Seventeen goals in the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDG) program proposed by the United Nations are being brought into compliance by Asian companies as a competitive advantage.
These goals are aimed at solving problems ignored by companies when chasing profits such as deforestation, child labor abuse, and the exploitation of aquatic resources. The way of agricultural production as well as the use of fossil materials greatly affects climate change and biodiversity.
While some companies believe the SDG is a tightening their wallet, some see it as an opportunity to retain customers, investors and create future value.
Global companies such as Walmart, McDonald’s and Nestle have signed promises to only sell eggs from uncovered hens (the more they are kept in a cage, the more eggs they will lay) by 2025 while a Singaporean company has pledged to supply all eggs from uncovered hens by 2020.
“Chicken eggs not locked up will cost about 50 yen (47 US cents) per fruit, compared with the current price of 20 yen”, Mariko Kawaguchi, chief researcher at the Daiwa Japan Research Institute forecasts, very few Japanese companies be aware that they are producing unreasonably low prices.
India Tata Steel Corporation has officially launched sustainable development since 2011. CP Foods from Thailand has committed to the United Nations program. Malaysia’s United Plantations established a joint venture with Japanese firm Fuji Oil Holdings in November 2017 to produce products from palm oil in a sustainable manner, spending 4 billion yen building one. the world’s largest eco-friendly factories. The factory is put into operation in June 2018, products will be exported to major food companies in Europe.
Mikio Sakai, chief strategist at Fuji Oil Holdings, emphasized that this move is looking to the future. Producing environmentally friendly goods with good working conditions will increase costs, but according to Mr. Sakai, more and more companies are accepting to pay high prices for such products.
Many companies fear that investment in sustainable development will lose competitive advantage because rising prices will push consumers to bear. But consumer perceptions are also changing, says Maruhon, a distributor of imported wood flooring in Japan.
“Replacing conifer and conifer from the conventional forest with timber from licensed forests pushes the price up 7-8%, in addition to higher transportation and primary processing costs but home builders and developers are looking for Such materials, on the basis of consumers are also satisfied to pay higher prices to contribute to forest protection “, said Chairman Taku Kato.
“By 2030, people born in the early millennium are very sensitive to sustainable development, they will be decision makers in companies, they are also consumers,” commented Mr. Shunsuke Tanahashi, head of Japan office of Swiss investment management firm Partners Group with Nikkei Asian Review.
* Source: Saigon Economic Times