Passion of award winners taking the seemingly impossible to the world
November 05, 2021
At the end of the Sustainable Japan Awards 2021 event, Naonori Kimura, partner and managing director at Industrial Growth Platform Inc. and adviser to the Sustainable Japan Network, made concluding remarks and shared inspirations he gained from the panel sessions.
Pointing out that many companies in Japan still think of ESG as a theme to be handled by the department of investor relations, Kimura stressed that corporate leaders should consider ESG as both a major risk and an opportunity in management.
“Companies need to make aggressive ESG efforts to differentiate themselves from their competitors and seek ways to combine ESG factors with technologies and existing assets to create new values,” he said.
With respect to the revitalization of local economies in rural areas referred to as satoyama, Kimura explained that bringing ideas and knowledge together to add values to existing resources and to create something new is the key.
“Innovations and solutions that are springing up in satoyama areas in Japan may spread not only across the nation but also to the world,” Kimura said.
He said that throughout the sessions, he had felt each prize winner’s strong will and passion to achieve sustainability. “Making fuels from Euglena would have sounded bizarre 10 years ago, but the passion of Mr. Izumo, the Grand Prize winner, made it possible,” Kimura said.