Message from the CEO
As President & Group CEO of MHFG, I would like to express our deep appreciation for your continued interest in and support of our Group.
Mizuho recognizes that CSR initiatives help contribute to the sustainable development of society and provide the platform for creating and advancing corporate value, and we have positioned CSR initiatives as a pillar of our corporate conduct.
In implementing its CSR activities, Mizuho has identified the strengthening efforts to promote businesses that contribute to the sustainable development of society (core businesses), reinforce the Group's foundations that underpin activities in line with society's expectations (foundations), and promote social contribution activities that take into consideration the needs of local regions and society (social contributions), as three initiative policies to address over the medium to long term. Moreover, Mizuho has put forward the Group's annual initiative policy that helps to crystallize activities in each of these three initiative policies. Based on this policy, group companies formulate measures that take into consideration individual business strategies while working in unison to achieve the Group's overarching CSR goals.
Mizuho is also promoting CSR initiatives to address issues concerning the environment, society, and governance (ESG), interest in which has increased greatly throughout the world in recent years.
Changes in the External Environment
Although the world economy is likely to continue to grow, the slowdown in the rate of growth in the United States and in the emerging countries, such as China, will limit the overall economic growth going forward, and uncertainty about its future course is growing. While paying careful attention to the development of regulatory reforms of the global financial system, we are aware of the necessity for establishing a financial base supported by a balance sheet that is resilient against the uncertainties in the world economy, and by a sustainable and stable profit structure.
In addition to these changes in the external environment, structural changes in the area of sustainability are progressing in Japan and elsewhere around the world, including Japan's declining birthrate and the aging and shrinking population, the globalization of business activities, continuing technological innovation, and climate change. Expectations for companies to find solutions to social problems has increased with progress made in establishing common global targets for creating a society capable of sustainable development, including the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement, a new framework for addressing climate change, in 2015. In light of these changes in economic and social conditions, as a global financial services group with its base in Japan we at Mizuho are keenly aware of the necessity to help address and contribute to solutions for a wide range of social issues as well as of the necessity to create new business opportunities.
In addition to expanding ESG investment mainly in the United States and Europe, interest in ESG investment is growing in Japan after it became a signatory to the UN's Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) with regard to the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF). Against this backdrop, the necessity for disclosing information from the perspective of ESG has become even more important.
FY2016–2018 Group CSR Initiative Policy
In fiscal 2016, we formulated the FY2016–2018 Group CSR Initiative Policy mainly based on changes in the external environment, the expectations of stakeholders, and Mizuho strategies in order to serve as our policy for CSR initiatives during the period of the new Medium–term Business Plan.
In our core businesses, we will work primarily to develop industries that take into consideration global issues, help revitalize regional economies, promote a more efficient flow of financial assets in Japan, and encourage creation and innovation in businesses that apply new technologies, including the newly emerging "FinTech" sector. In addition, we will contribute to financial solutions unique to Mizuho related to growth strategies for Japan as it heads toward the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond.
*Mizuho Financial Group is a Tokyo 2020 Gold Banking Partner
In addition, we have brought together the full complement of our research and consulting functions to form the newly established Research & Consulting Unit, known as "One Think Tank". By putting together Japan's best think tank functions, we have differentiated our services in this field and will continue to work to become the most trusted partner in solving the various challenges of our customers and communities.
In terms of foundations, we will undertake fundamental reforms of HR management in order to encourage the active participation of employees, which is indispensable for supporting a strong organization that can specifically transform Mizuho into a financial services consulting group. We will also continue initiatives towards embedding a strong culture.
As one pillar of our fundamental reforms of HR management, we will promote diversity to a greater extent than ever before while taking steps to progress to the next stage of our diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives to encourage the growth and active participation of all members of our diverse workforce. Specifically, we will implement "work–life balance management" reforms to create engaging work environments that every employee can work without difficulty and encourage long–term retention. Mizuho will, therefore, encourage changes in the mind–sets and behaviors of all executive officers and employees, while also establishing new numerical targets suitable for a frontrunner aiming to promoting D&I.
As for our efforts to establish and strengthen our robust corporate culture that is now putting down its roots as a result of our past initiatives, we will continue to encourage all employees to put the Mizuho Values into practice, and to further promote internal communication.
Regarding social contributions, we will continue to proactively support financial education, which is an activity well–suited to the capabilities and interests of financial institutions while also promoting activities that reflect the needs of local communities and society at large.
Furthermore, we will actively disclose information regarding these CSR initiatives through our integrated reports, website, and other means from the perspective of ESG, the importance of which is increasing. We are also committed to further strengthening communication with stakeholders.
Going forward, we at Mizuho will contribute to the economic and social development of Japan, the rest of Asia, and the world as a whole, as part of a social mission that we have assumed of our own accord. We must also proactively respond to the expectations of all our stakeholders, including our shareholders as well as our customers, our communities, our own management, staff and their families.
President & Group CEO
Member of the Board of Directors
Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.