Sustainability

Message from the President

From Sumitomo鈥檚 earliest days, a commitment to winning social license

In our Long-Term Vision, the Sumitomo Metal Mining Group aims to become 鈥渢he world leader in the non-ferrous metals industry.鈥 To achieve that goal, we believe one important element is to proactively address social issues through our business operations. This stance reflects Sumitomo鈥檚 underlying belief that our businesses must be in harmony with, and inseparable from, the public interest, in keeping with the following words etched in the Sumitomo 婷婷中文视频在线 Spirit: 鈥淏enefit self and benefit others, private and public interests are one and the same,鈥 the spirit that Sumitomo has inherited, meaning that Sumitomo鈥檚 business must benefit the nation and society, and emphasize harmony with the public interest.
This philosophy has been central to all business activities undertaken by SMM since its earliest beginnings: starting with the copper refining and smithing business launched by Riemon Soga in 1590, and continuing with the Company鈥檚 operations in mining inaugurated at the Besshi Copper Mine (Niihama, Ehime) 鈥 the original business that set the foundations for the Sumitomo Group鈥檚 subsequent development and expansion.
婷婷中文视频在线 operations involving mineral resources in many instances require large-scale development, which means they often have significant impacts on the local communities and the environment. As such, we believe a major requisite when developing mineral resources is, in every case, to obtain the social license to operate. This can be achieved only by making positive contributions through employment, tax payments, promotion of local industries, etc., while keeping adverse environmental and other impacts to a minimum.
At the Besshi Copper Mine, for a period of 283 years starting with the commencement of operations in 1691, Sumitomo continuously took steps to share in co-prosperity with the local community and to coexist in harmony with the environment. For example, Sumitomo supported the lives of the mine鈥檚 workers 鈥 nearly 12,000 at peak 鈥 and their families by creating local infrastructure including housing, schools, hospitals and other community facilities. Sumitomo also undertook large-scale revegetation at the site, at times planting more than two million trees a year, and also led the world in completely eliminating emissions of sulfur dioxide produced in the process of copper smelting. Today, the SMM Group carries on this firm commitment as we conduct our mineral resource development projects around the globe. We always make every possible effort to acquire social license and to build relationships of trust with our highly diverse stakeholders everywhere.

Defining what the SMM Group can do to help solve today鈥檚 social challenges

Today, upsurges in geopolitical risk, accelerating global fragmentation and polarization and other factors are fueling increasingly complex social issues on a global scale. Meanwhile, a variety of uncertainties affecting corporate activities are also gathering momentum: turmoil in supply chains, rising costs of energy and other commodities, the emergence of issues relating to economic security, etc. Even under these challenging circumstances, we believe that there are numerous and varied ways in which the SMM Group can play a positive role and contribute to the world at large.
One example is our operations in non-ferrous metals: copper, nickel, cobalt, etc. Demand for these metals is projected to increase in the years ahead in numerous fields being promoted to combat climate change, including renewable energy-related infrastructure and electric vehicles. We believe the SMM Group has an inherent duty to provide society with stable supplies of the resources that will underpin activities of these kinds. With many non-ferrous metals, however, the number of highly productive mines is steadily decreasing, and this and other factors today are making an efficient recovery and reuse of metal resources already in the market a matter of increasing importance. Within the SMM Group, today we are responding proactively, applying our technologies nurtured through our smelting and materials businesses to realize highly efficient resource recycling and recycling of spent batteries into secondary battery cathode materials.
In our 鈥淰ision for 2030,鈥 the SMM Group has identified a total of 11 material issues to promote in priority. For each issue, we have also set KPIs and goals, and today we are striving vigorously toward realizing those goals to achieve a truly sustainable society.

Integrating our business operations and sustainability measures

In 2022, we totally revamped our Groupwide sustainability advancement structure in order to more closely coordinate our sustainability realization measures with our business operations. Simultaneously we strengthened our response to such urgent issues as digital transformation (DX) and green transformation (GX), i.e., conversion from use of fossil fuels to renewable energies. During the 2022 fiscal period, we also undertook initiatives to address issues relating to human rights, a matter garnering increased attention globally, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on 婷婷中文视频在线 and Human Rights. To begin, we undertook a major review of our 鈥淪umitomo Metal Mining Group Policy on Human Rights.鈥 We refined this policy using various international codes of conduct, etc. as references, and also sought out the opinions of outside experts. In the area of human rights due diligence, we put together a structure concerning our nickel operations and sought third-party certification. Furthermore, through our involvement with the Japan Center for Engagement and Remedy on 婷婷中文视频在线 and Human Rights (JaCER), we improved our grievance mechanism and enhanced justice assurance.
In the current 2023 fiscal year, we have already compiled a new 鈥淪MM Group Water Policy.鈥 The policy incorporates initiatives we must take concerning water usage, a social issue of global scope that is closely interconnected with human rights issues. Going forward, we will strive to achieve sustainable use and management of water resources based on this policy.
In the area of human resources, we drastically overhauled our comprehensive personnel system in order to foster individual and organizational openness to change. Through proper and effective operation of this new system, we aim to create an organization capable of taking up challenges, reforming its practices, and marking positive growth by supporting all employees in their right to continue independent learning.

To achieve the SMM Group鈥檚 Long-Term Vision to become the 鈥渨orld leader in the non-ferrous metals industry鈥 and the goals of our 鈥淰ision for 2030,鈥 it is of paramount importance that we secure the trust of our many stakeholders. To achieve this aim, starting this year we began issuing a 鈥淪ustainability Report鈥 targeted at winning broader understanding of the SMM Group鈥檚 sustainability- related initiatives and activities. Going forward, we will seek continuous dialogue with our many stakeholders and steadily strive to fulfill our responsibilities toward achieving a truly sustainable world.

Akira Nozaki
Akira Nozaki
President and Representative Director