DENSO’s Sustainability Management
By incorporating the perspective of social sustainability within its management strategies, DENSO is working to improve its corporate value. In other words, DENSO is striving to contribute to the resolution of social issues through its businesses.
Our approach to sustainability management shares the same intention as the DENSO Creed, and this approach represents the core of our management that we have inherited since our founding and provides us with the driving force for growth.
History of Our Sustainability Management
Automobiles have always had positive and negative aspects. On the one hand, they provide a safe and comfortable means of transportation. On the other hand, they adversely impact society in such ways as exhaust gas and traffic accidents. Since its inception, DENSO has always tackled social issues head on using an approach that involves maximizing the positive aspects of automobiles and minimizing the negative ones. By doing so, DENSO has realized growth by striving to make cars more eco-friendly, safer, and more comfortable and convenient.
The creation of the electric car “DENSO-GO” at the time of the Company’s founding, when our management faced various hardships, was an undertaking that embodies our ambition to make cars better. From the 1970s on, we have created employment opportunities and contributed to the development of local communities by promoting Monozukuri and Hitozukuri at our manufacturing bases around the world.
In addition, we have extended the technologies that we have cultivated for the automotive industry to the fields of factory automation (FA) and agriculture, thereby working to address new social issues such as labor and food shortages.
In these ways, we have been constantly implementing sustainability management that balances business growth with the resolution of social issues. We therefore consider sustainability to be a part of our DNA itself.
We formulated the DENSO Group Sustainability Policy to ensure that all employees engage in actions that adhere to the DENSO Creed and our Basic Philosophy, and that are befitting of a Global company, amid their interactions with society and our stakeholders.
From the various issues that society faces, we determined the material issues (materiality) toward which we should give priority within the three themes of “green,” “peace of mind,” and “inspiring,” which we adopted under the DENSO Group Long-term Policy for 2030. Through our business activities, we will steadily work to resolve these issues.
Process for Determining Materiality
Reflect on DENSO's past sustainabillty activities
Identify social issues by referencing the SDGs and ESG trends(FTSE,MSCL,etc)
Set priorities and determine targets by analyzing the degree of importance to the Company and to society as a whole
Discuss with external experts(stakeholder engagement)
Discuss and approve at the management level
DENSO’s formal committees (Management Deliberation Meeting, Management Meeting, etc.) hold discussions and make reports on such matters as the direction of the Company’s sustainability management and the status of the Company’s overall sustainability activities.
In addition, the Corporate Strategy Center, which serves as the organization for promoting sustainability management on a Companywide basis, provides support to and tracks the activities of each department and promotes the communication of sustainability-related information both inside and outside the Company. The divisions responsible for each individual sustainability theme receive instruction from our various committees on the kinds of issues they should address and the activities they should pursue. These dedicated divisions then promote such activities in collaboration with other relevant divisions.
To lead the way in promoting sustainability, we select one sustainability leader in each department at DENSO (and one for each Group company) to spread and firmly establish sustainability awareness and also to distribute sustainability-related information.
Specific activities – Activities to permeate Sustainability
Implementing sustainability management means that all divisions and employees consider how they can contribute to the resolution of social issues in their day-to-day work and take action to do so. Accordingly, we believe that sustainability management is the first step toward resolving social issues.
In light of this belief, we consider and promote a broad range of initiatives, such as activities to effectively raise awareness of sustainability among employees and communicate information, to ensure that each employee can speak about sustainability management in his or her own way and engage in appropriate actions. These initiatives are promoted in consideration of cultures in each area of operation and the corporate cultures of each Group company.
Also, to make sure that we convey how our efforts relate to society in an easy-to-understand manner for all of our stakeholders, including our employees, we are actively disseminating information and engaging in communication leveraging the SDGs, which have become a globally shared language.
Sustainability Initiatives at Company Cafeterias (DENSO CORPORATION, DENSO WELL CORPORATION)
DENSO CORPORATION and DENSO WELL CORPORATION have introduced sustainable seafood meal options in the menus of their cafeterias in order to heighten employee sustainability awareness by enabling them to engage with social issues, such as those related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in their daily lives.
In addition, we have replaced plastic straws with paper straws, developed menus based on the concept of local production and consumption, and introduced other offerings that promote sustainability awareness when used by employees.
“SDGs and Me” Essay Contest (China)
An essay contest was held in China in which essays on the theme of “SDGs and Me” were collected from across the country as part of an effort to encourage employees to think about how their work is connected to the SDGs. Applications started in January 2020, and around 500 essays were received in total.
From among these essays, 20 grand prize winners and 30 runner-up winners were selected. These essays were made available for viewing throughout the DENSO Group, including outside of China, via the Company intranet so that employees can reference them when thinking about how their own work is related to the SDGs.
Initiatives of DENSO CORPORATION
To approach sustainability from a multifaceted perspective and to understand how our work relates to social issues and pursue efforts accordingly, we held meetings provided by outside lecturers (investors, officers in charge of sustainability at corporations, and members of international organizations) and workshops that helped deepen the understanding of sustainability among our employees.
Incorporating Sustainability into Fiscal Year Plans
When formulating annual plans, divisions are asked to utilize the SDGs along with a perspective of addressing social issues to formulate individual employee performance goals based on the role of their organization and their priority initiative themes for the given fiscal year. This approach is taken to deepen the understanding of sustainability among all divisions and all employees.
Indication of Relevant SDGs on Employee IDs (DENSO CORPORATION, Group companies in South Korea, and other Asian Countries)
When setting personal annual performance goals, employees are asked to think about the SDG goals to which their work will contribute and to indicate those goals on their employee IDs and business cards. This measure allows employees to reflect on their own SDG goals and to share these goals with their colleagues and thereby create more frequent opportunities to talk about how to contribute to the accomplishment of the SDGs.
We publish the Sustainability Letter (in multiple languages) for DENSO Group employees. This letter contains a message from the CEO regarding sustainability as well as relevant sustainability information.
In addition, we disclose information via integrated reports, our corporate website, news releases, and other media while also encouraging all employees to proactively discuss sustainability with customers, their families, and other stakeholders in order to communicate our initiatives to external stakeholders.
Understanding the Level of Sustainability Awareness among Employees
We conduct an awareness survey to ascertain and check the level of understanding and implementation of sustainability by employees.
DENSO Corporation has held the "Sustainability Survey" annually since 2006 to assess and check the degree of understanding and implementation of sustainability among employees.
Question: Do you understand how your work contributes to the accomplishment of the SDGs?
Question: Choose the option that best matches your thoughts regarding sustainability and the SDGs.