Webinar Discusses “Purpose Management” by Companies for the SDGs

  • 2021•10•19     Online

    On 19 October 2021, the first in a series of three webinars engaged companies to share and discuss their “purpose management” with about 40 university students. It was co-hosted by the UNU SDG–Universities Platform (SDG–UP) and the SDGs Corporate Strategy Forum.

    The session featured two speakers, who each discussed the raison d’etre of their company — Tomomi Otsuka (Chief Sustainability Officer, Toyota Motor Corporation) and Ryo Satomi (UCC HOLDINGS CO., LTD. Executive Officer in Charge of Special Mission & General Manager, Sustainability Promotion Department; UCC UESHIMA COFFEE CO., LTD. Executive Vice President)

    Presenting on “Toyota’s Approach to the SDGs,” Ms. Otsuka explained that the company’s purpose was to achieve “mass production of happiness”, through research, creation, and development of new technologies to realise the happiness of customers and all people involved in Toyota’s work. She noted that achieving this required personnel with the perspective and commitment to work for the benefit of others, and introduced a variety of specific initiatives. Ms. Otsuka also emphasised the importance of passion and dedicated action in order to mass-produce happiness in an era of uncertainty.

    Mr. Satomi introduced the purpose management approach of the UCC Group, which operates businesses in the coffee industry and related sectors across the globe. He underlined that UCC was committed to contribute towards the realisation of a sustainable society through coffee. Mr. Satomi emphasised that the company used “purpose” as a decision-making standard and guidepost in product development, evaluation, and human resource development, as well as in management.

    After the lectures, a lively Q&A session took place. Concluding the webinar, Ms. Otsuka gave a message of hope to students who will be entering the workforce: “when you become a businessperson in society, I hope you will do what you feel honestly as a human and actively communicate it.” Mr. Satomi gave a message of hope: ” “I hope that you will not compare yourself with others, but decide on your own to follow the path you believe in.”


    Webinar Series


    Webinar #2
    17 November 2021, 16:00-17:30


    • Yu Yamamoto (General Manager, Sustainability Promotion Department, Mitsui Real Estate Co.)
    • Midori Kowada (General Manager, Sustainability Promotion Department, Lion Corporation)


    Webinar #3
    16 December 2021, 16:00-17:30


    • Yukihiro Nitta (Group Executive Officer, Fast Retailing Co., Ltd.)

    Special Roundtable Discussion:

    • Takeshi Ito (Professor, Social Solutions Initiative, Osaka University)
    • Yukihiro Nitta
    • Daiki Oki (Chairperson, SDG Corporate Strategy Forum; Senior Advisor, UNU)
    • Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi (Chair, SDG–Universities Platform; Director, UNU-IAS)