What is Corporate Philosophy?
According to a report by McKinsey, a company’s corporate philosophy is a set of fundamental beliefs that serve as guidelines for why and how people should perform and conduct themselves. You can imagine the company’s philosophy is like the light from a lighthouse, constantly guiding an ocean liner full of employees and stakeholders, ensuring they do not wander off course. And when a corporate philosophy “crystallizes, it becomes a powerful force indeed.”
A clearly defined corporate philosophy allows a company to develop its mission, commitments, and strategic plans (often in the form of material issues, company charters, and strategic objectives). Day to day, a company’s corporate philosophy serves as the guiding principles that direct the company’s decision-making and how employees should conduct themselves as members of the organization.
What is TOTO’s Corporate Philosophy?
“The TOTO Group strives to create a great company, trusted by people all around the world, and contributing to the betterment of society.”
TOTO’s Common Group Philosophy
The common TOTO Group philosophy represents the inherited values shared among employees that will be carried forward into the future. It encompasses the company mottos, the TOTO Group Corporate Philosophy, and the TOTO Group Corporate Code of Conduct.
In 1962, TOTO developed its company motto to encapsulate its beliefs, values, and ethical stance and serve as a guide for its future business activities while respecting its origins and traditions.
"Take pride in your work, and strive to do your best."
This motto embodies our determination to contribute to society's advancement and improve customers' lifestyles through a strong service mentality.
TOTO’s Corporate Motto:
Take pride in your work, and strive to do your best.
TOTO Group Corporate Philosophy
“Providing a healthy and civilized way of life”—this was Kazuchika Okura, TOTO’s founder’s vision.
Based on Okura’s vision, TOTO Group’s Corporate Philosophy was refined over the years into what it is today:
“To create a great company, trusted by people all around the world, and contributing to the betterment of society.”
Okura’s vision, which has survived for over a century, is passed on to each new cohort of TOTO employees without fail. Further, It serves as the foundation of the TOTO Group’s management and the touchstone for our design, engineering, manufacturing, and sales activities.
TOTO works to ensure that Okura’s vision continues to benefit future generations by delivering safe, reliable TOTO products and services to customers worldwide. In doing so, we strive to “create an enriched and more comfortable lifestyle and culture built on our plumbing products.” This enduring tenet is a key facet of the “TOTO Group Corporate Philosophy.”
Materiality is a foundational feature of American securities law and regulation. The term “material” was first introduced in the U.S. Securities Act of 1933. In this context, “materiality” refers to issues that a “reasonable person” would consider important and is often used in financial reporting.
However, corporations today often use the term “materiality” within Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting. In this context, the term materiality refers to issues that can have significant repercussions on the company.
For example, materiality is critical in guiding companies’ sustainability strategic planning processes. While sustainability reporting is not required at present, it is generally recognized as a best practice. That is, corporations should report relevant (or “material”) issues that impact their ability to create, maintain, or erode economic, environmental, or social value for themselves, stakeholders, the environment, and the global society.
TOTO’s Materiality Framework
In order to manage these three primary material areas, and in turn, uphold our Corporate Philosophy, TOTO is committed to the following:
The TOTO Group considers materiality as the themes and activity areas that impact social, environmental, and economic value. In the identification process, we refer to the United Nations Global Compact and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and analyze them from three dimensions. In other words, these themes lead to the creation of social, environmental, and economic value.
TOTO Group’s Corporate Philosophy outlines the purpose of the company’s existence, business sectors, and desired image for all of our stakeholders. In addition, it serves as the foundation of what the company motto strives to communicate.
The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee Brings Materiality to Life
To bring TOTO Group’s Corporate Philosophy and its material issues to life, TOTO established the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee and CSR department in 2004. The CSR Committee meets twice a year with the president of the TOTO Group as the chairperson. To integrate TOTO's business management and CSR issues, he supervises the three fields – environmental, social, and governance.
At CSR Committee meetings, CSR and materiality issues, including climate change reduction strategies, are discussed. From there, strategic plans are developed, and each subcommittee in charge develops implementation plans and deploys them to the relevant divisions. Further, the TOTO Group companies in Japan and globally (including the United States) conduct cross-divisional activities.
New Shared Value Creation Strategy: TOTO WILL2030
Stemming from the TOTO Group’s Corporate Philosophy, the “New Shared Value Creation Strategy: TOTO WILL2030” focuses on helping achieve a carbon-neutral and sustainable society by 2050. TOTO aims to help realize a sustainable society and help achieve clean, comfortable, and healthy lifestyles worldwide by 2030.
With the important material issues of Cleanliness and Comfort, Environment, and Relationships, TOTO continually strives to integrate TOTO’s “Global Environmental Vision” into our business model and management system. TOTO aims to help create an enriched and comfortable future society that does not negatively impact the global environment to achieve economic growth. As a result of these efforts, TOTO will contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through WILL2030.
In 1912, the concept of public sewage systems was still in its infancy in Japan. When TOTO’s founder, Kazuchika Okura, observed the more advanced systems overseas, he was moved to establish a ceramic sanitary ware laboratory to develop healthier and cleaner living spaces. Five years later, Okura founded Toyo Toki K.K. (the TOTO LTD of today) to supply the market with these products. Okura was also committed to providing people with clean, comfortable living spaces while protecting the planet and its water. And through Okura’s commitment, his vision serves as the foundation of the TOTO Group’s Corporate Philosophy - to be trusted by people all around the world and to contribute to the betterment of society.
Today, this philosophy has led TOTO’s expansion into a global corporation renowned for its high-quality, high-performance products that provide cleanliness and comfort to millions of people globally. Moreover, it provides reassurance that today’s TOTO Global Group, its partners, and employees are guided by the same vision and ethical standards for a better, more sustainable society that TOTO’s founder had.