Once again, this year Hitachi Rail confirmed its support to the Global Compact, the voluntary United Nations initiative that encourages respect for human rights, labour, the environment and fights against anti-corruption through a series of 10 principles. The Group’s membership in the initiative reiterates its commitment to the Global Compact and its main principles as an integral part of the company’s strategies and workplace culture.
During the fifth Italian Business & SDGs Annual Forum, held in Rome on 13-14 October 2020, Hitachi Rail won the Promoting Founder Award by Global Compact Network Italy, the local branch of the UN initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies.
Hitachi Rail and 11 other companies and non-business entities won this award to recognise the company’s position among the founding members of the Italian Network in 2009 and the company’s commitment to supporting the network’s sustainability and CSR principles and initiatives.
This award is further proof of the commitment of Rail business in sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR), but also of the entire Hitachi Group: Hitachi Ltd is also an active member of the UN Global Compact Network as from 2009.
Hitachi Rail actively participates in UNIFE projects (association of European railway builders), UNISIG (association of European railway signalling companies) and UITP (international public transportation association), ANIE (National Federation of Electro technical and Electronic Companies), AICQ (Italian Association for a Quality Culture), the Italian partner of EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management), Cosila (Consortium for safety in the workplace) and Industrialists’ Union, Italy’s main organisation representing Italian manufacturing and service companies, in Naples and Genoa, specifically.
Within the scope of UNIFE, Hitachi Rail collaborates to promote the extension of the use of railway transportation through the implementation of technological standards (ERTMS and TSI) and by proposing European research projects to improve safety, energy efficiency and environmental protection in the field of railway transportation.
Taxonomy and sustainable finance: the European Commission recently presented essential documents as an action plan for a greener and cleaner economy. The project that was initiated in March 2018, aims to channel capital towards a low-intensity carbon economy.
In May 2018, the European Commission began implementing the first measures contained in the Action Plan, by introducing three regulatory proposals related to:
▪ the taxonomy of eco-compatible activities;
▪ low-carbon benchmarks and positive carbon impact;
▪ institutional investors’ disclosure on ESG risks.
The European Commission subsequently appointed the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG), comprising a multi-stakeholder group of experts brought together by the Commission to establish the guidelines for sustainable finance in Europe and to provide consulting on four specific issues referring to: taxonomy, prioritising environmental issues and more specifically, on the mitigation and adaptation to climate change; improving the guidelines on reporting information related to climate; the introduction of a European Green Bond Standard; common criteria to build low-carbon benchmarks and a positive-carbon impact.
Within this European initiative, Hitachi Rail contributes to the work required of the group of experts (TEG) in its sector, both through the European association (UNIFE), and in the context of Hitachi, providing their own evaluations and experiences to identify the metrics that the European Community will use to assess the performance and possible financial support.
Inside Hitachi Rail, the SHEQ Department (Safety Health and Quality) is responsible for all aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability (CSR&S) through the Company Sustainable Steering Committee.
Hitachi Rail defines the sustainability and corporate social responsibility strategy based on innovation and as the protagonist of a great wave of change:
because the world reports a continuous flood of changes which it must face with intelligence, in a context of digital innovation for which Hitachi Rail inside Hitachi have all the necessary skills and solutions.
taking into account the geopolitical changes and the center of gravity of the world economy moving from the West to Asia. While some countries are facing rapid population ageing due to an extremely low birth rate, the global population is growing explosively. With a clear shift of the Supply and Demand axis towards those countries with the fastest growth.
▪ Cultural (of a way of thinking),▪
because the change in mentality and habits is clear, only partly already started to address problems such as global environmental issues and social disparity that in 2015 led the United Nations and our companies to commit to the SDGs.
Hitachi Rail promotes and invests in the research of new ideas and in the development of new solutions to improve the quality of life of the main stakeholders (customers, employees and, finally, our planet).
The company continues to promote and aims to increase the use of recycled materials and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, innovate the processes of recycling products, and design efficient products and solutions.
At the same time, thoughts inevitably turn to the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives. Hitachi Rail knows that some changes and adaptations, such as remote working, could become the new normal in the future.
Hitachi Rail is committed to understand the needs and expectations of its people and involve them in capacity and skills development projects. Its focus is on the constant monitoring of the satisfaction of its customers/stakeholders and plays an active role in the management of relationships with local communities.
Committee’s mission is to achieve the company vision and long-term environmental goals, respecting and protecting social relations, in pursuing continuous improvement of governance through a global structure, with effective decision-making and implementation. It’s dedicated to all locations and all employees of Hitachi Rail, creating an ever-greater value proposition for customers and stakeholders.
The SSC has the task of directing the strategic business guidelines for governance practices for Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). SSC gives the mandate to the specific organisational group unit (SHEQ/R&D) to implement and to achieve the objectives of continuous improvement, environmental protection and social respect, in the interest of the various stakeholders and communities in which the business is developed.
The Committee (SSC) reports directly to the Chairman and CEO of Hitachi Rail and works in partnership with Hitachi Ltd.’s Sustainability Promotion Division (SusD). The Committee makes decisions, requests and verifications regarding three macro areas of intervention:
▪ resource efficiency and environmental management process and the Group’s social report;
▪ compliance with the relevant law and rules;
▪ performance and results monitoring
Social Innovation starts with an idea – one simple thought that has the power to change the world. Hitachi Rail’s Social Innovation, through unique co-creation business has always set itself the goal of creating develop technological innovation to improve people’s quality of life and achieve a sustainable society, helping to solve global social and environmental issues and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN for 2030.
Hitachi Rail has always devoted on-going attention to innovation, in order to identify and create advanced technical solutions and develop products of the very highest quality, safety and environmental standards.
Hitachi Rail manages its projects by analysing them as plans or proposals able to display solutions that can work. It creates a prototype with the project, and demonstrates how to implement the idea and attain the expected results. This “scientific” approach allows it to assess the feasibility, costs, market and value of the solutions.
Therefore, Social Innovation for Hitachi is the way to:
▪ reflect on the impact that the technological innovations are making o society, by developing new solutions in the world of transport, industry, infrastructure, health and energy;
▪ understand how advanced technologies can affect the development of smart communities by creating new and dynamic business models;
evaluate how the new technological solutions improve company management by adopting integrated processes thanks to the availability of additional data and information together with the customer and the stakeholders;
▪ discover how Hitachi Rail is taking part in virtuous systems to guide businesses, institutions and towns by adopting a collaborative approach and by integrating IT and Operational Technologies.
In January 2019, Hitachi Rail created a group explicitly and exclusively dedicated to the theme of innovation, to be developed over the next few years with dedicated budgets and resources.
The first objective was to give a clear definition of the concept of innovation by choosing the one given in The Little Black Book of Innovation by Scott D. Anthony:
“Blueprinting is an idea to seize that opportunity, and implementing that idea to achieve results: no impact, no innovation.”
The second clearly-defined objective was the role and purpose of the new team’s work. The following figure summarizes the domain of the innovation team and where it is located – away from current solutions and business. As a result, it becomes a collector of opportunities, ideas and skills, delving into new technologies. The final objective is to create prototypes of new products and solutions that, transferred to the engineering and development bodies together with the related new skills, can enrich the company’s product portfolio of tomorrow.
The team has given priority to those projects that best meet the sustainability requirements and the most innovative needs of customers and their customers.