Key Priority Issues and SDGs for SMBC Group


Priority Issues (Materiality) that SMBC Group Should Address


We have reviewed our priority issues and derived three new themes – “Environment,” “Next Generation,” and “Community” – as our medium- to long-term priority issues that form the core of the SMBC Group’s CSR activities. For each theme, we are also focusing on “where we want to be ten years from now” by clarifying matters and issues to be addressed and taking action on them.

Priority Issues (Materiality) that SMBC Group Should Address

Review of Priority Issues (Materiality)


In light of constantly changing social trends and a reassessment of the relative importance of the Group's priority issues among its stakeholders, and in order to adapt our CSR activities to these developments, in fiscal 2013 SMBC Group reviewed our priority issues and have derived three new themes – “Environment,” “Next Generation,” and “Community” – as our medium- to long-term priority issues that form the core of the SMBC Group’s CSR activities. In identifying these priority issues, we made use of the G4 sustainability reporting guidelines issued by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and with participation from all Group companies, we derived an order of priority for various social issues. We also engaged in dialog with experts to assess the relative importance assigned by our stakeholders to the issues.
Regarding these three priority issues, since fiscal 2014 SMBC Group has actively engaged with internal and external stakeholders, reviewed them and the issues to be addressed based on them, and worked to strengthen related initiatives at Group companies.

Identifying the Issues

Step 1
Selection and prioritization of issues


We derived around 150 wide-ranging CSR issues from the GRI Guidelines (G4), utilizing the ISO 26000 framework, and based on the participation of each of the Group companies.
We then assigned an order of priority to these issues from the standpoint of our stakeholders. They were first placed into two categories - “our medium-to long term priority issues (environment, next generation, and community),” and “key issues to be addressed on solid management base.”

Standards used for reference in prioritization

Importance to Stakeholders

  • International frameworks such as the GRI Guidelines
  • Items to be researched or pointed by the Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)-related institutions
  • Suggestions from the strategy advisor to the SMBC Group CSR Committee

Importance to SMBC Group

  • Priority issues from 10 Group companies
  • Conformity with SMBC Group’s Business Mission, business ethics, and medium-term management plan
  • Assessment of risks and possible business opportunities (potential for enhancing enterprise value) in line with pursuit of sustainability

Step 2
Reexamination and identification through dialog with experts

In February 2014, we conducted a dialog with selected group of experts on our “issues thought likely to be important over the medium-to-long term,” and “issues that must be effectively addressed in order to construct a solid management base” to check, from the perspective of social nature, environment and global issues whether sufficient consideration and recognition had been given to all the issues that should be put forward as candidate priority issues, and to ensure that no important issues had slipped through the net.
After carrying out step 2, we conducted revision in line with the opinions expressed, and identified the priority issues to be addressed by SMBC Group after receiving the approval of the experts.

Step 3
Reporting to Group top management, and receiving approval

In March 2014, the Group’s Management Committee gave approval for the priority issues (Materiality) that SMBC Group should address through the Group CSR Committee and the Corporate Sustainability Meeting.
Moreover, approval was received for the examination of specific methods of addressing priority issues after discussion and review with stakeholders both within and outside the Group and each Group company.

Step 4
Review through engagement

From July 2014 we have collected opinions from in and outside our Group through employee surveys held during internal training and external surveys in our CSR report, which contains the priority issues (Materiality) that SMBC Group should address.
As for other efforts, we are holding a dialogue with stakeholders with the aim of reviewing issues we should concentrate on that are relevant to the time we live in.

Refer to the following for details on the stakeholder dialogue.

Dialogue with Stakeholders

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The SMBC Group is promoting action towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.
The aim is not only for emerging countries but for all countries, including developed countries, to achieve 17 goals and 169 targets related to poverty and inequality, education, the environment and other areas. As a financial group, SMBC Group believes that it is capable of contributing to all 17 goals of the SDGs through Group company businesses, but going forward we will focus on the following goals in particular based on the discussion with our business units and our Group Management Committee held in March 2017.

SMBC Group’s 4 business units: Retail, Wholesale, International, and Global Markets

Business strategy of Business Units

SDGs to Achieve Through SMBC’s Businesses

  Environment Next Generation Community
Retail Cashless, transactions without bankbook
Electronic contract by tablets
Improve financial literacy
ESG investment trusts
Wholesale Assessment loan (ESG/SDGs Assessment loan, etc.) Support growing companies, taking initiatives to realize smart mobility Assessment loan (SMBC Workstyle Reform loan, etc.)
International Establish loan policy and support businesses regarding environmental/ social risk
Renewable energy projects
Take initiatives toward financial inclusion
(retail business in Asia, etc.)
Multi franchise strategy in Asia
Global markets Promote eco-business and reduce environmental burden through issuing green bonds Improve convenience of financial market through promotion of digitalization Provide solutions to form a healthy and active financial / capital market

We strive to achieve the following SDGs by strengthening our management base.

Management base