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Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder Engagement

The Fundamental Principle

NTT Group is guided by the NTT Group CSR Charter in our goal of working to solve social issues through our business and realize a sustainable society. As a global conglomerate with an extensive and complex wide-ranging value chain, we provide products and services through our operations which impact well beyond those stakeholders in immediate contact with us. However, these stakeholders have a wide variety of needs and expectations regarding our operations. Stakeholder engagements serve as our way to understand and take into consideration the needs and expectations of our stakeholders in the way we conduct our business. Stakeholder input, particularly on social and environmental issues, can help to improve our competitiveness and accountability, while guaranteeing our social license to conduct operations in our various business regions.

Engagements with stakeholders form the building blocks of trust-based, value-generating relationships. In order to properly develop these relationships, it is essential to have a global, strategic approach to stakeholder engagements. These guidelines, which are based in part on the AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard (AA1000SES) and AA1000 Account Ability Principles Standard (AA1000APS), cover all of our worldwide operations, and have been created to assist those in all Group companies and subsidiaries facilitating stakeholder engagements, and ensure consistency globally in all of our engagement processes. In doing so, we aim to promote effective, efficient, and ultimately value-creating engagements between NTT Group and its stakeholders. It goes without saying that all engagements shall be conducted according to relevant laws, regulations and legal requirements.

Generally speaking, engagements should allow NTT Group to:

  • identify emerging environmental/social trends and reflect them in strategy formulation
  • identify and develop countermeasures for potential risks
  • manage our brand reputation more closely
  • identify opportunities for potential new businesses, collaboration and innovation
  • improve community relations and support for operations, in particular by involving stakeholders in decisions to ensure their needs are taken into consideration
  • improve our understanding of sensitive issues and of stakeholders' opinions of us
  • make more sustainable business decisions based on stakeholder input

Engagements should also allow stakeholders to:

  • better understand NTT Group's strategy and projects, including the business context of individual operations
  • provide feedback regarding their needs and expectations

Before the Engagement

In advance of any engagement, the purpose, scope, ownership, target, level and methods of the engagement should be determined. An assessment of the potential risks associated with engaging with specific stakeholders should also be conducted.

  • The purpose refers to the objective of engaging with the relevant stakeholders.
  • The scope refers to the subject matter of the engagement, the parts of the company and organization to be involved in the engagement, and the time frame of the engagement. This should also include an indication of the expected resources and capabilities required of the company.

However, the purpose and scope may require the input of stakeholders and as such may be subject to change as appropriate during the course of the engagement.

  • The ownership of the engagement refers to the employee(s) within the organization deemed to have overall responsibility for planning and carrying out the engagement.
  • The target refers to the relevant stakeholder groups who are to be the target of the engagement. These stakeholder groups should be identified and prioritized taking into account the following:
    • Stakeholders' interests and responsibilities
    • Stakeholders' diversity of expertise and capacity to engage
    • Stakeholders' level of influence
    • Stakeholders' willingness to engage with NTT Group
    • Stakeholders' dependency on NTT Group
    • Value to NTT Group of engagement with the specific stakeholder
    • Risk to NTT Group of engagement with the specific stakeholder

Given the pace at which industries and business environments can change, stakeholder mapping should be conducted on a regular basis to ensure relevance and value to NTT Group. The maps created can be used in preparation for each engagement to help identify and prioritize stakeholders relevant to each engagement.

The level and methods of engagement can be classified according to the following categories:

Level of engagement Examples of engagement methods
Monitor Tracking of media and one-way communications to the company.
Inform Provision of information from the company to stakeholders through letters, bulletins, websites, speeches, reports, etc., with no invitation to respond.
Consult Two-way exchange of information between the company and stakeholders through surveys, focus groups, workshops, etc., with an expectation of responses from both sides.
Involve Two-way exchange of information between the company and stakeholders, with stakeholders more actively involved in decision-making, through establishment of advisory panels or multi-stakeholder dialogues.
Collaborate Joint ventures and partnerships on specific projects.
  • Risks of engagement with specific stakeholders should also be assessed. Potential risks may include an unwillingness to engage on the part of stakeholders; disruptive stakeholders; creation of unrealistic and unfulfillable expectations of the company on the part of stakeholders; and inter-stakeholder conflicts. These could potentially result in criticism of the company and damage to the company's reputation; a waste of the company's resources.

During the Engagement

Once the engagement is underway, the expectations of both sides regarding the respective inputs and outputs of the engagement should be discussed and established. In particular, this refers to:

  • Levels of contribution and clear definition of roles of participants
  • Details of the process, including timelines and methods
  • Provision of instructions and required materials in good time for participation in and meaningful contribution to the engagement process
  • Boundaries of disclosure of required information, including confidentiality requirements
  • Communication of results of the engagement

Some of the above may of course require revision of original plans for the stakeholder engagement as made by the company. Any such revisions should be made taking into account the original intentions of the company as well as the requirements of participating stakeholders. Efforts should also be made to ensure a balanced participation from all stakeholders, especially in the case of multi-stakeholder events from the perspective of both minimizing risk and maximizing value to the company.

After the Engagement

The first priority after concluding the engagement should be the communication of the results of the engagement, both internally and to participating stakeholders, and externally to the wider public where necessary, through website and/or report publication. Such communication should include an indication of the purpose, scope, method and participants of the engagement; a summary of the content, including issues and concerns raised during the process; and the company's response to the outcomes of the engagement.

It is also important to conduct both an evaluation of the outcome of the engagement, and a review of the engagement process itself, in order to improve the efficiency and outputs of future engagements. The evaluation of the outputs should include the development of some indicators (KPIs) to assess the value of the engagement and its results. This review should be conducted internally.

Regarding the review of the engagement process itself, an internal review should be conducted and feedback should be sought from participating stakeholders regarding how they felt about their involvement, and a plan for improvement should be developed based on the results of these.

Identifying Stakeholders

Our stakeholders are organizations or individuals who have an interest, in one way or another, in the business activities or decision making of NTT Group. Major stakeholders of NTT Group include customers (individuals and corporations), shareholders and investors, employees (employees, their families and retired employees), local communities, business partners, ICT companies and industry associations, and central government and administrative agencies.
NTT Group will fulfill its responsibilities and the expectations of its various stakeholders related to these businesses.

Customers (Corporations and Individuals)

All customers, both corporate and individual, who use services provided by NTT Group

NTT's Approach

As we strive to be chosen as "Your Value Partner," each individual employee will strive for an even higher awareness of CSR to provide safe, secure services that are high in quality and convenient from the customer's standpoint.

Methods of Engagement (examples)

  • Customer information service
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Website, social media
  • Annual reports

Why We Engage

NTT Group endeavors to enhance customer satisfaction and become as "Your Value Partner," for our customers by understanding their needs and standpoints in order to provide higher quality services and products.

Shareholders and Investors

Individual and institutional investors including the shareholders and creditors of NTT Group

NTT's Approach

We will return profits to shareholders while maintaining a sound financial standing and enhancing our corporate value. We will also endeavor to disclose information related to the Group in a timely, appropriate and fair manner.

Methods of Engagement (examples)

  • General Meeting of Shareholders,earnings reports
  • Explanatory presentation for individual investors
  • Explanatory presentation for institutional investors
  • Annual reports

Why We Engage

We endeavor to disclose information in a timely, appropriate and fair manner to return solid profits to shareholders while maintaining a sound financial standing and enhancing our corporate value.

Employees (Employees, Their Families and Retired Employees)

Employees who work at NTT Group and retired employees who support NTT Group's CSR ideals

NTT's Approach

We will pursue various employee initiatives to create safe and healthy workplaces in which everyone can realize their full potential and be rewarded in their work and daily lives. We will also value communication with retired employees.

Methods of Engagement (examples)

  • Employee satisfaction surveys
  • Regular interviews
  • Dialogue between labor and management
  • Corporate ethics helplines
  • CSR Conference

Why We Engage

We create safe and healthy workplaces for our employees and support their daily lives so that each individual employee can realize their full potential and carry out their work with a strong awareness of CSR.

Local Communities

People in local communities who are connected to us through the core businesses of NTT Group companies

NTT's Approach

We will advance alongside local communities by implementing social contributions and disaster countermeasures through our ICT business.

Methods of Engagement (examples)

  • Support and collaboration through social contribution activities
  • Negotiations with local residents on construction work, system development and other activities
  • Support through donations and sponsorships

Why We Engage

We seek to contribute to the further development of a flourishing and vibrant community and to understand and identify the issues faced by local communities in order to implement social contributions and disaster countermeasures through our ICT business.

Business Partners

Business partners who offer their cooperation in various ways as NTT Group provides its services

NTT's Approach

We will seek to work together to create and implement services that address a variety of social issues.

Methods of Engagement (examples)

  • Inquiry forms
  • Disclosure of procurement policies and guidelines
  • Questionnaires of suppliers
  • Briefing for suppliers

Why We Engage

By procuring products with due consideration to the environment and human rights, and by forging partnerships based on fairness, we will fulfill our social responsibilities as a company and achieve sustainable growth alongside our business partners.

ICT Companies and Industry Associations

Other ICT companies and people in industry associations who are striving to develop Japan's information and telecommunications

NTT's Approach

We will engage in discussions on the direction and initiatives for the information and telecommunications industry, not only in Japan but from a global perspective, and seek to address diverse social issues together.

Methods of Engagement (examples)

  • Participation in industry associations and related initiatives
  • Participation in conferences

Why We Engage

We will engage in discussions on the direction and initiatives for the information and telecommunications industry. By doing this, we will invigorate the entire industry and contribute to society by promoting development and progress in information and telecommunications.

Central Government and Administrative Agencies

Central and local governments and administrative agencies that make policy decisions on information and telecommunications, employment and the economy, the environment, and other issues

NTT's Approach

We will fulfill our responsibility as an information and telecommunications company by adhering to the policies of the central government, administrative agencies and local governments.

Methods of Engagement (examples)

  • Response to laws and regulations
  • Policy proposals
  • Participation in joint projects between the government and private sector

Why We Engage

We will respond to and comply with central and local government and administrative agency policies. Therefore, we will carry out business activities in an appropriate manner and contribute to resolving social issues faced by the Japanese people and local governments.

NGOs, NPOs and Experts

NGOs, NPOs and experts who are positioned within the NTT Group's domain of activities including CSR

NTT's Approach

We will contribute to creating a sustainable society by sharing the expert knowledge and experience of NGOs, NPOs and experts, and by incorporating them into the telecommunications industry.

Methods of Engagement (examples)

  • Participation and collaboration with study groups and activities of each organization
  • Dialogues
  • Collaborative projectsn

Why We Engage

The NTT Group provides services that extend beyond telecommunications to broader domains, and gaining the specialized perspectives of NGOs, NPOs and experts allows the Group to appropriately and effectively develop business activities.