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Our Sustainability Management

Material Issues

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Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society

The basis for the Sumitomo Corporation Group’s operations can be found in Sumitomo’s Business Philosophy, which has formed the foundation for Sumitomo’s sustainable development over the course of 400 years. One of the credos of this philosophy states: “Benefit for self and others, private and public interests are one and the same.” We interpret this credo advocates Sumitomo’s business activities must benefit not only Sumitomo, but also society around us to achieve sustainable growth together.

This credo has been incorporated into Sumitomo Corporation Group’s Corporate Mission Statement. Guided by our Corporate Mission Statement, we have continued to conduct our business activities with the aim of being a global organization that constantly stays a step ahead in dealing with change, creates new value, and contributes broadly to society.

It is important to reconsider how we should address social issues through our business activities. To achieve sustainable growth together with society into the future, we have identified material issues that we should address with priority by leveraging our strengths in line with Sumitomo’s Business Philosophy and Sumitomo Corporation Group’s Corporate Mission Statement.

Leveraging our trust-based relationships with customers and partners across the globe and utilizing our business expertise, we will secure our growth and address social issues simultaneously by fulfilling our Corporate Mission: “To achieve prosperity and realize dreams through sound business activities.”

  • Achieving Harmony with the Global Environment

    To realize recycling-oriented society and mitigate climate change, we are working to establish frameworks for the efficient use of resources and stable supply of renewable energy. In doing so, we will achieve growth in harmony with the global environment.

  • Contributing to the Development of Local Communities and Industries

    We steadily procure and provide goods and services to meet the needs of people in various countries and regions and contribute to developing industrial platforms. Through these means, we will create a virtuous cycle in which we can grow and develop together with local communities.

  • Establishing a Foundation for Comfortable and Enriching Lifestyles

    We strive to realize more convenient and comfortable lifestyles by providing goods and services for daily use while also responding to needs for high-quality lifestyles in order to support the physical and mental health of people around the world.

  • Providing Diverse “Accessibility”

    We provide diverse accessibility to open up the possibility of creating new value. To this end, we will improve mobility for safe and efficient flow of people and goods, and expand the network connecting information and finance.

As a prerequisite for resolving the issues listed above, we strive to maintain and enhance our Management Style that places prime importance on integrity and sound management with utmost respect for the individual and our Corporate Culture full of vitality and conducive to innovation.

  • Developing Human Resources and Promoting Diversity

    In order to create new value and innovation by allowing our diverse personnel to fully exercise their abilities in a variety of fields, we will promote the development and empowerment of human resources, which represent our most important management resources.

  • Enhancing Governance

    We will enhance our ability to draft and implement strategies for achieving sustainable growth and to provide appropriate supervision of these strategies, all while maintaining transparency. In this manner, we will improve management efficiency and maintain sound management.

Identification Process

We set up an internal, cross-organizational taskforce and identified Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society, based on Sumitomo’s Business Philosophy and the Sumitomo Corporation Group’s Corporate Mission Statement.


While referring to the SDGs adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 2015 and the international guidelines such as the IIRC’s International Integrated Reporting Framework,we exchanged opinions with institutional investors and experts. We then formulated the methodology for identifying material issues needing to be addressed in order for us to achieve sustainable growth with society.

Classification of Our Business and Social Issues and Selection of Material Issues

Based on the SDGs which considered to comprehensively cover numerous social issues, each business unit compiled a list of the social issues they are currently addressing through their business and those they hope to address in the future.
Referencing these lists and considering Sumitomo’s Business Philosophy and the Sumitomo Corporation Group’s Corporate Mission Statement, we contemplated our current strengths and the roles we should assume in the future. We then selected social issues that we regard as important and that need to be addressed with high priority as well as our challenges to be overcome in creating solutions.

Exchanges of Opinion with Internal and External Stakeholders

We exchanged opinions with outside experts such as international organizations and institutional investors, and conducted surveys covering all officers and employees to collect their opinions, so as to clarify the interests and expectations of internal and external stakeholders with regard to our corporate activities, which were incorporated into discussions of how best to classify and describe the issues that had been identified.


The selected issues and their importance were reviewed by the CSR Committee. With deliberation and approval by the Management Council and the Board of Directors, the Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society were finalized.

Future Initiatives

We have defined the Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society as an important factor in developing business strategies and in the decision-making process for individual businesses. Going forward, we will pursue sustainable growth by resolving these issues through our business activities.
At the same time, we will advance the dialogue with our stakeholders to maintain an in-depth understanding of society’s expectations for us and of our strengths. We will revise the material issues flexibly in response to changes in society.

Where Material Issues Fit In