Japan: Business solutions to Society 5.0 and Vision 2050

Published: 17 Jan 2020
Type: News

Tokyo, 17 January 2020: What does a sustainable world look like in 2050? How can leading Japanese companies contribute to achieving it? And what are the necessary transformations for the decade ahead required to bring Japan and the world onto a more sustainable path?

These were some of the questions addressed in a session convened by the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) in connection with the ongoing work of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) towards refreshing its Vision 2050.

WBCSD shared the key ambitions, milestones and outputs of the work so far. Thereafter, participants exchanged insights and views about the challenges and opportunities to catalyze the transformation of major economic systems (energy, food, mobility, etc.) in Japan by leveraging technological solutions in line with sustainability imperatives. Furthermore, participants shared their views on the impact of global trends across demographics, economics, politics and finance on Japan’s operating environment for the years ahead. Lastly, strong linkages were drawn to the work in Japan around Society 5.0, the vision for 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). It was initially proposed by Keidanren and incorporated in the 5th Science and Technology Basic Plan in Japan as a concept for the future society to which we should aspire.

Four Japanese WBCSD members are currently engaged in the Vision 2050 work: Fujitsu, Mitsubishi Corporation, Sompo Japan Insurance Inc., and Toyota. Furthermore, the External Review Committee includes Naoko Ishii CEO & Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, alongside Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).

Japan and WBCSD: A long-standing history of engagement and collaboration

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 20 Japanese member companies 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 in pursuit of its efforts to drive forward transformation across key economic systems.

More broadly, WBCSD works closely with the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), supporting its efforts to engage the wider Japanese business community around key sustainability initiatives and providing a global platform for emerging examples of Japanese business leadership.

Keidanren is a partner of WBCSD’s Global Network, an alliance of more than 60 CEO-led business organizations worldwide. The Network, encompassing some 5,000 companies, is united by a shared commitment to provide business leadership for sustainable development in their respective countries and regions.

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