Corporate Social Responsibility
Over its long history, mankind has made astonishing strides in the arenas of politics, economics and culture. At present, humanity is facing new and serious challenges, which pose major threats to the sustainable development of society. What kind of contribution can we make as a comprehensive financial group to resolve the various issues facing humanity? We believe that continually asking ourselves this question and acting upon the answers is the essence of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a group.
Similar thoughts were running through our mind 400 years ago. From that time, the Sumitomo and Mitsui conglomerates have remained true to their original business spirit. In the past, the Sumitomo Group undertook large-scale afforestation programs to solve the problem of pollution around the Besshi copper mine, the Group’s starting venture on Shikoku Island. In order to return devastated mountainsides around the mine complex to their natural state, they invited experts to compile an afforestation plan with annual planting of over one million saplings.
Meanwhile, the Mitsui Group established the Mitsui Charity Hospital in Tokyo in the Meiji era (late 1800s) to provide basic medical services for those too poor to be covered by the health insurance system. Since then, the institution has evolved over the generations into today’s Mitsui Memorial Hospital.
SMFG has carried this DNA down to the present. We believe that we have further roles to play in resolving social issues through our core financial services business.
Financial institutions conduct business of a highly public nature, including financial intermediation through settlement and deposits and lending, fulfilling an important social infrastructure function. There is a saying in Japan that “companies are the public institutions of society,” and as SMFG is a comprehensive financial group based on core financial institutions, we believe it is necessary for us to become more highly aware of our role as a public institution.
The first thing that the Group must do to fulfill this important public role is to firmly maintain sound business management, and then provide our customers with higher value products and services on a stable basis. SMFG ranks among Japan’s leading financial services groups, and as a company bearing the names Sumitomo and Mitsui, each with nearly 400 years of history, we believe it is our responsibility to fulfill an active role toward ensuring the sustainable development of society as a whole.