Since our founding by Chubei Itoh, ITOCHU Corporation has conducted business grounded Sampo Yoshi*1, the spirit of the Ohmi merchant*2. Our mission is not simply to earn profits, but respond to the needs of an ever-changing society and provide enrichment that transcends commerce. Embracing “Committed to the Global Good” as part of our corporate philosophy, we seek to grow together with society. In 2014, we adopted the corporate message, “I am One with Infinite Missions”. This phrase embodies our commitment to this corporate philosophy and our commitment to society. To demonstrate our intent to honor this approach to the international society, since 2009 we have participated in the UN Global Compact and proactively promote CSR throughout our business activities.
Amid global market changes that have seen the leveling of once skyrocketing resource prices, general trading companies are on the cusp of a new age. In FY2016, ITOCHU Corporation took decisive action related to loss treatments and asset replacement, which enabled us to begin FY2017 in a more balanced position. While we have continued to achieve growth primarily in non-resource domains where we perform well, this fiscal year we also will expand profits by working together with powerful strategic partners in Chinese and Asian markets as we seek to lead this age of a trading industry represented by two powerful competitors.
This year marks the second year of Brand-new Deal 2017, our Medium-Term Management Plan. Seeking to further increase the individual capabilities of each employee, we are embracing the slogan “Engaging All Employees to Lead a New Era”. ITOCHU Corporation boasts the industry’s highest profits despite having around 4,300 employees, the smallest number of employees among the top five trading companies (nonconsolidated). To achieve further growth, it will prove vital that each of our employees increase their individual capabilities and furthermore maximize the potential of their capabilities. We will ensure the development of a workplace environment that provides numerous opportunities for growth through both work and social activities. We will optimize workflow and use those time savings to strengthen relationships with customers, develop new proposals, and enhance both corporate research and the private lives of our employees. To ensure that all employees are able to work in a state of good physical and mental health, we drafted the “ITOCHU Health Charter” and outlined improving employee health as one of our management strategies. Through these strategies and policies, each employee will be able to put forth continuous effort and demonstrate their potential, which will in turn help us achieve growth.
With corporate growth, comes the expansion and diversification of business domains and greater influence on society. This in turn increases risks related to disruption of the supply chain environment and human rights infringement. As such, it is extremely important that we create a clear framework for avoiding such risks. In addition to risk management, ITOCHU Corporation also bears the important responsibility of resolving social issues through our business activities. With this in mind, we define and implement initiatives related to CSR material issues. Last year, the United Nations adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which identify goals necessary for the creation of a sustainable society. ITOCHU Corporation will contribute to the achievement of these goals through our existing water and renewable energy projects.
Although ITOCHU Corporation has existed for over 150 years, we understand that corporate arrogance can lead to our demise.
In addition to resolute initiatives related to legal compliance and the prevention of corruption, we will apply strong ethics towards further reinforcing our corporate compliance. To further promote corporate governance, the foundation for sustainable growth, beginning from FY2017 we appointed the chairperson of our advisory committee to serve as an outside director and ensure that more than half of members are outside officers. Furthermore, we welcomed Atsuko Muraki, former Vice Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, as an outside director as part of our commitment to creating an environment represented by a diverse range of personnel. To further develop the trust we have cultivated among our stakeholders, we will continue to increase our value as a member of society and continue to work towards growth and expansion.