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Stakeholder Dialogue 2014

 Worldwide trends in CSR have been on the brink of a new stage in recent years. Now, a long-term perspective in thinking about social responsibility and social mission is more important than ever.
The “K” Line Group works to create broad-ranging opportunities for communication with stakeholders to ensure that these changing social demands are reflected in management. The theme of our medium-term management plan is “Synergy for All and Sustainable Growth,” meaning management that is mutually beneficial for both stakeholders and the Company, and thus allows sustainable growth. Internally, we are also advancing deliberations on new directions for success over the coming 100 years and working to further enhance awareness of social responsibility.
As part of these efforts, in February 2014, we invited outside experts to a stakeholder dialogue. Our discussions with them focused on the major CSR issues of safety in navigation and cargo operation, environmental preservation and human resource development. “K” Line prizes the opinions of these experts as a serious reflection of the expectations of society, and will utilize them in its future business activities.


From outside the Group

Toshihiko Goto Chief Executive Officer, Sustainability Forum Japan

Dr. Kenichi Takano Professor, Graduate School of System Design and Management, Keio University

From “K” Line (positions as of the date of the dialogue)

Eiji Kadono Managing Executive Officer, Marine Sector (Operational Safety and Human Resources)

Shunichi Arisaka Managing Executive Officer, Technical and Environmental Affairs

Tsuyoshi Yamauchi Managing Executive Officer, Finance, General Affairs, CSR & Compliance

Yutaka Nakagawa Executive Officer, Human Resources (On-shore Division), Business Promotion


Ayako Sonoda President, Cre-en Inc.

Ayako Sonoda
President, Cre-en Inc.

Expert Opinions

Toshihiko Goto
Chief Executive Officer,
Sustainability Forum Japan

Dr. Kenichi Takano, Professor
Graduate School of System Design and Management,
Keio University

Overall CSR

Going forward, an essential aspect of CSR for any company will be determining material issues through communication with outside stakeholders. It is important to understand the various issues facing society through engagement with diverse stakeholders and to work to solve those problems through one’s business activities. Of course, long-sighted, strategic consideration is crucial to identify initiatives that address such issues while simultaneously enhancing corporate value.

Safety in Navigation and Cargo Operation

 Shipping companies support the global logistics infrastructure. As such, sustainable growth based on operational safety underlies the social responsibility of shipping companies. Business execution at sea carries many risks, and high awareness on the part of employees is vital. For that reason, a firm philosophy with regard to operational safety that is shared organization-wide is necessary, and the corporate culture developed from this philosophy must permeate every employee involved in navigation worldwide, whether at sea or on shore. To maintain safety, exacting risk management from assessment to formulating action plans as well as effective communication are key factors.
The “K” Line Group regards the establishment and maintenance of a rigorous safety management structure as a major strategic priority, and is working to enhance related frameworks and systems, develop the skills of its engineers and raise awareness. With regard to risks, “K” Line analyzes accidents and uses the results to create a database in order to formulate more effective safety measures. This kind of constant consideration of new initiatives deserves praise. The group-wide pursuit of safety is, in effect, closely related to improving business results, and operational safety plays a key part in improving corporate value. We hope to see even more solid initiatives in this area in the future.

Environmental Preservation

 When it comes to initiatives to address climate change and pollution, a clear corporate policy and long-term strategy, in addition to compliance with legal and other restrictions, are absolutely vital. Top-down goal setting provides corporate direction and helps to change awareness internally, while efforts taken to achieve those goals help to win the trust of society. Responding to environmental standards and fuel efficiency demanded by customers from a perspective of social responsibility throughout the value chain contributes to strengthening competitive advantages and economic streamlining, ultimately leading to corporate value creation. From this perspective, we hope to see CSR built into management strategy, corporate policy and long-term goals clearly established and disclosed.

Human Resource Development

 It is obvious that the “K” Line Group positions human resource development as a major priority and regards its people as its greatest resource. It is also evident that, despite real efforts, “K” Line is finding it challenging to ensure that individual employees “take ownership,” fully understanding that the risks and issues they encounter in their daily work are their own responsibility. To create that kind of awareness, simulated experiences, such as role playing, can be effective. Simulations help employees absorb core values and share them within groups, in turn empowering them to take responsibility in unforeseen situations. In addition, building an external human network and actively maintaining contacts outside the corporate organization can facilitate taking responsibility for societal opinions and expectations and reflecting them in business. This contributes to innovation and thus boosts corporate value.

“K” Line’s Response

Your comments raised our awareness of the need to understand the objective opinions and suggestions of various stakeholders to supplement our own analysis when selecting material issues in CSR, as well as the importance of making the goals and related rationale clear. We also understand that there is a need for us to steadily address the issues brought up in these dialogs and regularly report on progress made.
In addition, we have also understood that a long-term perspective is essential in any type of CSR initiative, and that such initiatives must be coherent with corporate strategy aimed at increasing the value of the company. When formulating our next medium-term management plan, which we plan to do in fiscal 2014, we will build into it a long-term point of view.

Kiyokazu Arai
Executive Officer,
General Affairs, CSR & Compliance, General Manager of General Affairs Group  (positions as of the date of the dialogue)


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