First Look at Environmental Disclosure in Japanese Industry: IRRC Publishes Data from Japanese Corporate Environmental Reports

Source: IRRC, 4 July 2001

Japanese firms voluntarily report environmental policies, achievements and costs but do not provide hard data on emissions, energy use and water use consistently, according to a report released today by the Investor Responsibility Research Center, a leading social, environmental and governance research firm, and NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting (NTTDATAIMC) of Japan.

Environmental Performance in Japan: A Survey of Corporate Environmental Reports found that approximately 90 percent of the 88 companies studied provided information about environmental objectives and achievements, including related costs, in their environmental reports. Yet only about 55 percent reported carbon dioxide emissions. IRRC Analyst, Craig Metrick, edited the study, which shows levels of disclosure and environmental reporting through data on greenhouse gas emissions, management systems, training, and other data elements.
In the absence of consistent, publicly available environmental data in Japan, corporate environmental reports are the primary source of information for assessing a companys environmental performance. NTTDATAIMC and IRRC developed a set of environmental profiles of Japanese companies to facilitate research and allow comparisons of corporate environmental performance and management. IRRC distributes translated Japanese corporate environmental profiles to investors and other customers in the United States and Europe while NTTDATAIMC distributes the product in Japan. Environmental issues are global issues and investors increasingly have a global perspective, said Scott Fenn, IRRCs Executive Director. Together, the environmental products in this agreement between NTTDATAIMC and IRRC represent the natural alignment of these trends.

The Investor Responsibility Research Center, headquartered in Washington, DC, was founded in 1972 and is the world’s leading source of impartial and independent services for research on corporations, investors and shareholder decision-making. Its clients include more than 400 institutional investors, corporations, law firms and other organizations. It offers a wide range of company profile information for portfolio screening and benchmarking, advisory and research services, and Web- and server-based shareholder management tools. The firm is organized into three areas: Governance Research, Voting Services and Corporate Social Research.

NTTDATAIMC (President: Seiichi Matsumoto) was founded in 1991, and consults for private companies and governmental organizations. NTTDATAIMC has superior experience in the environmental field as well as other business fields such as corporate strategy, marketing strategy and business process reengineering. NTTDATAIMC is wholly owned by NTTDATA, the largest information system integrator and information service provider in Japan.