification, so I hope that the Group will incorporate those calculations into emission targets for 2030 and 2050 in its Medium-Term Management Plan.