Executive Director, CSO Network Japan (August 2011 - present)
- Japan Director, The Asia Foundation (April 2010 - present)
- ISO26000 Social Responsibility Working Group Expert representing Japanese NGOs (2007 - 2010)
As Representative Director, President & CEO Yasuyoshi Karasawa stated in his Message, uncertainties arising from external factors such as frequent natural disasters, major changes in the political situation of the world, and social issues both in Japan and overseas are increasingly critical in the society and economy. While the expectations and demands for corporations to respond to the changes in the external environment promptly and to propose measures addressing issues are certainly increasing, the roles to be fulfilled by insurance companies are also expanding.
Given the fact and continuing from the previous year, I would like to share my opinions on the MS&AD Insurance Group's CSR commitment based on the contents of its CSR Report.
Review of Priority Issues
The Group has reviewed its priority issues based on the changes in the global indicators such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In pillar 2 of the initiative of "Contributing to Resolution of Social Issues through the Business", social issues are reclassified into the following four areas:1) Accident Prevention, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, 2) Response to Climate Change, 3) Response to Aging Society and 4) Development of Local Communities. Through the comprehensive review of the business model, which provides precautionary measures to prevent risks, the relevance of business and CSR efforts are clearly disclosed. As described in the message from the top management at the beginning of this report, The Group’s attitude towards CSR is clearly stated.
Since all of these four areas are of high importance as a global issue, I am expecting to see more initiatives that anticipate relevant individual needs and business issues, and disseminate the relevant actions to both domestic and overseas operations. As I wrote last year, it would be great to see a social indicator that measures the level of impact such as services that actually attribute to resolving social issues.
Participation to Initiatives and External Evaluation
The Group has engaged in various initiatives through actions such as participation in the UN Global Compact, signature to Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and implementing Japan’s Stewardship Code, and taking part in the CDP. I would like to greatly applaud the Group on signing the Natural Capital Declaration in July 2016, which declares that financial institutions should incorporate the concept of natural capital into their financial products and services for the 21st century. As a result the Group was selected as a component member of SRI indices.
Respect for Human Rights
In fiscal 2016, the Group stipulated Group Basic Policy on Human Rights and commenced for human rights due diligence. While infringement of the right to privacy is drawing more attention as a new human rights issue, the Group has focused its attention on this issue and formulated the "Responsibilities as a Global Insurance and Financial Services Provider" in line with the policy. Human rights due diligence section includes cutting-edge contents such as, "assessment and prevention", " remedy, remediation and dialogue", and "education and training". Last year, in my third party opinion I wrote that "I expect that the Group will further promote the respect for human rights." This year I would like to state that the Group is progressing steadily. Respect for human rights was used to be regarded as cost but recently the perception has changed to the idea that respect for human rights is directly linked to corporate profits. I would like to see the Group's increasing its efforts to respect human rights also in the future.
Our Response to the Third-Party Opinion on Our CSR Report
Thank you very much for your valuable feedback on the 2017 CSR Report of the MS&AD Insurance Group.
In fiscal 2016, the second year of the medium-term management plan "Next Challenge 2017", based on significant changes in term of global environment and international community in the previous year, we deliberately reviewed the issues to be addressed for "Resolution of Social Issues", which is one of the Group’s basic strategies. Then, we re-recognized the followings as priority issues and proceeded our initiatives. One is to earn social trust through the improvement of products and services quality with emphasis on communication with stakeholders. The other is to contribute to the resolution of social issues; 1) Accident Prevention, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, 2) Response to Climate Change, 3) Response to Aging society, and 4) Development of Local Communities.
By providing products and services with high quality enough to earn the trust of stakeholders, we focused on contributing to the resolution of the four social issues as they are closely relate to the Group’s Businesses and the society desires measures to be taken to frequent occurrences of natural disasters due to climate change or the emerging risks that accompanied with the progress of technology.
We will not only enhance our initiatives but improve our quantitative indicators that measure impacts of these products and services on social issues and improve of our disclosure, which is pointed out to be improved this fiscal year.
Signing the Natural Declaration in July 2016, which is applauded in Third-Party Opinion, means our recognition that natural capital is the basis for achieving all goals of SDGs.
With regard to this area, we will continue to support the compatibility of the global environment and business activities by leading conservation and sustainable utilization of natural capital, especially towards achieving the four SDGs related to the stabilization of natural capital and the climate system.
Based on the "Group Basic Policy on Human Rights," stipulated in February 2017, we intend to further our strive towards respecting human rights, centering on the decided priority issues in order to fulfill our social responsibilities as a company.
Based on our management philosophy of "To contribute to the development of a vibrant society and help secure a sound future for the earth, by bringing security and safety through the global insurance and financial services business.", we will continue to aim to improve the corporate value and to contribute to the creation of a sustainable and flexible society by considering mutual influence with the environment and society in every aspect of business activities and acting with such consideration.
MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, Inc.
Yusuke Shirai, General Manager, Corporate Planning Department