Policy Proposals Business Law Keidanren, University of Tokyo, and GPIF Launch Joint Research Aimed at Realizing Society 5.0 for SDGs
Tokyo, Japan, 10 June 2019 — Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), University of Tokyo, and Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) held a press conference to announce their agreement to conduct joint research linking Society 5.0 and ESG investment with a view to realizing "Society 5.0 for SDGs".
Key Points of Joint Research
Keidanren has been pursuing realization of "Society 5.0 for SDGs", a concept developed in Japan that merges the aims of digital transformation and sustainability.
At the same time, investor interest in ESG investment, which links investment and sustainability, has been growing rapidly. Around 2,400 organizations have signed the Principles for Responsible Investment, with total assets under management estimated to exceed 66 trillion dollars.
Therefore, leading organizations from business, academia, and investor in Japan have joined together to launch joint research towards delivering on SDGs by linking realization of Society 5.0 with ESG investment. The aim of the research is to harness the more than 66 trillion dollars' worth of ESG investment to propel companies' efforts to promote Society 5.0. By doing so, the project will further accelerate massive and disruptive innovation and sustainable enhancement of corporate value, facilitating swift and certain achievement of SDGs by 2030. Based on two pillars of Society 5.0 and ESG investment, the project aims to achieve SDGs.
Message from the parties on the Joint Research at the Press Conference
Takeshi Kunibe, Vice Chair of Keidanren
I am most encouraged that the University of Tokyo and GPIF have endorsed the Society 5.0 for SDGs concept that Keidanren has been promoting and agreed to launch this joint research project. Keidanren expects this research to achieve two key aims: to visualize progress in realizing Society 5.0 and stimulate interest among investors both in Japan and overseas, and to create opportunities for building mechanisms to attract investment in companies promoting Society 5.0.
Keidanren, the University of Tokyo, and GPIF will engage in this research motivated by a strong commitment to lead global change in the business community and drive the realization of Society 5.0 for SDGs.
Makoto Gonokami, President of University of Tokyo
There is great significance in the launch of collaborative efforts by the University of Tokyo, Keidanren, which is promoting Society 5.0 for SDGs, and GPIF, which is pursuing ESG investment.
The University of Tokyo has taken its selection as a Designated National University Corporation in 2017 as an opportunity to pursue a diverse range of activities. In the belief that we need to embrace common goals that others will empathise with, we utilize SDGs to spur cooperative action with many other parties.
Universities are repositories of diverse knowledge and personnel who generate such knowledge. By partnering with business and investor in this joint research project, I hope we will be able to set out a clear socioeconomic vision for Society 5.0 for SDGs and speed up innovation and the formation of capital flows that will lead to the realization of this concept.
Norihiro Takahashi, President of GPIF
Medium- to long-term investment returns can be boosted if investee companies incorporate SDGs into their management strategies and sustainably enhance their corporate value. GPIF believes, as a long-term investor, there is tremendous importance in achievement of sustainable economic growth by realizing the Society 5.0 for SDGs concept set forth by Keidanren and in the direction that the University of Tokyo is setting for creating a sustainable society for the future. By collaborating in this joint research from the perspective of promoting ESG investment, GPIF hopes to give further impetus to companies' efforts to deliver on SDGs through Society 5.0.