Img header logo

ONO's Approach to CSR

Materiality (Important CSR Issues)

ONO has striven in CSR by defining important areas of focus based on the ISO 26000. In FY2018, in addition to responding to external requirements, we redefined our materiality (important CSR issues) to clarify CSR activity themes which we should emphasize. ONO is actively engaged in CSR according to the new materiality that we have established.The identification of issues and materiality analysis is performed every few years, and we are currently conducting a new materiality assessment in FY2021.

Step 1: Identify the Issues

We focused on the ISO 26000, the GRI Standards, the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact and the evaluation items for ‎socially responsible investment to broadly grasp and organize CSR issues in the business activities of ONO.

Step 2: Analyze Materiality

We analyze the CSR issues by importance from the point of view of ONO and importance based on expectations of our stakeholders, and then map each of those CSR issues on a horizontal and a vertical axis.

*Items for which importance was changed in FY 2021 are shown in bold type. For details, see Step 4: “Review" below.

The importance from the point of view of ONO was assessed by our directors, executive officers and CSR Committee Members based on our corporate policy, and priority and importance were evaluated for each issue.
The importance based on expectations of our stakeholders incorporates the feedback received from our shareholders and investors in addition to the evaluation of institutions that practice responsible investment as the representatives of stakeholders outside of ONO in order to determine the importance of each CSR issue. When we review the items and importance of materiality in the future, we will further incorporate the opinions of even greater number of stakeholders.

The results of this materiality analysis are deliberated and determined by the CSR Committee before gaining approval at the management strategy meeting chaired by the CEO.

Step 3: Verify Validity

For the materiality analysis in FY2018, we engaged in a dialogue with external experts about the process of our materiality analysis, the themes that are set and future initiatives to verify the validity of each important issue.

Makiko Akabane
Japan Representative, CSR Asia

Materiality Unique to ONOI think the process and flow to define materiality is fantastic. On the other hand, the materiality is hard to see as anything inherent to the “creation of innovative drugs” as a pharmaceutical company to be a bit frank. I think people outside would like to know more about materiality that is unique to ONO.
When revising the materiality, I hope ONO will incorporate ideas through communication with diverse stakeholders outside of the organization. In particular, by integrating ideas from health care providers, patients and employees who have the opportunity to interact with health care providers and patients, the materiality may become more unique to a pharmaceutical company—more unique to ONO.
In the future, the importance of access to healthcare, ethical treatment of animals and issues in the supply chain will grow with a mindset toward global expansion. In terms of access to healthcare, effort is required for the treatment of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases. The level of commitment and effort to address access to healthcare in low-income economies will also potentially become a very important issue as ONO sets its sights on globalization.

Kenji Fuma
Chief Executive Officer,
Neural Inc.

Incorporating a Long-term Financial Perspective even in MaterialityONO is going in the right direction with the overall flow of defining its materiality. Specifically, carefully identifying social and environmental issues in the first step of defining materiality is a great choice. ONO has picked up roughly 30 items from points of view that include the value chain and life cycle of its business. Problems I think will impact the pharmaceutical industry are included in the listed items, so I think ONO has taken the necessary steps.
I also do not see any major issues in the flow for defining materiality from social and environmental issues as a whole. However, I would like to see a stronger awareness from a financial perspective. The determination of materiality is a process to clarify the important issues for long-term business growth while taking the necessary steps toward the interests of specific stakeholders who are vital to ONO. I suggest that there is a room to improve the communication so that non-pharmaceutical companies can also understand the fact that ONO can foster its profitability and financial soundness by tackling with the material issues identifies in this occasion.
In the same way, indicating information about what financial impact can be expected, such as long-term business growth is key when setting KPI for the important issues that have been determined as well. I really hope ONO will design its KPI with awareness from a financial perspective too.

Step 4: Review

We review our materiality every year to adapt to external as well as internal environmental changes.
In FY2021, we reviewed the importance of each item in light of external information obtained from discussions with stakeholders and changes in the business environment surrounding us. As a result, we changed our materiality map as described below.

"Thorough compliance"
・The vertical axis "importance expected of us by our stakeholders" has been raised by one level.
・Reason: Based on the fact that some of our employees were convicted of bribery, we effort to ensure legal and regulatory compliance as the most important issues.

"Strengthening of corporate governance"
・The vertical axis “importance expected of us by our stakeholders” has been raised by one level. The title was also changed from “Strengthening of Governance for Globalization” to “Strengthening  of Corporate Governance.”
・Reason: As requirements for strengthening corporate governance are increasing, we are also expected to strengthen the governance with our anticipation of global business development.

"Improvement of access to healthcare"
・The horizontal axis “importance from the point of view of ONO” has been raised by one level.
・Reason: Improvement of access to healthcare is recognized as a social issue more strongly because of novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) and has become more important for us, as we aim to become a more global company.

"Respect for human rights"
・The vertical axis “importance expected of us by our stakeholders” and the horizontal axis “importance from the point of view of ONO” have been raised by one level.
・Reason: Human rights issues are among the conventional social issues, and companies are expected to actively contribute to the resolution of human rights issues.

Materiality Targets and Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are composed of 17 goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015 to address the challenges faced by the international community. Each materiality and the relevant SDGs are as follows:
We report and manage the progress of each materiality target every six months at management strategy meetings.

Materiality Relevant SDGs
Creation of innovative drugs 3, 9, 17
Assurance of product reliability and safety 16
Intellectual property strategies 3, 17
Promotion of human resource development 4, 5, 9
Thorough compliance 16
Implementation of responsible marketing and promotion activities 12, 16, 17
Stable supply of products 12, 17
Response to climate change 3, 7, 9, 13, 17
Strengthening corporate governance 16
Promotion of CSR procurement in supply chain management 8, 12, 16, 17
Building a work environment that ensures and sustains employment as well as fosters motivation 4, 5, 8

CSR Promotion Structure

To promote CSR activities, we have the CSR Committee in place, chaired by the Corporate Executive Officer in charge of CSR / Head of Corporate Communications, with the President, Representative Director, and Chief Executive Officer serving as the responsible person. The Committee, which mainly consists of managers from various divisions, deliberates and makes decisions on important issues and subjects for CSR activities. The activities of the Committee are regularly reported to the management. Important matters requiring consideration and decision-making by the management and further important subjects are reported to and discussed at the management strategy meeting and by the Board of Directors, respectively.


Participation in the United Nations Global Compact

In November 2017, we participated in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), which is composed of 10 principles advocated by the UN concerning human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. We comply with relevant laws and disseminate the Ten Principles of the Global Compact through our daily activities to ensure that all employees follow them.

The Ten Principles of the UNGC
《Human Rights》
  • 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.

Our Contribution to the SDGs

Contribution by ONO to the SDGs

We contribute to Goal 3, Goal 9 and Goal 17 in the SDGs through the creation of innovative drugs.
We strive to realize Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being at all ages as a research and development company specializing in prescription drugs based on our corporate philosophy to be dedicated to the fight against disease and pain. In response to the mortality rate of non-communicable diseases raised as a goal of the SDGs, we began to concentrate our research area into diseases such as cancers, immunological diseases and central nervous system disorders to contribute to the creation of original and innovative therapeutic medications for diseases for which medical needs have still not yet been satisfied. Furthermore, in addition to aid for diphtheria, whooping cough, diphtheria toxoid and tetanus toxoid vaccines as well as the hepatitis B vaccine to address infectious diseases, ONO contributes to therapeutic medications with low marketability, such as malaria, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, as well as to development of new therapeutic medications, such as vaccines and diagnostic pharmaceuticals, through participation in the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund.
In terms of Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, ONO contributes to encouraging innovation and building research and development infrastructure. To vitalize research and development in order to create new drugs, we of course not only invest in internal research and development but also provide grants, such as those for investigator-initiated clinical trials. Furthermore, the ONO Medical Research Foundation and ONO Pharma Foundation promote research to help build a bedrock for innovation through research grants to researchers overseas.
Moreover, we cannot separate ourselves from the duty to promote innovation or from Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. We will not only provide innovative drugs independently but also seek out and achieve a wide range of partnerships. Long before “open innovation” became a commonly used phrase, ONO advanced the development of new drugs through the use of state-of-the-art technology and expertise from various fields worldwide. At the same time, we have been actively working to introduce and draw on new candidate compounds for pharmaceuticals. In addition to alliances with venture companies and other pharmaceutical companies, we form partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders from universities and research institutes to government agencies, local communities and NPOs in an effort to resolve problems via open innovation. A list of our main partnerships can be found here.


Stakeholder engagement

We have to ensure legal compliance, corporate governance, and transparency. We believe that we also have to build and continue strengthening relationships with all stakeholders through business activities respecting their interests and dialogues with them, to attain sustained growth toward becoming a Global Specialty Pharma.
We adhere to the policy of promoting communication/constructive dialogues with all stakeholders including patients, healthcare professionals, shareholders, investors, suppliers, local communities, employees, relevant governmental agencies, and industrial associations, and disclosing to them necessary information accurately, fairly, impartially, and promptly.

Stakeholder Opportunity to Build/Strengthen Relationship
Patients and healthcare professionals Discovery of pharmaceutical products that bring true benefit to patients
Stable supply of high-quality pharmaceutical products
Information collecting and provision for proper drug usage
Shareholders and investors Stable return on investment through sustained growth
Information disclosure and dialogues to promote understanding
Provision of information on R&D and ESG
Suppliers Offering fair and transparent competitive opportunities
Promoting CSR procurement
Local communities Contributing to economic development
Activities for environmental conservation and for local communities
Employees Provision of opportunities for personal growth
Creating an environment where employees work with peace of mind
Promote health maintenance and promotion
Provide information through internal publications and intranet
Governments and industry organizations Information provision and dialogue
Information exchange and activities at related organizations such as the Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Associations of JAPAN
NPOs/NGOs Collaboration through various programs to improve medical access
Participation in various initiatives

As an R&D-based pharmaceutical company, we will understand the expectations of stakeholders, and continue to meet various challenges that face us to become a company undergoing growth in middle and long term.

Activities with the Government

On November 12, 2021, we concluded an agreement with Osaka Prefecture on cooperation and collaboration for the promotion of health promotion among residents in Osaka prefecture.
The public and private sector work together to solve social issues through cooperation between government initiatives and CSV※1 activities by private company. We have been promoting "Dialogues with local communities" as one of an important theme of our business activities. As a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Osaka prefecture, we will continue to cooperate in promoting the health of the residents in Osaka prefecture by working together with Osaka Prefecture to solve social issues related to health, taking advantage of the mutual strengths of the government and company.

A picture of the signing ceremony of partnership agreement at the Osaka Prefectural Head Office
  • ※1 CSV… Creating Shared Value