We will continue to strive for the creation of
a sustainable society with the aspiration
of becoming the preferred company
for all of our stakeholders.
The growing demands of society
A manifold of problems are emerging and growing in severity, including natural disasters of increasing magnitude in many parts of the world, soaring resource and energy prices resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and disruptions in the supply chain. Furthermore, various digital innovations driven by technologies such as AI, IoT, and 5G are advancing at an extremely high pace, bringing about unceasing changes in the world’s industrial structure and even our personal lives. In these increasingly uncertain business conditions, it is all the more important to take a long-term perspective and continue to make efforts toward the creation of a sustainable society. Companies are under heavy pressure to not only pursue profits, but also work toward ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), and I feel that we are in an era in which companies will be eliminated if they cannot meet these demands.
To contribute to the creation of a sustainable society through our business, the Daifuku Group has identified 18 material aspects and is implementing a three-year action plan, the Sustainability Action Plan (Action Plan), to address them. The Action Plan is positioned as the cornerstone of our management strategy together with Value Transformation 2023, our three-year business plan that was started in April 2021, and we are now in the final year of that plan. Although we assess our progress toward the goals set forth in the Action Plan as generally on track, society’s expectations for corporate initiatives have risen even higher in recent years, so we will continue to push forward without being content with the status quo.
Revision of the Daifuku Environmental Vision 2050
In May 2023, the Daifuku Group revised the Daifuku Environmental Vision 2050 that we announced in 2021. In recent years, efforts to achieve carbon neutrality have accelerated on a global scale, and the impact of economic activity on biodiversity and natural capital as well as the associated risk of erosion of corporate value have also been identified. Given these changes in societal demands, we have expanded our focus areas and raised our environmental targets for 2030 so that we can take concrete action at a higher level. In this Vision, we have set a goal to realize a world where material handling systems operate with zero environmental impact by 2050, and we have established three critical issue areas: addressing climate change, promoting resource recycling, and coexisting with nature. In these revisions, the CO2 emission reduction target is set to help achieve the 1.5°C global warming limit required by the Paris Agreement,* and new targets have also been set for water resources and biodiversity conservation.
Currently, the Group is focusing on introducing renewable energy and energy conservation efforts at all of our domestic and global sites, and we expect to be able to reduce our own CO2 emissions (Scopes 1+2) to some extent in accordance with the plan. At the same time, a large percentage of the Group’s CO2 emissions are attributable to procurement and product operation (Scope 3). Therefore, it is essential for us to work more closely with our customers and suppliers to achieve our goals for the entire supply chain.
We acknowledge that a major challenge for the future is to identify the actual environmental impact of our supply chain beyond CO2 emissions and to formulate a concrete roadmap to reduce that environmental impact to near zero. Additionally, it is of utmost importance that each and every officer and employee of the Group heighten their awareness of the Earth’s environment and practice reducing their environmental impact both in their work and their daily lives. In light of this, we will work to further enhance awareness-raising activities for the entire Group.
- *As of November 2023, the CO2 emissions reduction targets established in the Daifuku Environmental Vision 2050 have been recognized as near-term science-based targets in accordance with the Paris Agreement and have received official approval from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Initiatives to strengthen human capital
The Group has sustained growth up until now by operating under a business division system with a structure and human resource management optimized for each division based on the characteristics of their respective businesses. However, in order to continue to achieve medium- to long-term growth, it is essential to formulate and implement a human resource strategy that is tightly coupled with a company-wide perspective and management strategy. I am currently in the process of formulating our next medium-term business plan, and I will discuss and consider ways to strengthen our human capital while closely collaborating with our CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and CPO (Chief Production Officer). With a view toward the future, I believe it is especially important to secure and develop human resources who excel in areas such as advanced technology and data science.
In fiscal 2022, we determined the competencies (behavioral traits and attitudes) expected from staff and identified key positions (chief management positions) within the Group in order to build a human resource management platform for the entire Group. In fiscal 2023, we established and began operations of the Human Resources Committee to manage the adequacy, training status, and appointment of prospective candidates for key positions.
In addition, the Group conducts employee engagement surveys focusing on job satisfaction and ease of work. The results of the survey carried out at domestic sites in fiscal 2021 revealed that our strengths lie in our customer orientation and confidence in management, while our weaknesses were in inter-organizational collaboration and support for the career development of individual employees. We are working to improve these issues by establishing a new system to increase the mobility of human resources across divisional boundaries and by reviewing the personnel handling system. A similar survey was conducted in June 2023 for global offices; we will analyze the results during fiscal 2023 and take appropriate measures as needed.
Building a sustainability promotion framework
The Daifuku Group supports the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact across the four areas of human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption, and we have developed a sustainability promotion framework that reflects the trends of the international community. Since the Environmental Management Promotion Committee was renamed to the Sustainability Committee in fiscal 2020, the Committee has been actively discussing and accelerating efforts in not only environmental issues, but other social issues such as human rights as well. In fiscal 2022, we also launched the Risk Management Committee to strengthen our management system for important risks that could affect the achievement of our management objectives. We feel that we have established a system to address sustainability from a company-wide perspective to a certain degree through these efforts. Going forward, however, we need to further enhance the functions of both committees and establish a PDCA cycle to address critical issues. In order to solve a wide range of sustainability issues throughout the supply chain, we will also focus on strengthening Group governance to achieve long-term improvements in our corporate value.
To our stakeholders
Our Group is a corporation that plays an indispensable role in the world’s social infrastructure. We feel that we have a mission to create a better society in which people can live prosperous lives. To sustain our position as a company that is trusted and relied on by society, we will not only achieve the goals we have already set, but we will also continuously improve and strengthen our systems and initiatives with a medium- to long-term perspective. We will continue to engage in dialogue with our stakeholders and challenge ourselves to create a sustainable society.
Director and Managing Officer
Chief Human Resources Officer
Corporate Functions Head