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Path to Achieving Sustainability

Society at a Major Turning Point

Modern society is moving into a new phase. Adopted by the United Nations in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a global, universal framework that seeks to address the overarching challenges facing humanity, including environmental destruction, growing wealth inequality, and escalating international conflicts. The SDGs aim to create a sustainable path forward into the distant future, intricately linking the activities of the planet and humanity.

In Japan, the Japanese translation of the Sustainable Development Goals has become increasingly common in newspapers and on television. Initially used by governments, investors and large corporations, we observe that the term is becoming more and more integrated into our daily lives. Society is undergoing a significant transition, shifting from a focus on the economy, in line with the evolution of capitalism, to a structure that sustains society as a whole while promoting economic development.

Attaining the goals set out in the SDGs will not be easy. However, we are confident that the collective effort to make the world a better place, coupled with the potential for continued economic development, will spur a range of innovations in the future that will help solve various challenges. By the target year of 2030, our society may look very different than it does today.

Our Direction in Line with SDGs

To keep pace with these social trends, we inaugurated the Corporate Sustainability Office in April 2021. Its objective is to recognize the challenges we need to address toward the SDGs target year 2030 and in the future beyond that point, so that we can work toward solving social problems.

One particular challenge we are taking on is achieving carbon neutrality, or substantially reducing CO2 emissions to almost zero. Even prior to the SDGs, there have been calls to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, which are believed to contribute to global warming.

Although various modes of transportation such as land and air are in use, our primary focus on coastal shipping has allowed us to contribute significantly to promoting low environmental impact logistics. The emission of CO2 per unit weight from ocean transportation by coastal shipping, our primary operation, is lower than that from land transportation. However, rather than simply pursuing a modal shift characterized by replacing high-impact modes of transportation with lower-impact alternatives, we have steered in the direction of achieving significant reductions in overall CO2 emissions. This approach includes addressing emissions from ships, which have traditionally been considered relatively environmentally friendly.

There is a growing trend in the industry to build new types of vessels powered by LNG and biodiesel. In addition, there is an ongoing research and development effort focused on the creation of new fuels with reduced CO2 emissions and the development of ships powered by such fuels. Our company, which currently operates seven coastal vessels, is considering a fleet improvement plan that aims to achieve both economic efficiency and a reduction in its environmental footprint.

For the creation of a sustainable society

Resolving environmental issues is not the sole objective of the SDGs. As a corporate entity, we have a responsibility to enable our employees to focus on their work with a sense of fulfillment and to lead rewarding lives. This will contribute to the realization of the world envisioned by the SDGs. We will certainly continue with the CSR activities that we have been undertaking, and also fulfill our responsibilities as a corporate citizen.

We will continue our efforts to help build a better society and remain an essential presence for our stakeholders.