Sustainability Approach and Structure
1. Sustainability at the Ajinomoto Group
The following is the Ajinomoto Group stance on sustainability.
Why sustainability is important for us
As global challenges around food and health become more diverse, the Ajinomoto Group aims to contribute to improved health and eating habits for people around the world through unlocking the power of amino acids.
We have a responsibility to contribute to the development of the local communities of more than 130 countries and regions where our products are sold, while respecting their diverse cultures and values and upholding human rights.
Our business relies on access to a stable supply of food resources, supported by a rich and abundant global environment. However, we recognize the need to reduce environmental impact across the value chain such as greenhouse gas emissions and plastic waste.
We are addressing these environmental and social challenges, and by working with local partners throughout our value chain, we will lead the change for a better world.
The important actions that we will take
- Contribute to the health and well-being of people around the world through “Eat Well, Live Well.”
- Contribute to a circular economy for global sustainability
- Contribute to a society that respects diversity and inclusion for all, enabling workers to fulfill their potential
Our position and approach to sustainability
- Work with business partners to create new value “with a consumer-oriented approach” and “across the value chain”
- Value scientific approach and innovation
- Respect the customs and culture of each country and region
- Engage in dialogue and collaborate with all stakeholders
2. Approach to sustainability toward the 2030 outcomes
Our goal as the Ajinomoto Group is contributing the well-being of all human beings, our society, and our planet with “AminoScience”. To this end, we believe it is necessary to achieve two outcomes by 2030, namely, to help extend the healthy life expectancy of 1 billion people and to reduce our environmental impact by 50%.
The business of the Ajinomoto Group is supported by sound food systems*1 based on stable food resources and the vibrant natural environment. However, we are also aware that our business activities have an impact on the environment. Today, as we reach the limits of what our planet can sustain, it is essential that we regenerate the environment. We believe that we can only implement initiatives aimed to extend healthy life expectancy in a sustainable manner if we reduce our environmental impact. We strive to reduce impact through responses to climate change, by ensuring sustainable food sources, and by conserving biodiversity.
Through our business activities, we provide products and services that are tasty, nutritionally balanced, and of benefit for people’s dietary habits, and that further promote a reduced environmental impact caused by greenhouse gases, plastic waste, and food loss and waste. Also, through our resource recycling-based amino acid fermentation process (a bio-cycle), we contribute to sustainable food systems that are more resilient and to regeneration of the global environment. Furthermore, we will maximally leverage our strength in “AminoScience”, and transform food systems through innovation and building ecosystems.
3. Framework for ESG and sustainability
The Ajinomoto Group complies with the Ajinomoto Group Policy (AGP), which outlines the concepts and actions to be observed by each Group company, officers, and employees. We continue to improve internal control systems and control operations. At the same time, we strengthen systems, treating sustainability as an active risk and striving to enhance corporate value.
We are strengthening our sustainability promotion system in order to continuously increase our corporate value from the perspective of sustainability. This system is outlined below.
Board of Directors
Establishes the Sustainability Advisory Council and a system to recommend the Group’s approach to sustainability and ESG. Determines materiality items related to sustainability that serve as guidelines for ASV management and supervises the execution of initiatives related to climate change and other sustainability-related issues.
Establishes the Sustainability Committee as a subordinate body and selects, identifies risks and opportunities at the Companywide management level, assesses the degree of impact of said risks, formulates measures, and manages progress. In fiscal 2022, the Executive Committee received two reports from the Sustainability Committee.
Sustainability Advisory Council
The Second Term Sustainability Advisory Council continued work beginning in April 2023 to enhance Ajinomoto Group corporate value from the viewpoint of sustainability. The Second Term Sustainability Advisory Council consists of four external experts, primarily investors and financial market specialists, and is chaired by an external expert. After receiving consultation from the Board of Directors, the council will investigate the implementation of materiality, disclosure and dialogue on its progress, and building relationships with stakeholders through these activities, in the interest of stronger monitoring of the Board of Directors, and issue a report in response to the Board of Directors. The Second Term Sustainability Advisory Council will meet at least once a year and report the results of its deliberations to the Board of Directors.
Formulates sustainability measures, proposes said measures to the Executive Committee, and manages progress to promote sustainability management in accordance with materialities. In addition, the Sustainability Committee formulates risk countermeasures for Companywide management issues and manages progress. The committee also formulates the entire Ajinomoto Group’s sustainability strategy, promotes action themes (nutrition, environment, and society) based on this strategy, makes proposals and provides support for business plans from a sustainability viewpoint, and compiles internal information on ESG.
Risk Management Committee
Established in parallel with the Sustainability Committee as a subordinate body to the Executive Committee. Identifies risks that call for management initiative to address, assesses the impact of said risks on the Ajinomoto Group, and formulates countermeasures. If it is determined that identified risks can be more effectively handled by the Sustainability Committee, the Management Risk Committee will delegate this to and otherwise work closely with the Sustainability Committee.
4. Risk management
To achieve the Medium-Term ASV Initiatives 2030 Roadmap, including the two outcomes referenced, the Risk Management Committee identifies risks that call for management initiative to address, assesses the impact of said risks on the Ajinomoto Group, and formulates countermeasures. The Sustainability Committee is responsible for formulating countermeasures against risks in Group-wide management-level issues based on materiality and managing countermeasure progress. To ensure that no risk is left unaddressed, the two committees work closely together, and the Risk Management Committee comprehensively identifies all risks and reports to the Board of Directors.
At each business site in Japan and overseas, we implement a risk process cycle identifying risks and formulating countermeasures, taking into account individual business strategies and local political, economic, and social conditions. The Risk Management Committee improves this risk process cycle continuously, compiles the risks identified by each site, and responds to those calling for management initiative. In addition, each business and corporation has formulated a business continuity plan (BCP) in preparation for emergencies, and the Risk Management Committee has established a system for constant verification of BCP effectiveness.
For risks analyzed and assessed based on materiality, the Sustainability Committee formulates and implements Group-wide countermeasures, monitoring and managing risk response regularly.