The outlook for the world economy in fiscal 2017 remained uncertain as a consequence of the slowdown of the Chinese market, growing protectionist policies in the U.S., and other concerns elsewhere. In the Japanese economy, meanwhile, ongoing improvements in corporate earnings, employment, and income underpinned a gradual recovery overall.
Turning to the big picture, rapid progress in groundbreaking technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming social norms and values drastically. The paradigm shifts brought by these technologies are redefining every industry in the world.
Industrial revolutions have generally taken place every hundred years in the history of commercial manufacturing. Now, however, we are jumping forward in the historical cycle: just 50 or so years after entering the third industrial revolution, we are already moving into the fourth, the information revolution. Paradigm shifts are being seen in all kinds of industries, including printing, the core activity of the Toppan Group.
Creating the Value of the Future
We at the Toppan Group cannot ensure our ongoing growth if we stay wedded to conventional norms, values, and business models. For a business, the commitment to realizing a sustainable society has become more crucial than ever before. Our Group is now required to innovate itself to create new value and deliver benefits for the global community.
If we are to realize a sustainable society for tomorrow, I am convinced that Toppan will have to execute a rigorous sustainability strategy to help solve social issues while ensuring the ongoing growth of the Group. We are striving to solve social issues through value creation in collaboration with our stakeholders using the printing technologies we have built up since our foundation in 1900. We are also working to grow as a corporation that creates social value by identifying the value of the future and making it a reality through planning and creativity.
Toppan has been participating in the United Nations Global Compact and supporting its 10 principles of human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption since September 2006. I will continue espousing the United Nations Global Compact and directing our sustainability activities based on this global policy initiative.
As an invaluable guideline to fulfill our social responsibility, we incorporated the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility (globally recognized standard for organizations) into our sustainability management practices in fiscal 2011. We have been pushing forward with sustainability activities accordingly by piecing together a clear picture of the social issues we should help solve and the social responsibilities we should fulfill. The ISO 26000 standard condenses various social issues to address. Our measures to tackle these issues correspond to the requirements of the United Nations Global Compact.
In September 2015, the countries of the United Nations adopted a series of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as core steps for “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” We will be analyzing how our Group’s businesses are relevant to the 17 SDGs with a view to identifying material issues to be addressed more assertively in our ongoing sustainability activities and further intensifying our measures to achieve these material targets.
With Our Stakeholders
At the Toppan Group we have reviewed our information disclosure system to enable stakeholders to better understand our activities in addressing the diversifying environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues of the day. I am eager to hear your candid opinions about our sustainability activities.
We will keep up our work towards the creation of a sustainable society by evolving as a corporation that creates social value. We rely on your ongoing support and guidance.