We participate in a variety of initiatives both in and outside Japan, from a global perspective and while taking into consideration our role as a financial institution, in an effort to promote activities aimed at forming a sustainable society.
The United Nations Global Compact came into existence in July 2000 with the endorsement of Kofi Annan, who was then the UN's Secretary-General. Through ten principles addressing matters like human rights, labor, the environment, and anti–corruption, the UN Global Compact encourages companies and other organizations throughout the world to support and act in ways consistent with the ten principles. Mizuho signed on as a supporter of the UN Global Compact in 2006.
By participating in activities such as the SDG- and ESG-related working groups of the Global Compact Network Japan (a local network promoting the UN Global Compact in Japan), we are sharing information and views on the advancement of sustainability initiatives.
The Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is an international partnership of financial institutions that strives to identify, disseminate, and promote the best environmental and sustainable practices in the various operations in which financial institutions are involved. Mizuho became a signatory to the UNEP FI in 2006.
The Principles for Responsible Banking are a framework aiming for the sustainable development of banks and society in alignment with the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. The Principles enable banks to identify where they have the potential to make the most significant positive and negative impacts, and provide a framework for banks to set and work towards strategies and targets in line with initiatives in these identified areas, and to be transparent in their disclosures.
Mizuho signed the Principles for Responsible Banking when they were launched in September 2019.
Mizuho signs Principles for Responsible Banking (PDF/54KB)
Principles for Financial Action towards a Sustainable Society （Principles for Financial Action for the 21st Century）
In 2010, the Expert Committee on Environment and Finance of the General Policy Committee of the Japan Ministry of the Environment Central Environment Council recommended the development of a Japanese version of the principles for financial action for the environment, as a framework for expanding environmental finance initiatives.
This resulted in efforts to create such a code of conduct, with the aim of expanding the scope and improving the quality of environmental finance in Japan.
The drafting committee, for which the Ministry of the Environment served as secretariat, held discussions across seven meetings beginning in September 2010, and the Principles for Financial Action towards a Sustainable Society （Principles for Financial Action for the 21st Century）, which address a wide range of issues including environmental challenges, were set forth in October 2011.
As a member of the drafting committee and working group, Mizuho actively participated in discussions for the formulation of the principles and sector guidelines, and became an official signatory in November 2011.
Mizuho Bank became a signatory in April 2018.
Mizuho Bank (formerly Mizuho Corporate Bank) recognized early on that the Equator Principles would become a new business standard in international financing for environmental and social risk management in large–scale projects and therefore became the first Asian bank to adopt the Equator Principles in October 2003. Taking advantage of our long experience of implementing the Equator Principles in project finance, we now play a leadership role among Equator Principles Financial Institutions as a member of the Steering Committee.
Initiatives for the Equator Principles
Mizuho Trust & Banking and Asset Management One have signed on to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which ensure that institutional investors, pension funds, and other stakeholders incorporate environmental, social, and corporate governance issues into their decision–making processes for investment.
Mizuho Trust & Banking and Asset Management One both received A+ ratings in all categories in 2020.
The Impact Management Project (IMP) is the world's largest forum for building global consensus on how to measure and manage impact, with over 2,000 participating organizations dedicated to promoting sustainability, including global bodies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Organization for Economic Co–operation and Development (OECD). In February 2020, Mizuho Financial Group and Mizuho Bank became the first Japanese financial institutions to join the IMP and the first Asian financial institutions to join its Advisory Group, playing a leading role in promoting the implementation of impact management.
Mizuho becomes the first Japanese financial institution to advise the Impact Management Project
The Montreal Carbon Pledge is a new initiative for reducing greenhouse gases, established at the PRI in Person global annual conference held in Montreal, Canada in September 2014. Institutional investors that are signatories to the pledge measure and disclose the greenhouse gas emissions of equities portfolios, or portions thereof, that they manage.
Asset Management One (formerly DIAM Asset Management) signed the Montreal Carbon Pledge in October 2015.
The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) is a task force led by representatives of the private sector, established in December 2015 based on recommendations from the Financial Stability Board in order to enhance the availability of corporate information related to climate change. It issued its final report in June 2017. Mizuho supports the intent and aims of the Recommendations of TCFD and will conduct initiatives based on the TCFD framework to work toward more advanced disclosure.
Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) is a global, industry-led initiative that enables financial institution to measure and disclose the indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emission of their loans and investments.
Mizuho Financial Group has become the first Japanese financial institution to join PCAF in 2021. This is also in line with our policy of positively contributing to the achievement of a low-carbon society (achievement of net-zero GHG emissions) by 2050 and of undertaking transformation to a portfolio aligned with the targets in the Paris Agreement.
Climate Action 100+ is an initiative led by global investors to engage companies that are large emitters of greenhouse gases worldwide.
Asset Management One has participated in the initiative since its establishment in December 2017. Because climate change is a global issue, we believe that coordinating global resources is essential. Our ESG analysts in Tokyo and our analysts at offices outside Japan work together on the initiative.
CDP is an international NPO that provides companies and investors with a global system to measure, disclose, manage, and share vital environmental information.
In 2005, Mizuho Financial Group joined a project run by the CDP and institutional investors, which calls for companies to disclose both their strategies for addressing climate change and their greenhouse gas emissions. Mizuho Financial Group has also been participating in a project that calls for water–related disclosures since fiscal 2010.
The Climate Bonds Initiative is an investor-focused international NPO, based in London, working solely to mobilize the USD100 trillion bond market for climate change solutions. CBI promotes large-scale investment in projects and assets necessary for a rapid transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy.
Mizuho Securities has entered into a partnership agreement with CBI to enhance its expertise in environmental finance.
The Net Zero Asset Managers initiative is an initiative by global asset management companies to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Asset Management One has participated in the initiative since its launch in December 2020 and is committed to contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and joining worldwide measures to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The 30% Club Japan campaign aims to increase the ratio of women in important decision-making bodies of companies.
Mizuho Financial Group endorsed and joined the 30% Club Japan in July 2021.
Mizuho joins the 30% Club Japan
The ESG Disclosure Study Group carries out research related to ESG information disclosure with the goal of establishing harmony between the sustained development of society and the individual efforts of companies to enhance corporate value and growth.
Mizuho has been taking part in the study group since its establishment in June 2020.