To realize a peaceful and sustainable society, we will bring about social innovation starting from sports, thereby aiming at the long-term growth of the Mizuno Group.
In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic (hereinafter referred to as the “pandemic”) repeatedly expanded and contracted and had a great impact on our lives. Specifically, the number of spectators was limited in many professional sports games and international competitions. As a result, unfortunately, most of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games were held without spectators. However, the excellent performance of athletes gives dreams and excitement to children, who will lead the future. The year 2021 was a year in which I truly felt the power of sports while being greatly encouraged by athletes who applauded each other, going beyond winning or losing.
Since its founding in 1906, the Mizuno Group has embraced the corporate philosophy of “Contributing to society through the advancement of sporting goods and the promotion of sports.” This is our core principle, which will not change in the future, and can be said to be Mizuno’s purpose for all stakeholders (raison d’être for the future). In addition, recently, we have also worked on product development with a view to adapting to an aging society and climate change, taking advantage of the knowledge that we have cultivated in sports. For instance, there is still a great difference between healthy life expectancy (the period during which you can live healthily) and life expectancy. We cannot provide medical service to cure disease. However, by providing products that reduce pain and complement lost physical functions, we help people return to as close to a healthy state as possible and offer support for them to live a less inconvenient life. As measures to adapt to climate change, we take on the challenge of resolving various work environment issues, for instance, by providing comfortable apparel, shoes and equipment composed of functional materials and a device to reduce the risk of heatstroke during outdoor work in summer.
Thus, to further create innovation that contributes to resolving social issues with the power of sports, we have decided to establish an Innovation Center, which will be completed in the fall of 2022, next to the Osaka Head Office. Both male and female employees from various divisions and age groups have gathered to freely exchange opinions from the initial concept creation stage. A main focus within the concept is placed on making the Innovation Center a place that is constantly changing and evolving. We will introduce cutting-edge equipment and various types of measuring equipment, expanding the definition of sports in research from not only sports competitions but also to physical activities in daily lives. This is a key process within the product development cycle, which we will proceed with in an agile manner while collecting key scientific data.
I feel that the importance of social issues surrounding sustainability, such as climate change and human rights, is increasing dramatically year by year. A rise in various risks has brought about major changes in consumers’ purchasing consciousness mainly in Europe and has affected global investors’ behavior. Although what we do may be small things one by one, we sincerely aim to make a great social impact by accumulating results.
In 1991, we launched the Crew 21 Project, a global environment conservation initiative, with the aim of playing the role of a crew member of the Spaceship Earth. Since then, we have actively promoted CSR activities as our corporate social responsibility for 30 years in order to reduce the negative impact of our business activities on the environment and society. We will continue to strengthen our efforts, including developing environmentally friendly products, making effective use of resources, and promoting CSR procurement from suppliers. I believe that sustainability activities, based on responsible corporate behavior associated with business, should not be considered in terms of cost and that these activities will lead to enhancing both our brand value and overall corporate status if we actively promote investment in line with our management strategy.
With this in mind, the Group set long-term environmental targets in 2021 and is working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the value chain to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. We have also set an ambitious target for 2030 with a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions from Scope 3 (per product compared to 2018). We have also signed the United Nations Global Compact and have expressed support for the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to deepen our collaboration with globally influential initiatives.
We believe that we can create new value for the future in various settings, including sports, daily life, and worksites. Based on the idea that sports cannot be played in a non-peaceful situation, we seek to create a peaceful and sustainable society through the power of sports and sincerely want to contribute to its realization. We hope that our efforts will lead to the creation of the brand value of Mizuno and its steady growth. Globally, the future remains uncertain and complex due to the impact of the pandemic and war. However, we will work and make maximum effort to overcome these difficulties together with our wonderful employees and stakeholders, who always support us, and create a society where no one is left behind.