Third-Party Comments

Third-Party Comments on the KUBOTA REPORT 2017 Business and CSR Activities

Satisfying report in terms of both quality and quantity

Professor Katsuhiko Kokubu Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe UniversityProfessor Katsuhiko Kokubu
Graduate School of Business
Administration, Kobe University

The KUBOTA REPORT is an integrated report on business and CSR activities covering highly comprehensive and detailed information, which I think demonstrates Kubota's high level of information disclosure in terms of both quality and quantity. The contents can be evaluated as appropriate for the Kubota Group, aiming to achieve the goal of becoming "Global Major Brand (GMB)". My suggestion for the future is to set key performance indicators (KPIs) that govern the overall performance. Many indicators are presented in this report. By showing on which indicators Kubota places high priority strategically, the report further clarifies Kubota's commitment to society. Moreover, since the report mentions SDGs at the beginning, I am sure that if the specific relationships between SDGs and Kubota's activities are demonstrated with indicators, international recognition will further improve.

Abundant information on corporate governance

Of the great deal of information disclosed in detail in the KUBOTA REPORT, I see the information on corporate governance as particularly satisfying. Specifically, regarding risk management, detailed information is disclosed along with the presentation of countermeasures, demonstrating Kubota's faithful attitude toward society. While the contents of information disclosed at present seem rather to focus on compliance with laws and regulations, it would be excellent if reference to other aspects, such as the Corporate Governance Code's 'basic principle 2: Appropriate cooperation with stakeholders other than shareholders,' is added by mentioning how it is discussed and evaluated at the Board of Directors' meetings so that the involvement of directors in more active aspects of CSR can be seen. As with risk assessment, I expect in-depth discussions will be held on specific issues of CSR.

Fostering a CSR mindset

The Kubota Group endeavors to foster a CSR mindset. I think this is very important. Since it is not management but each individual employee who plays the main role in CSR activities, it is crucial to raise each individual's awareness. To this end, it is important to have the employees subjectively think about how Kubota can create or should create its social value. This will in turn enhance the Group's CSR capabilities. This is similar to an initiative to create a new business area, and therefore requires company-wide support. If engagement with external experts is promoted in line with this initiative, I think a feedback loop of CSR will effectively function, creating a virtuous circle.

In response to the above comments

We wish to express our sincere appreciation to Dr. Kokubu for having provided invaluable third-party comments since fiscal 2009.

This time it was very encouraging that the KUBOTA REPORT was evaluated as covering highly comprehensive and detailed information, and demonstrating Kubota's high level of information disclosure in terms of both quality and quantity.

With regard to his suggestion of showing which indicators Kubota places high priority on from a strategic point of view, as a company capable of contributing to global society in the key fields of food, water and the environment, we will consider ways to indicate more clearly the relationships of our activities with SDGs and other indicators.

Regarding appropriate cooperation with stakeholders other than shareholders, the results of various external rankings related to CSR, which are considered to be a measure of how we are observed by society, and the presumed reasons for the evaluations are reported at the Executive Officers Meeting, as a way to improve the situation. Also, seeing our employees as important stakeholders who play the main role in promoting CSR, we conduct the Employee CSR Awareness Survey every year and report the results as well as the employees' opinions at the Executive Officers Meeting. We will make continuous efforts to hold in-depth discussions on CSR-related issues.

We will also consider ways to promote engagement with external experts.

All the 38,000 employees of companies in the Kubota Group act as a unit to make the best efforts to find solutions to challenges in the fields of food, water and the environment around the world, thus enabling Kubota to become a corporate group that is continuously trusted and needed by members of society.

Toshihiro Kubo Representative Director and Executive Vice President, Kubota CorporationToshihiro Kubo
Representative Director and Executive Vice President, Kubota Corporation

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