Building on its past efforts to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN), SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) announced the promotion of SDGs as a top managerial priority on May 11, 2020. This article takes an in-depth look at SoftBank’s commitment to help realize a sustainable society.
SDGs is an abbreviation of Sustainable Development Goals. Set in 2015 by the United Nations, SDGs are a collection of 17 goals to be achieved by 2030 on a global scale to create a prosperous and vibrant future. The goals include eliminating poverty and hunger, as well as providing quality health care and education.
Why are companies working to achieve SDGs?
Picking up from the preceding Millenium Development Goals (MDGs)--which greatly contributed to the reduction of poverty and hunger and the spread of primary education--the SDGs were announced at the UN General Assembly in 2015 to put the world on a more sustainable path and ensure that “no one is left behind.”
As part of efforts to achieve the SDGs, the UN and national governments have also called on businesses to contribute. Addressing the World Economic Forum in 2017, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a new generation of partnerships with the business community to limit the impact of climate change and to reduce poverty. He noted, “Without the private sector we will not have the necessary innovation, we will not have the necessary capacity to discover new markets, new products, new services and to be able to develop new areas in the economy.”
Businesses in Japan have also taken up the challenge to contribute to SDGs. In 2017, the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) revised its Charter of Corporate Behavior to help achieve the SDGs by realizing “Society 5.0,” a future society in which IoT, AI, robots, and other innovative technologies will be used to maximum effect for the optimization of individual lives and of society as a whole.
Striving to improve industry, lifestyles and infrastructure
At its earnings results held on May 11, 2020, SoftBank identified six priority issues (“key initiatives” or “materiality”) to strengthen its SDGs initiatives. SoftBank News spoke to Masato Ikeda, Senior Director of the SDGs Planning & Management Office to learn more about the new program.
SoftBank announced it is striving in earnest to achieve the SDGs.
Ikeda: Keeping with our view that companies need to be good citizens, we’re going to thoroughly pursue the achievement of SDGs because we have set contributing to a sustainable society as a managerial priority. Our business activities are fully aligned with solutions to many of the issues facing society, so we’re promoting initiatives to achieve SDGs. We’re not only looking to help achieve the 17 goals; to ensure a sustainable future, we’ll consider how SoftBank can deliver value by looking at what the future should be like and then plan back from that by taking the initiative to deliver on SDGs.
What are SoftBank’s key initiatives?
Ikeda: We put forth the concept of “a world where all things, information and minds are connected” and identified key initiatives to unify all employees behind the goal of achieving SDGs across the entire business. These key initiatives are not only important to SoftBank; they’re deeply linked to the SDGs themselves and aligned with the expectations of our stakeholders.
Resolving social issues through business
Resolving social issues through corporate activities
By utilizing the latest technologies like 5G and AI, which also help create new industries, we can offer solutions that transform various businesses. We’d like to expand the industrial base and improve efficiencies with cutting-edge technologies and provide value to enterprises with digital transformations (DX). With the adoption of smart devices, it will be possible to create environments where all have access to information and we can deliver true customer value.
One of SoftBank’s core businesses is telecommunications, and we view telecommunication networks as a lifeline. Based on this thinking, we do all we can to maintain our networks so they’re reliable at all times. In addition to maintaining this infrastructure, we’re also working to ensure that we construct resilient telecommunications networks that can withstand disasters.
We want each and every employee to be conscious of the key initiatives so they conduct their business and duties with these future goals in mind. At the same time, we want them to be aware of how their businesses contribute to the achievement of SDGs and make a greater impact on society.
Your promotion of SDGs is bringing employees together to focus on the six key initiatives.
Yes, more can be learned about our approach at the new sustainability section of the SoftBank Corp. website.
Sustainability - A world where all things, information and minds are connected
To help realize a sustainable society where all things, information and minds are connected, SoftBank is working to resolve various social issues through its business and corporate activities.
(Original article posted on May 20, 2020)
by SoftBank News Editors