Accredited trainers and participants after the first training course (Photo by UNDP)

The World’s First SDG Impact Standards Training for Businesses and Investors
Begins in Japan

Mizuho Financial Group completed the first training course provided by the accredited trainers from Social Impact Management Initiative (SIMI) and Social Value Japan (SVJ)

Tokyo, December 19, 2022 - In July 2022, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Achim Steiner visited Japan to announce the global launch of the "SDG Impact Standards Training" in Japan. Mizuho Financial Group and Mizuho Bank led the charge as the first organizations to enroll 30 employees in the new training course carried out by the newly Accredited Trainers for the SDG Impact Standards from Social Impact Management Initiative (SIMI) and Social Value Japan (SVJ).

The SDG Impact Standards are independent, global management standards that integrate sustainability, the SDGs and managing impact at the core of business and investment decisions. They have been established as part of SDG Impact, a flagship initiative of UNDP Sustainable Finance Hub working to accelerate private sector contributions and activities towards sustainability and the achievement of the SDGs.

This SDG Impact Standards training is designed to improve management practices within organizations and promote behavioral change in companies by integrating sustainability and the SDGs into business decision-making. The training course consists of four main modules:

  1. Business cases and overview of SDG Impact Standards
  2. Pathway to the SDG Impact Seal
  3. Introduction of Impact Measurement and Management(IMM) fundamentals, and
  4. The 12 Enterprise Actions to implement the SDG Impact Standards, which systematically cover theory and practice through deep-dive discussions using real-life case study examples.
Training at Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. (Photo by UNDP)

The training course was attended by representatives from various departments, ranging from sustainability to corporate planning, research and sales departments. It was important for Mizuho Financial Group and Mizuho Bank that employees from a diverse range of functions understood sustainability.

##Mr. Kotaro Sueyoshi, General Manager, Sustainable Business Planning Division & SDGs Business Desk, Corporate Business Coordination Department, Mizuho Financial Group, Inc. Mizuho Bank, Ltd., who took the training said, " It was an intense workshop that kept us thinking about why corporations and financial institutions need to mobilize or provide financing for impact, and what “managing for impact” actually means. The training gave us confidence that the innovation required to achieve sustainability can be a new key point in business competitiveness. The training also helped us understand the process of identifying our most important impact areas and aligning these with our purpose and strategy, while considering the organizational culture, structure, and capabilities.”

Participants discuss scenarios during a workshop (Photo by UNDP)

This training was provided by Accredited Trainers of the SDG Impact Standards from SIMI and SVJ, who have completed the SDG Impact Standards Train-the-Trainer course and passed the exam. Both organizations provided pro bono support for proofreading the training materials in Japanese. They also made every effort to ensure that the training was conducted in small groups, so that each participant gained a deeper understanding through interactive discussions touching upon specific examples from Japanese companies.

Mr. Katsuji Imata, the President of SIMI and Accredited Trainer for Mizuho Bank’s training, commented, "This was the world's first SDG Impact Standards Training, and its expectations were high. However, the active participation of the participants made it a very fruitful session. Through continuous discussions with the UNDP SDG Impact and UNDP Tokyo teams, we were able to fine-tune the training materials and seek deeper learning content. Once again, we felt the high-level scope of the SDG Impact Standards to question corporate behaviors so that enterprises shift toward the transformation.”

Mr. Ken Ito, the Executive Director of SVJ, who also served as an Accredited Trainer, added, " To put the SDG Impact Standards into practice, it is critical to combine the frameworks provided in training with the expertise of financial institutions’ employees who support their client enterprises. In this regard, we were very grateful that the participants in this training actively shared their experiences, which resulted in rich discussions. After the training, we have begun discussing with Mizuho Financial Group how best to translate their takeaways into actions."

Participants discuss in small groups about the application of the Standards (Photo by UNDP)

Fabienne Michaux, Director, SDG Impact added, “We are excited to launch our new SDG Impact Standards Training Course starting with Japan. This is a market where we have been a huge amount of interest from the private sector. Its appetite to lead with sustainability at the core of operations, using the SDGs as its north star, is commendable and we look forward to rolling out the training course in earnest."


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