In recent years, there has been an acceleration in the pace of international movements in response to social problems, such as the COP21 Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at solving international issues, and companies are increasingly expected to take the initiative in contributing to society's sustainable growth through their businesses. In addition, KDDI is accelerating its efforts to embody the integration of telecommunications and life design, centered on our core business of telecommunications. As we do so, we believe that ensuring the security of information we retain for our customers, and protecting their privacy, will become increasingly important. For KDDI to contribute to society's development in the midst of these enormous changes in internal and external conditions, we came to the conclusion that it is essential that we select a new set of material sustainability issues (materialities) that are more aligned with the times. Working primarily through our Sustainability Department, KDDI spent two years in discussions with outside experts and relevant departments within the Company to select six new materialities for sustainability. We see the re-selection process not as a goal but as a starting point, and our executives and employees intend to work together to resolve these material issues. We also hope to continue to be a company responsive to the needs of its stakeholders by paying constant attention to their feedback, while remaining sensitive to ongoing changes in society. Through its efforts around these new materialities, KDDI aims to balance the enhancement of its corporate value with its contributions to a sustainable society.
The Process for Identifying and Revising Materialities
STEP1. Understanding and clarifying their impact on stakeholder opinion and decision-making
Based on the 17 goals and 169 targets of the SDGs, and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards for the Technology & Communications sector, we identified a number of issues, which were then reviewed using publications such as ICT & SDGs from the Earth Institute at Columbia University and considering trends among companies in the technology and communications sector.
STEP2. Understanding and clarifying KDDI's impact on society, the environment, and the economy
The issues identified in Step 1 were verified along two axes: (1) Activities planned for implementation, including existing activities and R&D; and (2), corporate activities, including business strategy and sustainability activities.
STEP3. Prioritization, validation, and identification of material issues
Issues verified in Step 1 and Step 2 were prioritized based on a relative evaluation, and the material issues identified.
The final six materialities were drawn up to reflect the opinions of two outside experts regarding this list of material issues, gained through dialogues held with Ms. Kaori Kuroda, executive director of CSO Network Japan who also serves as president of SDGs Japan, and Mr. Hitoshi Mitomo, professor at the Waseda University Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, who conducts research into social innovation through ICT.
STEP4. Approval by the Corporate Management Committee
After reviewing validity of the issues at the Sustainability Committee, newly identified material sustainability issues were approved by the Corporate Management Committee. KDDI then reported them to the Board of Directors.