TOPSustainabilitySustainability Direction, Structure, and TargetsStakeholder DialogueInternational Trends toward Achieving a Sustainable Society

Mandom Group's CSR KohDoh Practices

International Trends toward Achieving a Sustainable Society
"Understanding and addressing global environmental challenges with a long-term vision is essential for us"

On Tuesday, December 18, 2018, we held a sustainability seminar and dialogue session at the Mandom head office, enlisting the cooperation of experts familiar with international environmental issues and trends in global enterprises.

The event was held to clarify how to embody CSR principles and uphold international codes of conduct and frameworks as a respected global company. At the event we addressed: the Mandom Group's KohDoh Principles, the Mandom Group's CSR Material Issues (Ver. 2), and the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact.


Social Responsibility and Sustainability

- Mandom Group's CSR Material Issues (Ver.2) -

Issue No.06: Environmental considerations in products and services
Issue No.07: Promoting measures toward a Carbon-Free Society
Issue No.08: Protecting biodiversity
Issue No.09: Promoting a recycling-oriented society
Issue No.13: Detecting and contributing to new social paradigms
Issue No.14: Co-creating value with society

- The Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact -

Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) -

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
Goal 13: Climate Action
Goal 14: Life Below Water
Goal 15: Life on Land
Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

- Corporate Governance Code -

  • General Principle 2: Appropriate cooperation with stakeholders other than shareholders

For the sustainability seminar, we enlisted the expertise of Yosuke Ikehara of the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Japan, a branch of the world's largest conservation NGO. Mr. Ikehara gave a talk attended by 64 Mandom employees, entitled "International Trends for Sustainability and Expected Efforts by Enterprises-How Enterprises Should Work Toward a Low-Carbon Society."

Yosuke Ikehara
Climate and Energy Project Leader, Conservation Division, WWF Japan

After working in the private sector on environment-related issues, Mr. Ikehara engaged in scientific research on climate change at the University of Edinburgh.
He has been in his current position since 2008. Through projects such as WWF’s Ranking of Japanese Corporations for Effective Efforts to Address Climate and Energy Issues, he has been mainly in charge of climate business engagement. He is an advisory committee member of Japan's Green Power Certification System and a Lecturer at Hosei University.

Just prior to the seminar, on December 2–14, 2018 COP24 (the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) was held in Poland, at which detailed rules (implementation guidelines) of the Paris Agreement were adopted. Mr. Ikehara shared the latest information from the conference in his field of climate change control, including developments in the United Nations and among governments, international NGOs, and companies.

In addition to the issues pertaining to climate change control and a low-carbon society, Mr. Ikehara spoke about a range of issues that relate to our business activities, such as the conservation of forest resources, which are the source of palm oil, paper, and cardboard, as well as international efforts to promote the sustainability of natural capital (the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and Forest Stewardship Council) . He also discussed plastic, an issue that has gained a great deal of attention recently.
His discussion of the plastic problem was especially interesting. He said that while the media has raised public awareness of marine pollution caused by plastic microbeads contained in facial cleansers, straws, plastic shopping bags, plastic bottles, and the like, an ever-increasing volume of garbage remains the underlying problem. He also discussed domestic and international efforts at recycling plastic and recyclable waste and a global movement aimed at achieving a circular economy and low-plastic future.

At the end of the seminar, Mr. Ikehara gave specific examples of actions being taken by enterprises and spoke about public–private international efforts that support and evaluate those actions. He highlighted three essential points for corporate climate actions, and explained the significance and merit of publicizing a company's long-term vision and having ambitious goals, along with the concept of "backcasting," where a desirable future is defined and then used to work backwards from.


- Three Essential Points for Corporate Climate Actions -

  1. Have you established a long-term vision and emission reduction targets?

  2. Are you working on reducing emissions throughout the life cycles of products and services?

  3. Are you actively utilizing / contributing to the deployment of renewable energy sources?

Following the lecture, a dialogue session was held with employees, primarily members of our Environment Promotion Subcommittee, led by Mr. Ikehara of WWF Japan and Ms. Junko Kano of BASF Japan.

Junko Kano
Sustainability Strategy & Project, Sub-regional Development, BASF Japan Ltd.

Experienced marketing manager Personal Care products with background in research at Technical Service Laboratory for Cosmetics at BASF Japan. In 2013, she was transferred to the BASF East Asia Regional Headquarters (Hong Kong) as a senior manager responsible for sustainability for the Care Chemical Division in Asia-Pacific region. Since 2018 she has been working on Sustainability, Strategy & Project at BASF Japan.
BASF is a chemical company headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. During the United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit in September 2018, BASF was recognized as a UN Global Compact LEAD Company and as an SDG Pioneer. In November 2018, BASF announced the new corporate strategy that aims for both profitable and CO2-neutral growth.

‐ Employee Participants in the dialogue ‐

Yuko Shiomi ‐ Purchasing Div.
Shinichiro Eto ‐ Purchasing Div.
Takashi Yamazaki ‐ Manager, Technical Development Center
Etsuji Shiomi ‐ Technical Development Center
Junichi Ota ‐ Deputy General Manager, Fukusaki Factory
Kirika Otani ‐ Product Planning Div.
Yoshihiro Watanabe ‐ Manager, General Administration Div.
Tsukasa Nishiyama ‐ CSR Promotion Div. (Moderator)

‐ Observers (Mandom) ‐

Tatsuyoshi Kitamura ‐ Director
Misao Tsubakihara ‐ Executive Officer and General Manager, Technical Development Center
Tokuto Muraji ‐ General Manager, Purchasing Div.
Atsushi Kida ‐ General Manager, General Administration Div.
Takashi Maekawa ‐ General Manager, CSR Promotion Div.
Norikatsu Uchida ‐ Fukusaki Factory
Shuji Tani - Technical Development Center …etc.

The dialogue focused on the topics of long-term vision and ambitious goals, as well as backcasting, and we received a great deal of valuable advice through the exchange of ideas.
First, Mr. Ikehara from WWF Japan went into greater detail from his seminar talk, discussing the significance and merits of enterprises widely publicizing their long-term vision and ambitious goals as their corporate stance, sharing many actual examples.
Then, Ms. Kano from BASF Japan presented the corporate strategy that her company announced to the world in November 2018, and discussed its background and purpose, and introduced practical steps the company is taking to fulfill its strategy and achieve sustainability at the same time.
Some comments from participating employees: "I finally understood the significance and purpose of setting ambitious goals that seem impossible to achieve at the time and widely disseminating them outside the company." "I learned that many other companies are formulating and announcing very long-term targets, such as for 2050, and about the circumstances surrounding their doing so." "I now understand the need for technological and other types of innovation, and the importance of a co-creative relationship with various stakeholders outside the company."

Backcasting is a planning method that starts with defining a desirable future and then works backwards to identify policies and actions that will lead from the present to that specified future. Utilizing the approach for a sustainable future society was pioneered by The Natural Step, an international non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in Sweden, dedicated to applied research for sustainability.
It is not possible for us or anyone else to overcome the social and environmental hurdles to a desirable future, or to achieve the ambitious goal of sustainability, by going it alone. Only when we share our long-term vision and ambitious goals with society at large are we able to gain recognition by society for that stance, followed by its appreciation and support. This gives rise to co-creative relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, including suppliers, business partners, research organizations, NGOs, and others. These relationships, in turn, lead to a collaborative system for creating innovation that makes the impossible possible.
The sustainability seminar and dialogue provided an excellent opportunity to deepen our understanding of international approaches to solving environmental issues and the significance of sharing with society ambitious goals backcast from a long-term vision. It also served as a chance to reflect on what steps the Mandom Group should take going forward on the way to give form to our principles of "Challenge, Change, Innovation" and "Social Responsibility and Sustainability."
The CSR Promotion Division will continue striving to promote social responsibility and achieve sustainability in response to the expectations and demands of a diverse range of stakeholders through dialogues and exchanges with others outside the company, which is a basic concept of CSR. We offer our heartfelt thanks to Mr. Ikehara of WWF Japan and Ms. Kano of BASF Japan for their cooperation.

[Outside Expert Comments] Yosuke Ikehara - WWF Japan

Initiatives aimed at decarbonizing societies under the Paris Agreement, are accelerating around the world and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investments are a powerful way of supporting that movement. In the past, environmental measures were often seen as an unnecessary cost, but in recent years companies that have incorporated sustainability into their core businesses are well regarded.
The president of the Mandom Group himself has communicated the importance of creating our own future as we cannot find a pathway based only on past approaches and accumulated experience. In that sense, the KohDoh Report can be seen as a tool for bringing about a desirable future together with stakeholders inside and outside the company. Already, I can feel that the company is making steady progress by preparing a new corporate mission and vision and setting environmental targets toward its 100th anniversary in 2027.
I would like to see the company extend its perspective further into the future and visualize the kind of company it wants to be in the long term, in 2050 and beyond, in terms of its core businesses and ESG elements. From that vision it is important to backcast for identifying what are needed as of 2027 to check if they are in line with the company's existing 2027 targets. The latter would need to be adjusted if not consistent with the former. When imagining that "desirable future," it is a good idea to have a group-wide discussion that includes a questioning of what the business structure and product lineup should be as well as what raw materials and energy being used should be at each future point in time by highlighting potential climate-related risks.
A long-term vision and goals do not necessarily last forever once formulated, and need to be re-examined for validity every several years based on the latest trends in Japan and other countries. The reason for this is that demands and expectations from stakeholders could change. Also, the knowledge we gain from science gets updated with time. I do hope that Mandom continues to engage in dialogues with its stakeholders in accordance with its principle of "Social Responsibility and Sustainability."

[Outside Expert Comments] Junko Kano - BASF Japan Ltd.

Sustainability is an integral part of the business. The key to promoting sustainability management is strategy, organization, and internal/external dialogues, but it is not easy. BASF has been working on sustainability for several decades, however there are still many challenges. That include e.g. how we address challenges against climate change or the decarbonization of society launched in each region and country, as well as alliances related to international initiatives such as plastics and marine pollution. I participated in the Mandom dialogue this time, and was impressed by the clear and easy-to-understand summary of the Mandom's “KohDoh” for achieving the long-term CSR goals, the positive efforts of the employees to deepen their understanding, and the efforts made to realize the goal by coming up with various ideas. Achieving sustainability requires innovation, continuous improvement, and responsible action throughout the value chain involving partners and the momentum is growing also in Japan. Since there are various differences between Germany and Japan such as management, market, regulation, customs, etc., it is not easy for BASF Japan to proceed in the same way as the Headquarters in Germany, but if the framework (SDGs) for the cooperation of enterprises, public institutions, and civil organizations is the axis, collaboration will be possible in all fields, and it will lead to success in the market.

[Employee Comments] Yuko Shiomi ‐ Purchasing Div.

Starting with the Chinese government banning the import of recyclable waste in January 2018, the country having taken waste from all over the world up to that point, the year was one of rapidly growing social awareness of ecological concerns. This included plans to phase out of plastic straws at major restaurants. I think we will need to start looking at our company's manufacturing from the standpoint of further reducing environmental impact. Although there still seem to be many issues with the use of eco-friendly raw materials in terms of stable supply and cost, this seminar and dialogue showed through actual cases that if we are going to solve these problems, we will need not only systematized company-wide efforts, but also the technology to make it possible. I will keep my eyes and ears open for information as I pursue my own work.

[Employee Comments] Shinichiro Eto ‐ Purchasing Div.

At this event I was made keenly aware of the heightened problem of plastic in the international community. Within our own company, petroleum-derived materials are used in our product content, packaging materials, and the process of delivering our products to consumers. The ability to produce things cheaply, combined with the great convenience that products offer, has led to mass production and mass consumption as people's lives have improved around the world. Another consequence has been the global environmental problems we face—CO2 emissions and ocean plastic, for example. Although we cannot immediately shift to manufacturing cosmetics without using raw materials derived from petroleum, what we can do is cooperate with our suppliers as the purchasing division and focus on the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle), particularly on the "reduce" aspect by taking smart action to make products that further reduce environmental impact.

[Employee Comments] Takashi Yamazaki ‐ Manager, Technical Development Center

WWF Japan published a series of recommendations and proposed a structural shift of the society to reduce the amount of plastic produced, used and discarded in society by 2030. I see two objectives to reducing plastic. One is to reduce CO2 emissions and the other is to resolve the problem of ocean plastic. The packaging materials for cosmetics are required to be airtight, and if paper or some other material is to be used, we assume that some kind of coating will be required. I just want to make sure we won't lose sight of our original purpose and inadvertently increase the amount of CO2 emissions from the viewpoint of LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) by switching to another material. Also, to achieve a challenging and ambitious goal like "zero plastic waste," backcasting and technological innovation will be required. I would like us to consider collaborating with partner companies to explore technological innovations.

[Employee Comments] Etsuji Shiomi ‐ Technical Development Center

I learned a lot about how to think about and take action on sustainability based on the WWF's extensive environmental conservation activities. The method of first establishing a long-term vision and goals, then planning and promoting initiatives aimed toward them by backcasting is an approach that matches our own efforts to achieve the desirable future we set forth in VISION2027. I would like to see initiatives carried out so that the activities will spread to partner companies and the entire supply chain, not merely enacted by individual companies alone.

[Employee Comments] Junichi Ota ‐ Deputy General Manager, Fukusaki Factory

I started at the Fukusaki Factory in April 2018 and this was my first time to participate in a sustainability seminar and dialogue. It was a great learning experience. I was surprised in particular by how important a role the factory plays in environmental efforts and the high expectations involved. As we carry out our corporate activities, I will do everything I can to ensure that we actively promote environmentally conscious production at the factory based on an understanding of the importance of the factory's role. We will take environmental measures in line with the Fukusaki Factory's environmental policy, including compliance with international standards (ISO 14001). I will see that these efforts lead right into the eco-friendly operation of the new production building at the Fukusaki Factory scheduled to open in November 2020.

[Employee Comments] Kirika Otani ‐ Product Planning Div.

Since I had previously been involved in the development of facial scrub products that respond to the microplastic pollution issue, I had long been concerned with the problem of ocean plastic and with sustainability. This seminar renewed my awareness of the serious impact of plastic on marine life and the enormous time it takes for plastic in the sea to decompose (400 years for one plastic bottle!) The evidence presented made me feel more strongly than ever that we must address these issues much more seriously and actively, both as individuals and as a company. We have entered an age in which a company's stance and efforts towards the environment are now in direct view of the consumer. I would like to make products that also deliver environmental value to consumers.

[Employee Comments] Yoshihiro Watanabe ‐ Manager, General Administration Div.

Thanks to my participation in this sustainability seminar and dialogue, I was able to get a clear overview instead of bits and pieces of knowledge gleaned from newspaper and other media reports. The business climate continues to change, and the pursuit of short-term profits is no longer able to garner support from stakeholders. In recent years, the concept of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investment has also become more widely known, and we are now in an age where it is impossible to obtain support from investors (shareholders) unless the company publicizes its efforts towards sustainability. This was a valuable opportunity to reaffirm Mandom's principle of "Social Responsibility and Sustainability."