The Tokio Marine Group positions customer trust as the foundation of all its corporate activities and adheres to its Corporate Philosophy of providing "safety and security" to customers and realizing a prosperous and comfortable society through its business activities.
Under its new mid-term corporate strategy "Innovation and Execution 2014," which commenced in fiscal 2012, the Tokio Marine Group will realize its medium-term vision of being "a global insurance group sustaining growth by offering quality that customers select." In doing so, the Group aims to achieve sustainable growth in its non-life insurance, life insurance, both domestic and international and financial & general businesses while striving to establish a sound financial base by developing more sophisticated Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and Business Continuity Management (BCM) to improve customer confidence in our products and services.
The year 2011 witnessed a succession of major natural catastrophes in regions throughout the world, beginning with the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as floods in Australia, the earthquake in New Zealand, tornadoes and a hurricane in the United States and the floods in Thailand. The Company used full strength of the entire Group to make claims payments and support quick recoveries. Through these initiatives, I once again affirmed the crucial role that insurance plays in helping customers rebuild their lives as a "preparation against unexpected risk." The Tokio Marine Group is directly addressing an array of social issues affecting these regions, including climate change and natural catastrophe damage, as well as measures for the aging of society and traffic accident prevention. We will strive to offer insurance products and services that solve these problems and work to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.
Since 2006, the Tokio Marine Group has promoted research on climate change and global warming risk in collaboration with the University of Tokyo and Nagoya University. Prompted by the Great East Japan Earthquake, in July 2011 the Tokio Marine Group formed an industry-academia collaboration agreement with Tohoku University for undertaking research on earthquake and tsunami risks. As one contribution to this research, in April 2012 we established the Earthquake Induced Tsunami Risk Evaluation Research Project within the Tohoku University's International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS). By enhancing scientific knowledge of climate change and natural disaster risk through industry-academia collaboration and utilizing this knowledge to make recommendations on preventing and mitigating disasters in Japan, we will contribute to the creation of safe and secure communities.
We are also promoting in-house efforts to reduce environmental impacts within the Tokio Marine Group. To this end, Group companies in regions around the world are making efforts to conserve electricity and other types of energy and reforming various processes that includes promoting paperless operations. On a separate front, the Tokio Marine Group is continuing its mangrove planting activities. The Mangrove Planting Project, which commenced in 1999, is now in its 14th year and 7,543 hectares of mangrove have been planted during this time period. By continually undertaking such initiatives, in fiscal 2011 the Tokio Marine Group became carbon neutral*, whereby the volume of CO2 emitted during the course of the Group's business activities was offset by the absorption and stabilization effects of mangrove tree planting and the use of natural energy. The Tokio Marine Group aims to continue the Mangrove Planting Project for 100 years, thereby helping protect the earth and peoples' lives.
Turning to community and social contributions, we are working to create a future society in which people can live in safety and with a sense of security by contributing to the realization of a sustainable society through our insurance and financial services. As part of these efforts, in January 2012 Tokio Marine & Nichido commenced sales of a lump-sum payment rider for auto insurance in case of total vehicle loss from an earthquake, volcanic eruption or tsunami. The rider aims to ensure that customers suffering damages in an earthquake have a means of transportation, which is essential in their everyday lives. Also in January, Tokio Marine & Nichido launched the One Day Auto Insurance. This new product aims to reduce automobile accidents involving uninsured drivers by encouraging insurance enrolment among young drivers who do not own vehicles. As a member of the community and society, the Tokio Marine Group also promotes a variety of activities that contribute to the realization of a safe and secure society. These include providing support for the Pink Ribbon Movement (a campaign for communicating the importance of the early detection of breast cancer), which is relevant to insurance and financial services, as well as the holding of Green Lessons and Disaster Prevention Lessons for children in elementary schools. Full-scale rebuilding efforts following the earthquake has just begun to get underway and in the future we intend to continue providing various forms of support that include our involvement in a reforestation project along the Tohoku coast being implemented by a non-governmental organization (NGO).
In 2005, the Tokio Marine Group endorsed the United Nations Global Compact and has promoted initiatives based on the Compact's 10 principles concerning human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption. Meanwhile, in June 2012 Tokio Marine & Nichido signed the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) advocated by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
In recent years, there have been calls for corporate activities to place a greater awareness on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) elements that contribute to a sustainable society and become more deeply involved in issues facing society. The Tokio Marine Group will address a host of these issues, including responses to climate change and natural catastrophe risk, in addition to dealing with the aging of society and diversity. We will continually consider the roles expected of insurance companies and move to solve various problems in regions worldwide based on dialogue and cooperation with a diverse range of stakeholders. In striving for these objectives, I ask for your continued support.
* Being carbon neutral refers to achieving zero net carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released from business activities of a corporation with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset by means of planting mangrove, use of renewable energy, carbon credits and other carbon-absorbing or carbon-reducing activities.