This is to announce that in October 2013, Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Toshima-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Masaaki Kanai), developer of the MUJI brand, received an Inclusive Business Leader Award at the Inclusive Business Leaders Forum 2013, organized by International Finance Corporation (hereinafter, "IFC", a member of the World Bank Group).
IFC defines "Inclusive Businesses" as those that are profitable companies that provide solutions to the social challenges confronting developing nations, such as the problem of poverty. Inclusive business companies use their value chain to provide income opportunities for those at the base of the pyramid (BOP).
Companies using inclusive business models integrate producers into their value chain. IFC evaluates their client companies based on their business model, development results, social, environmental and financial sustainability.
As part of its manufacturing business, MUJI is developing products in Kyrgyzstan, Kenya and Cambodia. In June of this year, this activity was recognized for the first time as an Asian retail business in the Business Call to Action (hereinafter, "BCtA") hosted at the United Nations Development Programme (hereinafter, "UNDP"). In addition, this activity received similarly high praise at the Inclusive Business Leaders Forum 2013.
IFC holds the Inclusive Business Leaders Forum to invite inclusive business leaders from around the world. Increasingly, the role of initiatives integrating producers from developing countries into global value chains is being recognized as an important catalyst for economic growth at international gatherings.
In September of this year, the annual event of the BCtA was held in New York. MUJI took to the stage as a panelist in the first session, introducing the company's initiatives and participating in a discussion regarding ways of promoting and making a success of inclusive business. We would like to contribute to regions through our main business of manufacturing in order to become an example of business recognized by BCtA. We also hope to produce new products and value through cooperation with various partners around the world.
◆ About the International Finance Corporation (IFC)
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries. Established in 1956, IFC's work in more than a 100 developing countries allows companies and financial institutions in emerging markets to create jobs, generate tax revenues, improve corporate governance and environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. (from IFC's website)
◆ About the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Since 1966, UNDP has been partnering with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of live for everyone. UNDP works in four main areas: poverty reduction and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); democratic governance; crisis prevention and recovery; environment and sustainable development.
◆ About the Business Call to Action (BCtA)
Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. Worldwide, more than 80 companies have responded to the BCtA by making commitments to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions through commercially-viable business ventures that engage low-income people as consumers, producers, suppliers, and distributors of goods and services.
PR Department, PR & ESG Division
RYOHIN KEIKAKU CO., LTD.