FY2020 Highlight

Dialogue on SDGs
To Achieve Sustainable Growth together with Society

Lintec's initiatives based on the SDGs

Established in February 2018, the SDGs Committee is a company-wide organization with the objectives of promoting contribution to achieving the SDGs and of creating new business.
The previous officer and current officer in charge of the committee talked about its roles and innovation from the perspective of the SDGs.

SDGs—Now an inseparable part of our daily lives and work

Kaiya: It is two years since the SDGs Committee was set up. It feels to me like the past two years have seen social values changing, with public interest in the SDGs increasingly growing.

Hattori: I agree. I think that the general public have also become more familiar with environmental problems than before. One of the notable examples is plastic waste.
Commonly found plastic products are used and then discarded as waste, which is getting into the ocean and having significant impacts on marine ecosystems. This problem stems from our conventional consumption-oriented lifestyles, characterized by a one-way flow of resources. Recently, however, changes have been taking place in a shift toward a sustainable, recycling-oriented society.

Kaiya: These changes can be observed in the business world as well. In a field that the company is deeply engaged with, a major manufacturer in the autumn of 2019 announced that it would totally abolish plastic POP labels, a move that attracted much public attention. The purpose was to reduce plastic waste and CO2 emissions from the disposal of waste.

Hattori: Semiconductor manufacturers have also been active in promoting activities informed by the SDGs. These customers require their suppliers, including Lintec, to conduct the same activities, and incorporate environmental protection into their supplier evaluation items. If we lag behind in these activities, it will unfavorably affect our business transactions and may cause us to lose business, depending on the circumstances.

Kaiya: When the SDGs Committee was launched, I myself did not well understand the SDGs. Probably this was also true of many Lintec employees. Nevertheless, the SDGs have recently become a theme that is inseparable from our daily lives and work. What I feel now is that the SDGs will provide us with a new perspective that we can harness to generate innovation within the company.

Inquiring minds and power to accomplish goals are a driving force for innovation

Kaiya: The company has always assigned the name "LIP" ("Lintec Innovation Plan") to each of its respective medium-term business plans. Despite such naming, I fear that it has become difficult for the company to generate innovation.

Hattori: I feel that way too. We tend to be too obsessed with the conventional technologies and products that we have been developing for many years, making it difficult to take on new challenges. This tendency may narrow our own range of possibilities not only in technological development and product planning, but also in other various aspects of our daily operations. I hope that our employees become aware of this.

Kaiya: I am afraid that there are many cases where even technologies that actually have great potential are buried and unutilized because we cannot come up with new ideas for practical application. It is true that innovation could be generated by introducing external technologies and ideas, but this method involves considerable difficulties around having the innovation take root within the company. We should therefore favor a method of discovering technologies that remain obscure in the company and identifying their new value. It is important to constantly carry out these activities. I consider that contribution to achieving the SDGs will provide us with a new perspective.

Hattori: If I could talk a little about my personal experience, during family conversations we seldom say the word "SDGs." However, when I talk with my family about sorting waste, for example, we often comment on how hard it is to remove the labels from PET bottles. Then a question my family frequently asks me is: "Why can't you resolve this problem with Lintec's technology?" This kind of inquiring mindset is important for bringing about innovation. I would like to create a corporate culture where employees will naturally have conversations like this, both at their workplace and at home. In addition, the power to accomplish goals is another essential element for generating innovation.

Remaining committed to activities to help achieve the SDGs, looking at the vision for where we want to be 10 years from now

Hattori: You have taken over my position as the officer in charge of the SDGs Committee as of fiscal 2020. How are you going to conduct the committee's activities?

Kaiya: Well, I feel that contribution to achieving the SDGs is a theme that would assess how seriously a company addresses social issues. Since you have clearly declared that the company will incorporate the SDGs into its corporate management, I will steadfastly maintain your intent.

Hattori: Ever since the inception of the SDGs Committee, I have continued to say these words as the officer in charge. This intent will remain unchanged in the future.

Kaiya: Currently, the company is preparing the long-term vision, looking ahead to 2030. We will henceforth flexibly implement three-year medium-term plans as the milestones for achieving the goals for a decade from now. Likewise, I think that we should also promote SDGs-related initiatives on a long-term basis and in a flexible manner. If we go too fast, our activities will be short-sighted. I essentially believe that we should not take such kind of approach to attaining the SDGs.

Hattori: Exactly. I therefore hope that our employees will work on their daily activities, while always being aware of the vision for where we want to be as a company 10 years from now. This attitude will enable us to generate innovation.