CSR Priorities (materiality)

One of our management strategies calls for the pursuit of sustainable cyclical growth* through initiatives in five areas identified as CSR priorities.

* Cyclical growth: The achievement of sustainable growth through a cycle in which social issues are approached as business opportunities, and the value created by business contributes to society

Identifying our CSR priorities

We have identified CSR priorities for the Nisshin Seifun Group with the aim of focusing our initiatives toward the social issues that most concern our stakeholders. The CSR priorities will be reviewed regularly based on changes in the social environment.

Adopted March 26, 2019

Process for identifying CSR priorities

We identified approximately 60 issues with the cooperation of experts, using the following procedures.

  • Examine issues based on international norms and surveys of ESG evaluation organizations.

    We compiled a list of candidate issues, with reference to the GRI standards, ISO26000, review items used by ESG evaluation organizations, case studies from other companies, and other information.

  • Organize the issues by analyzing value chains.

    We identified issues in the value chains for key businesses by ascertaining the status of processes, procured goods, and workers through interviews with business divisions and factory visits.

  • Assess stakeholder interest.

    We rated stakeholder interest on three levels (high, medium, low) based on assessments by ESG evaluation organizations, questions from NGOs, and other information.

  • Assess the potential impact on our business.

    Using the same methodology as in Item 3, we rated issues on three levels according to their impact on cyclical growth* under our long-term vision and arranged them on a matrix chart.

CSR priorities for the Nisshin Seifun Group

We sorted the approximately 60 issues in the matrix chart into five key areas based on the direction of our future initiatives.
These were then summarized into the Nisshin Group CSR priorities listed below.

Provide safe and healthy food and responsible consumer communication

Identifying social issues and providing value

The Nisshin Seifun Group’s corporate slogan is “delivering good health and reliability”. We regard product quality as our most important responsibility, and our efforts to fulfill that responsibility are based on the concept of quality assurance from the viewpoint of consumers. Food-related priorities and needs are becoming increasingly diverse due to demographic aging, growing health awareness, and other factors. We will continue to use the accumulated knowledge of the Nisshin Seifun Group to create and deliver new value by focusing our research and development activities toward products and technologies that help consumers to enjoy good health. Our respect for consumers and customers is reflected in our ongoing efforts to contribute to healthier and more fulfilling lifestyles under our consumer-oriented management policy.
Contributing to the achievement of SDGs

Risks

  • Loss of social reputation and stakeholder confidence due to quality-related incidents or other issues
  • Loss of growth opportunities due to delays in responding to the health needs of consumers

Opportunities

  • Gaining the trust of consumers through the supply of safe, reliable products
  • Creation of opportunities through the enhancement or development of products based on consumer feedback
  • Expansion of business opportunities linked to rising health consciousness

Targets for priority themes

Priority themes Approaches and targets Initiatives on priority themes
Ensuring food safety Implement quality assurance from the viewpoint of consumers and continually strengthen the quality assurance system
  • Acquire and maintain certification for food safety management systems
Responsible consumer communication Provide fair and responsible consumer communication
  • Conduct advertising activities that consider ethics, human rights, and the environment
  • Promote measures to increase consumer engagement
Contribution to healthy diets Research and develop health functions of food ingredients, primarily focused on wheat, such as its effectiveness in preventing metabolic syndrome and promoting brain functions and anti-aging.

Enable secure and sustainable raw material procurement

Identifying social issues and providing value

Our continuing ability to supply safe, high-quality products depends on reliable and sustainable access to safe raw materials. That is only possible if procurement activities are backed by the fulfillment of our social responsibilities, not only within our own operations, but also across entire supply chains. Under our Responsible Procurement Policy, we work with our suppliers to mitigate environmental issues and human rights risks in our supply chains and ensure that all procurement activities are conducted responsibly and on the basis of fair and ethical trading. We also monitor conditions in raw material production areas in Japan and overseas. By reliably procuring wheat and other raw materials, we ensure our continuing ability to supply safe, reliable products to our customers.
Contributing to the achievement of SDGs

Risks

  • Impact of climate change or other factors on our ability to procure wheat
  • Procurement problems or impairment of corporate value due to environmental or human rights issues in our supply chains
  • Slowdown or disruption of supplies of raw materials due to natural disasters, epidemics, or geopolitical risks, such as conflicts

Opportunities

  • Creation of structures to support stable supplies of safe, reliable products and services

Targets for priority themes

Priority themes Approaches and targets Initiatives on priority themes
Ensuring stable wheat procurement Establish sustainable procurement of wheat, our primary raw material
  • Examine and respond to the climate change risk to wheat resources
Sustainable raw material procurement Promote responsible procurement activities based on fair and ethical transactions
  • Enforce the Responsible Procurement Policy
  • Strengthen supply chain management

Efficiently handle product and packaging waste

Identifying social issues and providing value

While many people in the world are still affected by hunger and poverty, food losses also continue to be a major problem. Another problem is plastic waste from packaging, which has low recovery and effective utilization ratios compared with metals and other materials. There is growing concern about pollution on a global scale caused by the release of this plastic waste into rivers and oceans.

One of our most important priorities as a food manufacturer is to minimize food waste and plastic waste through efforts to create system to reuse and recycle these materials in a sustainable manner. The Nisshin Seifun Group has been working actively for many years to reduce waste emissions and recycle resources. We have set medium-term targets for the further reduction of environmental loads, including measures to minimize food and packaging waste. We will continue to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society in cooperation with our partners at all stages of our supply chains.

Contributing to the achievement of SDGs

Risks

  • Higher compliance costs resulting from changes to or strengthening of laws and regulations relating to waste and resource recycling
  • Loss of stakeholder confidence due to delays in actions to reduce waste and recycle resources

Opportunities

  • Efficiency improvements and cost reductions resulting from waste reduction initiatives
  • Expansion of business opportunities through the development of environmentally responsible products

Targets for priority themes

Priority themes Approaches and targets Initiatives on priority themes
Reducing food waste Reduce food waste and contribute to realizing sustainable food systems
  • Reduce food waste, from the procurement of raw materials to the delivery of products to customers, by 50% or more compared with the fiscal 2017 level by 2030*1
  • Work with our partners to reduce food waste at all supply chain stages
    Scope of reduction: By-products and waste from production and distribution operations that is not suitable for use as food and is processed through thermal recycling, volume reduction, landfill disposal, or incineration, etc.
Reducing packaging waste Promote the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle) + renewables with our partners at all supply chain stages
  • Reduce the amount of fossil fuel-derived plastics used by at least 25% compared with the fiscal 2020 level by 2030*2
  • Promote plastic recycling, such as by using environmentally friendly package designs
  • Increase the use of sustainable packaging materials, such as biomass plastics, recycled plastics, recycled paper, and FSC-certified paper
  • *1 At Group companies in Japan. Initio Foods Inc., Joyous Foods Co., Ltd., and Tokatsu Foods Co., Ltd., compared to fiscal 2020
  • *2 Group companies in Japan

Address climate change and water resource issues

Identifying social issues and providing value

The impact of climate change is becoming more serious year after year.. This global-scale issue is affecting society, the environment, and business across multiple generations. We are already witnessing extreme weather events caused by rising temperatures. There is also a threat of water shortages due to changing rainfall patterns and population growth. The Nisshin Seifun Group is also at risk of climate change impacts at all stages of our supply chains, including raw material procurement and logistics, due to natural disasters affecting our business sites and the areas where wheat and other raw materials are produced.

Today the survival of businesses depends on their ability to adapt to climate change and water problems. We aim to reduce CO2 emissions at our operation sites to net zero by 2050 by accelerating our initiatives, such as energy-saving measures, the improvement of production efficiency, and the introduction of renewable energy sources. Our contributions to the realization of a decarbonized society will also include efforts to reduce CO2 emissions across our supply chains. In addition, we will continue to monitor water risks in raw material production areas and at our operation sites, while also working to reduce water consumption at our production sites, and cooperating with our partners to ensure the effective utilization of water at all stages of our supply chains.


Contributing to the achievement of SDGs

Risks

  • Increased intensity and frequency of natural disasters, rising temperatures, and water shortages that could impact our ability to operate production sites and affect procurement of raw materials
  • Increased costs relating to regulations, including carbon taxes
  • Loss of stakeholder confidence due to a slow response to climate change and water problems

Opportunities

  • Expansion of business opportunities through increased demand for sustainable, environmentally responsible products and services

Targets for priority themes

Priority themes Approaches and targets Initiatives on priority themes
Climate change adaptation and mitigation Introduce energy-saving technology and promote the use of renewable energy, and contribute to realizing a decarbonized society
  • Reduce CO2 emissions from Group-owned facilities to net zero by 2050
  • Reduce CO2 emissions from Group-owned facilities by 50% compared with the fiscal 2014 level by 2030
  • Reduce CO2 emissions across our supply chains
Water resource conservation Work with our partners to ensure effective utilization of water at all stages of our supply chain
  • Reduce the amount of water used in plants per unit of production by 30% compared with the fiscal 2022 level by fiscal 2040*3
    —Halving of water use in regions where there is a high risk of water supply problems in the future
  • *3 All Group companies in Japan and overseas

Provide working environments that are healthy and fulfilling

Identifying social issues and providing value

Employees are the drivers of growth and progress for the Nisshin Seifun Group. We have expanded into various fields of business on a global scale, with the result that the Group now employs people who are diverse in terms of nationality, age, gender, lifestyles, and values. One of our most important priorities is the development of a corporate culture based on mutual respect and acceptance of differences. We want to create working environments in which diverse employees can enjoy good physical and mental health, experience fulfillment through their work, and reach their full potential. We are pursuing workstyle reforms and health management with the aim of fostering a corporate culture that will lead to the creation of new value.
Contributing to the achievement of SDGs

Risks

  • Labor shortages caused by reduced competitiveness in the recruitment market and the departure of existing employees
  • Impact on business continuity due to increases in occupational accidents and heightened employee health risks

Opportunities

  • Employee retention through the improvement of work motivation and job satisfaction
  • Innovation and corporate growth resulting from the activities of diverse human resources

Targets for priority themes

Priority themes Approaches and targets Initiatives on priority themes
Respect for diversity Respect humanity and diversity, and create workplaces that consider work-life balance
  • Reach target for women to represent at least 15% of management positions at Nisshin Seifun Group Inc. in fiscal 2023
Cultivation of human resources Cultivate human resources so each person can grow and fulfill their potential
  • Cultivate next-generation business managers
  • Develop the skills of technical personnel in specialized fields
  • Cultivate global human resources
Employee working environments and health
  • Continuously strengthen occupational health and safety management activities (zero occupational accidents)
  • Promote workstyle reform
  • Promote health management in the three pillars of the work environment, personal physical care, and mental healthcare