What the Morinaga Group can do now to realize a sustainable society

In 2018, the Morinaga Group reviewed the previous Basic CSR Principles and the CSR system and established new principles and a system chart to realize a sustainable society. The new principles incorporate social demand and expectations of company management, as well as to promote CSR steadily within the entire group.

Why was CSR reviewed?

Response to the issues surrounding the Morinaga Group.

The circumstances surrounding the Morinaga Group have changed dramatically since the company was founded 100 years ago. From food safety, security, environmental issues, continuous procurement of raw ingredients, respect for human rights, and the diversification of workstyles to mental and physical health, we are faced with various challenges today. For the Morinaga Group to achieve sustainable growth for many years, it is essential to respond to these issues. We reviewed CSR to listen to social demands and respond to them.

Contribution to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In 2015, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that is a collection of 17 global goals was adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit to be achieved by 2030. While the entire international society is working toward the realization of sustainable society, the Morinaga Group is committed to achieve the SDGs goals through business activities to contribute to the realization of sustainable society.

Basic CSR Principles and the CSR System Chart have been established.

Through communication with stakeholders, the Morinaga Group recognized the responsibility and sort out the issues. As a result, we established the Basic CSR Principles and the CSR System Chart to serve as a guideline for our CSR activities as follows.

CSR Basic Policies

Under our vision of "Delicious, Fun, and Healthy", our attitude of resolving social issues and working toward a sustainable society through food are compiled into three items along with the matters to be focused on to clarify.

CSR System Chart

In accordance with the Morinaga Group's vision of "Delicious, Fun, and Healthy", our CSR System chart represents how we realize a sustainable society with stakeholders with three priority items-Providing Value through Food, Nurturing the Next Generation, and consideration for the global environment and society as pillars based on basic CSR activities.

How we created the basic principles and system chart

To draw up the basic CSR principles and the CSR system chart, we listened to the opinions of all stakeholders to thoroughly understand external demands and social challenges. We spent about a year to explore and carefully discuss the Morinaga Group's CSR policy.

Planning Process

There are roughly five steps in the planning process: (1) analysis of requested items by external institutions, (2) implementation of a questionnaire to stakeholders, (3) implementation of interviews with internal related divisions, (4) implementation of dialogues with knowledgeable people, and (5) approval at the CSR committee, prior to final determination.

Step one: Analysis of requested items by external institutions (August 2017)

In light of the international guidelines related to sustainability *1 and social issues considered important by CSR evaluation institutions, we grasped the external request items to corporations, as well as to sort through strengths and weaknesses of the MORINAGA Group.

  • *1: Sustainability: It is believed that sustainability leads to company benefits by fulfilling social responsibilities and to maintaining the business for a long period of time.
  • *2: ISO 26000: ISO (International Organization for Standardization) established the international standards for social responsibilities in November 2010.
  • *3: GRI Guidelines: International guidelines for sustainability reports by corporations.
  • *4: FTSE4Good: One of worldwide indicators for SRI (Socially responsible investing).
  • *5: Benchmark corporations: Corporations in the same industry that engage in initiatives that the Morinaga Group can use as a reference.

Step Two: implementation of a questionnaire for stakeholders (September 2017)

To understand stakeholders' expectations and requests of the Morinaga Group, we implemented a questionnaire about the Morinaga Group's CSR to customers, employees, and business partners. A total of 872 people, including 240 customers, 606 employees, and 26 business partners provided opinions.

Step Three: Implementation of interviews with internal related divisions (December 2017)

By sorting out questionnaire results and external request items, we interviewed the Corporate Strategy Division, Procurement Division, Human Resources Division, and Corporate Communication Division to organize the internal efforts and extract challenges. This helped clarify the issues to address in the future, promote the disclosure of ESG information, and make the importance of fostering the awareness of CSR within the company a shared awareness.

Step Four: Implementation of dialogues with knowledgeable people (January 2018)

We invited knowledgeable people to ask opinions about how the Morinaga Group should promote its CSR activities. Our board members talked about the health and productivity management and brand strengths. Participants actively exchanged opinions across various areas.

Akabane: Does CSR have the characteristics unique to the MORINAGA Group?

Takegahara: The food education initiative is great because it presents the characteristics unique to the Morinaga Group. I like how Morinaga pays attention to the next generation.

Seki: I can also empathy with the mission of being a company that can benefit children around the world. However, it is difficult to see what the group is specifically doing to realize this mission. I think it would be better to see their efforts in connection with the mission. Also, I see products that support health. I think these products can be a great advantage in an aging society. Besides safety and security, how about highlighting Morinaga's contribution in the nutrition and health aspects?

Akabane: What do you think about our environmental initiatives?

Seki: I have the impression that the group is addressing the environment earnestly. It will be also better to have long-term goals. Recently, the trend is companies commit to achieve their reduction targets by 2030 and 2050. It is important to think from "outside-in"*1 using the backcasting*2 method.

Takegahara: It is necessary to disclose how business, strategy, and financial plans influence the risks and opportunities related to climate changes. When the average global temperature increases by two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the Morinaga Group's supply chain is affected the most. For the Morinaga Group handling food, the procurement risk of raw ingredients is a bottleneck. If they do not respond to such an issue including the supply chain, it will lead to a lack of procurement of cacao beans, palm oil, and other raw ingredients, and the provision of products will be disrupted, which creates risks to stable management. By accurately understanding such risks, it is important to disclose what strategy and initiatives are taken to continue stable procurement of raw ingredients.

Seki: Recently, people are taking notice of cacao beans and palm oil, which are the raw ingredients of chocolate. For the procurement of these ingredients, it is important to incorporate consideration for the environment and society, such as human rights, due diligence*3 for conservation of biodiversity, and prevention of child labor and forced labor. It will be better to add social elements in supplier surveys to highlight these elements.

Participants of dialogues

  • *1: Outside-in: This is an approach to think and set the company's goals based on the external environment as a starting point.
  • *2: Backcasting: This is a planning method that starts with defining a desirable future and then works backwards to identify what to do now when predicting the future.
  • *3: Human rights due diligence: It is a management process to identify adverse human rights and to implement preventive measures in response.

Determination: Approval by the CSR committee to establish the CSR system (May 2018)

By taking into the results of initiatives from step one to four and the details comprehensively, we translated the ideal CSR for the Morinaga Group into basic principles and a system chart, which were officially established after approval by the CSR committee.
In addition, along with the formulation of the basic CSR principles and the CSR system chart, we also reviewed the policies of the environment, human rights, and procurement.

CSR Group , Corporate Communication Division.
From left,
Masao Shimizu
Yoko Nakajima
Maki Shiobara
Naoya Ichikawa