What is Our Mission in Today’s World?—Transforming Ourselves Towards a Post-COVID-19 World and Constantly Taking on New Challenges to Realize a Sustainable Society
Chairman and CEO
All-out drive to battle COVID-19, contributing to economic recovery
COVID-19 began to spread through the world like wildfire at the start of 2020, and is showing no signs of waning. In the course of its spread to all parts of the world, many lives have been lost. I would like to express my deepest condolences to all persons grieving the loss of their loved ones and at the same time, to express my great admiration and appreciation to all the essential workers on the frontlines, especially medical professionals who are battling the disease every day.
COVID-19 has brought drastic changes to people’s lives, restricting the global movement of people and goods and necessitating lockdowns in various cities with restraints on gatherings to deter the spread. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) envisions a sharp 4.4% drop in global economic growth for 2020. Although coordination among nations is growing for a drive to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs), responding to COVID-19 has become an issue for all of humankind requiring urgent action. Unless we defeat COVID-19, socioeconomic activities cannot be restored and this will make the SDGs extremely difficult to achieve. We must bring together all our wisdom and knowledge from around the world and work together to overcome this pandemic.
To help the economy regain its vitality and to maintain and build business activities, companies must explore new business possibilities for the post-COVID-19 world. To defeat COVID-19 as quickly as possible, all the employees in the Fujifilm Group are taking concerted action to fulfill the Group’s mission and face this challenge head on.
Taking concrete action to resolve social issues through business activities
We are aware that responding and finding a solution to COVID-19 is a critical social issue and we are mobilizing all available knowledge and technologies to help prevent the further spread of the pandemic and to contribute to life after COVID-19.
In the healthcare business, which is one of our key business areas, we are implementing a range of preventive, diagnostic and treatment activities. In the area of prevention, we receive contract vaccine manufacturing and provide sterilization products that utilize Fujifilm’s unique antibacterial technology developed through research into silver. In diagnosis, we are developing and selling reagents and detection kits that drastically reduce PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing times, and supplying diagnostic systems that employ X-rays and ultrasound. In addition, we are involved in research into AI technology that can help to diagnose COVID-19 pneumonia with medical institutions in Japan. A leading example in treatment methods is Avigan® Tablet, an influenza anti-viral drug. The efficacy of Avigan was confirmed in Phase III clinical trial conducted in Japan, and in October 2020 we filed an Application for Partial Changes to manufacturing and marketing approval matters of Avigan to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan. Mass production has started in response to demand so that the drug can be distributed worldwide as rapidly as possible.
Our activities are not restricted to the healthcare business. We have been involved in activities to ease a sense of anxiety for people who are becoming drained with the ongoing pandemic through “the power of photography.” The increasingly universal use of face masks today has made it difficult to detect facial expressions. In particular, the appearance of medical professionals wearing protective suits may heighten anxiety among their patients. We are currently launching a movement to reduce patient anxiety by using instant camera instax to capture the smiling face of each worker in a portrait photo that the person can wear on their protective suits.
Other activities to support life after COVID-19 include developing a remote work environment to allow people to work regardless of time and place with our network security service beat and placing floor markers in public spaces to help manage social distancing.
Many of these activities, however, are not easy to implement. They are effective only when our employees around the world take action to defeat this thread to people’s lives and to find ways to apply what we have to overcome the difficulties with a strong sense of mission. Only then will our aim of “solving social issues through our business activities” take concrete form. I am proud of the activities underway in the Group today and this has renewed my determination to ensure that the Group becomes an ever more essential presence in our society.
The entire team committing to address climate change and achieve CSR targets
The outbreak of this new infectious disease can be attributed to global warming and the changes in the ecosystem brought on by the population explosion and the accompanying rapid growth in economic activity. Global warming is believed to be the cause of the rapidly increasing scale of natural disasters like the massive flooding resulting from the huge rainstorms and typhoons that occur nearly every year in Japan and hurricanes in the United States. Personally, I believe that global warming, alongside infectious diseases, is a major threat to the whole of humanity.
This is why we are committed to achieving the goals of Sustainable Value Plan 2030 (SVP 2030), the CSR Plan we have started to implement and which comprises six priority areas: the environment, health, daily life, work style, supply chain and governance. In the Plan, our response to global warming is especially important. This July, we revised upward the environmental targets for 2030 to make them more ambitious. The target for reducing CO2 emissions throughout the entire product lifecycle from raw material procurement to manufacturing, transportation, use and disposal has been raised from 30% to 45% compared to the 2013 level. With this revision, we obtained certification from the international environmental initiative Science Based Targets (SBT) that our target has been scientifically proven to achieve well below the 2°C (WB2°C) set in the Paris Agreement. To contribute to reducing CO2 emissions in society, we have announced that we are raising the targets for the sales percentage for products certified under our own Green Value Products that contribute significantly to reducing environmental impact to 60% by FY2030 and that all our businesses will produce certified products. We are working to raise our employees’ awareness of climate change and other environmental issues, to make the targets announced in SVP 2030 their own targets and to take action to achieve them.
Unceasing efforts to tackle challenges and continue to provide outstanding value to society
I believe that the mission of a company is to supply products and services that provide outstanding value and solutions that contribute to social progress. Throughout history, human beings have faced numerous crises including disease, disasters, wars and other calamities. Each time, people and organizations around the world overcame the crisis together and opened the path into a new world. In this respect, a crisis presents an opportunity to bring dramatic change to society. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed the speed of social change, accelerating infrastructure development and building the momentum to spur society and governments toward digitization. Business entities must likewise undergo reform in response to the needs and demands that have emerged in society. In fact, the Fujifilm Group has experienced several crises in the past, including the rapid advances in digitization and the 2008 world financial crisis, and we have survived to create new values.
Our corporate direction for this year is “Constantly Take on New Challenges as an ‘All-Fujifilm’ Entity.” In April 2021, Fuji Xerox will change its corporate name to FUJIFILM Business Innovation, with determination to bring change to the businesses of its customers. Notwithstanding the uncertainties posed by the pandemic, we plan to embrace this opportunity to accelerate our change. We take pride in our own innovative technologies, our spirit of not being afraid of change and deep commitment to contribute to society. No matter how imposing the social problems may seem, we must overcome them. We have a strong determination to assemble all the strengths and capabilities of our employees and take on challenges unceasingly so that we can continue to contribute to the development of a sustainable society.