Sustainability

Message from the CEO

農林中央金庫 代表理事理事長 奥 和登

The Norinchukin Bank
Kazuto Oku
President and Chief Executive Officer

The Norinchukin Bank is a member of cooperative organizations that support agriculture, fishery and forestry industries. We provide financial services to members that include Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA), Japan Fisheries Cooperatives (JF), and Japan Forest Owners’ Cooperatives (JForest). In so doing, we contribute to the development of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, while also contributing to national economic prosperity.
This social duty, which is defined under Article 1 of the Norinchukin Bank Act, is a unique mission that no officer or employee at Norinchukin can forget, no matter what role we serve. To fulfill this duty, we engage in various activities and underlying corporate functions within our Food and Agriculture Business, our Retail Business, and our Investment Business.
Looking at fiscal 2019, we saw a year of increasing natural disasters, said to be caused by climate change.
While other nations experienced large-scale forest fires and other major disasters, Japan's agriculture, fishery and forestry industries also suffered severe damage from large typhoons. At COP25 (the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) held in December 2019, as well as at the Davos conference (Annual Assembly of the World Economic Forum) held in January 2020, I was impressed that the world had come to an agreement on the urgency of addressing climate change and environmental issues. I was also moved by the young people around the world who are taking powerful action for the future of the Earth.
We are acutely aware of the severe impact of COVID-19 on economic and social systems. These circumstances have had grave repercussions around the world since the beginning of 2020. We have learned once again how important it is that companies and society be resilient to pandemics. This is a development prompting us to review not only our businesses, but also our lifestyles in working toward a sustainable society. These and other rapidly advancing global-scale issues threaten to rattle the very foundations of our business: food shortages due to global population growth, labor shortages due to declining birthrates, aging populations in advanced nations, and the loss of biodiversity. The Paris Agreement, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and other initiatives for social sustainability give rise each passing year to expectations for companies to resolve social issues. We recognize the need for us to conduct our businesses in ways that reflect society’s expectations and demands.
At the same time, Japan's agriculture, fishery and forestry industries, which form the foundation of our business, are irreplaceable industries that produce life-nurturing food. These industries also offer the potential for regional revitalization, land conservation, and more. From an alternative perspective, these industries may be the most susceptible to climate change and other issues related to the natural environment. Also, agriculture, fishery and forestry industries themselves burden the environment through greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other factors.
In Japan, these industries contribute significantly to the environment through eco-friendly agricultural initiatives, resource-managed fisheries, and multi-function forests, accomplished through thinning and reforestation. Recognizing the present situation and issues clearly, we believe it is necessary for us to be proactive in leveraging our businesses to take on GHG emissions reductions and other global-level issues. We feel strongly that we must probe more deeply into how Norinchukin can show purpose in helping create a sustainable society through our business activities.

Sustainability Report 2020

Contents

Environmental Policy・Human Rights Policy

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