The Japanese business community is strongly represented among WBCSD’s membership and plays a leading role in advancing the organization’s work globally.
WBCSD’s Japanese member companies account for nearly 10% of the entire membership globally. Japanese members have participated as core members of WBCSD since its inception just after the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, and have continued to actively join and lead global voices on sustainable development and the role of business in creating a world in which 9+ billion people can live well, within planetary boundaries. Together, the Japanese members represent a broad cross-section of industries and offer a range of important perspectives that enable WBCSD’s work programs to leverage a variety of pioneering technological know-how and innovation in the field of sustainability.
More broadly, WBCSD works closely with the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), supporting its work engaging the wider Japanese business community around key sustainability initiatives and providing a global platform for Japanese sustainable business leadership. In May 2021, WBCSD President & CEO Peter Bakker gave a speech on Vision 2050: Time to Transform to the Keidanren's Corporate Behavior and SDGs Committee, generating enthusiastic dialogue with the 250 management members of Japanese companies who participated. Furthermore, in 2019 the Keidanren and WBCSD jointly released a Japanese edition of WBCSD’s CEO Guide to Human Rights, providing Japanese-speaking business leaders with a narrative and a set of arguments to engage peers in a dialogue on the role of business in ensuring respect for human rights and contributing to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
WBCSD’s Japanese members help WBCSD to drive forward transformation across key economic systems, in alignment with the work in Japan around Society 5.0, which is a vision for the near future proposed by the Japanese government. Society 5.0 imagines the next stage in the evolution of human society, following its previous stages as a hunter-gatherer society (Society 1.0), agrarian society (Society 2.0), industrial society (Society 3.0), and information society (Society 4.0). WBCSD's Japanese member companies are key to Keidanren's strategy of Society 5.0 for SDGs.
WBCSD has also worked closely with the Japanese government on a number of initiatives in recent years. In 2019 and 2020 the organization collaborated with the Government’s Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) to co-convene the TCFD Summit, bringing together hundreds of leaders from the business and investment communities with a view to accelerating progress on climate-related financial disclosure. WBCSD has also been a strong supporter of and contributor to Prime Minister Abe’s Green Innovation Summit. WBCSD is also honored to regularly participate in important Japanese fora such as the Science and Technology in Society forum (STS forum), and the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF).
In addition, WBCSD regularly partners with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) to promote the role companies can play in driving progress on sustainability, highlighting the need for innovation, mindset shifts and metrics to deliver long-term prosperity and resilience in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. Recent highlights of the partnership include IGES’ engagement in the content development as well as the Japanese translation of the Council’s Vision 2050: Time to Transform, and the participation of senior WBCSD representatives during the annual International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific (ISAP), organized by IGES.
This section of our website features all Japan-related information , including Japanese translations of key WBCSD outputs, and news releases related to the Japanese business community.