Message from CR Committee Chairperson

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Jin Song Montesano

Jin Song Montesano
Director, Executive Officer, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and General Affairs, Public Affairs, Investor Relations, External Affairs, and Corporate Responsibility, and Chief People Officer

At LIXIL, we have completed another year of solid progress in our Corporate Responsibility (CR) activities. As we strive to achieve our purpose to make better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere, I am pleased to see that our commitment to improving society through our corporate activities is building further pride among our employees and a deeper connection with business stakeholders. We believe such progress is vital for the organization’s sustainable growth.

LIXIL’s CR activities have continued to gain global recognition, including a listing in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the first time in 2019. We are honored to be recognized as a global sustainability leader. This recognition only redoubles our commitment to enhancing our performance. Reflecting the progress made so far and the changing business environment, we set new goals for our three CR strategic pillars in FYE 2020.

Concerning Global Sanitation & Hygiene, our award-winning social business SATO has helped change the lives of 18.6 million people in over 38 countries thus far. We have made significant progress by expanding our reach to over 10 countries within a year. We have extended our timeline to achieve our original target of improving sanitation for 100 million people worldwide to 2025. Armed with the knowledge we have acquired thus far, we are more determined than ever to meet the new target.

In addition, as a response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we launched a new product in June 2020 called SATO Tap, an affordable handwashing solution for households in the regions in which SATO business operates. LIXIL has committed USD 1 million to expedite the spread of handwashing practices through this innovation and is working proactively with both private and public sector partners, such as UNICEF, to bring this much-needed innovation to communities in need.

Since launching the Make a Splash! partnership with UNICEF to improve sanitation and hygiene in the developing countries, we are making progress in accelerating advocacy and forming toilet markets to develop a sustainable sanitary environment in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Tanzania, in collaboration with local governments. In FYE 2020, JPY 10 million from employees’ donation program Team Splash! and JPY 26 million raised from the 3rd annual Toilets for All cause-related marketing campaign in Japan contributed to these efforts. Similar campaigns are now underway worldwide to support LIXIL’s efforts to help improve global sanitation and hygiene.

LIXIL is strengthening its partnerships with various organizations. Last year, we signed a memorandum of understanding for collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to improve sanitation and access to clean water in developing economies. We are continuing to expand the network of support and cooperation including employees, end-users, and business partners around the world to help solve global sanitation and hygiene challenges.

In the area of Water Conservation & Environmental Sustainability, we accomplished the carbon intensity target we set in 2016 two years ahead of plan. Our new Environmental Vision 2050 aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from housing and lifestyle solutions, as well as our business operations, by 2050. In addition, we strive to become a leader in the field of preserving water and limited resources for future generations.

In Germany, GROHE converted all its production plants to run on green electricity in July 2019, which has led to being awarded a top ranking at the German Sustainability Award. In Japan, we participated in the Ministry of the Environment’s Practical Guide for Scenario Analysis in line with the TCFD Recommendations, using LIXIL Housing Technology’s sash door and ZEH as examples and are also continuing our shift to 100% renewable energy in our business centers. Furthermore, in response to the growing concerns of social issues related to plastics, we formulated the Plastic Action Statement to clarify our direction. Reflecting our leadership in water stewardship, LIXIL has been named in the CDP’s prestigious Water A List for the second consecutive year.

Regarding Diversity & Inclusion, we have committed to ensuring all of our products and services are based on our Universal Design concept by 2030.* Our Resilience Toilet, which operates on a minimal amount of water during emergencies, won the Japan Resilience Award 2019. We also established the Alternative Toilet designed to pursue an inclusive facility that transcends the conventional boundaries created by gender, disabilities, age, and other differences in our headquarter building.

In September 2020, LIXIL began selling a retrofittable electric door opener system called DOAC, which allows locking and unlocking, as well as automatic opening and closing of existing entrance doors, with a single remote control. This device provides support to people in wheelchairs and the elderly by making it easier when going in and out or answering the door. We have also presented a prototype of an AI toilet that uses image sensing technology to check the health of the elderly, and will continue to develop products and services that help enhance people’s everyday lives.

To foster a more inclusive environment in the company, we formed new Global Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) department in September 2019 to implement unified D&I strategies and measures across the organization. We have since newly established D&I Committee, chaired by CEO Kinya Seto, to ensure concrete D&I actions are driven by our most senior business leaders and executive officers. Also, amid the worldwide protests against social and racial injustice, we issued our D&I Statement, presenting the steps we will take to building a society free of discrimination and inequality. In recognition of our D&I initiatives, LIXIL has again been selected as a Nadeshiko Brand this year (which highlights Japanese corporations that actively promote women’s employment and advancement) and has also been awarded Gold in the PRIDE Index for the third consecutive year.

Pride in LIXIL’s commitment to a more sustainable society is felt throughout the company by employees and continues to grow. In FYE 2020, LIXIL Community Day, held annually across the organization for employees to contribute to their local communities at their own initiative, saw the participation numbers double from the previous year to over 15,000 employees across 33 countries.

The unprecedented spread of the COVID-19 has made us think about ways to continue our business and contribute to society while putting our employees’ health and safety first. Across the globe, people have been forced to change how they live and work; I believe LIXIL’s role in making better homes a reality has grown even more critical in the “new normal.”

LIXIL’s employees adapted swiftly to these changes and engaged in numerous organic activities to help their communities, such as setting up handwashing stands in hospital lobbies in Vietnam and creating and distributing face masks to medical personnel in North America and Mexico. We even had an employee lend their camper van to a local hospital so frontline workers could have a place to shower and rest outside of the hospital. Employees are sharing information on their initiatives and sparking collaborations across regions and geographies, and creating new activities via our internal social media platform. I am confident these employee-led activities will be the driving force for new innovations, and that the collaboration happening amongst employees across countries and regions will make us a stronger and more vital company.

In the current world where significant changes are needed, we are committed to paving the way to tackle social challenges in collaboration with various stakeholders, including our employees, customers, international organizations, and business partners.

* Applicable for products and services provided in Japan

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