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How Hitachi strives to contribute to the creation of a prosperous society by driving innovation, utilizing its advanced technologies

Case study: How Hitachi strives to contribute to the creation of a prosperous society by driving innovation, utilizing its advanced technologies

Hitachi has committed, for over a century, to contributing, through innovation, exploratory research, and by developing original technology and products, to the creation of a prosperous society, not least through collaborations with customers, universities and research institutes, aimed to develop creative innovations and solutions.

This case study is based on the 2015 Sustainability Report by Hitachi published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate that CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly is achieved by identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment and stakeholders and by measuring, managing and changing.

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FBRH Sustain Case

Research by well-recognized institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.

Sustainability reporting using the Global Reporting Initiative’s Standards is essentially a four-step process: Identify – Measure – Manage – Change.

By becoming aware of your company’s most important impacts towards the environment and all your key stakeholders – investors, clients, employees, suppliers and the wider society – you will be able to measure, set targets, take action to minimize your negative impacts and increase your positive impacts.

Using the GRI Standards in order to maintain and increase the value of your company

With each article in this series the FBRH team will highlight one key impact identified by a company reporting in accordance with the GRI Standards and show how it has taken a structured, systematic approach to improving performance. With such positive action companies build trust, by dealing responsibly and conscientiously with their impact on the environment and on their stakeholders: clients, suppliers, shareholders, local communities, NGOs or local government.

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Abstract

Operating in 140 countries and regions, Hitachi, working with a range of stakeholders, strives to meet the needs and address the challenges of a changing world, through innovative technology and cutting-edge research. In order to contribute to the creation of a prosperous society by driving innovation, utilizing its advanced technologies Hitachi took action to:

  • reorganize R&D (Research & Development) to co-create solutions with customers
  • reinforce global R&D
  • collaborate with universities, research institutes and customers to pursue open innovation

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2015 Sustainability Report Hitachi identified a range of material issues, such as supply chain management, caring for the environment, public policy initiatives, respect for human rights, diversity management. Among these, contributing to the creation of a prosperous society by driving innovation, utilizing its advanced technologies stands out as a key material issue for Hitachi.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Hitachi engages with:   

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Customers

 

 

·         Customer satisfaction activities

·         Marketing

·         Website

·         Advertisement activities

Shareholders and Investors ·         Announcements of financial results (quarterly)

·         General shareholders’ meetings (annual)

·         IR events, one-on-one meetings (about 740 times/year)

·         IR tools: annual reports, business reports, etc.

Suppliers

 

 

·         Procurement activities

·         Supplier meetings

·         CSR monitoring (200 companies/year)

·         CSR audits (20 companies/year, annual)

Employees

 

 

·         Intranet, in-house newsletters

·         Training (fiscal 2013: average 37.9 hours/person)

·         Town hall meetings between senior management and employees (45 times/year)

·         Employee surveys (annual)

National and Local Governments, Industrial Associations ·         International conference participation

·         Policy council participation

Local Communities ·         Contribution to local communities through business

·         Participation in volunteer activities

Academic Associations and Research Institutions ·         Open innovation (joint research): collaboration with 246 research institutes in Japan, 85 outside Japan
NGOs and NPOs ·         Stakeholder dialogue (2 times/year)

·         Dialogue through collaboration

Global Environment

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

Hitachi’s material issues were identified and, also, assessed and validated, regarding their significance for stakeholders and their impact on business, through dialogue with a range of stakeholders, including investors, international organizations and NGOs.

What actions were taken by Hitachi to contribute to the creation of a prosperous society by driving innovation, utilizing its advanced technologies?

In its 2015 Sustainability Report Hitachi reports that it took the following actions for contributing to the creation of a prosperous society by driving innovation, utilizing its advanced technologies:

  • Reorganizing R&D to co-create solutions with customers
  • In April 2015, Hitachi’s research organization was realigned and 4 Global Centers for Social Innovation, 9 Centers for Technology Innovation and the Center for Exploratory Research were established:
    • The 4 Global Centers for Social Innovation (CSI), with researchers positioned in the Asia-Pacific, North America, China and Europe, identify issues in cooperation with customers and co-create new solutions.
    • The 9 Centers for Technology Innovation (CTI) focus on: Energy, Electronics, Mechanical Engineering, Materials, Systems Engineering, Information and Telecommunications, Controls, Production Engineering and Healthcare.
    • The Center for Exploratory Research carries out cutting-edge research aimed to identify and resolve future societal issues.
  • Reinforcing global R&D
  • For the new Global Centers for Social Innovation (CSI) in the Asia-Pacific, North America, China and Europe to be better able to successfully address regional needs, around 300 of the CSI’s 500 researchers are regionally employed and not Japanese nationals. Collaborating with customers, the Global Centers for Social Innovation develop innovative solutions in different areas, including energy, healthcare, finance, communications, government and industrial policies.
  • Collaborating with universities, research institutes and customers to pursue open innovation
  • In order to develop innovative technology Hitachi works together with customers  Tweet This!, research institutes and universities both in and outside Japan – for example, through the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory, established within Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. In FY 2014, Hitachi worked together with:
    • 246 research institutes in Japan, and
    • 85 research institutes outside Japan

Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?

The GRI indicator addressed in this case is: G4-EC8: Significant indirect economic impacts, including the extent of impacts and the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 203-2 Significant indirect economic impacts

 

References:

1) This case study was compiled using published information by Hitachi which is located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses but made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original please revert to the following link:

http://static.globalreporting.org/report-pdfs/2015/2a2bd7d498fbd87870058221421f1a2a.pdf (February 2016)

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Hitachi: With each case study we send out an email to your listed address in request for a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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