Management Strategy and Sustainability
The year 2020 has been marred by uncertainty about the future caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of January 2020, we set up the Emergency Response Headquarters, which reports directly to me, and promptly implemented a number of countermeasures. We are working to gather information and deploy measures regarding the constantly changing management and operational situations, while ensuring the health and safety of our employees.
We have been providing safe and healthy air environments under Environmental Vision 2050 established in 2018. With COVID-19, there is growing awareness about the importance of ventilation and air purification around the world. We will be the first to respond to these growing needs using solutions that fully harness our technologies, products, and services.
I am proud to say that Daikin has an uncanny ability to stand up in the face of crises. Now is the time that we exhibit this strength, as we move toward greater growth with an eye on the post-COVID-19 world, as a "company that provides solutions with air."
Over the past several years, we have explored ways to grow the air conditioner business while striking a balance between positives and negatives from the spread of air conditioners.
Air conditioners have become a key part of infrastructure supporting society because they have ushered in changes in indoor environments in hot regions. They help to prevent heat stroke and improve people's health by improving air quality, and bring about economic development by improving labor efficiency.
Concurrently, the spread of air conditioners has increased the use of electricity and affected global warming.
Demand for air conditioning is expected to triple from current levels by 2050 driven by economic development in emerging countries and other factors. Daikin's social mission can be found in mitigating the impacts of global warming wherever possible while providing a comfortable air environment to people around the world. Under our Environmental Vision 2050 established in fiscal 2018, we are tackling challenges associated with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. Through the development and spread of products and services that contribute to energy conservation and the mitigation of global warming, we aim to reduce the world's greenhouse gas emissions while further developing our businesses.
Using rapidly evolving AI and IoT technologies will prove beneficial in providing higher added value air conditioning to society. With this philosophy in mind, we launched Daikin Information and Communications Technology College, an inhouse learning program, in fiscal 2017 with the full cooperation of Osaka University. We are using this program to foster around 1,000 human resources by fiscal 2021 capable of using AI and IoT to resolve various challenges, connecting knowledge of advanced informatics with our proprietary technologies. Three years since its inception, the program has produced a number of innovations driven by AI and IoT used to resolve issues on the frontlines of production and sales. Looking ahead, we expect these new innovations will be used to resolve social issues.
In May 2019, we endorsed the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). In addition to financial information, we will now focus on disclosing environmental, social and governance (ESG) information, including climate change.
Also, since 2008, we have supported the UN Global Compact, which sets forth 10 principles covering the four areas of human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.
We stand committed to helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through our business for the benefit of the international community. Toward this end, we will continue to fulfill the expectations of our various stakeholders including customers, shareholders, investors, suppliers, and local communities.
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