Nippon Sanso Holdings Group understands the importance of accountability in corporate activities in a transparent manner. We always maintain an open stance to internal and external stakeholders and endeavor to disclose information in an appropriate
manner. We are open to views and criticism concerning information disclosure and have good faith communication,
which we optimize in corporate activities.
Dialogue with Stakeholders
We engage in constructive dialogue with market participants (including shareholders, investors, potential investors, and securities analysts) based on the concept of fair disclosure to realize sustainable growth and mid- to long-term corporate value improvement in accordance with our “IR policy.”
In addition, we endeavor to enhance our IR activities by providing fair, timely, and appropriate explanation and disclosure of accurate information, including the status of management and business operations, and enhance corporate value by communicating the requests and assessment by the market participants to the Board of Directors and management to reflect them in business operations.
In the FYE 2023, we held a Medium-term management plan “NS Vision 2026” presentation, Earnings presentation, Earnings call, Financial results press conference for institutional investors, securities analysts, and the media, as well as a sustainability theme IR conference, which is particularly in demand. Furthermore, the President CEO, CFO, and business heads from all five segments (Japan, the U.S., Europe, Asia & Oceania, and Thermos) attended the full-term Earning presentation held in May 2023, where they were able to directly communicate with market participants.
In addition, starting from the first quarter of the FYE 2023 (from July 2022), the President CEO has also taken the stage during the quarterly earnings calls to explain the Company's management strategy policies and performance. We actively participate in IR conferences and other events hosted by securities companies, and value these opportunities to communicate with institutional investors. For individual investors in Japan, we strive to increase awareness of our company and deepen their understanding of our business by holding online briefings (speaker: General Manager, IR) and on-demand webcasts, as well as by participating in joint corporate IR briefings.
*For more information, please see the link below
Main activity results（Last three years）
| Number of IR information events
| Total number of meetings with institutional investors and securities analysts worldwide: both Japanese and Non-Japanese
(Number of ESG-related)
| Number of IR Presentation for individual investors in Japan
(Number of Live and on-demand video views)
| Attendance at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
*From the perspective of preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection, the number of shareholders attending the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders remained low.
Main comments from investors and shareholders
|| Our response
| Please provide specifics on your future growth strategy.
|| After commenting on the Group’s strategy in the Mid-term management plan, the President CEO explains the current progress and future outlook at the quarterly Earnings call, supplemented by a Q&A session as appropriate.
| Please aim for financial disclosures that facilitate comparisons with other companies in the same industry, both Japanese and Non-Japanese.
||-Beginning with the FYE 2023, we began disclosing our future capital investment balance (so-called Backlog), providing institutional investors and securities analysts with useful information to help them forecast our future growth rates.
-We will continue to consider improvements by referring to the disclosure levels of other companies in our industry.
| The Company has sought to improve the composition of the Board of Directors in terms of protection of minority shareholder interests, skills and expertise, and diversity, and this has changed significantly over the past few years.
|| The composition of the Board of Directors was formed as a result of discussions with the Advisory Committee on Appointments and Remuneration (ACoAR), past dialogues with institutional investors, guidelines from a proxy-advisory firm, and taking into consideration the demands of society and the qualities & skills required for the management of the Company.
| The content of the Integrated report has steadily improved over the past several years.
We ask that you continue to improve and that this dialogue continue.
|| Feedback obtained through dialogue with institutional investors is shared and discussed by the Integrated Reporting Production Committee (Head: CFO), which works with each region and business unit to enhance the content of disclosure.
| Revision of materiality and setting of Non-financial KPI targets in the NS Vision 2026 mid-term management plan of the Company has been a major step forward.
|| We are using the feedback based on dialogue with institutional investors focused on sustainability themes to improve our internal discussions and clarify our path forward through materiality revisions and the establishment of Non-financial KPI targets.
With other stakeholders
Regarding our social responsibility and relationship with stakeholders, "2. Accountability and Respect for Stakeholders" is part of the NSHD Code of Conduct, and is communicated by the CEO and thoroughly understood within the Group. In addition, we recognize that there are various social and environmental challenges, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are highly relevant as part of our business activities and through the identification of Materiality, we will focus on activities that will lead to the resolution of these issues.
The Company's Board of Directors regularly receives and reviews reports on the status of response to these important issues and compliance with the NSHD Code of Conduct. And, the Board of Directors also confirms that the risk management system has been appropriately operated, and that sustainability themes are recognized as issues and that appropriate measures are being considered and implemented.
*For more information, please see the link below
Major external evaluations
||-FTSE 4 Good Index Series
-FTSE Blossom Japan Index
| CDP (Climate Change)
| CDP (Water Security)
||21.4 （Medium Risk）
|| ESG industry top rated
Communication with Investors: Sustainability Dialogue
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Ideal Sustainability for Our group
As social issues such as climate change and other environmental problems continue to mount, companies need to relate
their businesses to resolving these issues and contributing to society in order to grow sustainably. Moreover,
sustainability management has been put forward as one of the focused fields in the medium-term management plan NS
Vision 2026. Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) Takeshi Miki invited stewardship specialist Shizuko Ohmi to discuss
the ideal sustainability for our group.
The Need to Disclose Non-Financial Information
MikiThank you for joining me today. You have been involved in
ESG for some time, and I've been looking forward to meeting you. Over the past few years, we have
been strengthening its initiatives on sustainability, but as we have only just gotten started I would be glad to hear
your thoughts and reflect them in our targets for the future.
To touch briefly on my own background, I joined the Company in 2017 and was appointed CSO in 2019. I oversee
sustainability for the entire group.
OhmiThank you for inviting me. For my part, I started my
career as an analyst in charge of Japanese stocks at a foreign securities company. From around 1997 to 2013, I was
assigned to the chemicals industry, and I have been following Nippon Sanso Holdings since it was Taiyo Nippon Sanso
Corporation, learning about the Company through plant visits and so forth. I participated in NSHD's perception study*
in 2020, and I think that is how I came to be here with you today. Currently, I am head of investment stewardship at
JPMorgan Asset Management (Japan). I hope to offer some comments today that reflect various perspectives, including
those from Europe and the United States.
MikiLooking back at that 2020 perception study, what was
your image of the Company at the time?
OhmiTaiyo Nippon Sanso, as it was named at the time,
showed a proactive desire to expand globally and have a global presence, rather than staying closeted inside
Japan, and I felt this was extremely positive. The Company was also expanding its business in tandem with various
industries, and its multifaceted nature in that regard drew my attention.
* An interview survey of analysts and fund managers who have participated in a financial results presentation, in which a production company asks for their impressions and requests on behalf of the listed company
Dramatic Improvement in ESG Management over the Past Few Years
MikiAbout three years ago, we started promoting the disclosure of our information as a listed company, which has only increased our sense of urgency in needing to advance our ESG initiatives even more. One of the main reasons for this has been the entry of Nippon Gases Euro-Holding S.L.U. into the Group. Europe has an extremely high awareness of sustainability, and the NSHD Group has been invigorated by the joining of our European company as this sparked a change in our thinking.
In 2019, we expressed our support for the TCFD recommendations, and with the transition to a holding company structure in 2020, we revamped our Code of Conduct and various policies. In 2021, we reformed our sustainability systems, and established the Group Sustainability Management Office. Then, with the announcement of our medium-term management plan in 2022, we started our non-financial programs and also became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact. In the area of governance, in 2021 we welcomed a female outside director aboard and in 2022 two of our five outside directors are women.
OhmiYou've taken a systematic approach I see. I believe that you are at the point of where you have agreed with the TCFD recommendations and are now preparing to start the disclosures. This represents significant progress from two years ago.
MikiWe expressed our support in 2019, by we hadn't really prepared scenario analysis at that point, so we have done so now with our new medium-term management plan. Now that I think about it, at the time we hadn't even disclosed a GHG emission reduction target. We had formulated various internal KPIs but hadn't communicated them externally. Not communicating them is the same as not having them, so this time we have set absolute values for our GHG emission reduction target and announced them publicly. We are also gradually responding to other items required by evaluating organizations.
OhmiOver the past two years, you seem to have made progress on the environment, society, and governance, but my impression is that you have made particularly good progress on governance. The Board of Directors has also been scaled down, and you have increased diversity by including female and non-Japanese members. Furthermore, at the recent General Meeting of Shareholders you went even further and made the majority of directors outside directors. In a global context, a majority of independent members is considered a given for ensuring transparency and oversight over governance, but in fact few Japanese companies meet this standard. This means that NSHD is quite advanced among Japanese companies. Looking at the environment and society, you have comprehensively disclosed global human resource data, along with a clear description of various policies. In that sense, I believe you have made considerable progress on the environment, society, and governance over these two years.
Expectations for the Group to Unite and Deepen Cooperation to Achieve Its Targets
MikiDespite our progress to date, I think there are still many issues to be addressed. For example, how will we talk about our opportunities? We have declared our goal of becoming carbon neutral and expressed our intention of making a business out of reducing customer GHG emissions. But, what specifically are we going to do, and how? If we can answer these questions successfully and expand our business, then I think investors will understand and support our efforts.
OhmiI get the impression that Nippon Sanso Holdings has been highly evaluated on its risk management, but that its overseas competitors have been evaluated higher on their opportunities. On the investor side, there is an increasing trend of wanting to look at both the environmental impacts and the positive sides. For example, when themed funds screen for potential investees by focusing on resolving environmental issues, they need to have sufficiently rational reasons. If the investee has defined their environmental contribution, for example, and recorded solid data based on their definition, then we are able to use that as grounds to select that company as one that contributes to the environment. It is extremely important to manage risks properly, but I would like to emphasize that investors are also looking at the business opportunities.
MikiIn our new medium-term management plan, we have set out various action programs. The carbon-neutral program is divided into two sections, I and II. In Carbon Neutral Program I, we focused on how far we can reduce the Group's GHG emissions. In Carbon Neutral Program II, we are thinking about how we can grow our business by reducing our customer GHG emissions.
In our business related to hydrogen, which is drawing attention as a form of green energy, we have used some assistance from our Global HyCO business to expand our operations even in Peru. Moreover, with oxygen combustion technology, fossil fuel combustion becomes far more efficient, increasing the concentration of CO2 and making it easier to capture. I believe there are business opportunities in this area as well. We also have a carbon dioxide gas business, which may lead to expansion of CCUS* as well. For now, one of the points of the new medium-term management plan is to think about what we can commercialize next and try it out.
OhmiIt seems that your past efforts are now beginning to bear fruit. We can sense management's intentions in the clear targets that have been set out for them. I think giving sustainability such an important role in NSHD's business strategy and treating it as an essential aspect shows that the Company has deepened its awareness in this regard.
MikiThese days, our discussion has come to focus mainly on carbon neutrality. However, there are a wider range of areas in which we can contribute through sustainability. Through industrial gases, our group can contribute to areas such as health through the medical field and to reducing food waste by extending food preservation periods. I would like us to take a wider view of domains related to sustainability and eventually focus on other fields as well, so that we can also appeal to investors in fields where we can offer a unique approach.
OhmiThe Company's disclosure over these two years has really advanced. You have kept your sights firmly on your targets for materiality issues, and in various ways you have prepared platforms for them. I therefore have high expectations that the whole Company working together will produce great results over the coming three years. In addition, you now have a clear global management structure able to properly discuss global sustainability strategies, and while there are no doubt difficulties in terms of being a global company, I am really looking forward to seeing all parts of the Company working together with deeper cooperation to achieve sustainability targets.
* Carbon capture, utilization, and storage of CO2
Senior Executive Officer,
Group Sustainability Management Office, and Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO)
After positions at S.G. Warburg Securities, Lehman Brothers, and Credit Suisse Trust Bank, joined Amundi Japan in 2003. Assigned head of the ESG Research Division in 2015. In 2020, jointed JPMorgan Asset Management (Japan) Limited. Appointed Head of Investment Stewardship. CMA (Certified Member Analyst of the Securities Analyst Association of Japan).
Positions are as of June 2022.