On Monday 5th February 2018, ESG’s CEO Alejandro Litovsky was honoured to deliver the keynote speech at a business conference in Tokyo, Japan: “Corporate action in the age of SDGs: value creation and business opportunities”. The event was organised by Fujitsu Research Institute and hosted at Keidanren Kaikan, Japan’s business federation; and brought together 300+ Japanese companies, including presentations from key corporate leaders including Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc. and Sumitomo Chemical.
The interest of Japanese corporations on the role they can play to achieve the SDGs is rising. The government is incentivising companies to align with the SDGs; a revised Charter of Corporate Behaviour of the Japan Business Federation now features it too. Leading Japanese corporations are turning to the SDGs at what feels like a faster pace than other companies in the rest of the world.
Japanese business leaders find the SDGs are aligned with traditional Japanese corporate value. The SDGs provide Japanese companies with a ‘lingua franca’ with which to develop new business opportunities outside Japan. As companies race to put in place a focus on the SDGs, the conference addressed the critical question of how to maintain a focus on long-term corporate value creation and business opportunity acquisition throughout this process.