Rakuten’s Materiality

In order to situate our sustainability action plan in line with the expectations of our stakeholders and of society as a whole, in 2017 we reviewed our materiality. That is, the key issues that Rakuten has a responsibility to address in order to realize long-term business growth that contributes to the realization of a sustainable society.

Identification Process

Step 1

Using international benchmarks, such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we established a list of 33 potential Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) concerns related to the business activities and culture of the Rakuten Group.

Step 2

For each concern, employees, business partners, such as Rakuten merchants, and users of our services evaluated Rakuten’s degree of responsibility for addressing each concern (i.e., the importance to stakeholders). At the same time, our upper management evaluated the relevance and importance of these concerns to Rakuten.

Results

The survey results identified 16 issues of high priority to both our stakeholders and upper management.

  • Safety and quality
    1. Data security and customer privacy
    2. Service accessibility and affordability
    3. Service safety and quality
  • Responsible practices
    1. Anti-competitive practice prevention 
    2. Responsible information usage
      (labeling, marketing) 
    3. Sustainable consumption behaviors
    4. Responsible supply chain
  • Talent attraction and development
    1. Diversity and equality
    2. Skill development and benefits
    3. Workplace safety
  • Environment protection
    1. Packaging
    2. Climate change
    3. Biological diversity
  • Local communities
    1. Entrepreneurship and innovation
    2. Disaster relief
    3. Future generations

Four most important concerns

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    Data security and customer privacy

    The Rakuten Group collects and uses customers’ personal data in its various services, and protecting our data and customers' privacy is of utmost importance to us.

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    Responsible marketing and information usage

    As the Rakuten Group is providing a wide range of services from EC to financial services over the Internet, providing information responsibly is essential.

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    Anti-competitive practice prevention

    The Rakuten Group is committed to fair and ethical business practices. We strive at all times to establish and maintain high ethical standards together with our business partners.

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    Service Safety and Quality

    At the Rakuten Group we strive to improve the quality, safety, reliability, legality, usefulness and convenience of our products and services in order to maximize customer satisfaction.

In addition to ensuring high ethical and quality standards in all our business practices, attracting and developing a talented workforce is a key aspect of our long-term success.
Protection of the natural environment is another concern that the Rakuten Group should reflect in all its actions and reporting. In addition, our social contribution activities, especially support for future generations and for disaster-hit areas, are important aspects of local community empowerment initiatives.

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