Identification and Prioritization of Material Issues

Astellas’ Materiality Matrix guides the company’s sustainability activities. Astellas has identified material issues to be addressed based on the issues regarded as prerequisites of business activities. These material issues include global issues related to medical care, health and other broader social issues.
With consideration to expectations and requests from a broad range of stakeholders, the company classified and prioritized the material issues into three categories by evaluating their societal significance and relevance to our business (Materiality Matrix.) In order to tackle important material issues, we are executing a concrete action plan.

Three Steps for Determining Materiality

Step 1

Identify Issues
Astellas' material issues have been identified with reference to various principles and guidelines (such as ISO 26000, the UN Global Compact's ten principles and the SASB* Materiality Map), communications with stakeholders and criteria for Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) indices.
*SASB: Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. A U.S. non-profit organization which sets industry-specific standards for corporate sustainability disclosure. SASB has prepared industry-specific materiality maps by evaluating the materiality of sustainability topics.

Step 2

We prioritize Astellas' material issues from the dual perspectives of societal significance and relevance to our business.

Step 3

 ●Dialogue with Stakeholders (investors, patient groups, doctors, employees, consultants, and academics)
 ● Deliberating on matters during the Sustainability Advisory Panel which is composed of cross-functional Astellas employees
 ●Deliberating on matters by the Executive Committee*and obtaining approval by the Board of Directors 

*The Committee discusses material issues concerning business strategies, product strategies, corporate management, and personnel of the Astellas Group companies. The Committee consists of the President and Chief Executive Officer; the Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Business Officer; the Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer; the Chief Medical Officer; the Chief Commercial Officer; the Chief Scientific Officer; and the General Counsel.

Astellas’ material issues are reviewed and verified by the Corporate Advocacy Division once a year. When necessary, the material issues will be modified depending on the level of initiatives implemented and/or any changes regarding the needs of society.

Materiality Matrix

Materiality Matrix


Definitions of material issues

Material issue Definitions / explanation of material issues
Development of innovative products and medical solutions Creating innovative medicines and medical solutions sustainably in therapeutic areas with a high level of unmet medical needs. 
Access to Health Developing and delivering necessary healthcare to people around the world by accelerating social benefit-driven research and development, enhancing availability, strengthening healthcare system, and improving health literacy.
Responsible R&D Ensuring the ethical consideration throughout the entire R&D process, and conducting R&D in compliance with global and/or local guidelines, including ethical considerations in animal testing and clinical trials.
Responsible marketing and ethical advertising In compliance with laws and guidelines in each country, ensuring equitable & appropriate marketing and advertising activities, raising awareness about diseases and treatments to contribute toward improving health of people.
Product pricing Striking a sustainable balance between fostering innovation and ensuring access to such innovation by setting prices reflecting the benefits of our products.
Proper use of products Enhancing the proper use of our products by Healthcare professionals and patients to ensure patient safety and the efficacy and safety of our products. 
It includes the adoption of user-friendly package design in consideration of convenient universal design.
Product quality assurance and product safety Ensuring our products are manufactured with appropriate quality assurance standards, and maintaining a functional and robust pharmacovigilance system.
Anti-counterfeit Preventing counterfeit drug problems and its improper distribution.
Diversity and Inclusion Ensuring equal opportunity and fair employment regardless of characteristics, including race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability. 
Health, safety and welfare of employees Ensuring the mental and physical health of employees, and ensuring a safe workplace. Enriching the welfare of employees and their family.
Compliance and ethical business practices Acting with integrity and making ethical decisions in all aspects, and going beyond compliance with applicable laws, regulations and industry codes. Promoting such behavior through our global compliance structure, the development, implementation, and continuous enhancement of necessary policies and processes, and focusing our activities on Anti-bribery / Anti-corruption compliance, avoiding conflicts of interest, encouraging a "speak-up" culture, and demonstrating our commitment to integrity, ethics and compliance.
Protection of personal and confidential information Appropriately handling confidential information or our stakeholders’ personal information, including data obtained in clinical trials (including postmarketing clinical trials), by complying with applicable laws, regulations, and Company policies and procedures.
Customer satisfaction Meeting the needs and expectations of customers, such as patients and healthcare professionals, which includes ensuring effective infrastructure and practice to appropriately respond to customers' complaints, inquiries and consultations.
Board independence and effectiveness The Board of Directors consists of a majority of outside Directors who satisfy the Company’s independence standards for outside Directors and the required conditions for independent Director stipulated by Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. The independence and effectiveness of the Board of Directors is ensured by analyzing and evaluating its effectiveness.
Talent development Providing career development opportunities that respect the ownership, talent and aptitude of employees.
Recruitment and retention of employees Recruiting and retaining talented people.
Fair appraisal and competitive reward Recognizing the contributions of, and appraising and treating employees in a fair manner according to their role and achievement.
Sustainable procurement Selecting suppliers in compliance with selection criteria, including sustainability perspectives, such as compliance with laws and respecting human rights.  Coaching less-compliant suppliers and supporting their capacity building for improvement through procurement activity.
Continuous stable supply Ensuring a continuous stable supply of products.
Stakeholder engagement Having mutual dialogues with multiple stakeholders, including patients and shareholders, to understand their expectations and demands from society, to reflect their opinion of Astellas' business activities and decision-making process.
Transparency of corporate activities Enhancing the transparency of our corporate activities by disclosing information to all stakeholders in a timely, proper, and fair manner regardless of laws and regulations.
・Data and information acquired in research and development activities
・Board structure
・Executive compensation
・Risk management system and material risks with mitigation plans
Tax compliance Complying with the local tax laws and regulations in each country where we operate, and seek to pay the right amount of tax in the right place at the right time.
Human rights in labor Respecting the human rights of employees and business partners, including the elimination of discrimination, the freedom of association and the protection of the rights to organize, and the exclusion of child labor and forced labor.
Reduction of environmental burden Mitigating the environmental burdens caused by business operations to the minimum level, including measures for preventing atmospheric pollution, recycling resources, and management of chemical substances.
Environmental impacts of pharmaceuticals Identifying and managing the environmental impact of our pharmaceutical products throughout their life-cycle from their manufacture, use by humans, to disposal.
Patient assistance and advocacy Supporting patient organizations for charitable purposes and conducting advocacy activities*, including funding for patient organization activities, sharing knowledge and information such as holding peer support training sessions, promoting disease awareness through disease awareness events, defending patients' rights, and representing the patient's voice.
*Advocacy activities: Encouraging the advancement of public policy and society through policy recommendation.
Advancement of medical science Supporting medical and scientific research which contributes to the advancement of medical sciences.
Water management Using water resources efficiently by reducing volume of withdrawal, reusing, and recycling.
Climate change and energy Reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with business operations by efficient use of energy.
Biodiversity Mitigating negative impacts on biodiversity and promoting the sustainable use of benefits from biodiversity.
Philanthropic community support Supporting the communities in which we operate. For example,  social contribution, such as Disaster Relief, support for employees’ volunteering, and nurturing the next generation.