Messages from Global Team Leaders
Environment & Safety
Strengthening climate action through our global team
Addressing Nippon Paint Group’s most material sustainability impacts is a key imperative and priority for the organization to ensure Maximization of Shareholder Value (MSV). Within the sustainability aspects of environment and safety, the identified priority material impacts are climate change, resources and environment (especially waste and water), and safe people and operations.
During 2021 each Partner Company Group (PCG: Nippon Paint Group companies grouped by region or business) has continued to make progress on their individual ambition, targets, and priorities within each of these impact areas. This report includes a small number of newly consolidated Nippon Paint Group metrics for these impacts and while it is pleasing to observe that there was improvement on prior years for most of them, safety performance provided a sobering reminder of the need for improved management of significant risks. Comparing 2021 performance with the prior year, this progress includes:
- ≪Global metrics≫
- Climate Change: 8% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions and 14% reduction in energy consumption
- Resources and Environment: 6% increase in waste generation, 4% increase in waste recovered (recycled, reused), and 4% reduction in water withdrawal
- Safe People and Operations: Three fatalities (versus none in 2020) and 10% reduction in lost workday case injuries
While many of these results are encouraging and provide a strong foundation for further improvement progress in the coming year, the occurrence of three fatalities (one employee, two contractors) in NIPSEA Group reinforces the increased importance of effectively managing safety to protect everyone who works for us. Our sincere thoughts are with their families and work colleagues.
Our priority in 2022 is to work more closely together via a newly established working group comprising senior environment and safety leaders from each PCG. The focus will be on identifying the top risks, opportunities, and improvement priorities across the broader Nippon Paint Group and facilitating sharing of best practice, benchmarking, learning, and action plan implementation to drive meaningful long term improvement in the identified material impacts. This will include determining where group-wide approaches or standards may be appropriate, together with development of additional performance metrics to enhance our understanding of progress and improve disclosure to the organization’s stakeholders.
People & Community
We will pursue MSV on the strength of our human capital
As a Japan-origin global corporate group operating in 30 countries and regions worldwide, including in China and other parts of Asia, Nippon Paint Group is committed to contributing to Maximization of Shareholder Value (MSV) by leveraging the diversity and strengths of its human capital, as well as fulfilling its obligations to its stakeholders, which is the premise of MSV.
The People & Community Team conducts activities around two items of Materiality: Diversity & Inclusion as well as Growth with Communities. Our activities are conducted in each country and region with focus on the three pillars of (1) Increasing the ratio of women in managerial positions, (2) Celebrating diversity, and (3) Building and enabling local communities.
The outcomes of these activities are reflected in our benchmarks such as the ratio of female managers in Group companies, as well as in employee satisfaction level which the Group regards as one of the key benchmarks. Employee satisfaction level affects the cost of hiring and retaining human resources and the productivity as it relates to maintaining and increasing employee motivations. Considering these, the Group partner companies are taking autonomous actions according to their own situations.
Innovation & Product Stewardship
Promote the development of sustainable products while pursuing innovation
The purpose of Nippon Paint Group is enriching our living world through the power of Science + Imagination. It describes our commitment to creating innovations that bring benefits to our society, by using our technical strengths and intellectual assets, including intellectual property, organizational capability, and technology networks, across Nippon Paint Group. One recent example is that, since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Group has significantly increased investment in anti-viral technology, and developed a range of paint products to address this social challenge.
Our technology mission is to drive and sustain growth and market share in Japan and globally through striving to be a leading technology organization for coatings and its adjacent markets. There are three pillars in our innovation strategy: 1) build adaptive organization; 2) develop core enabling technology competency, and 3) grow into adjacent and emerging markets. It is the implementation of our Group vision for Maximizing Shareholder Value from a technology perspective. We believe that our technology organization’s culture of being customer centric, socially responsible and collaborative is the key driver to success.
Importantly, the technology collaboration and intellectual property sharing among our partner companies around the globe is under the principle of Asset Assembler model, which Nippon Paint Group strategically employs to manage the business of partner companies. The technology teams of partner companies possess high autonomy to effectively address the needs from their respective markets and customers. On the other hand, in order to drive technology sharing and capability leveraging among partner companies, the Global Technology Council (GTC) was established, to promote technology exchange platforms and cross-PC projects. We have built up adaptive ways to enhance global technology collaborations to enhance added value of intellectual property. The technology teams in decorative paints have formed the global technical community to share best practices and leverage research capability in joint technology development projects, helping address the needs from local consumers in each respective country. Our major automotive customers are global accounts, and our technical staff in automotive coatings around the globe were unified and became ONE team in 2021 under Nippon Paint Automotive Coatings (NPAC).
Further strengthen risk management by setting appropriate agendas and prompt responses
Many hidden risks exist in the frontline. This means that the most effective risk management can be implemented by partner companies around the world that are familiar with their respective regions and markets, rather than by Nippon Paint Holdings, which is a pure holding company. We believe that the best way to contribute to the Group’s sustainable growth is to entrust detailed internal controls to the Partner Company Group (PCG: Nippon Paint Group companies grouped by region or business) as a “Corporate Group with Integrity,” while limiting our centralized internal controls of partner companies to the minimum required level. Under this concept, we, as an Asset Assembler, take a role to control the Group’s risks while respecting the independence and autonomy of the partner companies.
We have reformed our internal control system into one suitable for Asset Assembler model. In addition, we have built a mechanism that enables checking the risk factors at the Group in a simple manner by incorporating the newly established Global Code of Conduct, the internal reporting system (Whistleblowing Hotline), and risk management policies into this internal control system. The effective functioning of this internal control system requires “mutual trust” and “simple communication channels” that ensures sharing important information between NPHD and its partner companies. In addition, there is a structure in place to immediately and appropriately take actions by using daily communication channels in case a serious problem or concern occurs.
Regarding human capital, raw material procurement, IT, and other risk factors that were identified in January 2022, we decided to take measures on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with the management of each region because taking actions in individual regions is more effective. We believe that this risk management system is superior because it enables us to respond with flexibility to new risks in present society that is difficult to predict and changes rapidly. In Japan, where structural reforms are being carried out to improve profitability, we are also increasing the sophistication of our risk management methods in cooperation with the audit department, which is conducting data analysis, for improving the depth and efficiency of both the structure and the methods for risk management.
Global themes related to ESG, such as the environment, ethical procurement, and human rights, will become increasingly significant business risks. In order to address these issues that are related to global social demands and are difficult to deal with in a single region or business unit, I will further strengthen risk management of the Group by setting appropriate agendas and promptly addressing them with the Co-Presidents and the Global Teams and a proper level of vigilance as the General Counsel.