Toshiba's Key Sustainability Issues Explained

By Outlook Planet Desk January 16, 2023

In order to prioritise sustainability challenges across its value chain, Toshiba Group uses materiality assessment

Toshiba's Key Sustainability Issues Explained
Toshiba Group set a milestone to reduce GHG emissions by 70% by FY2030.

Sustainable development is fundamental for organizations looking to secure future economic and business growth by creating value in an inclusive way, while protecting the environment. By integrating sustainability into their business, organizations address real and changing needs while also covering broader environmental and societal challenges.

To embrace sustainability, organizations can harness the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to drive growth, address risk, attract capital, and focus on purpose. But the first step is knowing where to start and then translating those ambitions into concrete plans that mesh with business goals. Materiality helps organizations identify and prioritize the issues that matter most to their business and stakeholders. In determining if an issue is material, organizations must consider its impacts across the value chain.

Toshiba Group uses materiality assessment to identify priority sustainability issues across its value chain. Late in FY2021, the Group reconfirmed its material issues, with reference to the SDGs, the Global Risks Report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), and guidelines that included the SASB*1 Standards. It then prioritized issues with respect to the group’s core businesses, and narrowed them down to those requiring further consideration.

Material issues for Toshiba

Responding to Climate Change

To achieve carbon neutrality throughout its entire value chain by FY2050, Toshiba Group set a milestone to reduce GHG emissions by 70% by FY2030 compared to the FY2019 level. Specific measures include investments in energy-saving equipment in the group’s business activities, the introduction of renewable energy equipment and expanded procurement of energy from renewable sources, and a focus on creating products and services that contribute to lower emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). Also see: Toshiba technologies responding to climate change & fostering sustainable development

Improving Cyber Resilience

Cyberattacks are on the rise globally. With the proliferation of physical devices connected to networks, cyber threats have now expanded to include industrial control systems and products, which traditionally operated in safe, enclosed environments. This vulnerability to cyberattacks can result in economic losses, equipment damage, and intangible costs, such as the loss of intellectual property, trust, and reputation.

Toshiba Group is harnessing its digital know-how as an IoT solution provider, and its solid experience in energy and infrastructure business for over 140 years to deliver cybersecurity solutions. The group applies an intelligence-centric approach to its solutions to mitigate cyber-attacks and strengthen cyber-resilience. Key solutions include CYTHEMIS, CyberX, Waterfall Unidirectional Security Gateway for protecting control systems in power plant and industrial infrastructure, and a cyber-security incident training for SCADA*2 operators of electric power companies using Toshiba’s original power grid operation training simulator.

Enhancing Research and Development to Create Innovation

Organizations need to raise their sustainability ambitions and act decisively to develop and deploy disruptive technologies. The Toshiba Group has long been committed to advancing the quest for carbon neutrality, infrastructure resilience, and solving global social issues. To achieve this, Toshiba deploys a global innovation network with R&D centers in Japan, Europe, China, U.S., and India.

Toshiba Software India Pvt. Ltd. (TSIP), a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba Group, has excellent software development capabilities, and plays the important role of providing software engineering crucial to the realization of Toshiba Group’s Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) technologies. Explaining Toshiba's commitment to sustainability, Shuichi Ito, Managing Director, Toshiba India Pvt. Ltd., says, "Toshiba has long been committed to solving global social issues. We are advancing the quest for carbon neutrality and resilient infrastructure, making full use of our strengths in energy, infrastructure, devices, and digital technologies to deliver solutions that only Toshiba can. We embrace efforts to achieve SDGs and determine to contribute to sustainable development of India, for a New Day."

Mr. Ramdas Baliga, who was recently elevated to Managing Director, aims to establish TSIP as empowering digital agility across and beyond Toshiba, thereby becoming a Digitally Agile Centre of Excellence (CoE). TSIP development centers at Bengaluru and Pune have been applying digital technologies across physical systems, where Toshiba is already a world leader. TSIP’s software development expertise supports a wide range of Toshiba products including energy and infrastructure systems, smart card systems, battery management systems, solid-state memories & hard-disk storage, System-on-Chip (SoC), automotive, Multi-Function Peripheral (MFP), Point-of-Sale (PoS), bar-code systems and medical systems. TSIP is also building a robust dedicated and dynamic research team, which works closely with other research facilities of Toshiba Group on cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, data analytics, machine learning computer vision, IoT cloud solutions etc.

Securing, Retaining and Developing Human Resources

In order to contribute to sustainable development, it is essential to energize human resources who are diverse in personal qualities, skills, and experiences, and who perform to their full potential. Grounded in the group’s basic commitment of “Committed to People, Committed to the Future.” Toshiba Group companies in India have undertaken various initiatives aimed at creating an environment where employees can work towards their own self-development, and enhance their skill set. Toshiba has also contributed to India’s goals of “Skill India” with an aim to achieve medium- and long-term economic growth. Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing (JIM): Toshiba Transmission & Distribution Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd. (TTDI) has been certified by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) as a Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing (JIM). The TTDI JIM imparts industrial training for developing Japanese standard shop floor leaders and engineers, focusing on areas such as kaizen and the 5S (sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain).