The SDGs (sustainable development goals) are universal goals set as those that the international community should achieve by 2030 by solving prescribed international challenges. They were unanimously adopted at the UN summit held in 2015, which all the countries of the world are working to achieve.
We have been working toward solving global challenges through our business activities, and continuously providing desired values based on our mission statement of "fulfilling social responsibility, by providing high quality products and services to the customers, in order to accomplish 'foods safety and reliability,' and 'improvement of quality of life'" and "aiming for a trustworthy company, as a corporate citizen, while keeping in harmony with the global environment". We will continue to work toward becoming indispensable presence for the realization of a sustainable society to help achieve the SDGs.
Activities of Mitsui Chemicals Agro to Achieve the SDGs
The SDGs were declared in the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” agreed by all member nations at the UN summit in 2015. They consist of 17 goals and 169 targets to be achieved by 2030.
Here are main activities that we are carrying out on a priority basis to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.
Promoting Agriculture to Contribute to Eradication of Poverty and Hunger
We will contribute to eradication of poverty and hunger in the world through the development and sales of agrochemicals, which are our main business operations.
In the world, approximately 710 million people live in extreme poverty who live on $1.90 or less per day (※3). As world population is 7.88 billion according to The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) (※4), every tenth person lives in poverty.
According to a report in 2020 by UNICEF, the estimated starving population in the world is 690 million, with the fact that 19.1% of the population in Africa is undernourished in particular(※5).
Solving the challenges associated with such poverty and hunger requires
stable production of crops. In addition, use of agrochemicals is
indispensable for efficient and stable agricultural production.
With efficient and stable production of crops based on the agrochemicals that we develop and sell, agriculture is established as an industry. As a result, this will secure employment of people involved in agriculture, promoting the local consumption of locally produced products.
By supporting improvement in the efficiency of crop production and promoting agriculture, we will contribute to sustainable food production.
Protecting People All over the World from Infectious Diseases
We will contribute to the health of people all over the world through PPM business activities that aim for pest control.
With PPM (Professional Pest Management) activities, we will aim to control pests that endanger the safety of people based on the findings from our agrochemical development activities.
For example, anopheles, which live mainly in the tropics and throughout the world, transmit malaria and cause many deaths in the world every year. In 2018, approximately 220 million people become infected with malaria and 435,000 people died, as estimated (※6). Some species of anopheles are reported to be resistant to existing insecticides, posing a problem that it is getting difficult to control them with insecticides.
We have succeeded in developing new active ingredient Tenebenal (a link to the story of the research and development of Tenebenal), which has high efficacy on mosquitoes with new mode of action. With a mode of action different from existing insecticides, Tenebenal exhibits a powerful insecticidal effect even on anopheles and other pests that are resistant to existing insecticides.
Tenebenal has been admitted by IVCC (※7), a nonprofit organization, to be a promising active ingredient to effectively control the malaria mosquito with insecticide resistance, therefore it is now undergoing commercialization. Supporting the philosophy of “ZERO by 40” (※8) proposed by IVCC, we will contribute to measures against malaria by developing and providing Tenebenal products.
By protecting people from infectious diseases, we contribute to provide comfortable living environments that support health and well-being.
Contributing to Society Together with Partners
In partnership with various organizations, we are carrying out activities that contribute to society.
Educational opportunities to learn about Rice Farming that co-exists with Living Creatures
Although developing pesticides for controlling weeds and pests, what we aim to achieve is coexistence of humans, animals, and plants.
To experience and understand what animals and plants live where we grow food to feed ourselves, we conduct “field creature observation” going to rice fields together with children, consumers, JA staff members, and farmers.
By providing opportunities for thinking about food and the environment through this activity, we also expect learning ourselves about coexistence and sustainability.
Activities to Support to Disaster-stricken Areas
In disaster situations, the Mitsui Chemicals group provides disaster relief assistance in cooperation with municipalities and NGOs. For example, in a disaster situation caused by heavy rainfall in 2019, we provided backup supplies to disaster-stricken areas in the northern Kyushu region, Chiba Prefecture, and other areas.
As a member of the Mitsui Chemicals group, we actively take part in activities to support disaster-stricken areas.
Official Supporter of the International Year of Plant Health 2020
The International Year of Plant Health 2020 refers to promotion activities carried out in cooperation among a variety of interested parties such as businesses and organizations under the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to renew their awareness of plant protection and make it known to people. We carried out activities as an official supporter of the International Year of Plant Health 2020.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, more than 80% of the food in the world is of plant origin, 20% to 40% of which is lost due to damage caused by pests (※9).
To prevent the spread of plant pests to new areas and to ensure production activities by farmers, we support activities for notifying and enlightening the importance of plant protection.
Sponsor of International Chemistry Olympiad Japan
International Chemistry Olympiad is an international event where high-school students all over the world compete on their chemical skills by putting their knowledge and imagination to full use. In 2021, the 53rd meeting was held in Japan.
As a sponsor, we assisted the operation of this event that helps foster human resources responsible for the next generation, supporting activities that aim to make people all over the world as well as in Japan have interest in and deepen their understanding of chemistry.
- PCO stands for pest control operator. It refers to pest control at home or facilities performed by pest control operators.
- PPM stands for professional pest management. Although it originally means pest control performed by pest control operators, we use it to refer to applying active ingredients developed for agricultural use to non-agricultural, living environment sectors.
- IVCC (The Innovative Vector Control Consortium): A nonprofit development organization aiming to eradicate infectious diseases by introducing new tools and technologies. Currently they are carrying out activities with capital support from Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, a global philanthropic foundation, and some other foundations.
- ZERO by 40: A consortium where the IVCC and world-leading agriculture-related companies aims to eradicate malaria by 2040 through technical innovation, resistance management, and enlightenment activities. Mitsui Chemical Agro is one of industrial partners of ZERO by 40.
Aiming to Solve Challenges through Business Operations and Social Actions
Now, we live in an age where all people and organizations are aware of
activities for the SDGs (sustainable development goals). Mitsui
Chemicals Agro are also pressing ahead with research and development
activities to realize solutions that contribute to sustainable food and
For example, for Goal 2 that aims for Zero Hunger, we aim to end hunger, make improvements in food security and nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. Under the situation where "the population continues to increase," "resources, farm land, and water are limited," and "climate changes are becoming significant," it is required to efficiently secure food while maintaining the safety of people and the environment.
We have been trying to create new crop protection solutions by, for example, consciously checking the safety of environmental indicators (e.g., impact on pollinators such as bees) from early stages of development and utilizing naturally derived ingredients that are based on our past experience (in application of microbial metabolite to agricultural chemicals). In addition, with measures against weeds resistant to chemicals borne in mind, we are also putting our energies into agrochemicals that provides new mode of action.
For Goal 3 that aims for healthy lives and promote well-being for all, we aim to secure healthy life and promote well-being of all people at all ages. To make our life better and more comfortable, we have been applying active ingredients of agrochemicals to control termite and household insect pests.
Furthermore, as a new challenge that we should address, we are working on the development for the agricultural applications as well as development for vector control as measures against malaria. We are carrying out research and development activities with the awareness that we should not overlook various possibilities so that we can apply the potential of safe agrochemicals to other categories.
Board Director & Senior Managing Executive Officer
Through business operations and CSR activities, Mitsui Chemicals Agro will continue to work toward solving global challenges to realize a sustainable society.