Third Party's Opinion

Ms. Mika Takaoka

Ms. Mika Takaoka

Professor of Rikkyo University, College of Business

[Profile] Graduated from Aoyama Gakuin University, School of Business. Received a doctorate degree from the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics. Worked as an assistant professor at Osaka City University and as an assistant professor at Rikkyo University, College of Business, before assuming the present post in April 2009. Major research themes are Distribution theory, CSR and brand value, Retail management and consumer behavior. Her writings include “Sustainable Lifestyle Navigation” (Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers Publishing Company, 2007).

Contents that I give credit for

This is the fourth time for me to express a third party’s opinion to the AEON MALL CSR report. This report describes multi-faceted corporate activities of AEON MALL with its management philosophy of “Life design developer that works with communities and produces ways of living for the future” along with the AEON MALL’s Five Pillars of CSR based on ISO 26000. This report shows relationship between individual efforts and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), which is in line with global standards. Furthermore, report can be considered excellent in terms of CSR communication because it carries many voices of various stakeholders.

As mentioned in “Top Message”, a commercial property for the future is strongly required to play a role as a place for local community where interaction and memories are born through real experiences. EC market scale of domestic B to C (for consumers) in FY2016 was 15,135.8 billion yen, a 9.9% increase over the previous year. Appealing for the value that does not exist in e-commerce will become more important in the future. Feature 1 introduces the fact that AEON MALL has embarked on “Happiness Mall” activities in earnest as a “place where wonderful memories of life are created” since this fiscal year.The holding of “Music City Matsumoto Live”, health-promoting mall walking activities, rakugo (comic storytelling) performance and opera appreciation gatherings, promotion of local production for local consumption, and local PR events are individual efforts that match local history and characteristics. Making these efforts to attract more visitors to our malls is vitally important not only from the perspective of having a favorable effect on AEON MALL's original business activities but also from the perspective of continuing to contribute to local communities. I would like to highly appreciate efforts of creating value in collaboration with local communities promoting activities from the point of view of CSV (Creating Shared Value) that aims for sustainable growth.

What I highly evaluate is that "creation of environment-friendly shopping malls in harmony with local community" has been steadily making progress both in Japan and overseas. As described in CSR TOPICS, two AEON MALL properties conducted pre-verifications for compliance with the “WELL certification” which is evaluation of human health and comfort in November 2017. In addition, AEON MALL was recognized by Kyoto City and Osaka Prefecture as an excellent performer in 2017 as the result of its active efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. AEON MALL has also achieved satisfactory results in terms of environmental conservation, such as adoption of 100% LED lighting in public areas, and completion of electric vehicle charger installations at all malls managed and operated by AEON MALL. Similarly, AEON MALL has been thoroughly considering safety and environment at its malls in Indonesia, China, and other foreign countries. AEON MALL has successfully developed 180 shopping malls in Japan, China, and ASEAN countries as of April 2018. As a large corporation engaged in planning, construction, management, and operation of malls with a value system that “a mall should consider both people and environment”, AEON MALL may have a great influence on mall business companies around the world. I hope that AEON MALL will continue to lead the industry as one of multiple leaders selected as a member of stock index component stocks, in which companies with excellent ESG evaluation are selected and calculated.

For AEON MALL’s CSR activities of this fiscal year, promotion of diversity has made steady progress, continuing from the previous financial year. Moving forward to become “a company where diversified employees can play an active role” both number and ratio of female managers have further increased. Furthermore, globalization of organizations and human resources can be seen, for example, number of local staff members in overseas subsidiaries has increased, and staff members in overseas subsidiaries are serving as chief executives at seven malls in China. Progress is being made in improvements for a comfortable work environment for diversified human resources, such as expanding childcare facilities as a company taking the initiative in childcare services and introducing “lively holiday system”. In order for an enterprise to grow continuously, it is indispensable to utilize diversified human resources who rejuvenate organization. I would like to highly evaluate AEON MALL’s stance of sincerely making efforts concerning human resource diversity and work-life balance.

My Request to AEON MALL

I made the same request in the last fiscal year, and I think that AEON MALL is positioned at the highest level in developing environment-friendly malls both in Japan and abroad, and has reached a high level in terms of contribution to communities and consideration towards working people. I hope that plans for action will be included in this report of the next fiscal year. Among CSR items summarized as the “Five Pillars”, note which items and to what extent they are to be implemented. Implementing the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) cycle including setting goals for each one separately, showing outline of activities that have been carried out, and checking degree of achievement of goals will certainly be useful for further promotion of the CSR activities of AEON MALL.