JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation
Message From the Outside Director

Tokoro Chiharu
Outside Director
JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corporation

In 2004, Dr. Tokoro became an assistant professor at Waseda University, School of Science and Engineering. After serving as a full-time lecturer and associate professor at Waseda University, Faculty of Science and Engineering (present), she advanced to the position of professor in the same faculty. In 2016, she became a project professor at the University of Tokyo, Institute of Industrial Science (present). In April 2021, she became a professor at the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Engineering (present). She has served as an outside director of the Company since April 2021. Her fields of study include resource processing engineering and environmental purification engineering.

My role as an outside director

With my specialty in resource engineering, I have worked with JX Nippon Mining & Metals in a range of activities, including a visit to the Toyoha Mine just before it closed when I was a student, and subsequent research on mine drainage treatment and recycling. The issues of securing resources and resource recycling is entering a phase of importance as a social issue, and my desire is to assist in these areas from my position as a specialist. As I hold a neutral position as a university instructor, I will do my best to provide an impartial perspective on the Company's management. Separately, since female researchers are very rare in the field of engineering, I have long experienced being a minority. As an outside director, I would also like to provide commentary from a diversity viewpoint and incorporating my experience.
Unconscious bias within an organization impedes promoting diversity. In order to create an organization that is resilient to environmental changes, I believe it is important to neutralize these biases as much as possible, create a workplace where diverse human resources have the power of self-expression, and link human resource diversity to the strength of the organization. I have been a member of the Board of Directors since April 2021. My experience is that it has been much easier to speak up than I had expected, and that we have successfully created a forum enabling open discussion.

Thoughts on accelerating ESG management

Japanese companies appear to lag behind their peers in the West when it comes to ESG management, but despite this, I think the Company deserves praise for its leadership in driving ESG management in the nonferrous metals industry. The endowed course at the University of Tokyo, in which I have been assisting since 2016, also has the mission of outreach to society as a whole from a long-term perspective, and I believe that JX Nippon Mining & Metals has always maintained a mindset valuing broad contributions to society.
JX Nippon Mining & Metals also has a mission to contribute to the social and environment through the stable supply of metal resources and technological innovation in advanced functional materials. For example, any attempt toward more widespread battery use, smart electricity use, or growth in renewable energies will necessitate high-efficiency foils and wires using copper, a conductive element. Furthermore, since metals can be recycled, we must safeguard our scarce resources by using technology possessed by JX Nippon Mining & Metals to facilitate their repeated use. In other words, since the Company's business is fundamentally related to contributing to the social and environment, we can say that the shift toward ESG management was a logical step to take.

The road to achieving carbon neutrality

I believe that JX Nippon Mining & Metals plays a very important role in the decarbonization of society. Against this backdrop, the Company has set a very ambitious goal of reducing its total CO2 emissions by 50% in fiscal 2030 (compared to fiscal 2018). Such a lofty goal cannot be achieved simply through incrementing on existing initiatives; it will require disruptive innovation. I feel it is difficult for a single company to bring about such social innovation by itself. My belief is that now is the time for JX Nippon Mining & Metals to be a core driver in forming a network carefully connecting suppliers, customers, universities, and local communities, founded on the technological capabilities and trust that it has built up over the years.
In its long-term vision, the Company declares a future goal to become a “global company that fosters the development of society’s innovation with advanced materials.” In order to achieve this goal, it is extremely important to create a cycle of trust through networking with stakeholders around the world. It is my hope that the Company will achieve this vision through creating innovations altering the very foundations of social infrastructure, and that it will continue to be a company indispensable to its society.

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