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Nikkei SDGs Management Survey: Companies' current sustainability statuses

Nikkei SDGs Management Survey: Companies' current sustainability statuses

In the latest edition of the Nikkei SDGs Management Survey, Nikkei Research analyzed (i) how companies are progressing in the promotion of SDGs management, (ii) what actions are being carried out to overcome environmental challenges, and (iii) the extent to which measures are being taken in response to human rights issues.

Conducted from May through July, 2021, the Nikkei SDGs Management Survey invited both publicly listed and non-listed companies with over 100 employees in Japan to participate, and a total of 846 companies cooperated in the effort. The primary topic of the survey was the status of SDGs management. Each company's level of SDGs management was subsequently rated (on a scale of 1-5 stars).

Most of the responding companies have shown strong leadership and called public attention to their promotion of SDGs. A total of 80% have sent out messages from corporate leaders to promote SDGs management, while around half have disclosed their progress and achievements in contributing to the realization of SDGs. However, only slightly more than 30% of responding companies have held "internal audits" or participated in "evaluations by external directors" targeting their actions.

There were some notable differences in status concerning star ratings.

  • ・One-third of the respondents have set numerical targets for "climate change mitigation/adaptation," while over 90% of those who were rated with three stars have set targets in this area.
  • ・One-third of the respondents have identified and disclosed "human rights issues" within their companies, while 80% of 3-star companies have done so.

In comparison to the overall average, defined by a score that is a simple mean average of the total, the group of 3-star companies is in the median position, and a business in such group can be interpreted as a standard-level company.

There were differences in progress between domestic and overseas partners in terms of taking action for human rights issues in the supply chain.

  • ・There were significant discrepancies between domestic and overseas partners when it came to having "established procurement guidelines and distributed them to partners" and "regularly monitored status through checklists, surveys, etc."
  • ・Slightly less than half have had their domestic partners implement such measures, while the percentage figures for the same regarding overseas partners were 10 points below the domestic level.

Furthermore, in our analysis, we compared the statuses of the overall average and the group of 3-star companies concerning other topics as well. These included responses regarding human rights issues and whether the companies had already established policies, identified risks, and disclosed them.

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