Exploring Toppan’s Possibilities and Identifying the Environment, Communities, and People as Areas of Focus

Since its establishment in 1900, Toppan has responded flexibly to the way the world has changed and expanded its business fields by creating the diverse types of value required by society. Having developed in step with society, Toppan views contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as vital for business and positions it as an engine for continuous growth.

What is the role that Toppan should play? What does Toppan need to do to fully leverage its accumulated technological capabilities and expertise to give back to society? TOPPAN Business Action for SDGs has been formulated to drive activities focused on the SDGs and provide a clear vision for answering those questions.

TOPPAN Business Action for SDGs was devised after the material issues for Toppan to focus on under the theme of Business Materiality were selected from the SDGs’ 17 targets. It explores Toppan’s possibilities more extensively and specifically. As Toppan aims to accelerate contribution to the SDGs through its business, nine areas of focus have been identified in the three groups of “Environment,” “Communities,” and “People.”

Cross-divisional Formulation Process and Setting of Target Figures

TOPPAN Business Action for SDGs was formulated by the Sustainability Promotion Committee, chaired by the President & Representative Director, and the SDGs Promotion Working Group under it. Leaders of sub-working groups for Environment, Communities, and People played central roles in the process. These leaders, who are also managers of specific businesses, shed light on Toppan’s strengths as well as issues that need to be addressed by exchanging opinions on changes in society and the consciousness of client companies that they are seeing in day-to-day work in their respective fields.

Senior management, business departments, and strategy departments collaborated in a series of discussions that also employed the approach of backcasting from 2030. Following this cross-divisional process, TOPPAN Business Action for SDGs was formulated in November 2020, and nine areas of focus in which Toppan can leverage its technologies, expertise, and strengths were announced. Discussions subsequently continued to give shape to specific activities in each business division, and target figures have been set for each of the nine areas of focus.

Toppan will enhance efforts focused on the areas identified in TOPPAN Business Action for SDGs and flexibly implement initiatives for the themes of Environment, Communities, and People as it takes on the challenge of contributing to the achievement of the SDGs in a way that is unique to Toppan.

Toppan business action for SDGs

The Thinking behind TOPPAN Business Action for SDGs — Messages from the Leaders Involved in its Formulation

Addressing the Challenge of Leading Society with Integrity

Michihiro Yamada
Working Leader

Michihiro Yamada

Senior General Manager
Marketing Strategy Department
Packaging Solutions Subdivision
Living & Industry Division

Interest in the SDGs among client companies has increased rapidly, and they are seeking not individual solutions but more comprehensive proposals that help to enhance their corporate brand and value. With this in mind, I thought that TOPPAN Business Action for SDGs needed an element of being an effort to lead society. For example, the target we have set to make 100% of the packaging products we sell sustainable is a significant challenge for Toppan, but it is a theme that will gain interest from our stakeholders. The important thing is to approach the targets with integrity. Toppan’s approach as I see it will be to consistently and earnestly make good on the commitments we have made to stakeholders one by one.

Designing Businesses that Effortlessly Balance Corporate Growth and the SDGs in Fields Where We Can Leverage Toppan’s Unique Strengths

Nobuhito Owaki
Working Leader

Nobuhito Owaki

Head of Business Architecture Center
DX Design Division

When we were devising this blueprint, there was a lot of discussion centered on what an approach that epitomized Toppan was. For example, one of the areas of focus is “showcasing and preserving culture,” but the culture that we are talking about is not just famous sightseeing spots and cultural assets. It includes all elements of culture related to people's everyday lives, such as culinary culture, folk traditions, and customs. This is precisely the kind of thing that Toppan can do on account of the knowledge and expertise it has accumulated in providing infrastructure for our lives. Under the theme of Communities, Toppan can also take advantage of its know-how in the fields of culture, regional communities, and balancing convenience with privacy. I think that contributing to the accomplishment of the SDGs through business means designing businesses that effortlessly drive growth for the company, satisfaction for employees, gains for client companies, benefits for society, and the achievement of the targets set out by the SDGs.

Using Toppan’s Technologies and Expertise to Contribute to Learning for People All Over the World

Kaoru Yamashita
Working Leader

Kaoru Yamashita

Senior General Manager
Experience Design Department
Marketing Subdivision
Information & Communication Division

The SDGs are a considerable shared challenge for the world, and it will be essential to share the same set of values to achieve them. Education is vital for communicating and sharing our values, and printing technology has made a significant contribution to the expansion of education. I think one of the reasons that Christianity spread was probably the ability to use printing technology to propagate the medium of the Bible. An educational platform that facilitates learning for people throughout the world is important for the SDGs, and I think Toppan has the foundation to be able to create it. Based on that thinking, we have identified “creating obstacle-free educational environments” as an area of focus and set targets to contribute to learning for people in Japan and overseas. We will focus activities on people all around the world, combining Toppan’s technologies and expertise with the strengths of client companies.

Engaging in More Extensive Discussions with Colleagues and Clients and Evolving and Strengthening Collaboration Globally

Yuko Takano
Business Development Manager

Yuko Takano

General Manager
Development Strategy
Technology Innovation Center
Business Development Division

Naturally, the content of TOPPAN Business Action for SDGs itself holds a lot of value, but so also does the formulation process. This is the first time that senior management, business departments, and strategy departments have come together to have such specific discussions about contributing to the SDGs through business, and a series of processes have made it possible to visualize the responsibilities, potential, and various elements of Toppan. Externally, it is essential that Toppan, as a B-to-B company, collaborates with client companies to contribute to achieving the SDGs. One of the issues to address going forward will no doubt be how to advance proposals and enhance collaboration while eliciting an understanding of our approach. Cross-border cooperation and cross-sector collaboration between companies will be key to achieving the SDGs. We will proactively participate in global platforms and drive a multifaceted approach to contributing.

Establishing a Specialist SDGs Support Team and Accelerating Contribution in Collaboration with Clients

Hidenori Imazu
TOPPAN SDGs Unit Leader

Hidenori Imazu

General Manager
Brand Promotion Department
Marketing Subdivision
Information & Communication Division

Quantitative targets have been set in each of the nine areas of focus. It was hard work using backcasting to devise scenarios accompanying the specific figures, but the process enabled us to have more in-depth discussions and enhance consciousness of the targets. I believe that presenting these figures to stakeholders and making commitments will drive the necessity to get things done. As a next step, we launched the TOPPAN SDGs Unit in February 2021. This is a cross-divisional specialist SDGs team that will provide assistance from overall design to implementation of specific measures to offer one-stop support covering the entire SDGs value chain of client companies, from upstream to downstream. We will work more closely with client companies than ever before and accelerate efforts to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs together.

環境Environment Sustainable Global Environment

Initiatives and Target Figures for “Environment”

  • ❶ Creating a circular economy

    Prevent pollution and destruction due to waste by driving processes from sharing and recovery to upcycling based on the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), product life extension, and material development.

  • Percentage of sales of sustainable packaging
  • ❷ Decarbonizing

    Contribute to reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the mitigation of global warming by providing eco-friendly materials and schemes as well as solutions for energy saving and energy creation.

  • Number of services contributing to greenhouse gas reduction
  • ❸ Expanding eco-friendly products and solutions

    Expand Toppan’s development of mono-material GL FILM and other eco-friendly products and solutions and ensure contribution to the environment is visible and widely recognized by establishing certification programs.

  • Percentage of sales of eco-products and solutions

Case Study

Mono-material Packaging
  • Toppan is focusing efforts on enabling mono-material packaging to enhance recyclability and provide a solution to the problem of plastic waste, something that has become a significant issue in recent years.

    Conventional film packaging is formed of multiple materials to enhance functionality, but this presents obstacles for recycling.

    Toppan’s GL BARRIER range of transparent barrier films enjoys a leading share of the global market. Toppan has added to the range with the development of barrier films using the three main materials used in flexible packaging (PE, PP, and PET) as their substrates. These films enable mono-material packaging consisting of a single material to be expanded to a wider range of fields.

    Toppan is also participating in a pioneering research program organized by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) in which businesses and academic institutions are collaborating to establish material recycling processes.


    In addition to the mitigation of global warming and reduction of plastic waste, Toppan is exploring how packaging can address a wide range of other social issues, such as by reducing food loss. By developing and providing “SUSTAINABLE-VALUE™ Packaging,” a range of products that offer value for the Earth, Toppan will contribute to shaping a sustainable future.

  • Sachets that Are Good for Your Hair and the Planet

    As a global manufacturer of consumer goods, Unilever has announced commitments to reduce plastic consumption and is undertaking initiatives throughout the world covering processes from manufacture to disposal. Based on a collaboration with Toppan, a mono-material film package was adopted for Unilever Japan’s “Lux Luminique Sachet Set Limited Design,” which went on sale in April 2021. While conventional packaging consists of multiple materials, including aluminum material, the packaging for this product is composed of Toppan’s PET-based GL FILM and a PET sealant. The two companies collaborated on content suitability and quality tests, resulting in a switch to a mono-material package that provides outstanding barrier performance, content preservation, and low adsorption. In addition to improved recyclability, it is also possible to cut CO2 emissions by 25%.

CommunitiesCommunitiesCreation of Safe, Secure, Enriched Communities

Initiatives and Target Figures for “Communities”

  • ❶ Creating a safe society in which we can be ourselves

    Leverage security system technologies to create environments that enable everyone to use their own data safely and provide personal data usage services that achieve both enhanced usability and privacy protection.

  • Number of services enriching people’s lives
    (Use of VRM platform)
  • ❷ Contributing to enhanced quality of life for communities

    Take advantage of Japan-wide network and digital technologies to provide residents with optimal region-specific services and contribute to sustaining provincial cities.

  • Number of local authorities providing services for residents optimized for the community
  • ❸ Showcasing and preserving culture

    Combine experience in the fields of culture and education with cutting-edge technologies to develop solutions for preserving and passing down tangible and intangible culture and protecting the world’s diversity.

  • Number of archives of materials related to culture and industry

Case Study

Smart City Business
  • Smart city initiatives have a high level of compatibility with Toppan’s activities, and Toppan sees the field as one in which it can contribute significantly by leveraging a network covering multiple sectors and the knowledge and expertise garnered thus far. Toppan has set out six areas in which efforts will be focused: (1) Fundamental Infrastructure, (2) Healthcare, (3) Digital Government, (4) Education, (5) Tourism & Regional Revitalization, and (6) User Interface (UI) & User Experience (UX). Based on these, Toppan aims to accelerate value creation for society through its smart city business.

  • Remote Sensing Service Using ZETA

    Toppan is conducting nationwide pilot testing in Japan as it aims to contribute to solutions to social issues in provincial regions by providing remote sensing services that use ZETA, a next-generation Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) network protocol. One example is REMOWARNA, a ZETA-based remote animal trap sensing system developed by Toppan as a countermeasure to the worsening problem of wild birds and animals damaging crops and causing problems in areas in which humans live throughout Japan. Installing REMOWARNA on traps makes it possible to effectively monitor and manage the traps remotely even in mountainous regions with no cellular network coverage and in environments with limited access. In pilot testing in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, Toppan is working with ALSOK Fukushima Co., Ltd. to provide a one-stop service for trap installation, monitoring, and capture.

    • Trap with sensor installed

      Trap with
      sensor installed

    • Application screen

      Application screen

  • リモワーナ

PeoplePeopleEmpowerment and Fulfillment of Body and Mind

Initiatives and Target Figures for “People”

  • ❶ Reducing food loss to help eliminate hunger

    Reduce food loss throughout the value chain from primary industry sectors to consumers by combining functional packaging and digital transformation to extend shelf lives and optimize the balance of supply and demand.

  • Total weight of food in packaging that contributes to longer shelf lives
  • ❷ Creating obstacle-free educational environments

    Create a society in which anyone can learn anywhere and anytime by providing a global platform combining educational software and translation technologies.

  • Number of people whose learning we contribute to
  • ❸ Using innovative digital technologies to enhance health

    Contribute to longer healthy lives for people throughout the world by facilitating access to healthcare information and services that transcends national or regional borders.

  • Number of services that contribute to health by using digital technologies

Case Study

Establishing a Manufacturer of In-vitro Diagnostic Agents
  • In-vitro diagnostic agents enable the diagnosis of illness from substances such as blood, urine, and saliva. Needs for such agents are expanding rapidly due to efforts to lengthen people’s healthy lives, which are seeing increasing levels of interest around the world. Another factor is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As pharmaceutical manufacturers tackle the challenge of delivering high-quality in-vitro diagnostic agents to medical facilities as quickly as possible, Toppan and Trust Medical Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Nippon Molymer Co., Ltd. that develops and manufactures in-vitro diagnostic kits, have established a new company called Toppan Medical Factory Co., Ltd. The aim is to combine strengths to provide solutions to challenges faced in medical settings. The new company fuses Toppan’s expertise in manufacturing, packing, and shipping of packaging for medical and pharmaceutical goods with Trust Medical’s pharmaceutical company network and know-how in the filling of test agents and manufacture of test kits. It will provide a one-stop service from the development of in-vitro diagnostic agents to their manufacture and delivery to medical facilities.

Toppan Medical Factory