Chief Operating Officer
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Nissan strives to be one of the leading sustainable companies in the automotive industry. We have clearly defined our intent in the company's CSR vision. We identify and promote eight areas of sustainability strategy to make this vision a reality: (1) environment, (2) safety, (3) philanthropy, (4) quality, (5) value chain, (6) employees, (7) economic contribution and (8) corporate governance & internal control. Every one of them is absolutely essential to build trust in our relationship with society. As one of the world's leading automakers, we believe that it is natural for Nissan to measure up to society's expectations.
With global population now surpassing 7 billion and some estimates pointing to a population of more than 9 billion before stabilization, we face a large number of social challenges related to sustainability in such areas as air, water, oil, energy and recycling. Expectations are growing for companies to address these issues. What is the social responsibility that only Nissan can satisfy?
Nissan pursues the corporate vision of Enriching People's Lives. Providing high-quality, exciting vehicles to our customers and offering people the comfort and convenience that mobility can bring are Nissan's raison d'etre. Yet it is true that the very automobile that has improved people's lives with its convenience has had an undeniable impact on the global environment. Vehicles are also involved in accidents that put human life and safety at risk.
We cannot exist simply to provide vehicles and services. We have a responsibility to help address social issues resulting from the growing number of automobiles. Nissan is working together with various stakeholders in order to ensure that the richness of a life with vehicles will be available to the next generation and the generations that will follow. This is our CSR focus and it is defined in the notion of Blue Citizenship. Blue Citizenship represents Nissan's determination to be a corporate citizen that protects our beautiful blue Earth and lives in symbiosis with people and society.
A major challenge facing humanity is how to reconcile environmental conservation and the joy and comfort that mobility can bring, thus contributing to the achievement of sustainable mobility. Our goal is to reduce the environmental impact and resource consumption of our corporate activities and the entire lifecycle of our vehicles to a level that the planet can absorb naturally by enhancing our energy and resource efficiency and promoting recycling. Nissan Green Program 2016 (NGP2016), our six-year environmental action plan unveiled in 2011, sets well-defined objectives for four key actions: zero-emission vehicle penetration, fuel-efficient vehicle expansion, corporate carbon footprint minimization and new natural resource use minimization. Global efforts are underway.
Nissan LEAF, which is 100% electric, was launched in December 2010. The cumulative sales volume reached more than 62,000 units in May 2013, making it the leader by far in the global EV market. Development of sustainable mobility through zero-emission initiatives is our responsibility for the future as a carmaker. With firm conviction and a strong sense of mission, Nissan is addressing the challenge of developing and promoting EVs, which use no fossil fuels and produce no emissions.
As a zero-emission leader, our mission includes solving issues and clearing up doubts about EVs, such as driving range and availability of charging infrastructure. We are working on solutions by capitalizing on the diversity and cross-functional corporate culture that we have fostered throughout the years. We believe that practically all vehicles should be replaced with zero-emission vehicles, such as EVs and fuel-cell electric vehicles, by 2050 to help protect the global environment. The launch of Nissan LEAF is an initial step. Nissan is creating a totally new global EV market as a zero-emission pioneer, and our efforts are winning recognition worldwide. Nissan was ranked top in the automotive sector, second overall, in the 16th Nikkei Environmental Management Survey conducted by Nikkei Inc. in 2012. Moreover, the company placed 21st in Interbrand's 2012 Best Global Green Brands Top 50.
Nissan has to ensure safety excellence as an automaker while pursuing driving pleasure and richness of a life with vehicles. Our ultimate goal is "Vision Zero," an aim for zero traffic accidents involving Nissan vehicles that inflict serious or fatal injuries. Toward this end, we are promoting a triplelayered approach consisting of three levels: vehicles, individuals and society.
In the first of these levels, the company is developing technologies that enable a vehicle to help keep the driver away from danger. These undertakings are based on the Safety Shield concept, in which a vehicle protects human beings. We are pursuing a 360-degree driving assistance system as part of a "collision-free car" equipped with functions to detect risks that may result in an accident, give the driver warnings of potential danger and intervene in an emergency to help prevent an accident.
Safety needs are evolving as society changes. For example, the number of elderly drivers is expected to grow along with the aging of Japan's population. We are developing technologies aimed at lessening road-induced anxiety in aged drivers. In emerging countries, we are developing innovations to make the driving experience safer and more worry-free.
A corporation is an integral part of society, and all corporate activities must be relevant to that society. It is critical for Nissan, a member of the global community, to make sure that its operations all around the world meet societal expectations and build trust among all stakeholders. The end goal is to develop a society in which everyone on Earth enjoys richness in life.
An increasing number of consumers choose products or services based not only on quality and price, but also on the attitude toward social issues of the company providing them. Socially responsible investment (SRI), in which investors evaluate the environmental and social performance of a company- not just its financial performance-is drawing wide attention. Nissan has been actively disclosing information that is beneficial to and needed by all stakeholders while ensuring that its management approach fully incorporates CSR concepts.
Monitoring how the company is perceived, understanding societal needs and disclosing relevant information in the area of sustainability are steps that help us grasp social trends. They also provide many clues on forms of business management that maintain win-win relationships with all stakeholders.
The FTSE4Good Index Series is one external indicator that is widely adopted around the world. Nissan has proudly been listed in FTSE4Good since March 2002. For four straight years the company has also been incorporated in the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia/Pacific Index, which is based on an analysis of corporate sustainability performance from the economic, environmental and social standpoints. Ethical investment stock market indices are gaining increasing attention in Japan, too. We were the only automaker included among the Tokyo Stock Exchange's selected stocks on the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) theme. Our company was also recognized for encouraging women's success in the workplace when we received the Nadeshiko (active utilization of women) designation in 2013.
Disclosure of our goals and achievements ensures transparency in the eyes of all, and Nissan intends to build this level of trust with all stakeholders.