Sustainability Orbit

One of the most important factors in Recruit Group's Value Creation Process is sustainability, and this is managed through a framework we call the "Sustainability Orbit." With this framework, we initially identify the demands and expectations our stakeholders have for us through dialogue, and Town Hall Meetings with management and employees. Following this, we discuss them at length in the Sustainability Committee, which includes external experts and internal management. Finally, having obtained a commitment from the Board of Directors of Recruit Holdings, we promote specific sustainability-related activities that align with our guiding principles to bring our management philosophy to lifeーcompleting the orbit.

Sustainability Orbit

The Sustainability Committee at the center of the orbit

The Sustainability Committee is an advisory body to the Board of Directors. It is comprised of four external members (on two-year terms), the CEO, the Board Director in charge, the Corporate Executive Officers in charge, and the head of each SBU. The committee meetings, which are held twice a year, present an opportunity for management to obtain a clear understanding of the expectations, demands, and criticisms of Recruit Group based on conversations and interactions with stakeholders, various changes to the current social environment, and the increased importance of corporate responsibility. At the same time, the meetings provide a platform for us to discuss high-priority actions and themes that we must deliberate in the mid- to long-term. In FY2018, among the numerous agenda points, we placed an added emphasis on business and human rights. We also established a task force to carry out specific actions following a discussion and resolution by the Board of Directors.

The orbit consists of discussing the opinions of society at large, deciding what we must do as a corporation, taking actions based on our principles, and sharing our achievements with stakeholders. We are constantly listening to societal expectations, and through this cyclical mechanism with the Sustainability Committee at the center, we continue in the sustainable creation of new value for society.

Expert opinion

Aditi Mohapatra

Aditi Mohapatra

BSR, Director, Women's Empowerment, New York

One of the most critical elements for the success of a corporate sustainability program is the commitment of the senior leadership team. An effective strategy requires the genuine engagement of decision makers and a willingness to tackle big challenges that go to the heart of the business. The structure of Recruit Group's sustainability framework, including the active involvement of the CEO, SBU Heads, and additional key executives, is an impressive example of the prioritization of integrated sustainability strategies for a global organization.

Another key element for success is the involvement of a diverse range of independent expert advisors to assess and make recommendations based on their experience at the forefront of sustainability. Here again, Recruit Group is leading by exampleーI have seen how external advice received in one committee meeting has been taken on board and progressed by the time of the next.

The incorporation of international frameworks and guidelines, with a core focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, links Recruit Group's efforts with the wider global push to achieve some critically important targets in the next ten years. Recruit Group clearly understands that sustainable growth is not just essential for a business, but is their duty as a corporate citizen.

The businesses in HR Technology, Media & Solutions and Staffing segments are all experiencing significant disruption, but seeing the way in which the company is proactively examining sustainability challenges, considering its role in society, and working to develop solutions is impressive. Whether it be diversity and inclusion, or potential biases in AI technologies, strong efforts are being made to tackle issues for which there may yet be no clear answer.

Moving forward, I would encourage Recruit Group to continue to be ambitious in its approach to sustainability and to demonstrate leadership in this field.

The process of formulating material matters for sustainability

Recruit Group has established five material matters and related SDGs, through a formulation process that is based on the following materiality analysis.

Since its foundation in 1960, Recruit Group has been expanding its business under our management philosophy of contributing to a brighter world where all individuals can live life to the fullest. With our business portfolio changing and expanding globally, we conducted a materiality analysis in FY2017 to determine the relationship between the expectations of society and the services we offer. The analysis found five material matters for us to prioritize within Recruit Group on a global scale. To compose our analysis, we referred to the UN General Assembly document on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its agenda of 17 objectives, and 169 targets, while consulting with roughly 70 stakeholders from international NGOs and organizations specializing in sustainability to incorporate a comprehensive range of perspectives. We categorized the expectations of stakeholders into 18 topics and mapped them along a vertical axis, then plotted their correlation to our business along a horizontal axis. These results were then shared and discussed with Board Directors and external experts during two sessions of the Sustainability Committee. Based on these discussions, we narrowed down the topics to six goals from the SDGs and five related material matters.

The six SDGs and five material matters are as follows: Respect Human Rights, derived from the realization of human rights, as stated in the forward; Close the opportunity gap, which encompasses SDGs
1: No Poverty, 4: Quality Education, and 10: Reduced Inequalities; Celebrate Diversity and Inclusion, incorporating Goal 5: Gender Equality; Inspire new ways of working, derived from Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth; and Conserve the environment, to implement Goal 13: Climate Action. We realized that the success of these five material matters is interconnected and concluded that, rather than setting priorities among the five themes, a multilateral approach would be ideal.

In terms of an action plan, we are disclosing our initiatives regarding human rights and the environment and are working to better understand the international situation in order to quickly bring ourselves up to global standards.

1 Define issues

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an agenda for global sustainability adopted by unanimous vote at a UN summit meeting, were used to help define critical social issues.

Define issues

2 Evaluate stakeholder expectations

We engaged with global NGOs, sustainability organizations, and many other stakeholders to learn about their expectations, and then ranked the priority of social issues they thought Recruit Group should address.

Evaluate stakeholder expectations

3 Assess business relevance

We assessed the relevance of issues to Recruit Group's businesses.

Assess business relevance

4 Identify material issues

We screened issues based on stakeholder expectations and business relevance to identify material issues for Recruit Group.

Identify material issues

5 Review

The Sustainability Committee discussed core themes based on a review of the process so far, including external views.


6 Decide the material matters

We then decided on five material matters for Recruit Group. The material matters will be reviewed periodically, incorporating perspectives both in Japan and overseas.

Decide the material matters

Five material matters for sustainability

Sustainability for Recruit Group means to create value for society in a sustainable manner through our corporate activities. In addition to the business itself, we are focused on a wide range of social contribution activities and are working to create an organization where every employee has the opportunity to participate. Our activities are rooted in the following five material matters.

Our activities are rooted in the following five material matters

Inspire new ways of working

What does work mean to us? How can we work better? Since our foundation as a recruitment advertising company, we have consistently asked these questions. We will continue to be innovative in creating paths of work for individuals to achieve their aspirations.

Close the opportunity gap

We believe that the more people are free to pursue their passions, the better the future becomes. Closing the opportunity gap is a key factor for this. We have, and will continue to match countless people and businesses in ways that have not been done before.

Celebrate diversity and inclusion

We celebrate diversity in nationality, race, religion, gender, age, disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more. We respect and embrace each other's differences to promote creativity in the world.

Respect human rights

Our basic principle of creating a brighter world where all individuals can live life to the fullest starts from respecting human rights. We follow Recruit Group's Human Rights Policy and Code of Ethics to respect the rights of our diverse stakeholders.

Conserve the environment

We all have a common responsibility for the global environment. We strive to reduce our negative impact on the environment by addressing climate change, resource preservation, and biodiversity conservation. We aim to enlighten society with our environmentally conscious lifestyle.

See also