The Mitsubishi Electric Group holds Dialogues with Experts to hear experts' opinions on our sustainability efforts from stakeholders’ perspectives and incorporate them into our future activities. In March 2021, we held the fifth Dialogues with Experts with three experts, covering a wide range of topics including the latest sustainability trends and the experts’ expectations for the Mitsubishi Electric Group.
Our group reviewed its material issues based on the Purpose, Our Values, and Commitment, which were revised as the group celebrated its 100th anniversary, and changes in the surrounding environment. In this dialog, we asked the experts for their opinions on identifying material issues.
- * The sessions were held online as a COVID-19 countermeasure.
From left to right, Mariko Kawaguchi, Specially Appointed Professor, Rikkyo University Graduate School of Social Design Studies, and Executive Advisor to the CEO, Fuji Oil Holdings Inc. (ESG and market value generation), Toshio Arima, Chairman of the Board, Global Compact Network Japan, Keisuke Takegahara
Executive Fellow, Research Institute of Capital Formation, Development Bank of Japan (March 2021)
Important Opinions and Recommendations from the Experts
The importance of clearly communicating the purpose of sustainability efforts to employees
Chairman of the Board
Global Compact Network Japan
In the process of reviewing the material issues, the Mitsubishi Electric Group conducted a survey of not only domestic and overseas group employees but also a wide range of stakeholders including consumers, suppliers, and investors. This suggests that the Group directly responds to diverse opinions.
Meanwhile, material issues must first be identified and then understood throughout the organization. In the past, manufacturers spent all their efforts ensuring total quality control (TQC). Today, in the same manner, they must disseminate the value they place on sustainability throughout the organization. I want you, the Mitsubishi Electric Group, to take advantage of opportunities like the President's Forum to have direct conversations with employees and to send a clear message about why sustainability efforts are necessary. Communicating the president's intentions is indispensable for boosting employee motivation.
As you have included "provision of integrated solutions" in the new management strategy despite your history as a manufacturing company, I believe that society will continue to change from being object-oriented to experience-oriented. To secure business continuity after this period of change, it is imperative that you reconsider how the organization and individuals should operate, and adapt to such changes.
Finally, I think that after experiencing various pandemic-related events, people have come to stop fearing the fact that "common sense changes." Therefore, I expect you to resolve social issues without being limited by traditional common sense.
I anticipate seeing the group sort out the relationships between social issues and people and addressing material issues in the "Mitsubishi Electric" way
Specially Appointed Professor, Rikkyo University Graduate School of Social
Design Studies, and Executive Advisor to the CEO, Fuji Oil Holdings Inc. (ESG and market value generation)
Materialities of the Mitsubishi’s business seem to be reviewed in a proper process, however, you must develop a long-term vision of what the desirable society looks like and clearly address how you will contribute to such a society. Our Global Society is undergoing a major shift from a carbon society based on oil and coal to a decarbonized society. It is important to communicate to your employees your resolve that you should shift from producing hard products to soft, experience and services, because we should all decarbonize. To resolve social issues, you must begin by recognizing the fact that your corporate activities thus far have had negative impacts on various aspects of the environment and society, and you must always consider how people are affected by these social issues. Based on an understanding of the relationship between people and your four focus areas—namely Life, Industry, Infrastructure, and Mobility—I would like you to strive to become a company that makes everyone affected by your business happy.
Necessary administrative measures have been taken to address labor issues. Still, the corporate culture needs to be transformed, and this cannot be done easily. A gap in attitudes easily arises between management and employees; therefore, I expect you to fully implement the measures to alter the culture while filling the gap. In other words, what is expected is a dramatic corporate culture reform to make management directly communicate its intentions to employees so that, for example, young employees who want to contribute to society fully understand that the company has a policy of aiming to resolve social issues.
High expectations for the group's new endeavor, the solutions business, to resolve social issues
Research Institute of Capital Formation
Development Bank of Japan
Having withstood various changes in the environment, you, the Mitsubishi Electric Group, have kept your business going for 100 years. This is remarkable. What investors are looking for in the next 100 years is sustainable corporate growth. I hope that you recognize the issues that society is facing and propose a value creation scenario that synchronizes the resolution of these issues with corporate growth.
Since you have a wide variety of business operations, I think it may be difficult for you to create a simple and clear scenario. However, I recognize that your business model, in which you offer solutions, brilliantly and coherently connects different business areas. You have a large number of excellent products and services, and I believe that these function as a platform upon which you can offer valuable solutions.
As for the review of material issues, you can highlight your uniqueness by placing importance on the connection between these issues and the four areas as well as by combining these areas with the growth strategy, the solution service. In particular, in the area of the environment in which many companies face the task of decarbonization, you will be sending out your message to society by making full use of the products and solutions that you have developed thus far and by contributing to the decarbonization of the entire business community.
Clarifying the types of change you intend to make and the goals behind value creation will lead to the provision of solutions to customers and society.
Although human capital is hard to assess, you have an advanced approach of setting performance indicators (KPIs) to assess job satisfaction and work-life balance with the goal of enhancing employee engagement. My expectation for you is that you will implement concrete measures to address the areas identified as being at high risk and describe your actions both internally and externally.
In response to the dialogues
Representative Executive Officer, Senior Vice President
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
(As of June 29, 2021)
We, the Mitsubishi Electric Group, revised Purpose, Our Values, and Commitment as we celebrated our 100th anniversary. We have also announced that under our management strategy, our goal is to resolve social issues through our solutions. Going forward, we will review ourmaterialilty and tackle social issues in a way unique to the Mitsubishi Electric Group.
We appreciate the experts’ honest critiques. In particular, we recognize the importance of taking time to thoroughly explain management's intentions to employees. We will work on communication, in addition to other areas, so that employees can take ownership of social issues and engage in tasks to resolve them. Through these efforts, we will foster a sustainability-oriented corporate culture and pursue value creation to resolve social issues by offering integrated solutions in the areas of Life, Industry, Infrastructure, and Mobility. To all the experts, I thank you for your time today.
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