ShibusawaI think the spinning industry is the industry that has continued to change and evolve among the Japanese industries. My hopes are that Toyobo will be a frontrunner. Discussions with you have made me realize that you deeply respect and understand the true nature of Eiichi Shibusawa’s philosophy.
There is a need for dialogue not just with investors but with the various stakeholders in society. I also think it is important that the Company communicate both inside and outside the company. In regards to the commitment to SDGs, it is important for the president to reveal his passion as well as the direction very openly.
NaraharaI agree. I think it’s important to share my thoughts in my own words. I’ve visited offices and talked directly with many employees, but I was finding it a real challenge to reach out to all of them. As for the company reorganization this April, I presented a video on the company intranet where I spoke about various matters including the direction we are taking the Company. The response from employees was very positive.
ShibusawaNew technology is enabling so many new possibilities. Speaking of which, right now I’m talking live with the CEO of a major listed company over the internet.
NaraharaIf we can’t meet to talk with someone in person, we will find other ways to communicate with our stakeholders.
ShibusawaI would like to change our topic to corporate governance, I think it’s wonderful that four of your 10 directors are outside directors. I’d like to ask for your opinion regarding the absence of women or non-Japanese voices in the Company’s internal directors and executive officers.
NaraharaIn the past five years, about 40% of the new university graduates we’ve hired were women. We’ve also been actively hiring midcareer professionals form outside the company. Although it’s taking some time, we are assembling a more diversified workforce that will be the source for the Company’s future executive officers and directors.
ShibusawaIn the future, I think society will want companies to clearly demonstrate how they are benefiting society.
NaraharaIndeed, I think companies will need to disclose quantitative data showing their “social impact.” We took a first step in that direction in May 2020 by identifying the material issues (materiality) for the Company. For each materiality, we plan to set KPIs and monitor our progress, which we will report internally and publicly.
ShibusawaSince Toyobo is a leading maker of materials company with its roots in textiles, I would also like to see the company active internationally, such by participating in the creation of global standards and guidelines.
We have started to take steps in that direction. In August 2019, we joined the Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging (CEFLEX), a collaborative initiative of a European consortium of companies. I am looking forward to passing Eiichi Shibusawa’s spirit of Jun-Ri-Soku-Yu (adhering to reason leads to prosperity) to future generations as I seek to guide the Company towards sustainable growth. Thank you very much for this interesting discussion today.