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CEO Commitment

Last Updated: 2017.02.28
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Now or Never: Immediate Action on Sustainability

Sustainability as a central business goal

Our world is going through challenging times. The global population is expected to surpass 9 billion by 2050 and if things continue at this rate, we will soon exceed the capacity of the planet. From the increasing burden on the environment, to poverty, a worsening refugee crisis and several regional conflicts, a mountain of issues require our immediate attention. Without doubt, we find ourselves in a very serious predicament.

Now or Never

The challenges we face can't all be solved by nations and governments alone. Nor is it responsible for businesses to look at these problems from the sidelines, waiting for action to come from elsewhere. To create a more sustainable world, leadership and drive is needed from private sector companies that have the power to influence and affect change. At Fast Retailing, there is a strong sense of urgency. We believe that unless the world acts now, it will be too late.

Changing clothes. Changing conventional wisdom. Change the world.

This is the corporate statement of the Fast Retailing Group. We created it to stay focused on ways to change society for the better through our business activities and through our product offerings. Our statement includes the belief that a more sustainable world is the most important business goal for us. If we are unable to maintain a society and environment in which people can live with dignity and engage in economic activities, all our efforts will amount to nothing - no matter how big our profits are. So the ultimate goal of business is the continuity and prosperity of the planet and its people. Everything else is just a means to that end.

Today, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mainly describes the duties that companies fulfill towards society. At Fast Retailing, we have undertaken an even broader level of responsibility; pledging that all our business activities will be conducted in ways that help create a more sustainable world.

Striving to become a more sustainable company also enables us to create new value and to innovate without limit. Through this journey and learning process, new opportunities will be created for Fast Retailing and its stakeholders. This is precisely why we address sustainability as top priority.

Always asking, "Is it sustainable?"

To contribute to a more sustainable world, we need to think long and hard about what we can do through our own business operations and then act immediately upon our capabilities. We must focus on corporate activities that minimize environmental impact. In addition to these global environmental issues, we must find more impactful ways to help people around the world who continue to struggle. Lastly, ensuring traceability along the supply chain from material procurement through to production, and taking responsibility from sales through to our customers' end-of-use is another essential step. Instead of words and debate, what's required now to make the world more sustainable is action.

Through our set of guiding values and principles - which we call the FR Way - we commit to grow and develop in unity with society, adhering to high ethical standards. We aim to be a global citizen of integrity, considerate of the impact our business has on people, society and the planet. We are transforming the way our teams think and work to incorporate a sustainability perspective across every aspect of our business. Each department and employee at Fast Retailing will now position sustainability as a core criteria in their daily work, asking the question "is it sustainable?" before making decisions.

A business without a mission is meaningless

I do not think there is any value in pursuing a business without a sense of meaning. In our case, making the world a better place through clothing is a cornerstone of our mission and an idea that provides great purpose. All our employees are ambassadors of this mission as we seek to create a sustainable world in partnership with our stakeholders. Based on this commitment, we will promote sustainability across four priority areas: Responsible Supply Chain Management, Responsible Products, Responsible Stores and Stronger Communities and Responsibility towards our Employees.

As the concept of "clothing, food and shelter" suggests, clothes are one of the most basic human needs. By continuing to provide people around the world with the joy, happiness and satisfaction of wearing clothes beyond time and borders, we vow to do our utmost to bring sustainable prosperity to the world.

February 28, 2017

Tadashi Yanai
Chairman, President and CEO
Fast Retailing Co., Ltd.
Tadashi Yanai

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