Gentle care for life


SustainabilitySustainability Top

Unicharm Group's Sustainability


Our basic approach and strategy

Unicharm's corporate philosophy is “NOLA & DOLA” (Necessity of Life with Activities & Dreams of Life with Activities). Our concept of NOLA & DOLA: Necessities of Life with Activities & Dreams of Life with Activities, contains our hope that “from newborn infants to the elderly, Unicharm aims to provide people with products that provide physical and psychological support through gentle care so that they may be free of their burdens to fulfill their dreams.” Our corporate social responsibility (CSR) is embodied by our commitment to achieve this aspiration through our business activities and to help resolve social issues in the process. In order to make this aspiration even more effective, Unicharm has established CSR Key Topics and Key Performance Index (KPI).

Unicharm Group's Value Creation Process

In selecting our CSR Key Topics, we hold interviews with stakeholders both within and outside the company to identify topics that are felt to be of particular importance. These topics are then grouped under “Environmental Themes” or “Societal Themes”, and classified according to the level of concern that our stakeholders have for them and according to the extent of the potential impact on our business operations.

Environmental themes
  • Use of water resources
  • Wastewater treatment and management
  • Reduction and recycling of packaging materials
  • Response to climate change
  • CO2 reduction target with suppliers
  • Correlation with SDGs
  • Disclosure of environmental targets
  • Response to increased waste and recycling
  • Procurement of sustainable materials
  • Proper management of hazardous substances
  • Emissions of VOC gases
  • Labeling of carbon footprint
  • Legally compliant processing of waste
  • Percentage of environmentally-friendly products
  • Scenarios for science-based targets
  • Supplier selection and assessment results
  • Collaboration with suppliers
  • Promotion system and governance
  • Environmental impact studies of plant sites
  • Protection and restoration of IUCN red list species
  • Emissions of NOx and SOx
  • Compliance with environmental laws and regulations
  • Accuracy of non-financial data
  • Percentage of third party certification
  • Targets for renewable energy
Societal themes
  • Respect for human rights
  • Promoting CSR procurement
  • Respect for diversity
  • Work-life balance
  • Improving product quality and ensuring product safety
  • Appropriate communication with customers
  • Promotion of universal designs
  • Protection of customer information and privacy
  • Lengthening healthy life expectancy
  • Promotion of active participation of women at work
  • Contributions to local communities
  • Establishment and maintenance of positive labor-management relations
  • Commitment to occupational health and safety
  • Commitment to anti-corruption
  • Promotion of fair competition
  • Appropriate labor conditions and work environment
  • Human resource development
  • Protection of intellectual properties
Dialogue on environmental materiality
Dialogue on establishment of human rights policy

After carefully examining the content of the “Environmental Themes” and “Societal Themes” and following intensive discussions, we selected the following five “CSR Key Topics.”

  1. 1.Lengthening healthy life expectancy
  2. 2.Supporting women's independence and improving hygiene
  3. 3.Contributing to global environment
  4. 4.Contributions to the community and respecting people
  5. 5.Strengthening organizational foundation and following fair business practices

Through communication with stakeholders

Unicharm obtained an opinion about the Unicharm Group's CSR key topics and indicators (KPI) from Mr. Hidemi Tomita of Lloyd's Register Japan K.K. to receive an objective evaluation from a wide-ranging perspective. We will utilize his observations to improve our initiatives going forward.

Mr. Hidemi Tomita
Lloyd's Register Japan K.K.

The basics that must be performed as a company are covered in Unicharm's CSR key topics and indicators (KPI). However, considering what is important to the company over the medium-to-long term and focusing on issues that are connected to your business could lead to materiality that is unique to Unicharm. When I look at Unicharm's business, resources seem likely to be most important social issues. I think it is because of this awareness that Unicharm has been working on disposable diaper recycling in Shibushi City. Energy consumption KPIs are also important. However, I think that formulating KPIs that are linked to essential initiatives focused on resource circulation will result in topics for resolving social issues that are unique to Unicharm.

The education on the beginning of menstruation that Unicharm provides can be expected to have more impact. I think there are many regions in the world where there is still a lack of understanding about menstruation. Further expanding your education on the beginning of menstruation in such countries and regions and contributing through your business can be expected to create a cycle that leads to more ongoing initiatives. Positioning such symbolic initiatives as having materiality and promoting their activities will move toward aiming at the SDGs. While it is important to do the things that are required as a company in a comprehensive manner, I look forward to initiatives having a social impact that is unique to Unicharm.

Unicharm Group's Key Topics and Indicators (KPI)
Key Topics/
Correlated SDGs Targets
Initiatives Indicators (KPI) 2019 targets 2019 results 2020 targets Internal/external*
Lengthening healthy life expectancy
Responding to a super-aging society Dementia prevention education Number of Lifree Social Walking experiential activity participants 1,300 persons Number of Lifree Social Walking experiential activity participants 1,508 persons Number of Lifree Social Walking experiential activity participants 1,500 persons External
Number of “Mild Incontinence Care and Continence Care” seminar participants (cumulative since 2014) 18,000 persons 18,858 persons 21,000 persons External
Building a cohesive society for people and pets Animal Therapy - Companion Animal Partnership Program (CAPP) - Support Verification of results six times Verified results seven times Verification of results
Plan to verify results seven times
Education on new approach to care of aging dogs Number of participants in courses for staff at veterinary clinics
160 persons
Number of participants in courses for staff at veterinary clinics
140 persons
Number of participants in courses for staff at veterinary clinics
160 persons
Supporting rescue dogs and cats Education making use of consumer campaigns, etc. Implementation of the “Let's all support Panel for Life!” campaign Education making use of consumer campaigns, seminars, etc. External
Supporting women's independence and improving hygiene
Supporting women's independence Supporting education of first menstruation (Japan and overseas) 283,850 persons 342,166 persons 601,500 persons External
Maintaining women's health Breast cancer early detection initiative Sofy Pink Ribbon activities awareness rate
Sofy Pink Ribbon activities awareness rate
Sofy Pink Ribbon activities awareness rate
Female employee breast cancer screening rate
At least 95%
Female employee breast cancer screening rate
Female employee breast cancer screening rate
Improving health and sanitation for women and children Support for measures to help safeguard the health of mothers and children Cooperating in the spread of maternal and child health handbooks in emerging countries Distribution of maternal and child health handbooks in Myanmar during sampling Cooperate in the spread of maternal and child health handbooks in emerging countries External
Improving health and sanitation for children Supporting low-weight new born babies Donated to Tiny Lives Support Project Donated to Tiny Lives Support Project Donated to Tiny Lives Support Project External
Started to use Unicharm's low birth-weight baby diapers in NICUs in nine countries worldwide Started to use Unicharm's low birth-weight baby diapers in NICUs in seven countries worldwide Maintaining NICU development in seven countries
Expanding the domestic measures taken within each individual country
Contributing to the global environment
Eco Plan 2020 Recycling used disposable diapers Establishing recycling model Establishing recycling model Operation Internal/External
Percentage of paper and pulp suppliers certified by third parties (Japan) 97% 95% 100% Internal/External
Percentage of paper and pulp suppliers certified by third parties (overseas) 92% 95% 100% Internal/External
Percentage of environmental-friendly products (Japan) 93% 89% 100% Internal/External
Percentage of products with the Eco Charming label (Japan) 60% 66% 60% Internal/External
Initiatives to environmental impact reduction Energy consumption (GJ) / Net sales (millions of yen) (per unit of net sales basis) *Based on the IFRS standards. 10.60GJ 10.76GJ 10.50GJ Internal/External
Resource environment Recycling rate at three main plants in Japan 99% 99% 99% Internal/External
Contributing to the local community and respecting people
Diversity & inclusion Employment rate of persons with disabilities 2.3% 1.9% 2.3% Internal
Rehiring rate of retired employees 90% 92.3% 93% Internal
Percentage of female managers (Japan) 14% 13.3% 14% Internal
Creating a worker-friendly workplace Work satisfaction (average score on a scale of 5) 4.10 3.96 4.10 Internal
Employee satisfaction (average score on a scale of 5) 4.15 4.01 4.10 Internal
Maintaining and promoting employee health Implementation rate of mental health care and lifestyle habit improvement education (for those eligible) 100% 100% 100% Internal
Providing ongoing support for disaster areas Number of participants in Super Cool Biz and Warm Biz 2,000 persons 2,389 persons 2,000 persons Internal/External
Improving health and sanitation Raising awareness of maintaining sanitation Providing sanitary products in preparation for disasters
Launching of a website for provision of relevant information
Providing sanitary products in preparation for disasters
Launching of a website for provision of relevant information
Providing sanitary products in preparation for disasters
Spreading awareness of a website for provision of relevant information
Strengthening organizational foundation and following fair business practices
Corporate governance Number of female officers At least 1 person 2 persons At least 2 persons Internal
Practicing fair and equitable transactions with suppliers Implementation rate of supplier evaluations (applicable companies) 100% 100% 100% External
Assuring product safety Number of problems with material or product safety 0 0 0 External
Improving customer satisfaction Customer satisfaction with customer inquiries 90% 91.2% 91.3% External
  • *Main scope of the impact of the initiative.
Message from Management
Tetsuya Shite
Senior Executive Officer,
Chief Quality Officer(CQO) and Head of the Global Human Resources & General Affairs Division responsible for overseeing the ESG Division and Customer Communication Center
Unicharm Corporation

At the Unicharm Group, we are working to create products and services that are the first of their kind in the world, or number one in the world, so as to bring people comfort, emotional satisfaction and joy, thereby contributing towards the building of “cohesive societies” where all people can continue to shine through independence and mutual aid.

With the trend towards smaller families and an aging population in Japan and other mature economies, environmental problems that are global in scale, problems relating to poverty and sanitation, etc. in developing nations, the societal problems affecting the world have become increasingly diversified, as reflected in the issues addressed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and by the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We believe that it is necessary to address these problems in a comprehensive manner so that we can “pass the baton” to future generations in a responsible manner and we feel that it is vitally important to work towards the achievement of the 17 Goals and 169 Targets specified by the UN SDGs, as well as working to resolve the various environmental, social and corporate governance related problems and to address their risks.

At Unicharm, we have been focusing on the recycling of used disposable diapers, with the aim of contributing towards the realization of the sustainable society and the building of the recycling-based society. Having started with the development of recycling technology that is capable of turning pulp and superabsorbent polymer(SAP) derived from used disposable diapers back into material that can be used again in the manufacturing of sanitary products, we have also identified three key topics under our “Eco Plan 2030,” our guideline for medium-term environmental measures: Addressing the problem of plastic waste, responding to climate change, and ensuring that we are not contributing to the destruction of forests. We are already implementing strategies to address these key topics.

Within Japan which is headed towards becoming a super-aged society, in aiming at extending the healthy-life expectancy, we are working together with communities and local governments to realize the goal of reducing the number of senior citizens who are isolated at home by raising awareness of the importance of preventing the need for nursing care and of implementing appropriate excretion care, through the provision of products that reduce unease about incontinence so that elderly people become more willing to leave the house. Internationally, we have rolled out menarche (first menstruation) education programs in developing nations, and we have been expanding job opportunities for women in Saudi Arabia at our offices and factory in that country. In this way, Unicharm is empowering women to play a more integral role in society.

In January 2020, we established a new “ESG Division” to replace our existing CSR Division, as an evolutionary step towards strengthening our ESG-related measures and speeding up the dissemination of these measures within the company, and towards enhancing our corporate value by strengthening our ability to spread our message outside the company.

In the future, we will continue to generate innovation, enhance our corporate value and provide value for all our stakeholders by working to address societal problems. For example, we will seek to make a positive contribution to the global environment through our business activities and throughout the supply chain, with the development of a recycling system for used disposable diapers and the promotion of environmentally-friendly products. We will also contribute towards the extension of healthy life expectancy, placing even more emphasis on living in harmony with the local community, and we will be providing support for women's empowerment throughout the world.

Management structure

ESG promotional structure

Unicharm has established a structure to implement and promote smooth ESG activities in order to meet our stakeholders' expectations. Our “ESG Committee” is a cross-organizational structure for the support of ESG, chaired by the Representative Director. The committee meets four times a year to discuss and share information about ESG-related activities, which in turn is utilized in management.

Unicharm Group's ESG Promotional Structure
Core themes and categories of ESG Committee initiatives
Core Subjects
Organizational governance, Human rights, Labor practices, The environment, Fair business practices, Consumer issues and Community involvement and development
Core themes
  • Climate change / GHG, Energy use management and Climate change risk
  • Water resources / Water use and Reduction of water use
  • Pollution and resources / Waste disposal, resource usage and recycling
  • Supply chain / Supplier policy, Environmental issues and Sustainable palm oil procurement
  • Biodiversity
  • Development of environmentally-friendly products
  • Labor standards / Child labor, Forced labor, Anti-discrimination, Freedom of association, Collective bargaining rights, Minimum wage and Harassment
  • Health and Safety
  • Human rights / Due diligence, Children's rights, Child labor, Community employment and Complaint handling
  • Society / Community investment and Social contribution activities
  • Responsibilities to customers / Responsible advertising and marketing and Customer satisfaction
  • Supply chain / Child labor, Forced labor and Antidiscrimination, Freedom of association, Collective bargaining rights, Minimum wage, Health and Safety, Due diligence and Capacity building
  • Product quality and Product safety
  • Corruption prevention / Anti-bribery, Insider trading, Whistleblower hotline, Education and Risk assessment
  • Corporate Governance
  • Company-wide risk management (environment, society, corporate governance)
  • Compliance
  • Tax transparency

Reference framework for Unicharm's CSR strategy

At Unicharm, we operate our global business activities in awareness of the voices of our stakeholders and by referring to various international guidelines. We support the ten principles of the “UN Global Compact”, and have participated in the compact since May 2006.

Communicating with stakeholders

Unicharm pledges to undertake honest and trustworthy corporate activities toward its customers, shareholders, business partners, employees and society under its “‘Beliefs and Pledges’ and Corporate Principles of Action”, and encourages two-way communication with its stakeholders by providing a wide range of dialogue opportunities.

Communicating with stakeholders
Communication policy (Beliefs and Pledges) Primary communication methods Examples of dialogue themes
Customers We pledge to earn the full support of customers by always doing everything we can Customer Communication Center
Group interviews
Monitoring surveys
Exhibitions and events
Quality, safety and functions concerning products
Opinions concerning products and services and response
Shareholders We pledge to distribute industry-leading returns to shareholders. General shareholders' meetings
Results briefing
Overseas IR roadshows
Summary explanations of financial results
Sound company management
Business partners We pledge to achieve mutually sound growth by maintaining fair and equitable relationships. Quality Policy Briefing Session
New product presentation conference
Exhibitions and events
Supply chain management
Quality, safety and the environment
Employees We pledge to achieve the happiness of associates and their family members by filling each of them with confidence and pride. Labor-management discussions
Employee survey
Employee counseling hotline
Family visit day at factories
Internal intranet and company newsletter
Compensation and health
Pride and satisfaction toward work
Introduction of programs that respect diversity and examples
Society We pledge to contribute to the economic and emotional fulfillment of the entire population and society through our corporate activities. Agreements with local governments
Cooperation with government and NGOs/NPOs
Emerging countries
Activities through industry organizations
Disaster assistance
Continence care classes, Social Walking program
Health and hygiene and local hiring
Japan Hygiene Products Industry Association (JHPIA) and Japan Anti-Pollinosis Council (JAPOC)

Back to Top

Copyright© Unicharm Corporation