In this focus area, the bank provides sustainability-conscious, responsible investments and loans and strives to develop and maintain financial services nationwide that are fundamental to the AFF industries.
In addition, we conduct business activities aiming for sustainable energy utilization.
Issues and Direction of Our Initiatives
|Topics||Direction of Our Initiatives|
|Topic 2-1||Promote sustainable finance||We contribute to realizing a sustainable society through responsible investments and loans that provide consideration for environmental, social and governance aspects.|
|Topic 2-2||Contribute to sustainable energy utilization||We contribute to promoting sustainable energy utilization.|
|Topic 2-3||Realize financing for everybody||We contribute to realizing a society where everyone, including residents in Japan’s underpopulated areas and the economically vulnerable, have wide access to financial services.|
- Practice responsible investment and lending for the resolution of environmental and social issues
- Provide financial services assuming the expansion of demand for renewable energy
- Improve financial access in each and every location throughout Japan using a variety of channels, including mobile branch vehicles and internet banking
Initiatives for the Equator Principles
The Equator Principles is an assessment framework used by private financial institutions when financing large-scale development projects. This framework is used to assess whether the development project pays the appropriate attention to the natural environment and local communities.
It is widely used in the project finance field as a method to identify, evaluate and manage environmental and social risks. Financial institutions that have adopted the Equator Principles are required to incorporate these into their internal policies and procedures and to construct appropriate management and administrative systems. Furthermore, they may not invest in projects that are not compliant with the Equator Principles.
Based on the increasing public awareness of environmental and social issues and society’s expectations of financial institutions, the Bank adopted the Equator Principles in fiscal 2017 to realize a higher level of consideration toward a sustainable environment.
Specifically, under the Basic Policy on Finance, the Bank has formulated both the Basic Policy Regarding the Equator Principles and the Administration Guidelines for the Equator Principles. A dedicated staff member has been assigned to determine conformity with these principles, and we continue to request that customers address environmental and social considerations at the required level according to their project category.
Environmental and Social Risk Assessment process
Project Category Definition
Projects with potential significant adverse environmental and social risks and/or impacts that are diverse, irreversible or unprecedented
Projects with potential limited adverse environmental and social risks and/or impacts that are few in number, generally site-specific, largely reversible and readily addressed through mitigation measures
Projects with minimal or no adverse environmental and social risks and/or impacts
Financed transactions in accordance with Equator Principles in FY 2021 （From 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022）
<Project-Related Corporate Loans>
<Project Finance Advisory Services and Bridge Loans>
<Project-Related Refinance and Project-Related Acquisition Finance>
Issuance of the Bank’s First Green Bond
In September 2021, the Bank issued U.S. dollar–denominated Norinchukin Bank debentures that correspond to a total value of US$1 billion as green bonds in foreign markets. The Norinchukin Bank debentures are bonds, of which the issuance is authorized for the purpose of funding by the Bank, in accordance with the Norinchukin Bank Act.
These bonds are usually issued with limited use for businesses that will contribute to environmental improvement such as those in renewable energy. This was the Bank’s first issuance of green bonds. Ahead of the issuance, we formulated the Bank’s Green Bond Framework and confirmed that it complies with the Green Bond Principles 2021 published by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA). We will contribute to the realization of a sustainable environment and society through the issuance of green bonds as well as investments and financing in which the funds procured by the green bonds are used.
Contribute to Sustainable Energy Utilization
Providing Financial Services Assuming the Expansion of Demand for Renewable Energy
For details on the Bank’s efforts related to renewable energy, please refer to project finance examples and JA Bank initiatives.
Worldwide Action in Project Finance
In our investment business, we are fully engaged in project finance. Unlike corporate finance, which provides loans according to the creditworthiness of the corporation receiving the loan, project finance targets a specific business/project and then evaluates its profitability before making a loan.
Project Finance Examples
Total lending: ¥918.5 billion
We provide financing for renewable energy projects including offshore wind power generation and undersea power transmission lines in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe, as well as solar power generation projects in the Middle East and Japan.
Total lending: ¥691.7 billion
We provide financing for water treatment projects in Australia and the Middle East as well as for social infrastructure projects targeting public facilities such as schools and hospitals in Australia, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
As of March 31, 2022
Realize Financing for Everybody
Improving Financial Access in Each Location Throughout Japan using a Variety of Channels
The Bank aims to realize financing for everybody in order to promote responsible finance. By leveraging the strength of its comprehensive business, JA branches provide a variety of services. It is developing different channels to provide financial services to our members and users, even those in depopulated mountainous areas.
Opening of Yorisoi Plaza
We are introducing the Yorisoi Plaza, at which customers can easily use JA Bank services even when there is no branch with a financial counter nearby. Financial services are provided via remote consultation booths and ATMs at branches that lack financial counters. We also expect that this to function as a community venue for exchanges.
Introduction of mobile branches
JA Bank is promoting the implementation of mobile branches equipped with financial booths and ATM services for all JAs nationwide (as of March 31, 2021, 126 units had been deployed).
Mobile branches allow users to deposit and withdraw ordinary savings and update passbook entries. In addition to bank transfers and payment of taxes and utility bills, users can use consulting services about public pension benefit receipt, mutual insurance and more. These mobile branches are gaining greater recognition as the nearest financial institution in regions without a nearby consultation branch or ATM.
These nationally deployed mobile branches normally serve as a lifeline for rural and depopulated areas and can be utilized in times of disaster, offering financial services to affected areas.
Handling of housing loans for the LGBTQIA+ community
As part of realizing diversity, social interest in LGBTQIA+ persons has been increasing. In addition, the trend of introducing a “partnership system,“ which publicly recognizes the rights of LGBTQIA+ couples has accelerated in Japan in several local governments. In line with this trend, JA Bank commenced, in collaboration with Kyodo Housing Loan Co., Ltd. (KHL), a JA Bank Group company, the handling of housing loans that accept the qualification of LGBTQIA+ people, for which KHL’s corporate guarantee is effected, in several prefectures.
This loan product accepts the aggregation of a couple’s income for a housing loan for couples who are authorized by the partnership system of each local government.
In the future, we intend to increase the number of prefectures where this product is offered. In addition, we are proceeding with the investigation on the treatment of the guarantee offered by the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Credit Foundations.
- Sustainability Management at The Norinchukin Bank
- Message from the CEO
- Sustainability Advisory Board
- Sustainability Issues Surrounding the AFF Industries
- Formulation of Purpose of the Bank and the Medium/Long-Term Goals
- Our Purpose, Vision and Mission
- Milestones of Sustainability Management
- Philosophies and Policies Supporting Sustainability Management
- Identifying Sustainability Issues
- Sustainability Promotion Structure
- Participation in Initiatives
- Initiatives Against COVID-19
- Initiatives for Medium/Long-Term Goals FY2030
- Progress of Initiatives Toward the Medium/Long-Term Goals FY2030
- Reducing GHG Emissions at investees and Borrowers
- Restoring a Healthy Circulation of Forest and Forest Industry Providing Full Support for Wood Utilization Initiative
- Solving Environmental and Social Issues Through Sustainable Finance
- Initiatives to Manage Environmental and Social Risks
- Initiatives to Increase the Income of Farmers, Fishermen and Foresters
- Initiatives to Promote Diversity & Inclusion
- Examples of Major Initiatives
- Sustainability Disclosure