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Stakeholder Engagement

The Fundamental Principle

The NTT Group is guided by the NTT Group CSR Charter in our goal of creating a safe, secure and prosperous society that serves people, communities and the global environment. 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 AccountAbility 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 the 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 the 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 the 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 organisation 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 the NTT Group
    • Stakeholders’ dependency on the NTT Group
    • Value to the NTT Group of engagement with the specific stakeholder
    • Risk to the 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 the 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 minimising risk and maximising 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.

Prioritizing Stakeholders

We take particular care when engaging with stakeholders who are impacted by or who impact the NTT Group by a significant measure in terms of our business activity and the services and products we provide, as well as the social and environmental aspects of our activities.
Through engagement, we will strive to deepen our bond with stakeholders and continue to actively respond to expectations and issues, received as feedback, that are related to society and the NTT Group.

Prioritizing Stakeholders

Customers (Corporations and Individuals)

Employees (Employees, Their Families and Retired Employees)

Shareholders and Investors

Local Communities

Business Partners

ICT Companies and Industry Associations

Central Government and Administrative Agencies

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