Address the key issues in our own way,
adopting to the changing social needs and expectations
To identify and prioritize the issues that are most important to society and our business, we carry out a materiality assessment and use it to guide our sustainability efforts. The world is experiencing significant change in both society and business. In response to this shifting ground, we updated our materiality matrix and reidentified priority issues with a view of sustainable enhancement of enterprise value.
To prepare the new materiality matrix in FY2021, Astellas selected 19 key issues from the perspective of importance for both society and Astellas in sustainability. We then prioritized the nine material issues (Materiality) from this group. As we believe that the act of prioritizing and subsequently addressing these nine material issues will put Astellas on the path to becoming a cutting-edge, VALUE-driven life science innovator with enhanced our business activities meeting expectations from society. This, in turn, will lead to improved sustainability for both Astellas and society.
Our three-step process to identify the 19 key issues
Step 1: Issue identification
Astellas identifies key issues referring to SDGs and various frameworks (IIRC, SASB and GRI standard, ISO 26000the UN Global Compact's ten principles, TCFD recommendation), stakeholder engagement information, and topics covered by ESG ratings.
In updating a materiality matrix in FY2021, we surveyed the shifts in sustainability trends since FY2017—the year of the previous matrix update, we ensured alignment with Corporate Strategic Plan 2021 as well as acknowledging the industry-specific issues we must address as a pharmaceutical company. As a result, a list of 19 key issues has been identified.
Step 2: Issue prioritization
Astellas developed the materiality matrix by prioritizing the identified key issues from the perspectives of significance to society and Astellas.
Societal Significance, the vertical axis of the matrix, was determined by considering the depth of interest from global stakeholders—multinational organizations, governments, NGOs, investors, and industry associations—and the scale of economic losses caused by social issues. Significance for Astellas, the horizontal axis, was determined by assessing not only risks but also Astellas’ degree of opportunity in utilizing its capabilities and assets to contribute to the resolution of issues and added management perspectives based on interviews with top management.
Step 3: Review and finalization
The draft materiality matrix was refined and validated through the information provided by, and a series of interviews with various stakeholders including institutional investors, industry associations, NPOs, and NGOs.
The Sustainability Advisory Panel, consisting of cross-functional Astellas employees, held further discussion before the Executive Committee* reviewed and deliberated the findings, and the materiality matrix was finally approved by the Board of Directors.
The materiality matrix is reviewed and verified by the Sustainability Division annually and will be updated as necessary. Astellas has set targets and action plans to ensure addressing the material issues.
Our VISION, to be “on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into VALUE for patients,” will guide us as we take concrete steps to address these critical issues.
*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; the Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer; the Chief Medical Officer; the Chief Commercial Officer; the Chief Scientific Officer; the Chief Financial Officer; the General Counsel, and the Chief Manufacturing Officer.