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September 15, 2022
Introducing initiatives relating to human resources, climate change and AI ethics
Tokyo, Japan - Sony Group Corporation ("Sony" or the "Company") today held its Sustainability Briefing. This year marks the fifth briefing relating to Sony's ESG and sustainability initiatives since the first was held in 2018. First, Chairman, President and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida spoke on the theme of "learning." He explained how Sony is learning from creators and users to create Kando (emotion), and how its sensing and AI technology is able to capture reality and learn from it. He emphasized how this "learning" is connecting to the growth of Sony and the sustainability of our planet.
Next, Shiro Kambe, Corporate Executive Officer in charge of Sustainability, and Kazushi Ambe, Corporate Executive Officer in charge of Human Resources, presented the results of materiality analysis conducted by Sony this year, and outlined some of the key initiatives being implemented in relation to areas such as human resources and climate change. As an example of efforts to address new social issues accompanying changes in society and technology, Alice Xiang of the AI Ethics Office and Sony AI explained Sony's activities related to AI ethics, which have become increasingly important in recent years. Sony today also announced the approval of its net-zero targets from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), underlining the progress of its efforts focused on climate change.
Highlights from the presentation are below. For further details, please refer to the related materials, which will be available on Sony's Investor Relations website. For further information on the SBTi approval for Sony's net-zero targets, please refer to the press release issued today.
Based on its Purpose to "fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology," Sony learns from creators and users to provide an array of products and services that are used to create Kando. In order to make the "world," which is the place where Sony pursues its Purpose, sustainable, Sony continues to value "learning" alongside its employees so that it can contribute to people, society, and the planet from a long-term perspective.
At Sony, having clearly defined the key sustainability topics for the overall Sony Group, each business is moving forward with various sustainability initiatives that leverage its own specific characteristics. In addition to the introduction of sustainability evaluation indicators as a factor in determining the compensation of senior executives, Sony has established KPIs in each of its businesses, and incorporated them into business performance evaluation.
Taking into account developments such as the changes in the social environment, this year Sony conducted a materiality analysis. As a result, climate change; diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I); respect for human rights; and technology for sustainability were defined as the most important topics for the Sony Group.
In order to achieve further growth, Sony considers it vital to support the growth of the approximately 110,000 individuals who support the diverse businesses of the Sony Group. Based on its people philosophy, "Special You, Diverse Sony," which expresses the message that each individual, with his or her unique personality, and Sony, which welcomes diverse individuals, can create mutual growth together, Sony's personnel strategy is structured around three pillars: "Attract Talented Individuals," "Develop Talented Individuals," and "Engage Talented Individuals." Furthermore, Sony is engaging in investment in human capital from a medium- to long-term perspective with the aim of achieving sustainable growth.
Sony is advancing its environmental initiatives along two axes around its "responsibility," for instance to reduce environmental impact, and the "contribution" it can make by leveraging its diverse businesses and technologies.
Through the use and application of AI, Sony aims to contribute to the creation of a peaceful and sustainable society while delivering Kando to people around the world. As Sony expanded its AI development and usage, it introduced the Sony Group AI Ethics Guidelines in 2018 ahead of many other companies to ensure the respect of diversity and human rights, prevent discrimination, and enhance transparency and trustworthiness. In 2019, Sony established the Sony Group AI Ethics Committee, comprising senior executive level management with diverse skills and background. In 2021, the AI Ethics Office was established to provide specialist expertise on AI ethics to all Sony organizations.