Strengthening our sustainability action

May 13, 2021

Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. (President & CEO: Tatsufumi Sakai) has strengthened our action on the three points listed below, based on thorough discussions by our business execution and supervisory lines and with attention to both opportunity and risk. We have taken this step in light of the growth in efforts to respond to climate change, as seen in the low-carbon and net-zero pledges being made by countries around the world, and the changes in the social context, such as the increased emphasis on considering the environment and human rights across the value chain. Beyond those factors, our stronger action also reflects our own strategy and initiatives and our stakeholders' evaluations and expectations.

1. Climate change
  • Clarified our transformation to a portfolio aligned with the targets in the Paris Agreement
  • Set targets for reducing the Mizuho group's greenhouse gas emissions, with the aim of becoming carbon neutral
  • Enhanced measures to address transition risk (expanded engagement, improved risk control for carbon-related sectors, etc.)
2. Environmental and social risk in the value chain
  • Enhanced environmental and social management in financing and investment activity
  • Enhanced responsible procurement
3. Sustainable business
  • Enhanced solutions based on engagement

1. Enhancing measures to address climate change

At Mizuho, we have recently enhanced our measures to address climate change by (1) clarifying our long-term targets and goals for 2050 in our Environmental Policy, (2) setting targets to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions group-wide, and (3) strengthening our risk management. Going forward, we will continue to develop a specific pathway towards our goals.

(1) Clarified our transformation to a portfolio aligned with the targets in the Paris Agreement (Attachment 1)

Last April, we established an Environmental Policy clarifying our stance on climate change as well as our environmental awareness and specific actions that we will take on environmental initiatives, including those targeting climate change, as we work toward transitioning to a low-carbon society. Our group companies also adopted similar policies, allowing us to pursue our initiatives in an integrated manner.

In April 2021, we revised our Environmental Policy to further clarify the below points of our stance on climate change.

  • Contribution to achieving a low-carbon society (net zero greenhouse gas emissions) by 2050
  • Support for the objective of the Paris Agreement ("strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change")
  • Direction of finance flows towards achievement of the Paris Agreement targets and phased transformation to a finance portfolio aligned with said targets

(2) Set new targets for reducing the Mizuho group's greenhouse gas emissions, with the aim of becoming carbon neutral

Mizuho group1 worldwide greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1 and 2)2 targets

  • Achieve a reduction of 35% compared to FY2019 levels by FY2030
  • Aim to become carbon neutral by FY2050

(3) Strengthened the management of climate change risks

A. Designated the rapid advancement of social change occurring due to climate change as a "top risk"

At Mizuho, we previously positioned climate change risks as "emerging risks" (major risks that must be addressed in the next few years despite the fact that materialization of the risks will occur over a medium- to long-term time frame) and maintained periodic monitoring of related indicators. In FY2021, we have designated the rapid advancement of social change occurring due to climate change as a "top risk", and we are enhancing our monitoring. This elevates its positioning as a matter that must be addressed urgently and reflects our awareness that, with both policy and corporate initiatives rapidly gaining momentum, there is a risk that delaying our response and not taking adequate initiative would have a significant impact on our business.

B. Expanded scope of scenario analysis based on TCFD Recommendations

We have expanded the scope of our next scenario analysis, currently ongoing, as below. The analysis methodology, results, and other details will be published in our TCFD Report 2021 (Japanese version to be released in June, English version to follow at a later date).

  Previous Next (underlines indicate changes)
Transition risk:
Targeted sectors

Electric utilities (in Japan)

Oil, gas & coal sectors (in Japan)

Electric utilities (worldwide)

Oil, gas & coal sectors (worldwide)

Automobiles (worldwide)

Physical risk:
Target of analysis

Acute risks (risk of wind and water-related damage from typhoons and other storms)

Chronic risks (risk of increase in heat stroke and infectious disease)

C. Enhanced response to transition risks

(a) Expanded engagement

In light of our FY2019 scenario analysis results and other factors3, since FY2020 we have been further strengthening our constructive dialogue (engagement) with our clients concerning their efforts to address climate change. Providing solutions based on a deep understanding of our clients' challenges and needs allows us to capture business opportunities and strengthen risk management.

In FY2020, as part of our efforts towards risk management and responsible financing and investment, we undertook engagement with approximately 900 clients and, among these, in-depth engagement with approximately 70 large credit and similar clients.

  FY2019 FY2020
Engagement with clients Approx. 530 clients Approx. 900 clients4
Target clients Credit clients in sectors subject to the Environmental and Social Management Policy for Financing and Investment Activity (oil and gas, coal-fired power generation, coal mining, palm oil, lumber, and pulp, etc.)
  In-depth engagement with clients Approx. 30 clients Approx. 70 clients
  Examples of engagement topics
  • Status of measures to address critical environmental and social risks in each sector
  • Risks and opportunities related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues and climate change
  • Approaches to and response plans for transition risks (business structure transformation strategies and similar)
  • CO2 emissions and medium- to long-term reduction plans
  • Capital raising plans related to renewable energy business, technological development for CO2 emission reductions, etc.

(b) Risk control in carbon-related sectors (Attachment 2)

Taking into account our FY2019 scenario analysis results and the details of engagement given above, we assessed risk along two axes—our clients' sectors and our clients' measures to address transition risk—in order to identify high-risk areas. At Mizuho, in line with the TCFD Recommendations, we have been disclosing the percentage of our credit exposure in carbon-related sectors.5 Going forward, we will add our exposure in high-risk areas to our monitoring indicators and disclose this information alongside our exposure in carbon-related sectors.

In regard to high-risk areas, we are engaging with clients to encourage them to formulate effective strategies for transition risks, disclose their progress, and in some cases embark on business structure transformation towards a lower risk sector. In undertaking such engagement with our clients, if a client does not make progress on addressing their transition risks even after a certain period of time, we carefully consider our transactions with the client. In this way, we are enhancing our risk control and reducing our exposure in high-risk areas over the medium to long term.

(c) Revised target to reduce the outstanding credit balance for coal-fired power generation facilities

Regarding the target we set in FY2020 to reduce our outstanding credit balance for coalfired power generation facilities, we have moved up our target date for achieving a credit balance of zero from FY2050 to FY2040.

Target to reduce the outstanding credit balance for coal-fired power generation facilities based on our Environmental and Social Management Policy for Financing and Investment Activity
Before revision After revision
Reduce the FY2019 amount by 50% by FY2030, and achieve an outstanding credit balance of zero by FY2050 Reduce the FY2019 amount by 50% by FY2030, and achieve an outstanding credit balance of zero by FY2040


2. Strengthening our response to environmental and social risk in the value chain


(1) Environmentally and socially responsible financing and investment activity (Attachment 3)

At Mizuho, in light of the expectations and perspectives of our stakeholders and for the purpose of environmental and societal considerations in financing and investment, we previously established an Environmental and Social Management Policy for Financing and Investment Activity.
We have now enhanced our policy as follows to further address climate change, biodiversity, and human rights.

Revision details6 Environmental/social risks on which we are taking stronger action with these revisions
Climate change
(Greenhouse gas reduction, protection of forests (carbon sinks), etc.)
Biodiversity Human rights
(Labor issues, respect for indigenous peoples, etc.)
New sector Transition risk
Large-scale hydropower generation
Large-scale agriculture
(soybeans and similar)
Tightened response policy Coal-fired power generation
Coal mining
Oil and gas
Palm oil

(2) Responsible procurement

To enhance our responsible procurement initiatives and positively contribute to development of a sustainable society together with our suppliers, we have established a Procurement Policy (Attachment 4). The policy clarifies our basic approach to procurement and our requirements for suppliers from the perspectives of consideration for the environment (E); respect for human rights (S); and compliance and information management (G).

Going forward, we will apply this policy to our own procurement and also urge our suppliers to pursue ESG initiatives in their business operations. In doing so, we will enhance ESG risk management throughout the supply chain.

3. Strengthening support for sustainable businesses

Sustainability issues such as climate change, aging populations, and declining birthrates constitute important structural changes in the business environment for our clients as well.
Our engagement with our clients is a starting point from which we strive to meet their diversifying needs to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ESG issues. Under this approach, we have been proactively developing and providing both financial and non-financial solutions.

Main results of sustainable business support
  • Sustainable finance and environmental finance7 to positively contribute to the creation of finance flows aimed at achieving the SDGs
    Results (preliminary figures): ¥7.1 trillion (of which, ¥2.6 trillion in environmental finance)

(FY2019 to FY2020 total)

  • Development and provision of new solutions meeting clients' diversifying needs
    • Began offering sustainability-linked bond and transition loans (both first in Japan)
    • Launched SDG initiative support finance for middle-market and small- and medium-sized enterprises
    • Launched a new investment product, the Global ESG High-Quality Growth Equity Fund (no currency hedge) (also known as "Future World (ESG)")
    • Launched the private data trust "Letter to the Future"
    • Expanded information and consulting on sustainability

To respond more rapidly to our clients' expanding needs, we have further enhanced our structure for promoting sustainable business—expanding our sustainable business planning and promotion as well as our sustainability support functions, which leverage our research and consulting insights. In addition, we have also deepened our global, groupwide coordination.

Going forward, we will further enhance our engagement tailored to the particular characteristics of each of our client segments, look into sustainability strategies with our clients, work proactively towards the worldwide transition to a low-carbon society and the development of a sustainable society, and strive to improve both our own and our clients' corporate value (Attachment 5).

Looking ahead

Our group-wide initiatives were recognized in the Japan Ministry of the Environment's 2nd ESG Finance Awards Japan, with Mizuho Financial Group receiving a Gold Award (Minister of the Environment's award) and Mizuho Securities receiving a Bronze Award.8

The awards have encouraged us even more to continue strengthening our initiatives towards achieving a sustainable society (our sustainability action).

In the near future, to further accelerate diversity and inclusion beginning with women's empowerment, we plan to join the 30% Club Japan, which aims to increase the proportion of women in important decision-making bodies of companies.

In addition to promoting our stronger sustainability action to executive officers and employees at each of our group companies, ensuring that they have an understanding of sustainability topics to enable valuable engagement with clients, we will continue to enhance communication with our varied stakeholders.

We are also focusing on improving our disclosures and will soon release our TCFD Report 2021 (June), Integrated Report (July), ESG Databook (August), and SASB Index (September). (Dates listed are for Japanese versions. Release dates for English versions may be later.)



Attachment 1 Environmental Policy - Revision details and full text (PDF/621KB)

Attachment 2 Framework for risk control in carbon-related sectors (PDF/203KB)

Attachment 3 Environmental and Social Management Policy for Financing and Investment Activity – Main revisions and overview (PDF/493KB)

Attachment 4 Procurement Policy (PDF/225KB)

Attachment 5 Status of sustainable business initiatives (PDF/430KB)


1. Applies to 8 group companies (Mizuho Financial Group, Mizuho Bank, Mizuho Trust & Banking, Mizuho Securities, Mizuho Research & Technologies, Asset Management One, Mizuho Private Wealth Management, and Mizuho Americas).

2. Scope 1: Direct emissions of greenhouse gases from company-owned or -controlled sources (such as from burning of fuel). Scope 2: Indirect emissions of greenhouse gases from the use of energy or similar resources provided by other parties.

3. FY2019 scenario analysis results: Analyzed carbon-related sectors in Japan using two scenarios: one with no transformation of the present business structure and one with such transformation. We confirmed that the scenario with transformation of the present business structure, while involving some impacts in the short term, would limit the increase in credit costs over the medium to long term (lesser or no fossil fuel dependency would improve business performance). For further details, see our TCFD Report 2020.

4. Expanded the scope of clients with which to engage by revising the standards for the oil and gas sector (expanding from clients with a credit balance of USD 50 million or more to all credit clients), adding the coal mining sector, and making other changes. In FY2020, we engaged with all credit clients in fossil fuel-related sectors, as well as all credit clients in the palm oil sector.

5. Carbon-related sectors: Classified according to the TCFD Recommendations (includes the Energy and Utilities sectors as defined by the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) but not water utilities, independent power producers, or renewable energy businesses).

6. For further details, see Attachment 3.

7. Target: ¥25 trillion in sustainable finance (of which ¥12 trillion in environmental finance), FY2019 - FY2030 total

8. See our press release dated February 24, 2021:


PDF for print (PDF/2,201KB)

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