SDGs and Business

岩崎 奈々子氏Nanako Iwasaki


大島 葉子氏Yoko Oshima

日本マイクロソフト株式会社執行役員 政策渉外・法務本部長

吉高 まり氏Mari Yoshitaka

フェロー プリンシパル・サステナビリティ・ストラテジスト

ナティニー・セーホー(ドーラ)氏Nattinee Sae-Ho (Dora)

Thrive Venture Builder CEO兼創設者

シャノン・カラヤナミトゥル氏Shannon Kalayanamitr

5G Catalyst Technologies Co., Ltd. CEO
ゴビ・パートナーズ アドバイザー兼パートナー

Nanako Iwasaki: “A stable energy source is the foundation of our basic life, and we do need to balance and pay attention to the effect it has on our ordinary lives, given we are still in the transition phase.”

Yoko Oshima: “You [younger generations] have a lot to offer and we [older generations] have the responsibility to pass the baton of this earth in a way that is sustainable.”

Mari Yoshitaka: “Partnership is very important; the financial industry must have a goal to match to any other goals in other industries and of the local people.”

Nattinee Sae-Ho (Dora): “All over the world, when people talk about sustainability, people often think about sustainability of the business, but not sustainability of the world.”

Shannon Kalayanamitr: (No good quotes, all too long and meandering, but since she’s the facilitator, maybe it’s ok to not have a quote here.)

SDGs are on the rise as the world moves on from talking about sustainability tomorrow to practicing sustainability today. Shannon Kalayanamitr, CEO of 5G Catalyst Technologies Co., Ltd., facilitated today’s roundtable session on SDGs in various areas of the business world alongside Nanako Iwasaki, portfolio manager at Nomura Asset Management in Japan; Nattinee Sae-Ho, CEO of Thrive Venture Builder Co., in Thailand; Mari Yoshitaka, Fellow and Principal Sustainability Strategist for Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co., in Japan, and Yoko Oshima, Assistant General Counsel, Head of Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs at Microsoft, Japan.

Ms. Kalayanamitr launched the discussion by acknowledging the concerning state of the world and why the need for commitment to SDGs is becoming even more crucial. She asked the panelists to share their personal experiences on how they use SDGs and ESGs in their work. Ms. Oshima, known for her commitment to diversity and social impact in Japan, explained what Microsoft has done in recent years to become more committed to SDGs. Ms. Yoshitaka discussed her process of empowering clients and provided some key insight on the role of ESG in promoting sustainable financial business across Japan.

Ms. Sae-Ho provided a fresh perspective from small-scale businesses. With a background in running start-ups, she shared valuable information on her process of SDG integration into small-scale businesses as well as her experience in assisting larger companies in creating new, creative ventures out of old business model problems. In line with the topic of creative problem solving, Ms. Yoshitaka revealed some of the challenges of SDG integration in SMEs in Japan. Ms. Iwasaki provided details on how she integrates ESGs in the investment process, giving some great insight on the subjectivity of ESGs and possible geopolitical and financial risks. She referred to the current Ukraine crisis as a key example and further shared some great advice on which tools investors should use to encourage and activate ESG development in the face of the energy security crisis.

The Q&A section involved a lot of back-and-forth creative problem solving. One university student from Tokyo asked a great question on how different values can align to achieve collaborative sustainability. Ms. Sae-Ho gave some examples of current challenges in global partnership and advice on how to become more sustainable. Ms. Oshima highlighted the gap of tools and resources between SMEs and large companies, and pointed towards the importance of the youth as the future of SDGs. As CEO of a smart-city tech company, Ms. Kalayanamitr explained her precise methodology for dealing with the lack of frameworks and guidelines across political, economic, and social levels, and outlined the biggest challenges she has encountered.

The panelists also discussed the historical link between developed countries, large-scale companies, and higher pollution discharge and how the world should collaborate to handle the climate crisis that everyone is facing together. The conversation explored the complexity of the issue, but also provided examples and approach models from the panelists’ personal experiences in the world of SDGs and business. The excellent session ended in a lively conversation about the development of metrics and frameworks for SDGs.