What is our raison d'etre?
To create new values and contribute to social development
—this is our mission.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Due to the Japanese government's audacious financial measures and flexible fiscal policies launched at the end of last year, we are beginning to see signs of a breakaway from the long-lasting deflation and high appreciation of the yen. If all companies, including ourselves, play their roles in line with the growth strategy implemented by the government to foster private investment, the "three arrows" fired by the government will together help Japan get back on the track to growth. To achieve this, both the public and private sectors need to make even more effort.
During the decade of deflation and the strong yen, the Fujifilm Group also faced a sharp decrease in demand for photographic film, which once represented the company's core business field. Because of the faster than expected acceleration of digitization, global demand for photographic film continued to decrease after reaching its peak in 2000, and subsequently in 2011, the demand dropped to only 5% of the peak. We then found ourselves facing triple difficulties: an endangered core business, deflation, and a strong yen. To overcome these difficulties, the management team and employees in the Group made a concerted effort to implement structural reforms and develop new business. Through this "second foundation" to transform the crisis into a business opportunity, the Fujifilm Group has transformed itself into a corporate entity with a wide spectrum of businesses.
On the international front, emerging economies have achieved remarkable growth and driven the globalization of the world economy during these past 10 years. China outstripped Japan in terms of GDP in 2010 and became the world's second largest economic power. The ASEAN countries, Brazil, Russia, India, Turkey, and African countries are also continuing their growth. Under these circumstances the Japanese government has concluded economic partnership agreements (EPA) with a range of countries and is making preparations to participate in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which is providing proactive support for companies in expanding their businesses on a global scale. In its rapid response to these changes, Fujifilm has also increased its bases and staff mainly in emerging economies, and is expanding its businesses to reflect the local situation in each country and region.
In January 2014, Fujifilm will celebrate the 80th anniversary of our foundation. Since starting domestic production of photographic film based on self-developed technologies, the company has continued to make social contributions by developing and selling various materials and devices. Now, through this "second foundation," the Fujifilm Group provides products ranging from ASTALIFTbranded cosmetics, the high-end X series digital camera for personal use to office printers, multifunctional devices, a series of highly functional materials, printing materials, and medical equipment for business use. We also offer a wide variety of products including pharmaceuticals.
The Fujifilm Group has now introduced its G-up activities to enhance onsite capabilities in the workplace and to achieve its medium-term management plan VISION 80 for the continued growth of the Group. As the first precondition for a company to provide society with valuable products and continue to grow, it is vital that we enhance onsite capabilities at each division and that all company employees work as professionals in their respective workplaces.
Each of our 80,000 Group employees has his/her own workplace and each workplace has its own tasks for today and objectives for tomorrow. Through the G-up activities, I hope that all members of the Group will improve their ability to understand the essentials, introduce subtle changes in the workplace, and develop their problemsolving skills. To ensure our dreams become reality, we need to break down with teamwork, integrating the abilities of each individual into a strong and vigorous team.
The Fujifilm Group's basic approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is to contribute to the sustainable development of society by putting into practice the Fujifilm Group's Corporate Philosophy: "Our overarching aim is to help enhance the quality of life of people worldwide with leading-edge, proprietary technologies, and realizing its Vision through sincere and fair business activities." As one of the specific actions to be taken to achieve this, we set an environmental target to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions by 30% relative to 2005 by 2020, and have been working hard to attain this target. We have introduced a range of measures at our manufacturing facilities, including replacing the fuel for in-house power generation by natural gas, introducing renewable energies, and being proactive in developing and introducing energy-saving technologies. In our product development, we are also promoting our "Design for Environment" initiative across all our businesses, while actively reducing the amount of CO2 emitted by our products.
Reflecting the increase in the number of business fields and geographical regions in which we operate, the requests we are receiving from our stakeholders are becoming more diversified. Now they are becoming stricter in their requests for us to achieve stable growth and return a profit for their investment, meet local social challenges, and contribute to the sustainable development of society at large.
In emerging economies in particular, although the countries as a whole are achieving rapid economic growth, local people are facing a range of social problems, including a lack of food and drinking water, delays in building social infrastructure, and health disparities. By sharing these problems and giving support to finding solutions to the problems in these countries, we will not only contribute to the social development of the region but also find opportunities to create new business.
It is of primary importance for a company to improve its corporate value, return a profit to society, and achieve sustainable growth as a going concern. To this end we must make better products, launch new businesses, and work to harmonize our aims with our customers and society at large.
At the beginning of the new fiscal year on April 1, 2013, I sent out a message to all Group employees to encourage them to solve problems with a sense of ownership. In order for the Fujifilm Group to continue to be a leading corporate entity, all of our employees need to see the various social problems occurring in the world, such as the depletion of resources and energy, climate change, and health disparities as their own issues, and both management teams and individual employees need to take action in their own workplace.
The Fujifilm Group's raison d'etre is to contribute to the sustainable development of society by making use of a range of advanced and unique technologies developed by the company. Acknowledging this, we will continue to take on the challenge of fostering continuing innovation into the future.