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This section covers the six SDGs that Hitachi has identified as relating to its corporate commitments. It explores the social and environmental policies and commitments undertaken by Hitachi across all levels of management and business strategy, linking each to the relevant SDGs. We believe we can and should contribute to the achievement of these SDGs because, though not directly linked to our commercial activities, they are critical for all our group companies because of their impact on our long-term sustainability and operational success. Below we list the key global issues and importance to Hitachi for each commitment area and SDG, along with case studies showing how we are contributing.
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Climate change remains the primary sustainability challenge across all industries. It now affects every country on every continent, disrupting national economies and changing lives. If left unchecked, climate change could undo much progress made to date as well as impeding future development. It can also exacerbate other threats such as food and water scarcity.
Social expectations of companies and industries are increasing—in relation to ESG (environment, society, governance) with the adoption of the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in relation to climate change with the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). Hitachi has made a commitment to contributing to the resolution of global environmental problems through promoting its Social Innovation Business, which combines superior products with OT and IT digitalization expertise.
In September 2016, Hitachi released Hitachi Environmental Innovation 2050, containing the Hitachi Group Long-term Environmental Targets. Through this, we aim to realize a low-carbon society, a resource efficient society, and a harmonized society with nature.
Hitachi seeks to reduce its CO2 emissions by 80% by fiscal 2050 compared to fiscal 2010 levels as its contribution to realizing a drop in global anthropogenic GHG emissions. We will attain this target throughout our value chain, starting with the usage stage of our products and solutions, which accounts for a substantial share of value chain emissions.
We will contribute to the well-being of our customers and to society by developing innovative technologies and solutions as well as enhancing the efficiency of our products and supplying low-carbon energy. At the same time, we will also work to cut emissions at the production stage of our business activities.
We are already promoting ways to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions from our factories and offices by improving production efficiency, installing high-efficiency equipment and devices, and using renewable energy.
Hitachi's Omika Works is a model “next-generation smart factory” which strives to reduce environmental burden while improving productivity by using Hitachi's advanced Lumada digital technology and energy-efficient products.
Hitachi will help establish a circular economy by scaling out lean and efficient production processes and recycling and reusing resources and materials. Regarding clean water conservation, we have set a target of making our water use 50% more efficient by fiscal 2050 compared to fiscal 2010. These goals will be achieved through initiatives including those listed below.
To realize a harmonized society with nature, in which ecosystems are restored and preserved for future generations, Hitachi seeks to minimize negative ecological impacts caused by its businesses and restore natural capital using its state-of-the-art technologies and human resources.
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
Education is the key to achieving many other SDGs and empowering people everywhere to live healthier, more sustainable lives. However, access to education is neither universal nor equal. Nearly 103 million young people worldwide lack basic literacy skills, and sixty percent of these are women and girls. More robust efforts are needed to make even greater strides to achieving universal education goals.
Hitachi's employees are the future of the company and the driving force in achieving its goal to lead transformations in society. We continue to promote career development for employees and offer a range of training programs aligned with individual career paths.
We also use our knowledge and technology to nurture the next generation. Hitachi and the Hitachi Global Foundation carry out a variety of activities based on our policy on social contribution activities.
The Hitachi Young Leaders Initiative (HYLI) is one example of Hitachi fulfilling its commitment to society by helping to develop future generations through innovative education. This program seeks to identify and nurture potential leaders among the best and brightest students in Asia, bringing them together to discuss regional and global issues with influential government officials, prominent business leaders, academics, and NGO representatives. With the participation of countries across Asia, the HYLI has produced over 300 alumni since its establishment in 1996.
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
If global society fails to change its consumption and production patterns, the environment will continue to face unprecedented degradation. Social problems will also remain unresolved, including forced/child labor and other human rights violations, occupational health and safety issues, and corrupt practices in the value chain.
Hitachi is serious about ensuring the sustainability of products and services across its entire value chain. Businesses will be empowered by our innovative solutions to deliver change, which enable and inspire others to lead more sustainable lifestyles, reduce environmental and social impacts, and improve well-being.
Hitachi aims to improve the supply chain through engagement with suppliers. Our stringent Hitachi Group CSR Procurement Guidelines were further revised after evaluating human rights risks within the supply chain, setting priorities, and considering risk reduction measures. We have distributed the Guidelines to approximately 30,000 Hitachi Group suppliers to ensure that they understand our approach toward the environment and society. We regularly conduct supply chain monitoring (self-checks) and CSR audits to diagnose associated risks and issues and ensure suppliers adhere to standards. In addition, our green procurement system A Gree'Net is used to collect environmental data from suppliers as soon as it becomes available and use it in procurement management.
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Gender inequality persists everywhere today, hindering social progress. Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, and decent work, along with fair representation in political and economic decision-making processes, will deliver sustainable benefits, both economic and to society at large.
Diversity is the wellspring of our innovation and our growth engine. Hitachi regards personal differences—gender, nationality, work history, age, sexual orientation, and philosophy—as facets of people's individuality. By respecting our employees' individualities and positioning them as an advantage, Hitachi frames its diversity and inclusion as conducive to both the individual's and the company's sustainable growth.
With strong teamwork and broad experience in the global market, we will meet our customers' needs. We pay particular attention to career development for women, not only through strict policies on equal pay but also by actively encouraging the promotion of female employees.
In order to further promote women's participation in decision-making, as part of efforts to reflect diverse opinions and values in future management, Hitachi has set a goal for achieving a 10% ratio for female executive officers and corporate officers by fiscal 2020, up from the current 2.5%.
Hitachi hosts an annual Global Women's Summit for female employees. The 2017 summit was held in the United States and included 120 employees from nine countries, representing 21 group companies.
The event featured keynote speeches from President and CEO Toshiaki Higashihara as well as external speakers and workshops on topics ranging from unconscious bias to individual career development.
Goal 17: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector, and civil society. The UN Agenda, with its 17 SDGs, is universal and calls for action by all countries to ensure no one is left behind.
The needs of our customers and the issues confronting society today are constantly changing. Responding quickly and efficiently to these changes requires collaborative creation with customers and partners. We will work with government, public, and private sectors to address shared issues, exchange ideas, and create new value for society. Our goal is to contribute to the enhancement of people's quality of life and the development of a sustainable society.
In 2016, Hitachi established “Hitachi The University of Tokyo Laboratory” to spearhead open innovation concepts combining ICT advancements and smart transformations. The Laboratory focuses on co-creation intended to realize the “Super Smart Society” (Society 5.0) idea put forward by the Japanese government. We have also established three other joint laboratories in Japan based upon shared belief in a need for innovations to resolve future societal issues.
Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
Human rights are embedded throughout the 17 SDGs. Achieving the SDGs depends in part on reducing the negative impact of business activities on human rights across the whole value chain.
Human rights represent the most urgent sustainability priority for global companies, yet also the most challenging. Companies are expected to respect internationally recognized human rights in accordance with global standards like the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Respect for human rights is more than a “do no harm” principle. It also contributes to the achievement of all SDGs.
As our value chain expands on a global scale, Hitachi has encountered diverse working environments, business norms, and trade practices. The Hitachi Group Human Rights Policy, adopted in 2013, highlights our commitment to respecting human rights in our operations and business relationships. Based on this policy, we respect human rights through training, capacity-building, and embedding this principle throughout our business operations and activities. We believe our efforts will particularly contribute to the achievement of SDG 4, 5, 8 and 12.
Hitachi carries out educational activities targeting all executives and employees under the leadership of top management. A human rights message from our President and CEO Toshiaki Higashihara is distributed every year on Human Rights Day, December 10.
In 2015, we conducted assessment and prioritization of human rights risks, along with analysis of existing procedures and exploration of ideas for improvement, in our procurement division. In 2016, we repeated this process for our human resources division. The results of those assessments will be used when considering specific and effective measures to mitigate risks.