CSR Activities | Dialogue with Stakeholders

Toward Compilation of the Next Environmental Vision

Date of implementation: May 8, 2015

TDK Environmental Action 2020 set fiscal 2020 as the target year for achieving carbon neutrality, but the goal was reached ahead of schedule in fiscal 2014. So we have reached the stage where we should stipulate the next target of our activities. TDK invited Mr. Keisuke Takegahara, director of the Environmental Initiative & Corporate Social Responsibility Support Department at the Development Bank of Japan, Inc. and a leading figure in the field of environmental finance in Japan, for a talk with Mr. Tetsuya Kuwashima and Mr. Ryo Yokoyama of the Safety and Environment Group of Manufacturing HQ.

Industry-Wide Efforts to Establish International Standards

The first point to be confirmed in the discussion was that in-house understanding and cooperation are essential to promote the two objectives of reducing CO2 emissions and increasing TDK’s environmental contribution. Mr. Kuwashima explained confidently that “our activities are steadily spreading, and we are shifting from the stage of calculating reductions and contributions in each business division to positively calling on sites to put them into practice.” In order to make employees understand the value of these environmental contributions and to feel the significance of their own efforts, he said, it is important to have an external assessment of TDK’s contributions and to feed that back to sites.
In addition, the participants agreed that in order for TDK to receive an appropriate assessment, it is essential for the industry to have rational standards that can serve as a foundation. Mr. Yokoyama resolutely remarked, “If companies in the industry all have their own standards, even if we shout about consideration for the environment, there will just be confusion. Standardization is essential. International standards formulated under the leadership of the Japanese electric and electronic industries have been issued, and guidance for electronic component manufacturers compiled on the basis of these standards in collaboration with JEITA [Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association] has taken shape at last. Now we must publicize this guidance globally.” Mr. Takegahara highly praised the fact that TDK is calculating and disclosing its environmental load and environmental contribution according to globally acceptable criteria.

Going beyond Carbon Neutrality to Create Even Higher Value

Mr. Takegahara commented, “TDK’s environmental activities are extremely advanced and unparalleled by other companies. Now that you have realized carbon neutrality, the next point is how to create value not only environmentally but socially as well.” Citing the example of wearable devices, Mr. Kuwashima spoke of the potential, saying, “Electronic components account for most of the total weight, so if they can be made lighter and smaller, that part can be allotted to other useful functions, which will increase the convenience of the final product. In that sense, I think there is room for quantification of our social contribution.”
As for the future, Mr. Kuwashima said enthusiastically, “The target set in TDK Environmental Action 2020 was so ambitious that people in the company asked whether it could really be achieved at first. The next environmental vision must set targets with the same impact, and we must display the hallmark of TDK in executing it.”

Mr. Takegahara’s Main Opinions and Proposals

Keisuke Takegahara

General Manager,
Environmental Initiative & Corporate Social Responsibility Support Department,
Development Bank of Japan, Inc.

Mr. Takegahara joined the Japan Development Bank (now the Development Bank of Japan, Inc.) in 1989. He was stationed for a total of six years in Frankfurt, Germany and developed the DBJ’s environmental rating loan scheme and is a leading figure in the field of environmental finance in Japan.

Carbon neutrality is generally discussed in terms of individual products and individual efforts, but TDK has achieved real carbon neutrality after building an internationally acceptable framework. This is truly outstanding. To put it another way, TDK’s positive impact on society in environmental terms grows in proportion to the spread of its products in society and the increase in its sales. This is a powerful message to both investors and society.
In addition, TDK is conducting M&As. If a company comes under the TDK Group umbrella, that company also adopts TDK’s standard environmental countermeasures, which in turn leads to a curbing of the environmental load in the world. I think TDK should be more aware of this form of contribution and broadcast it to society.