unicharm

Gentle care for life

 

SustainabilitySustainability Top

Continually striving to realize cohesive societies through our businesses

Message from the President

 

Unicharm's CSR is embodied by its corporate philosophy of NOLA & DOLA

The evolution of IT and globalization has brought about various changes around the world that have far exceeded our imagination. This means that the new normal of today is characterized by constant change. On the other hand, the world faces a diverse array of social issues as indicated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement, including aging populations and declining birthrates in Japan and other developed countries, worldwide environmental issues, and poverty and health issues in emerging countries. Helping to resolve these issues through our core business from an ESG perspective that values the environment, society and governance in achieving sustainability is the same as fulfilling our corporate philosophy of NOLA & DOLA (Necessity of Life with Activities & Dreams of Life with Activities) which represents our approach to CSR.NOLA & DOLA embodies our vision to help people worldwide lead richer lives by offering a wide range of products for babies through to the elderly that make life easier by supporting the mind and the body. Our mission is to “continually support people's lives and dignity, ” and for this reason one of the most important topics facing Unicharm is finding ways to achieve this mission.

Aiming to realize cohesive societies

Forecasts indicate that 30% of Japan's population will be 65 years or older by the year 2025. Looking forward, we must realize cohesive societies where all generations live alongside one another, providing support and assistance. The cohesive society we aim to achieve is the social community where everyone, including pets, from babies to the elderly, needs one another despite feeling contradictions at times from conflict, competition and being together. We refer to the power to grow alongside one another by understanding, accepting and stimulating through active communication and respective differing views as “cohesive power.” We also refer to the overall community where this is achieved as a “cohesive society.”

Since entering the business for disposable adult diapers in 1987, Unicharm has continually proposed novel approaches to nursing care. In 2016, we came up with a new dementia prevention program called Social Walking® that promotes interaction with society and since then we expanded the program nationwide in Japan, getting a large number of people involved. In the pet care field, we have begun evaluating the effectiveness of animal therapy aimed at improving people's quality of life through pets based on research that has shown living with a pet can effectively reduce stress in our lives, improve senior's mental and physical health and make their life healthier and longer. At the same time, there is growing demand for providing care to aging pets, and as such, we are promoting initiatives aimed at enabling both pet owners and pets to live happily together until the end. Unicharm will continue to provide innovative products and services that support a cohesive society, so that people of all ages and genders, including their pets, can live a healthy and happy life together.

Tackling global issues

Unicharm's overseas expansion began in 1984 with the establishment of a subsidiary in Taiwan-Greater China, and today we now sell disposable diapers and feminine care products in roughly 80 countries and regions around the world. We continue to expand our business internationally tailored to the lifestyles and business customs of each country and region, based on our product development capabilities and marketing abilities honed in Japan. In 2006, Unicharm announced its support for the UN Global Compact and since then we have been actively creating sales and manufacturing jobs locally in the countries and regions where we operate. In 2007, we launched Mamy Poko Pants Standard in Indonesia, realizing more affordable disposable diaper by narrowing down the product functions to deliver more hygienic and safer living of child-rearing to countless families who were unable to use disposable diapers until then. We also completed construction of a new factory in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, in 2019 to address rising demand from around the world for Japanese made products and to minimize interruptions to business activities in case of a major earthquake or other natural disaster. The entire company is now working toward the start of operations at this new smart factory that will be environmentally conscious and feature our own technologies and know-how added to cutting edge technologies like AI, IoT and robotics.Furthermore, we are promoting initiatives to address the key environmental issues of building a recycling-oriented society that reduces waste, achieving sustainable procurement that focuses on the effective use of resources and addressing climate change across the entire value chain. With this approach in mind, we established Eco Plan 2020 as a set of medium-term targets that we are now working to achieve. Within this plan, we are focusing in particular on initiatives to recycle used disposable diapers for contributing to a sustainable society and building a recycling-oriented society. In joint research with Hokkaido University, we have established a technology to extract pulp and Super-Absorbent Polymer (SAP) and recycle them as pulp and SAP with the same quality of unused materials. Currently, we are conducting demonstration trials jointly with the City of Shibushi in Kagoshima Prefecture, with the goal of establishing a recycling system that can be adopted by communities both inside and outside Japan. Also, in 2017, we established the Unicharm Group Policy on Human Rights and Sustainable Procurement Guidelines, under which we have begun activities to fulfill our social responsibilities together with business partners. For easing climate change, in June 2018, we became a company with Science Based Targets (SBT) based on the call to action from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Going forward, we will fulfill our corporate responsibility to further actualize plans through Eco Plan 2030.

In 2015, Unicharm transitioned to a company with an Audit & Supervisory Committee in order to reinforce supervisory roles of the Board of Directors toward management and to meet the expectations of stakeholders from a global perspective by improving transparency and efficiency of processes through the greater involvement in management of outside directors. We are now working to further reinforce corporate governance. This involves increasing the objectivity of decision-making processes by appointing outside directors to chair the Nomination Committee and Remuneration Committee, comprised of one representative director, two independent outside directors and one other non-executive director, starting in 2019. We will also review the composition of the board of directors to further isolate supervision and execution, by ensuring that independent outside directors occupy one-third of the seats on the board.

The Unicharm Group is also working to develop and improve its workplace environment. Unicharm declared its commitment to work-style reform, introducing a tele-work program that enables diverse work styles and a second job system that supports the further growth of employees. We are developing an environment where employees are encouraged to be more independent and autonomous to achieve greater productivity and ingenuity. At the same time, we continue to implement the working interval program, no overtime day and premium Fridays for the health and wellbeing of employees. Going forward, we will aim to be a company where each and every employee takes pride in their work, can thrive professionally and remain healthy by achieving well-balanced work styles that reduce working hours while also maintaining employee living standards through the highest wages in the industry and community.

Going forward, we will harness digital technologies and carefully examine changes in perspective of value of consumers to work toward achieving the (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the cohesive society that Unicharm is committed to achieving, aimed at achieving the targets for 2020 laid out in the 10th medium-term management plan and sustainable growth.

May 2019
Takahisa Takahara
President & CEO

Takahisa Takahara

 

Back to Top

Copyright© Unicharm Corporation

unicharm