On November 8, 2016, NSK celebrated its 100th anniversary. We would not be here today without the support of our numerous stakeholders, including our customers, suppliers, local communities, and partners outside Japan. We would like to express our deep gratitude for this support from all our stakeholders.
In conjunction with our centenary, we have chosen “Setting the Future in Motion” as the key message of NSK Vision 2026, the roadmap for the type of company we aim to become in the mid- to long-term. By setting the future in motion, we aim to generate new levels of performance, functionality and value—not only for the customers we supply directly, but also the people who use the vehicles and home electronics in which our products are incorporated, as well as the end users of the industrial equipment, machines and systems that employ NSK products. But beyond that, we recognize that we must also generate new value in forms beyond the current imagination. We follow societal trends and consumer needs closely, and are working to leverage our four core technologies to generate new products and services. Under NSK Vision 2026, the NSK Group has commenced its 5th Mid-Term Management Plan, spanning the three years beginning April 2016. Under the slogan “embark on new chapter in evolution towards next 100 years” with two key policies of “operational excellence” and “innovate and challenge,” we are addressing three main management tasks: achieving sustainable growth, reconstructing our profit base, and establishing new growth fields.
At the NSK Group, we are convinced that in order to grow sustainably, it is critical that we accurately gauge the tone of the times, and steadily work to improve our environmental (E), social (S), and governance (G) initiatives.
Environmental initiatives: The need to address climate change is more pressing than ever before. Leveraging our four core technologies, we believe our first mission is to develop more environmentally friendly products that can be employed around the world. At NSK, we strive to contribute to the environment through both our products and manufacturing methods, aiming to reduce environmental impact in our production processes by improving production efficiency, installing energy-saving equipment, and switching to cleaner energy sources. In order for NSK to attain sustained growth, we understand we must be more proactive and attuned to the global societal goal of achieving a sharp reduction in CO2 emissions. NSK is determined to address global environmental concerns, as set out in our corporate philosophy.
Social initiatives: To achieve greater diversity and inclusion at NSK—especially with regard to gender, age, and nationality—we are working to ensure that everyone in the Group, including both executive officers and regular employees, understands how important these values are. At NSK, we are committed to building an organization and a culture where everyone recognizes the importance of a diverse workforce and actively embraces this principle.
Governance initiatives: In fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2016, the same external consultant evaluated the effectiveness of the Board of Directors and provided an assessment of progress made over the past two years. This assessment was communicated to all directors based on a predetermined reporting process. NSK's Board of Directors was commended for its improvement in ensuring livelier debates as a result of reviewing the matters put for debate and discussion by the Board of Directors, increasing the length of time allocated for debate, and working harder to make sure all of the directors are well informed prior to meetings. However, the consultant also raised issues requiring improvement, including greater awareness of the role that the Board of Directors should play in ensuring sustainable growth and improving corporate value over the mid- to long-term, increasing diversity on the Board of Directors, and reconsidering the ratio of external to internal directors. NSK will continue working to improve the effectiveness of its Board of Directors.
NSK has established Vision 2026 as its vision for the next decade. Within the context of changes in the business environment over a period that extends beyond this plan and our growth strategies in response to these changes, we believe that the major technological trends in the Automotive Business will be the popularization of electric vehicles, increasing vehicle electrification, and autonomous driving. In the field of industrial machinery, we are seeing rapid advances in technologies related to IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics, alternative materials, metallic lamination technology, and 3D printing. The industrial machinery sector itself, along with the practice of monozukuri (quality manufacturing) that relies on such machinery, is headed for momentous changes. In addition, breakthroughs in the technologies needed to achieve a low-carbon, recycling-oriented society are triggering huge changes in the industrial structure, and we are watching these trends closely. Considering the advanced new technologies that are being called for, this shift presents NSK with great opportunities. We cannot simply stand by, waiting for customers or other external parties to tell us what they want—we must proactively propose unique solutions. We see this as the key to our future growth. At NSK, we aim to be an enterprise that leverages the many technologies we have developed throughout our history as well as our strong business base to generate new value that makes a meaningful contribution to society.
President & CEO NSK Ltd.