Materiality for the Gunze Group

The Gunze Group will focus on addressing four key social issues, and will work together with our customers to maintain a community rich in greenery and filled with smiling faces. By so doing, we will strive to create a brighter future in which all people can lead more active, enjoyable, and healthy lives.

Gunze Group's Material CSR Challenges (Materiality)

Good health and well-being
QOL improvement
(Contribution to health and wellness)
Help people in all age groups lead healthy lives with consistent wellbeing.
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Creation of an environment with abundant greenery, with ongoing response to environmental issues Support construction of rock-solid infrastructure and inclusive, sustainable industry development, while driving innovation.
Decent work and economic growth
Improvement of workplace environment and workstyle reform Generate full and productive employment as well as motivating and rewarding work.
Sustainable cities and communities
Creation of a better regional community and society Maintain cities and living environments that are inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

Continuing efforts to respond to key CSR issues

"Bear an additional load of 'benefit to society'" was a personal philosophy of Tsurukichi Hatano, the founder of Gunze. It signifies his commitment to promoting well-balanced management by setting an additional load (goal) of providing benefits for society in addition to the pursuit of sales growth and profits. The founder also passed down the phrase "Make both the buyer and seller happy." This notion has something in common with Omi merchants' management philosophy called "Sanpo-yoshi" (meaning "three-way satisfaction" or "benefiting the seller, buyer, and the local community").
In the previous fiscal year, we defined key CSR issues that have a significant impact on our corporate management, and called these "Gunze's material CSR challenges." In fiscal 2018, we began more proactively promoting CSR activities or CSV (Creating Shared Value) management initiatives. This drive is intended to go back to our founding philosophy and solve social issues through our core businesses by drawing on technologies and expertise possessed by the Gunze Group. As for the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) adopted by the United Nations in 2015, we will take an "outside-in" approach. That is, we will use social issues as the starting point to plan activities and implement initiatives, with focus on the four issues identified through the assessment of materiality for the Gunze Group. Moreover, CSV goals and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) will be specified for each department, as we implement specific actions toward resolving these issues.

Director and General Manager of the Personnel & General Affairs Department in charge of CSR and Compliance Yasuhiro AkaseYasuhiro Akase
Director and General Manager of the
Personnel & General Affairs Department
in charge of CSR and Compliance

Gunze's Future and Value Creation Story

After starting out as a silk producer, Gunze transformed its main business lines into legwear and innerwear, eventually entering the area of functional solutions including plastic film by drawing on the technology we have developed through our textile business. During the course of this development, Gunze has continuously pioneered the creation of new value by adopting our proprietary technologies for various applications. One example is our successful first commercial production of bioabsorbable surgical suture thread for medical applications in Japan.

Today, the situations surrounding our lives are changing radically. Social problems related to the environment and health have been worsening, such as the progression of climate change and destruction of nature, as well as the spread of lifestyle diseases. Our society also faces a rapid aging of the population with declining birthrates, along with decreasing intimacy in people's relationships, and widening economic disparities.

In this situation, we look to help improve people's quality of life (QOL) by proactively tackling these social issues. We can do so by leveraging the competencies we have cultivated across the Gunze Group. This will encourage us to transform our mindset and put our creative ingenuity to use, leading to the creation of innovations. At the same time, this will improve Gunze's organizational capabilities, so that we can continuously offer greater benefits to customers.

Today we are working to promote our medium-term management plan, called "CAN 20," to be in place through fiscal 2020. With this and the activities that follow, we will seek to resolve four social issues in order to offer our customers a "feeling of comfort" that sets Gunze apart from others. By so doing, we aim to create a brighter future by helping all people enjoy a comfortable, healthy, and active lifestyle in a community rich in greenery and full of smiling faces.