The Seven & i Group aims to be a sincere company in line with its corporate creed*1, earning the trust of all stakeholders, including customers, business partners, shareholders, local communities, employees, and franchisees.
Japan today is seeing various social changes such as population decline, a falling birthrate and aging of society, smaller households, an increase in working women, a decline in retail stores and social centers, and labor and personnel shortages. These have given rise to a host of challenges.
In recent years, global challenges have become more acute in areas such as climate change, resource depletion, poverty and inequality, and human rights. There has been a response at the national level through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)*2and the conclusion of the Paris Agreement. In addition, the public also has extremely high expectations and demands of companies to take action on resolving these global issues.
At the same time, in management strategies that factor in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects, investment has been growing rapidly as a way of increasing sustainable corporate value and reducing risk. Recently, Japan's Stewardship Code was formulated, and Japan's Corporate Governance Code has been implemented. In addition, 2015 saw the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world's largest, become a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and in 2017 it commenced passive investment tracking ESG indices for Japanese equities at a scale of \1 trillion. These developments show that ESG information is highly significant for discerning the long-term growth potential of a company.
Given these social issues and environmental changes, we are utilizing the Group's strengths in valuable products and services, as well as human resources and stores, to provide solutions. The Group is practicing the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact*3, having signed it in 2012. In addition, we have clarified our direction on CSR and are working to maximize Group synergies by promoting activities to address our Five Promises (material issues). In doing so, we strive to actively disclose relevant ESG data.
We are also promoting initiatives for Creating Shared Value (CSV)*4, a process for resolving social issues while increasing our corporate value. In 2016, we established the Social Value Creation Subcommittee under the CSR Management Committee. The new subcommittee is planning and examining new business models originating from social issues to be addressed through core businesses.
Looking ahead, the Seven & i Group will respond to various social and environmental changes in a spirit of "reliability and sincerity," using the strengths it has developed in business infrastructure, expertise, and other areas and leveraging management resources to work through a PDCA cycle to realize sustainable growth in corporate value over the medium to long term.
*1 Corporate creed:
We aim to be a sincere company that our customers trust.
We aim to be a sincere company that our business partners, shareholders and local communities trust.
We aim to be a sincere company that our employees trust.
*2 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
The SDGs were adopted by all of international society in a unanimous vote of 193 member countries at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. There are 17 goals and 169 targets comprising priority issues on a global scale and making clear a vision for the world in 2030.
*3 UN Global Compact:
This is a voluntary participation initiative within a global framework whereby companies or organizations act as good members of society by displaying responsible and creative leadership to realize sustainable growth. There are ten principles in four fields (human rights, labor, environment, anti-corruption) recognized by global society and globally adopted and agreed upon as universal values.
*4 Creating Shared Value (CSV):
A management model and framework, along with associated activities, proposed by US economist Michael E. Porter in 2011 for achieving both resolution of social issues (social value) and economic value by companies (corporate value).