September 3, 2019
On August 27 (Tue.), 2019, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) held the first joint event on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),* and Mr. Yoshihiro Seki, State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, attended the event.
(1) Outline of the event
On August 27, 2019, the UNDP and METI jointly held an event titled “Joint Playup Event on the METI Guide for SDG Business Management and the UNDP Innovative Finance and the SDGs.” This is the first METI-UNPD joint event in the field of SDGs, and through this event the two sides exhibited their strong partnership toward business-based achievement of the SDGs.
The event brought together State Minister Seki, Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator of the UNPD, who visited Japan to attend TICAD7 held in Yokohama from August 28, Mr. Norikazu Suzuki, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Masaya Futamiya, Chair, Committee on Responsible Business Conduct & SDGs Promotion, Keidanren, and other officials.
- From the left: State Minister Seki and Administrator Steiner (photo provided by the UNDP)
- From the left: Mr. Pedro Conceicao, Director, Human Development Report Office, UNDP; State Minister Seki; Administrator Steiner; Parliamentary Vice-Minister Suzuki; Chair Futamiya (photo provided by the UNDP)
(2) State Minister Seki delivering a speech
As a representative of METI, State Minister Seki delivered a speech. He stated that the power of the private sector is indispensable for achieving the SDGs and that the SDGs can bring about new business opportunities to companies, presenting the significance of METI-UNDP collaboration to achieve the SDGs. Moreover, he explained the Guide for SDG Business Management,** a document METI compiled for encouraging companies to incorporate the SDGs into their management.
- State Minister Seki delivering a speech (photo provided by the UNDP)
In his speech, Administrator Steiner expressed his expectations for the private sector’s efforts for achieving the SDGs and also underlined the importance of connecting businesses with international development, such as the eradication of poverty and addressing climate change, as well as the need for public-private cooperation in innovative finance for achieving the SDGs.
- Administrator Steiner delivering a speech (photo provided by the UNDP)
(3) SDGs Finance Seminar
Following the event mentioned above, some experts participated in the “SDGs Finance Seminar” and proactively exchanged views on ideal approaches to joining SDGs and businesses.
In the seminar, Mr. Kunio Ito, Professor, Hitotsubashi University, as well as Chair of the SDG Management / ESG Investment Study Group*** of METI, delivered a speech on the significance of management for SDGs, and Mr. Masakazu Tokura, Chairman of the Board, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., as well as a member of the study group, made a presentation on the company’s efforts as one of the case examples of leading companies engaging in management for SDGs.
- Moreover, a representative of the UNDP explained its report titled “Innovative Finance and the SDGs” and “Accelerator Labs” (the UNDP-related website) as its efforts for the SDGs.
METI will strive to take necessary measures for encouraging companies to take on efforts for achieving the SDGs while advancing collaboration with the UNDP.
*1. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are international goals to achieve a sustainable world.
**2. The Guide for SDG Business Management is a guide formulated by METI to encourage companies to incorporate the SDGs into their management, which explains, in a streamlined manner, the significance of the SDGs for companies and investors and the perspectives that companies should have in advancing management for SDGs. The guide is an outcome of the discussions by the SDG Management / ESG Investment Study Group described below.
***3. The SDG Management / ESG Investment Study Group is a body bringing together CEOs of large companies and venture businesses representing Japan, investors, a head of university and heads of international organizations to hold discussions on approaches that companies should take in incorporating the SDGs into their management, viewpoints that investors may take in assessing companies’ such management and other issues.
3. Links to related information
- The Guide for SDG Business Management Compiled
- Report of the SDG Management / ESG Investment Study Group Compiled
- The Guidance for Collaborative Value Creation for Successful Dialogues between Companies and Investors (Guidance for Integrated Corporate Disclosure and Company-Investor Dialogues for Collaborative Value Creation: ESG integration, Non-financial Information Disclosure and Intangible Assets into Investment)
Division in Charge
Industrial Finance Division, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau