In recent years, financial markets have begun to evaluate non-financial information, such as a company's environmental, social and governance initiatives, generating greater demand for ESG investing. At the same time, greater attention is being given to the potential of the private sector's technologies and know-how following the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations in 2015 which calls for companies to become global partners in sharing innovations that can solve social issues.
Amidst this, NTT Group has made significant changes to its business structure. We recognize that businesses combining broadband and information systems inside and outside Japan represent a new form of business that will unlock the further growth for NTT Group, while also enhancing industrial competitiveness and helping to solve community issues.
For example, building a new value creation model maximizing ICT, such as AI and IoT, know-how and knowledge that not only streamlines the operations and reduces the environmental impacts of a single company, but also raises the productivity of society as a whole, conserves the global environment and solves social issues, will result in growth opportunities for NTT Group and represents a duty we have to society as a global corporation with some 280,000 employees as well as countless customers and business partners around the world.
NTT Group considers itself a Value Partner, which collaborates not only with customers and telecommunications providers, but also companies from different industries and local governments. In this capacity, we are continually working to contribute to society using the power of ICT through our B2B2X model.
NTT Group makes the promotion of B2B2X one of the pillars of our growth strategy. At regularly held meetings of the Board of Directors, debate over future actions is deepened, and the progress is reported on at General Meetings of Shareholders.
For NTT Group, accelerating the B2B2X business is an initiative to transform from our old model of directly providing services to individuals and companies, to a new model of delivering added value to end users through support for service providers in a variety of fields, by leveraging social and technological currents such as digitalization, the IoT, and artificial intelligence (AI). With the digitalization of information, the acquisition, processing, and distribution of a variety of data take place freely over networks, and the effective use of underutilized, or "sleeping," assets and know-how becomes possible. Moreover, the advance of the IoT means that it will become possible to grasp the state of all manner of things when necessary, not only through smartphones and other mobile devices, but also through network-connected sensors and monitors in machines, buildings, and infrastructure. Furthermore, the adoption of AI makes the instantaneous processing and analysis of large volumes of collected data possible, and dramatically enhances the possibilities for supporting the creation of new added value by service providers.
We are now working to resolve social issues while expanding the B2B2X model, through actions such as improving Wi-Fi environments so they are easy even for visiting tourists to use, and revitalizing local economies and responding to aging populations and declining birthrates through collaboration with diverse companies and organizations.