Sustainability Management

Materiality of the Kuraray Group

In terms of previous materiality formulated in 2015, 18 material issues were determined, but the materiality was not sufficiently identified from the perspective of solving social issues through business. Accordingly, the Kuraray Group reviewed materiality, which forms the core of its Sustainability Concept.
In the review, we focused on clarifying the issues that the Kuraray Group should resolve through its business operations. To respond to the demands of the globalizing society, all division general managers in Japan and overseas participated in discussions to select new material issues.
We believe the Kuraray Group’s business utilizing pioneering technologies can contribute to addressing many material issues. These include the five domains currently specified as material issues, which are “improving the natural environment,” “improving the living environment,” “effective use of resources and reduction of environmental impact,” “improving supply chain management” and “building a ‘company that people can take pride in’.”
Going forward, we plan to formulate a medium-term sustainability plan based on new materiality in line with the next medium-term management plan.

New Materiality

Linking Materiality with SDGs

In line with this revision of materiality, material issues that the Kuraray Group should address have been identified from the terms of the SDGs, as shown below in “Procedure to identify materiality.”
Each material issue has been linked with the SDGs to clarify the relationship. This allows the Group’s sustainability activities to not only address the Group’s material issues but also contribute to achieving the target of the SDGs.

Procedure to Identify Materiality

Material issues (materiality) that the Kuraray Group should deal with on a priority basis have been identified in accordance with the following procedure. Materiality will be reviewed periodically in accordance with developments in the international community, changes in the business environment, and so on.

Step 1

The details of international guidelines and studies by sustainability assessment institutions that are used in extracting and summarizing social issues are as follows.

GRI, Environmental Reporting Guidelines (2012 Version), RBA, MSCI, FTSE4Good, DJSI, ISO26000, UN Global Compact, Green Paper EU, European Commission Strategy on CSR, German Stability Code, Circular Economy Package, American Chemistry Council

Step 2

The four aspects extracted from the “The Chemical Sector SDG Roadmap” of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) are as follows:

Food disposal, water processing, climate change, and people’s health and wellness

Step 3

The materiality matrix of the Kuraray Group, which evaluates comprehensively by using the two axes of the “materiality for stakeholders” and “materiality for the Kuraray Group” is shown below.

Materiality Matrix of the Kuraray Group

“Corporate governance,” “CSR management,” “ethics/code of conduct,” “risk management,” “relationships with stakeholders,” and “top statement” are to be dealt with separately from materiality.
As a result, materiality that the Kuraray Group is expected to deal with on a priority basis were identified as the following 19 aspects:

1 2 3 4 5
Diversity and inclusion Emission of GHG
and harmful substances
to the environment
Energy saving /
Use of renewable energy
Working smarter
and human resource development
Occupational safety and health
6 7 8 9 10
Marine plastics
and plastic waste
Product stewardship Respect
for human rights
Food loss Measures to
water shortage
11 12 13 14 15
Reduce /
Reuse / Recycle
Climate change People’s health
and wellness
Biodiversity Innovation
16 17 18 19
CSR Procurement Supply chain management Reduction of wastes Use of water resources

Step 4

The 19 aspects identified in Step 3 were grouped to determine the following five items of “improving the natural environment,” “improving the living environment,” “effective use of resources and reduction of environmental impact,” “improving supply chain management,” and “building a ‘company that people can take pride in’” as materiality candidates.
In addition, “improving the natural environment” and “improving the living environment” were grouped under the broad category of “creating value through business,” with “effective use of resources and reduction of environmental impact,” “improving supply chain management,” and “building a ‘company that people can take pride in’” under “creating value to strengthen the foundation of Kuraray.”

  Materiality The 19 aspects identified in the materiality matrix
Creating Value
through Business
Improving the Natural Environment 2、3、10、11、12、14、15
Improving the Living Environment 9、10、11、13、15
Creating Value
to Strengthen
the foundation of Kuraray
Effective Use
of Resources and Reduction
of Environmental Impact
Improving supply
chain management
Building a
"company culture we can be proud of"

Step 5

The materiality candidates determined in Step 4 were reported to and approved by the Board of Directors.