Expectations of Further Dissemination of Information on Topics Such as Trailblazing Initiatives on Social Issues and Transparent Governance Structures
Outside directors Yoshiko Koizumi, Shinhachiro Emori and Hideyuki Furikado spoke about their recommendations and expectations of our governance system and ESG management based on their respective experience in corporate legal affairs as a lawyer, in business management, and at the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Service Agency.
Business Will Be Driven Over the Next 100 Years by Sustainability Which Has Become Part of the Company’s DNA
The Standard of Conduct (Casebook) is distributed to all Taiheiyo Cement employees, and we are working consistently to fulfill the commitment made in the 2015 edition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40-70% by 2050. This fiscal year is the first of the 23 Medium-Term Management Plan, which makes initiatives aimed at carbon neutrality one of its key strategies. The commitment to a strategy of investing 100 billion yen over the next decade, which includes the three years covered by the 23 Medium-Term Management Plan, clearly demonstrates a corporate stance ahead of global trends. The decision to establish a project team under the direct control of the vice president to drive this strategy shows how determined the company is to achieve carbon neutrality. I highly rate Taiheiyo Cement’s corporate activities, which are based on a sense of responsibility and awareness of being a leading company in Japan’s cement business, and intend to make such excellent initiatives more widely known amongst stakeholders and in society at large. With regard to diversity, the company is moving forward with medium and long-term plans to develop excellent human resources at its overseas bases. In my opinion, slightly more progressive strategies for the utilization of human resources are required for the company to develop globally, such as the promotion to executive positions of personnel from overseas group companies. The group is targeting sustainable growth and is making systematic investments aimed at developing mines and quarries and strengthening plant facilities with the next 100 years in view. I can sense that sustainability has become so firmly rooted in the company that it should be considered part of its DNA. I will do my best to contribute to TCC's strategy for sustainable growth by using my experience as an international lawyer to offer beneficial recommendations with regard to overcoming and providing solutions to any obstacles that may arise in this corporate culture as the company aims for further globalization.
Strengthen Governance via Constructive Dialog with Group Companies
The company has maximized the technologies it has cultivated in its cement production, created a recycling-based business model, and established its profitability. I applaud how, in addition to that, the company has committed to a policy of investing a total of 300 billion yen over the next decade, which includes the three years covered by the 23 Medium-Term Management Plan. This will consist of 100 billion yen investments in, respectively, the achievement of carbon neutrality, the strengthening of plant facilities, and the development of mines and quarries. I also applaud how it has made clear to stakeholders its corporate stance of aiming to become an outstanding leading company, and revealed the specifics of the group’s sustainable management policies. Governance systems are at the heart of sustainable management, and I can see that robust and detailed structures and organizations have been constructed that are based on expertise amassed over more than a century of corporate activities. However, the Taiheiyo Cement Group is composed of many subsidiaries in Japan and overseas, and I feel that there are more opportunities to improve cooperation between the Internal Auditing Department at Headquarters and each business division overseeing group companies with regard to the governance system within the group and the thorough enforcement of compliance. Although I worked for a chemical manufacturer, where the business structure was different from that of a cement manufacturer and in an industry which expected different functions of group companies, I do have experience as a representative of both the head company and its group companies. Based on that experience, I believe that group unity that leads to further growth can be created not only by regular audits and group round table discussions, but also by opportunities for constructive discussions where the top management at headquarters and group companies can express themselves freely about the management policies and various business challenges of each group company. I will make the most of the experience I have obtained so far to offer recommendations aimed at strengthening governance in the management of the group.
Improve Information Disclosure to Various Stakeholders
The Taiheiyo Cement Group is the leading company in the Japanese cement industry, with a history stretching back more than 100 years. I can see the strong management determination to boost transparency and governance displayed in such steps as the thorough provision of information in advance of its Board of Directors meetings so that outside directors can fully leverage their individual expertise, and can sense how that determination pervades company-wide activities. It is also a global enterprise which has eight production sites in the Pacific Rim region and where employees of many different nationalities flourish, and I can sense the strong interest it arouses in domestic and overseas investors etc. In recent years, stakeholders such as investors have been paying attention to not just financial data but also non-financial data such as details about initiatives such as ESG and SDGs that are linked with a company’s sustainable growth, and about the results of such initiatives. The company is engaged in ambitious corporate activities in this field, such as initiatives aimed at carbon neutrality, and I think it should strive to disclose more information based on those activities.
So far, I have designed and introduced various systems focused on monetary policy. Recently business enterprises have been engaged in constructive dialogue with shareholders based on the Stewardship Code and Corporate Governance Code. I have been deeply involved in the policy making aimed at creating such connections and dialogue. Going forward, I hope to make such expertise fully manifest in the business world and make recommendations aimed at more appropriate information disclosure. I intend also to boost the medium and long-term corporate value of the company by leveraging my experience in establishing governance-related legal systems for financial institutions and the like, and strengthening the company’s group governance.