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Sustainability Management

Key Sustainability Issues

Indonesia: LNG liquefaction and sales business by PT Donggi-Senoro LNG

PT Donggi Senoro LNG (DSLNG) , a joint venture among Mitsubishi Corporation(MC), Korea Gas Corporation, PT Pertamina (Persero) and PT Medco Energi Internasional Tbk, is a LNG production and sales company. DSLNG liquefies natural gas from gas fields in Central Sulawesi and produces approximately 2 million tons of LNG per annum, which is sold to power and gas companies in Japan and South Korea. The project is in the spotlight as this is the first LNG project that has been run entirely by Asian companies with no participation from oil majors, and also MC takes part in this project as the largest shareholder. DSLNG contributes to the stable supply of energy not only in Japan, but also in East Asia.

In recognition of its outstanding efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the project received the Indonesian SDGs Award 2018.

* An annual award presented by the Indonesian government to companies and initiatives that contribute to development in fields corresponding with the SDGs proposed under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

天然ガスグループCEOオフィス (NX-B)

MC Fashion’s “THE ME” Business

The Japanese clothing market has shrunk in scale from about 15 trillion yen at the start of the 1990s to about 10 trillion yen today. Conversely, the supply of clothing is said to have doubled from 2 billion to 4 billion items. In addition, the unit purchase price and unit import price have fallen to around 60% of their 1991 levels.

Although many improvements have been made in supply chains relative to the 1990s, the overall balance between production, supply, sales, purchase and end use has seen substantial changes. While consumers are now able to purchase products at low prices and have a wealth of choices, society is questioning the environmental impact and mass amounts of waste brought about by the increase in supply.

Including its predecessor, our subsidiary MC Fashion Co., Ltd. has been supplying clothing products to apparel companies for more than 30 years. Since 2018, MC Fashion has been working to develop businesses to address overproduction and mass waste caused by gaps between supply and demand, and in July 2020, it launched its in-house brand “THE ME,” opening a showroom-style store in Jingumae, Tokyo.

Rather than mass-production, the concept behind “THE ME” is to create clothes to suit each individual. With this in mind, “THE ME” has adopted a unique model of producing only what consumers want to buy and delivering it to a designated location within a short period of time, without holding any product inventory. Moreover, since this is a relatively new style of consumption for users, it is developing new consumer values such as “size correction.”

As a result of industry efforts to date, a style of product supply similar to “THE ME” already exists, as represented by made-to-order suits. However, “THE ME” aims to optimize overall supply rather than focus on specific items. As such, it covers all products including T-shirts, dresses, skirts and coats, distinguishing itself by incorporating extensive use of IT, not only at the point of contact with consumers, but also in the supply chain.

“THE ME” Store in Tokyo’s Jingumae district

With “THE ME,” MC Fashion engages in a series of production, supply, sales and purchasing processes. In doing so, it aims to identify key issues and establish a “single model” by making a series of changes to its business model and through the adoption of IT. The goal behind “THE ME” is to provide this model to as many companies as possible and to play a role in optimizing the supply-demand balance.

* Understanding of the environment based on data released by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

サステナビリティ・CSR部 サステナビリティ企画チーム(PQ-C), コンシューマー産業グループCEOオフィス(HI-F)

Initiatives with Lawson, Inc. to Reduce Waste Losses

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Together with its subsidiary Lawson Inc., MC is implementing initiatives using AI and digital marketing to reduce food waste, which has become a pressing issue in recent years.

By utilizing AI developed by the US-based DataRobot Inc. to analyze purchase records over the past two years, it is possible to automatically predict the individual purchase volumes for approximately 450 items, helping to reduce the waste of raw materials and ingredients. Going forward, we plan to increase the amount of data (weather, etc.) to be included in the AI predictions, as well to allow for purchase volumes to be predicted even before products are released.

In December 2019, MC reached an agreement with Lawson, Inc., Loyalty Marketing, Inc. and KDDI Corporation on an initiative to create a new consumer experience that integrates the digital world with the real world. In October 2020, we conducted a trial at 10 Lawson stores in Saitama Prefecture to deliver information on discounts for products nearing their expiration dates to potential customers identified by location data, thereby encouraging them to visit the stores and reduce food waste.

Based on the results of the demonstration project, we are considering laterally extending the use of this system to more Lawson stores, as well as to other retail and food service companies. Going forward, we will continue to promote initiatives aimed at reducing food waste.

MC SIM事務局, Test組織, サステナビリティ・CSR部 ステークホルダーエンゲージメントチーム(PQ-E), サステナビリティ・CSR部 サステナビリティ企画チーム(PQ-C), サステナビリティ・CSR部 復興支援チーム(PQ-F), サステナビリティ・CSR部 社会貢献チーム(PQ-P), IR部(PI), 総務部 危機管理室(PH-K), 法務部 コンプライアンス総括室(PL), 法務部 法務企画室(PL-X), 総務部 総務チーム(PH-A), 広報部 ブランドコミュニケーションチーム(PR-B), 主計部 予・決算管理チーム(PC-B), 主計部 リスク管理チーム(PC-U), 人事部 人事組織チーム(PJ-P), 監査部 企画チーム(PB-D), 地域総括部 対外企画チーム(PM-W), ITサービス部 ITガバナンスチーム(PW-B), 監査役・監査役室(PK), 複合都市開発グループCEOオフィス(SX-C), 天然ガスグループCEOオフィス (NX-B), 電力ソリューショングループCEOオフィス (EZ-K), 石油・化学グループCEOオフィス(CT-A), コンシューマー産業グループCEOオフィス(HI-F), 総合素材グループ 炭素本部 戦略企画室(DZ-R), 総合素材グループCEOオフィス(DZ-R2), 金属資源グループCEOオフィス(KZ-B), 産業インフラグループCEOオフィス(MV-Y), 自動車・モビリティグループCEOオフィス(UV-A), 食品産業グループCEOオフィス 経営計画ユニット(LI-F), (PX), 税務チーム

Urban Development Projects to Enhance Urban Value

Through Mitbana, a joint venture with Surbana Jurong, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-government owned investment company Temasek Holdings, MC is promoting a large-scale urban development project of over 100 hectares in collaboration with Sinar Mas Land, one of the largest real estate developers in Indonesia.

This project is the first transit-oriented development in Indonesia, and it will promote the development of a smart city combining urban functions such as residential units, commercial properties, schools, hospitals, parks and public transportation nodes on a new development site of over 100 hectares in BSD City, on the outskirts of Jakarta.

In addition to promoting convenient, safe and secure urban development and encouraging a modal shift towards the use of public transport, we aim to build a quality city and achieve increases in sustainable urban value that contributes not only to the economy, but also to society and the environment by helping to address issues such as traffic congestion and air pollution.

* Urban development based on public transit, aiming for a society that is not dependent on automobiles.

Project image
複合都市開発グループCEOオフィス(SX-C)

HERE’s DX Business

In December 2019, MC concluded a capital and business partnership with HERE International B.V. (HERE), and in May 2020, MC jointly invested 30% in HERE with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT). We will leverage our extensive industry knowledge to collaborate with HERE to accelerate the deployment of their solutions (both automotive and non-automotive) in Japan and Asia-Pacific markets, where HERE is focusing.

HERE’s specific initiatives are as follows.

  • Contributing to the mitigation of environmental impacts by improving the efficiency of logistics and eliminating traffic congestion through the use of route optimization services in distribution and transportation.
  • Addressing regional issues such as driver shortages and difficulty accessing stores by improving the efficiency and sophistication of last-mile delivery, for which demand is expected to increase, and middle-mile delivery, for which social infrastructure is being developed.
  • Contribute to regional development by providing new mobility solutions for regional cities with aging and diminishing populations.

* HERE is a market leader in location data services and its digital maps can be found in most vehicles sold with embedded navigation systems in North America and Western Europe. Through its recent business transformation, MC has developed digital maps in high-definition that can be used in future automated driving, and provides solutions to a wide range of industries including transportation, logistics, media and telecommunications.

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MC SIM事務局

Land Rehabilitation at Post-mining Sites

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オーストラリアのBMA炭鉱

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View of an open-cut mine

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リハビリテーション後

In developing natural resources, companies need to consider environmental impacts in relation to areas such as biodiversity, forests and water. The local community must also be duly engaged as an important stakeholder. MC ensures that its mining activities in Australia are conducted in harmony with the natural environment and local communities with utmost care and attention, before, during and after the mining operations.

Moving into a Resource Business

The metallurgical coal operations of the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) are located in Queensland, Australia. BMA's mine sites cover an area twice the size of Singapore and produce high-quality metallurgical coal. BMA’s product is the raw material for coke which, when charged into a blast furnace with iron ore, acts as a reducing agent to produce crude iron. The metallurgical coal produced by BMA is supplied to customers in approximately 30 countries around the world, including Japan, China, India, and countries in Europe. BMA is the world's largest seaborne supplier of metallurgical coal, shipping approximately 60 million tons per annum.

MC established Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd (MDP), a wholly-owned subsidiary, in Australia in 1968 as a mineral resources investment company. Through MDP, we have undertaken a range of investments in mineral resources operations in Australia. In 2001, MDP created BMA together with global mining giant BHP. By increasing our investment in large-scale metallurgical coal mining operations in Queensland, we took a major step toward becoming a key player in the metallurgical coal industry.

Rehabilitation of Large-scale Open-cut Mines

BMA acts as responsible miner and ensures its mine closure plans take into account social expectations and environmental regulatory requirements. While complying with laws and regulations, BMA strives to minimize its impact on the environment and society by regularly communicating with governments and local residents, developing appropriate mine closure plans, and implementing necessary rehabilitation projects based on environmental impact reports and review by field experts and authorities. When assessing the development of a long-term production plan for a site, BMA’s planning and investment models include all necessary rehabilitation and closure costs.

The majority of BMA coal mines are operated by open-cut mining, a method requiring overburden removal to depths up to 200+ meters in order to reach the underlying metallurgical coal seams.

The mining process in an open-cut mine starts with removal and stockpiling of the topsoil. The area where BMA mines are situated is not forested as it has little rainfall, and instead the topsoil is covered with a mixture of grass and scrub to preserve it for later use in rehabilitation. The topsoil of about 30-40cm depth with each type of vegetation is removed and preserved at a separate location.
After this process is complete, overburden removal and subsequent coal mining are carried out, leaving behind a large pit. Once all of the coal is mined, the overburden that was moved during mining operations is profiled. The surface is then stacked with the stockpiled topsoil and the preserved vegetation together with seeds from the surrounding area.

Surface Mining Scenery
Surface Mining Scenery

After rehabilitation works have been completed, site recovery is monitored to confirm whether the final landforms are stable, water runoff is of acceptable quality and vegetation is taking root. BMA employs ecological specialists for the planning, rehabilitation, and surveying stages to facilitate the entire rehabilitation process.

Before Rehabilitation
After Rehabilitation

金属資源グループCEOオフィス(KZ-B)

Mozambique: Contributing to the community through an aluminum smelting project

Mozal S.A. is an aluminum smelting company established in 1998 as a joint venture between MC, the government of Mozambique, global mining giant BHP (South 32, an Australian resources company that spun off from BHP in 2015, is currently a shareholder) and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa.

Mozal currently produces and exports 570 thousand metric tons of aluminum ingots a year. Today, the aluminum smelting industry as a whole is one of the country's largest, accounting for roughly 20-30% of its total exports in value (for a time it accounted for over 50%).

In order to contribute to the local community, Mozal donates about 200 million yen annually. The funds are used for supporting small businesses in creating employment opportunities, putting in place mechanisms to support education and public health, and activities in other areas such as sports, culture and infrastructure. Examples include the construction of schools and anti-malaria clinics, the provision of HIV education and the drilling of deep wells to alleviate drought damage. Mozal also supports local economic activities through the promotion of local agriculture and the commercial sales of local crafts. Going forward, Mozal remains committed to contributing to local communities through these initiatives.

Aerial view of the Mozal aluminum smelting facility
Activities to support community elementary school established by Mozal
Initiatives to support local orphanages
金属資源グループCEOオフィス(KZ-B)

Participation in the PET*1 Chemical Recycling Business

In January 2020, MC entered the PET chemical recycling business (MC’s equity share: 34%) through an investment in Thai Shinkong Industry Corporation Ltd., which produces PET resins for beverage bottles.

PET is highly recyclable mono-material with a wide range of applications, including in both beverage and food containers as well as textiles, thanks to its exellent transparency, barrier properties, and well-established collection and recycling system. With increasing pressure to transition to a circular economy worldwide, we will strengthen our initiatives around procuring and supplying in a sustainable manner by expanding our capacity for producing PET resins, for which demand is expected to grow in line with the shift towards mono-materials, and by introducing chemical recycling technologies*2 through our participation in the PET chemical recycling business.

While environmental awareness in relation to plastics is heightening worldwide, plastics are highly functional basic materials that underpin sustainable economic development. In promoting its plastics business, MC aims to contribute to building a circular society by improving recycling rates and developing alternative materials.

  1. *1 An abbreviation of polyethylene terephthalate.
  2. *2 A recycling method in which used plastics are chemically decomposed into the raw material (molecular level) and then re-polymerized. This allows reuse of resources without any degradation in quality due to recycling.

MC SIM事務局, Test組織, サステナビリティ・CSR部 ステークホルダーエンゲージメントチーム(PQ-E), サステナビリティ・CSR部 サステナビリティ企画チーム(PQ-C), サステナビリティ・CSR部 復興支援チーム(PQ-F), サステナビリティ・CSR部 社会貢献チーム(PQ-P), IR部(PI), 総務部 危機管理室(PH-K), 法務部 コンプライアンス総括室(PL), 法務部 法務企画室(PL-X), 総務部 総務チーム(PH-A), 広報部 ブランドコミュニケーションチーム(PR-B), 主計部 予・決算管理チーム(PC-B), 主計部 リスク管理チーム(PC-U), 人事部 人事組織チーム(PJ-P), 監査部 企画チーム(PB-D), 地域総括部 対外企画チーム(PM-W), ITサービス部 ITガバナンスチーム(PW-B), 監査役・監査役室(PK), 複合都市開発グループCEOオフィス(SX-C), 天然ガスグループCEOオフィス (NX-B), 電力ソリューショングループCEOオフィス (EZ-K), 石油・化学グループCEOオフィス(CT-A), コンシューマー産業グループCEOオフィス(HI-F), 総合素材グループ 炭素本部 戦略企画室(DZ-R), 総合素材グループCEOオフィス(DZ-R2), 金属資源グループCEOオフィス(KZ-B), 産業インフラグループCEOオフィス(MV-Y), 自動車・モビリティグループCEOオフィス(UV-A), 食品産業グループCEOオフィス 経営計画ユニット(LI-F), (PX), 税務チーム