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Asahi Kasei holds its third Sustainability Briefing

January 20, 2023
Asahi Kasei Corp.

The Asahi Kasei Group is advancing business management by emphasizing sustainability, and constantly strengthening sustainable management foundations to continue providing value over the next 100 years under its medium-term management plan (MTP) for fiscal 2022–2024 focused on the theme “Be a Trailblazer.” The Sustainability Briefing is held for the third time to gain better understanding among stakeholders of Asahi Kasei’s approach to sustainability and relevant efforts.

1. Sustainability with Green/Digital/People

As the global operating environment changes dramatically, the Asahi Kasei Group is taking on challenges to create value by leveraging its strengths of “diversity” and “capability to change.” Especially in a time of uncertainty, Asahi Kasei adheres firmly to its Group Mission of contributing to life and living for people around the world.

The management of Asahi Kasei seeks to achieve a virtuous cycle of two mutually reinforcing aspects of sustainability — “contributing to sustainable society” and “sustainable growth of corporate value.” Furthermore, “GDP” (Green, Digital, and People) and the maximum use of intangible assets are considered to be essential for strengthening the business platform. Among them, Green and People are the subjects of today’s briefing; the areas of Digital and intangible assets (intellectual property) have been described in previous briefings.*

2. Green Transformation

Various future scenarios have been forecasted for climate change, which is the central issue of “Green,” and it is important to accurately predict and control transition risks and physical risks while actively pursuing opportunities for mitigation and adaptation.

Among risks, the primary task is to reduce the direct GHG emissions from business activities of the Asahi Kasei Group. Targeting a reduction of 30% or more in 2030 (vs. FY2013) with a goal of becoming carbon neutral in 2050, Asahi Kasei is promoting low-carbonization of in-house power generation and developing innovative production processes. Calculation of the carbon footprint of products is being advanced and systemized.

For opportunities, Asahi Kasei is focusing on the 10 Growth Gears (GG10), businesses to lead next growth, as designated in the MTP. Specifically, regarding hydrogen, whose market is expected to expand rapidly, Asahi Kasei is advancing technological development while participating in initiatives that contribute to collaboration across the value chain as required for practical application, with commercialization targeted in 2025. In addition, Asahi Kasei is developing technology to produce basic feedstocks from bioethanol, and studying prospects for commercialization.

Regarding GHG, Asahi Kasei considers it important to enable reduced emissions across the entire value chain as well as to reduce its own emissions. Asahi Kasei contributes to reduced GHG emissions through its “Environmental Contribution Products” that reduce the environmental burden over the entire life cycle.

3. People: HR Transformation

Since the time of its founding a century ago, the Asahi Kasei Group has grown through the proactive transformation of its business portfolio. To continually take on the challenges of changing social issues and achieve sustainable growth, human resources are considered to be extremely important. “Lifelong growth” and “co-creativity” are the pillars of Asahi Kasei's HR strategy. Also, “number of Group Masters,” “growth behavior index,” and “diversified HR index” have been established as KPIs to promote various initiatives while confirming the effects of measures implemented.

“Group Masters” is a system to provide appropriate treatment and to continuously develop professional human resources who contribute to new business creation and business enhancement. The appointed fields are reviewed annually to correspond with changes in the operating environment and business strategy.

For “growth behavior index,” a Vitality and Growth Assessment system has been introduced to improve work engagement by visualizing the condition of individuals and organizations, applying a PDCA cycle, raising empowerment, and promoting actions to take challenges and drive growth. In addition to visualizing characteristics of workplace environments and work engagement, annual assessments continuously confirm whether they are actually resulting in action driving growth.

From the diversified HR perspective, Asahi Kasei actively utilizes overseas personnel with HR support systems tailored to regional characteristics, measures to foster next-generation leaders, and assignments to overall management.

4. Risk Management

The risks involved in business activities are becoming more complex and new risks are emerging as dramatic changes occur around the world. In addition to the conventional risk management centered on divisions and functions, a new system has been established to oversee and manage risks across the entire Asahi Kasei Group. This is expected to allow growth in corporate value with appropriate risk management being conducted along with the active development of businesses that contribute to sustainability.