Eco-business / Social Venture

January 22, 2016


Open 2030 Project to Create Sustainable Actions for Future

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture Policy / Systems 

Photo: OPEN 2030 PROJECT website.
OPEN 2030 PROJECT website.

The production and consumption cycle, which has existed for many years, is closely connected with our lives. Nowadays, however, this cycle has lost its balance because of overproduction and overconsumption, which has generated various problems. In response, new movements have arisen to reconsider sustainable production and consumption in terms of society, businesses, and our everyday lives.

With a focus on the 2030 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new project called the Open 2030 Project was launched in Japan on September 28, 2015, to act for the future of society, companies, and ordinary people. This project aims to provide insight into future society and encourage corporate transformation and innovation.

The project is planned and operated by an executive committee consisting of 13 members with Norichika Kanie-- professor of the Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University--as its head, as well as by an executive office consisting of two companies and two organizations. Members of the executive committee include Japan for Sustainability (JFS) General Manager, Riichiro Oda, and key persons working on corporate social responsibility (CSR) for Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insuarance Inc. and Ajinomoto Co., both of which are JFS corporate members.

As 2015--the deadline for the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)-- approached, the international community worked to accelerate efforts to achieve the goals while having discussions to establish post-2015 international development goals. Then, on September 25, 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted at the UN summit, and 17 SDGs were formulated as post-2015 goals.

SDGs are goals related to wide-ranging global issues, such as poverty, hunger and food, water and sanitation, education, gender, consumption and production, climate change, and biodiversity. Focusing on Goal 12 of the SDGs, which is to "Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns," the Open 2030 Project will implement initiatives to make our future society better.

Primarily, the Open 2030 Project provides participating companies with two programs, Business Development Consultation and the Co-Established Business Laboratory. These programs will be pursued in collaboration with stakeholders having diverse values, and include research organizations, ministries and agencies, local governments, companies, nongovernmental/nonprofit organizations (NGOs/NPOs), and social entrepreneurs.

In the Business Development Consultation program, participating companies will first receive inputs by attending sessions with stakeholders specializing in each field of the SDGs and participating in learning journeys (tours to observe cutting-edge initiatives). After that, the companies will be consulted about formulating their own strategies and expanding sustainable business operations. In this way, this program will offer companies hints on how to incorporate SDGs into their business activities.

In the Co-Established Business Laboratory program, plans for business development that incorporate participating companies' business operations and social issues will be mapped out through open innovation. The program will also help companies achieve the proposed business models, while trying to match entrepreneurs, NGOs/NPOs, corporate innovation resources, and investment funds with one another.

The Open 2030 Project will start in earnest in 2016, and will aim to pursue corporate standards while supporting "21st century companies" that balance business activities and social values. The project is also designed to raise public awareness and disseminate information to society about corporate efforts.