- UNITAR's national committee in Japan, with its secretariat in Hiroshima, Japan, UNITAR Association held an SDGs Seminar on 5 June 2023 with its members.
- As of June 2023, UNITAR Association has 44 individuals and 25 organizations as members.
- UNITAR Association’s Sustainable Development Goals Seminar offered Hiroshima-based companies the opportunity to collaborate and share best practices towards achieving SDGs.
14 June 2023, Hiroshima, Japan – On 5 June 2023, UNITAR Association held a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Seminar for its supporting members in Hiroshima, Japan. Hiroshima companies gathered to reflect on the philosophical and practical lessons they’ve learned while integrating the SDGs into their businesses. Companies play a key role in promoting and advancing SDGs.
People say the SDGs are too big and far. When the then-US president announced that the US will land on the moon in the 60s, the US was short of technology. Yet his announcement encouraged engineers and they made it in the late 60s. Just like that, announcing the SDGs can push the world to be more focused on achieving the goals together.” — Shohei Shimizu, Executive Director, SDGs X Sotan Kyoiku Academia
Maeda Housing, a renovation company which was locally awarded for its SDG efforts, offered personal perspectives on the SDGs: the company president’s early experience with asthma helped him recognize the importance of clean air while working on building sites as an adult and showed him the impact of construction materials on sustainability. Maeda Housing now works to incorporate holistic SDG concepts into its products.
More than half the companies with 100+ years of history are Japanese companies. The Japanese can think long-term. And yet, houses here lose their value over time, while in many other countries, old houses can have more value with renovation. We’d like to focus on the good point of Japan and produce value in old buildings.” —Masatomi Maeda, CEO, Maeda Housing Co., Ltd.
Companies also reflected on the challenges they face in incorporating SDGs into their businesses and potential solutions. They discussed ways to encourage idea-sharing for socially responsible solutions and to better calculate carbon dioxide emissions across their supply chain. Hiroshima Bank, Hiroshima’s leading financial institution, discussed impacts of the city’s manufacturing base on high CO2 emissions, and the Bank’s carbon-neutral efforts to help combat CO2 emissions.
It is not enough for companies to take individual action to contribute to SDGs. To meet the new standards, we also need to pay attention to the whole business environment including how your business partners and stakeholders can thrive and achieve their goals around carbon neutrality.” — Takashi Okada, Chief Manager of Management Planning Division, Hirogin Holdings, Inc.
This seminar provided the companies with a space to learn from each other and inform their actions to help protect the planet and create a more sustainable future.
I am very pleased and inspired by the young managers who were actively participating in today's seminar. They shared their valuable ideas and the opinions during the session. Let's continue to work together to achieve the SDGs for a better world.” — Shigeki Sasaki, Chair, Board of Directors UNITAR Association
UNITAR Association, the national committee of UNITAR in Japan, seeks to mobilize partnerships for SDGs through local advocacy and networking in Hiroshima. It holds events such as this seminar to facilitate steady cross-learning on the SDGs. Past events, held in close coordination with UNITAR Hiroshima Office, include an environmental seminar for Hiroshima businesses and a seminar for an alumna of a leading Hiroshima high school about Japan’s role in serving the international community. They also highlighted local organizations’ SDG efforts in an “SDGs Relay”.
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a dedicated training arm of the United Nations. In 2021, UNITAR trained 370,139 learners around the world to support their actions for a better future. In addition to our headquarters in Geneva, we have offices in Hiroshima, New York, Bonn and various networks around the world.
One of the eight divisions of UNITAR, the Division for Prosperity, based in the Hiroshima Office and Geneva Headquarters, seeks to shape an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world. World-class learning and knowledge-sharing services on entrepreneurship, leadership, finance and trade, digital technologies, and nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are offered. We empower individuals from developing countries – especially women and young people – to address inequalities. Our alumni are making a difference in least-developed countries, countries emerging from conflict, and small-island developing states.
About UNITAR Association
UNITAR Association is the national committee of UNITAR in Japan since 2019. It contributes to the SDGs through local advocacy and networking. UNITAR Association and UNITAR Hiroshima Office work together to conduct outreach, build partnerships with entities in Japan and host public events to raise awareness and interest among the Japanese public in international cooperation and peace. To date, UNITAR Association has 44 individual and 25 organization members, including residents of Hiroshima and organizations from the private and public sectors.