The Unicharm Way
Our Purpose: Mission, Vision, and Value
At Unicharm, we believe that our fundamental raison d’être, that is, our purpose, is to help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To better delineate the substance of this purpose and to further its accomplishment, we have broken it down into three key components: mission, vision, and value.
“Mission” clarifies what we want to accomplish. More specifically, our mission is to realize a cohesive society, a society that must inherently be diverse, inclusive, and sustainable. In this society, personal freedom will harmonize with social altruism, enabling people to be true to themselves and live lives of their own choosing, while at the same time helping others to achieve a better life. Where purpose is the goal, vision is the means. “Vision” elucidates how we can realize a cohesive society. In practical terms, it is the application of our corporate philosophy, which we like to call “NOLA & DOLA” (Necessity of Life with Activities & Dreams of Life with Activities). Through “NOLA,” we hope to provide powerful, yet discreet and unobtrusive support for the minds and bodies of our customers, freeing them of some of their burdens and enabling them to better focus their efforts on fulfilling their dreams. “Value” is the ambition and sense of duty that underlies our mission and vision, bringing it all together to serve a common purpose. All Unicharm employees around the world are now pushing forward our standardized management model: management with resonance.
Unicharm Ideals (Established: 1974)
・We contribute to creating a better quality of life for everyone by offering only the finest products and services to the market and customers, both at home in Japan and abroad.
・We strive to pursue proper corporate management principles that combine corporate growth, employee well-being, and the fulfillment of our social responsibilities.
・We bring forth the fruits of cooperation based on integrity and harmony, by respecting the independence of the individual and striving to promote the Five Great Pillars.*
* The Five Great Pillars: (1) Founder’s spirit, (2) Enterprising spirit, (3) Spirit of simplicity and fortitude, (4) Spirit of collaboration, and (5) Spirit of respecting people
Five Great Pillars and Associate Code of Conduct (Established: 1999)
Creativity and innovation
・We will respect the creation of new social value and maintain a spirit that always seeks out innovation.
・We will follow in the footsteps of our founder and strive to identify and solve issues from a Companywide perspective to achieve our management targets.
・We will continue to transform our abilities without fear of failure and maintain a positive attitude based on our belief in the capacity of challenge to tap into unlimited potential.
・We will become leaders who are capable of motivating people with our own determination by clearly showing the way for the organization to move forward.
Fair business practice
・We will carry out fair corporate activities that combine the spirit of respecting humanity and dignity with high ethical standards.
Beliefs & Pledges and Corporate Code of Conduct (Established: 1999)
Pledge to our customers
・We pledge to earn the full support of customers by always doing everything we can.
Pledge to our shareholders
・We pledge to distribute industry-leading returns to shareholders.
Pledge to business partners
・We pledge to achieve mutual growth by maintaining fair and equitable relationships.
Pledge to employees
・We pledge to enable the happiness of employees and their family members by filling each of them with confidence and pride.
Pledge to society
・We pledge to contribute to the economic and emotional fulfillment of all people and all of society through our corporate activities.
Three Aspects of Our DNA = Best Practice-ship, Ownership, and Partnership
Being a company with sustainable growth, Unicharm has nurtured a corporate culture and spirit called the Three Aspects of Our DNA that has seamlessly been passed down from its foundation. As our business activities spread from Japan throughout Asia then to the Middle East, Europe, and the United States, we have revised the Three Aspects of Our DNA as Best Practice-ship, Ownership, and Partnership (BOP-Ship) for all employees around the world to better understand. The Three Aspects of Our DNA and BOP-Ship are the corporate values that sustain the foundation of our activities and these values are common to each and every member of the Group from top management to employees.
Best Practice-ship (Changing values)
・This refers to accumulating best practices, abandoning past resolutions, constantly making updates, and incorporating best practices with an emphasis on speed.
Ownership (Finding reason within ourselves)
・This refers to recognizing everything as “our own matter” and thinking and acting on our own initiative to overcome difficulties.
Partnership (Maintaining our No. 1 position through continued and dedicated services)
・Partnership entails always respecting collaboration with peers with a mind to altruism. Collaboration creates internal and external cross-organizational communication and its further development will lead to innovation.
Message from the Head of the ESG Division
Executive Officer and General Manager of the ESG Division
We aim to be a company trusted by all stakeholders by contributing to the achievement of the SDGs through our business activities.
At Unicharm, we view our role in contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as our purpose. We also believe that our business activities are the very essence of how we contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. Accordingly, “contributing to the achievement of the SDGs through our business activities” is what our view of sustainability is all about.
To further clarify this vision, in October 2020 the Unicharm Group released its medium- to long-term environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals, Kyo-sei Life Vision 2030. In Kyo-sei Life Vision 2030, a total of 20 key initiatives, indicators, and targets were established, five in each of the four areas of safeguarding the well-being of individuals, safeguarding the wellbeing of society, safeguarding the well-being of our planet, and the Unicharm Principles. These 20 themes, which cover environmental issues such as global warming and marine plastic pollution, declining birthrate and aging population in mature economies including Japan, poverty and other social issues in emerging countries, and living with partner animals (pets), were formulated to play a key role in the achievement of the 17 goals and 169 targets of the SDGs.
Moreover, in Environmental Targets 2030, which was announced in May 2020 prior to Kyo-sei Life Vision 2030, we established three key themes (responding to the problem of plastic waste, responding to climate change, and helping prevent deforestation (response to procurement-related issues)) and declared specific targets for each theme. To steadily proceed with Kyo-sei Life Vision 2030 and Environmental Targets 2030, measures are being taken across the Group, including by the ESG Committee, which discusses issues and reports the status of progress under the direction of the president & CEO.
Now, please allow me to touch on a few initiatives undertaken in 2022. To accelerate our response to the issue of climate change, in May 2022, we formulated our GHG Emissions Visualization Project. Under this project, we are working to visualize and reduce GHG emissions generated not only directly from our business but also throughout the value chain. For this project, we must identify specific reduction plans for each process along the value chain, including material procurement, product design, material selection, and manufacturing. There is also the need to obtain up-to-date and highly precise primary information on each material and formulate rules to accurately calculate GHG emissions from the entire value chain. For these reasons, we have obtained the support of Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting LLC, a company with extensive knowledge and experience in providing comprehensive support for carbon neutrality.
By virtue of this project, in 2022 we formulated rules for calculating GHG emissions in accordance with the GHG Protocol, an international standard for calculating GHG emissions, and completed the development of a system that calculates the carbon footprint of products (CFP)*1 for each product, in addition to calculations of each company. Also, through the cooperation of suppliers, we were able to obtain primary GHG emissions data*2 for each material, which is necessary for calculating CFP values, for approximately 80% (on a purchase amount basis) of materials procured mainly in Japan.
In 2023, we will work together with experts and various external organizations, such as those engaged in decarbonization initiatives, to verify consistency with international standards and strengthen our approach to GHG emissions calculation and disclosure. We will also undergo test runs of the calculation system, which we will work to reinforce along with calculation rules. Through these measures, we plan to provide specific CFP values to stakeholders for some of our products in 2024.
The Unicharm Group will continue to steadily advance with Kyo-sei Life Vision 2030 and Environmental Targets 2030, resolve the issues of society and the environment through its business activities, and contribute to the betterment of local communities. In addition, through the appropriate disclosure of ESG information, we aim to become a company trusted by all stakeholders, including customers, shareholders and investors, suppliers, employees and their families, and local communities.
*1 A system displaying GHG emissions from the entire life cycle of products and services, from the procurement of raw materials to disposal and recycling, by converting them into CO2 emissions
*2 Data collected and measured by companies that engage in calculations at their own responsibility (i.e., amount of electricity used to manufacture their own products) or through interviews with external stakeholders (i.e., directly assess the GHG emissions of suppliers)
ESG Promotion Structure
Unicharm has a structure in place to seamlessly implement and promote ESG activities that fulfill the expectations of its stakeholders. Our ESG Committee is a cross-organizational structure chaired by the president & CEO for promoting ESG activities. The committee meets four times a year to discuss and share the status of ESG activities, which, in turn, is utilized in the Company’s management.
Functions of the ESG Committee
①Discuss and determine the progress of Kyo-sei Life Vision 2030 medium- to long-term ESG goals and the medium-term management plan
②Discuss and determine the process for identifying, addressing, and disclosing information on the risks, opportunities, and important issues pertaining to the Group’s sustainability and ESG activities
③Report on the details of discussions and decisions concerning ESG-related matters to the Board of Directors
Core Themes and Categories of ESG Committee Initiatives
|Organizational governance, human rights, labor practices, the environment, fair business practices, consumer issues, and community involvement and development|
・Climate change: Greenhouse gases, energy use management, and climate change-related risks
・Water resources: Water use and its reduction
・Pollution and resources: Waste disposal, resource usage, and recycling
・Supply chain: Supplier policy, environmental issues, and sustainable procurement of forest resources and palm oil
・Development of environmentally friendly products
・Labor standards: Forbiddance of child and forced labor, prohibition of discrimination, freedom of association, collective bargaining rights, minimum wage, and prevention of harassment
・Safety and health
・Human rights: Due diligence, children’s rights, forbiddance of 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: Forbiddance of child and forced labor, prohibition of discrimination, freedom of association, collective bargaining rights, minimum wage, safety and health, due diligence, and capacity building
・Product quality and safety
・Corruption prevention: Bribery prevention, insider trading, whistleblower hotline, education, and risk assessment
・Companywide risk management: Environment, society, corporate governance
The ESG Committee convened a total of four times in 2022 and held discussions on the following themes:
Main Themes of Discussion (2022)
Progress of Kyo-sei Life Vision 2030 medium- to long-term ESG goals, Environmental Targets 2030, and the medium-term management plan
・Use of renewable electricity
・Operation of the SDGs Theme Guideline, an internal guideline for contributing to sustainability
・Use of the Sedex platform and human rights initiatives
・Policy and progress on the production of the integrated and sustainability reports
Communicating with Stakeholders
Guided by its Beliefs & Pledges and Corporate Code of Conduct, Unicharm pledges to undertake honest corporate activities that win the fullest confidence of its customers, shareholders and investors, business partners, employees, and society and encourages two-way communication with all of its stakeholders through a wide range of methods.