Comparing the top ranked Japanese companies for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Toyo Keizai’s 2022 rankings* with the 2007 rankings shows how the Japanese corporate landscape has changed. The three telecoms companies – NTT, NTT DoCoMo and KDDI – have taken over the top 3 positions. In 2007 the top 3 positions went to the heavy engineering and electronics companies Toshiba, Hitachi and Canon. Sharp, Panasonic. Fujifilm and Sony also made appearances over the years, as did automotive companies such as Denso, Toyota and Nissan.
The woes of Toshiba, Hitachi, Sharp and Nissan over the past 15 years are well documented but although Toshiba and Hitachi are in the 2022 top 50, Nissan and Sharp are at 437 and 179 respectively. Canon, Panasonic, Fujifilm and Sony are still in the top 50 along with other electronics and IT companies such as Fujitsu, NEC, Omron, Mitsubishi Electric and Seiko Epson. Denso and Toyota are all still in the top 50 along with other automotive companies such as Aisin, Bridgestone, Isuzu and Honda. Despite being tobacco or drinks companies, JTI is ranked at 7, down from #4, Suntory is at #8, one down from #7 in 2021, Asahi at 28, up from #33 and Kirin at #31, down from #10.
A Japanese trading company (shosha) has entered the top 10 for the first time. Mitsui has shot up from #64 in 2021 to #4 – all the more remarkable as it used to be seen as one of the more hardcore traditionalists of the 5 big shosha. The second highest ranked shosha is Itochu, up to #22 from #37. Sumitomo Corporation is at #40, down from #26 and Mitsubishi Corporation is at #45 up from #58. Marubeni is somewhat lagging the other shosha at #112, up from #143. Toyo Keizai singled out Mitsui’s distributed power supply project, using solar power and storage batteries for non-electrified areas of India and use of carbon offsets through a company owned forest as contributing to its high ranking.
Some of the companies whose rankings have fallen considerably include Nidec (down from 67 to 174, scoring low on environment) and Recruit, down from #62 to 172, also scoring low on environment and Ricoh, down from #47 to #217, with a lower score in HR.
*500 companies ranked by scores out of 600 for finance (300), HR (100), governance (100) and environment (100).
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