Q: What was your inspiration to organize and implement this training session?
Since April 2016, our policy has been to become a “company creating social value”: an organization that tackles social issues and listens to customer needs. We became determined to transform our business into much more than a conventional finance company. To make this policy a reality, it is crucial for our business and management practices to incorporate the SDGs. We are now preparing our next midterm management plan from the viewpoint of ESG (environmental, social and governance) standards, which are based on the SDGs.
It is our belief that not only do we need to learn basic knowledge and case studies, we also need to cultivate a stance of engaging with social issues through dialoguing with stakeholders regarding the SDGs and taking effective action. That is why we organized this event for a total of 37 people including our executive officers, directors and presidents of our domestic group companies.
Q: What is your honest opinion after having run the training session?
Judging from the relatively high degree of satisfaction (average 3.84 out of 4) the event helped participants to develop a deeper understanding. I believe it was a great success.
Here are some positive comments we received from participants after the training session: “The motivation to solve problems in our world has to come from me. It’s simply not enough for me to have the attitude of ‘let the company handle it.’”, “Now I understand the importance of connection. My actions will be different from now on.” In addition to these comments, there were requests for ongoing training sessions, to give all company employees the opportunity to have the same training, enabling them to share a common understanding of the SDGs.
Q: What moment or section of the event was the most memorable to you?
When I was planning the event, I encountered some people who believed that the SDGs were something for the non-profit sector to work on, not something that was relevant to businesses. So I was worried that participants would miss the point of the workshop. However, despite my concerns, the people with this mindset actually ended up being the ones who were the most enthusiastic about the event. That was a surprise to me. My sense was also that the event helped individuals get in touch with their sense of personal responsibility regarding social issues. In fact, since the event, one of our group companies has been considering starting collaborations with NPOs.
A group company president who is considering collaborating with NPOs.
Q: What are the most memorable comments or answers from the questionnaires you received from participants about the event?
I would choose the following three:
“One major theme that emerged was that the needs of society and the environment cannot be solved with the efforts of just one company. I see now that we need to establish partnerships and share financial responsibility to meet those needs.”
“This event made the relationship between social issues and the individual readily apparent. I realized that change really starts with me, and this will change the actions I will take moving forward, increasing the possibility of achieving the SDGs.”
“Through these workshops, I realized the importance of collaboration and connecting with other departments outside of my own section or company. In order to expand my own understanding and gain a deeper perspective of the SDGs, I would like to have discussions during training sessions in my own section.”
Photo left: Mr. Kawabe, President of Hitachi Capital, working diligently
Q: What does sustainability mean to your company?
We believe it means taking on the challenges faced by society and our stakeholders, and providing solutions that utilize individual strengths. It also means continuously delivering and enjoying added value.
Q: Do you have any other comments for our readers?
This is for both companies and individuals: each of us must start to take action toward the SDGs, not just continue to learn about them. Through continued dialogue with our stakeholders, we need to consider what we can do right now for the future to deal with the challenges we are facing. In other words—we need to take the first step by directly experiencing the challenges, rather than just researching or thinking about them.
Q: One last comment, please!
We believe that our company has just reached the starting line.
We are determined to become a company creating social value, a company that through working with our stakeholders empowers each of our employees to respond to social issues and customer needs based on the SDGs.
– Kazunori Hamasaki, General Manager/CSR Promotion Manager of Management Strategy Office Corporate Planning Division, Deputy General Manager of New Business Research and Development Department in Hitachi Capital Co., Ltd. (photo center)
– Satoko Toyoka, Chairperson of CSR Promotion Department (photo left)
– Yoshikawa Yoshikawa, Corporate Planning Department, (photo right)