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Shareholders' Meeting and Investor Relations

Through our corporate communication activities vital to improve corporate value, the azbil Group aims to improve communication with our various stakeholders and deepen the mutual sharing of value.

The azbil Group strongly recognizes its own social responsibility with respect to its corporate activities. Based on our Group philosophy of "human–centered automation," we work to create various types of value for shareholders and other investors, as well as customers, business partners, employees, and society. We will convey information about these efforts to share our values with society while enhancing understanding among people both inside and outside the Group. At the same time, we use feedback from our stakeholders to create new value. Collaboration with our stakeholders and the development of a relationship of trust through dialogue are important assets for the sustainable growth of the azbil Group. As such, we appointed an executive officer in charge of corporate communication, who is putting in place systems to facilitate dialogue with stakeholders, in partnership with various departments in the Group.

General Meeting of Shareholders, Early Disclosure Efforts, and Global Information Dissemination

Regarding the General Meeting of Shareholders, we include a message from the President and Group CEO in the convocation notice, which is used as a basis for deciding on voting rights. We also work to enhance the content of the convocation notice and announce that information quickly in both Japanese and English. Our policy is to post the convocation notice on our website one month prior to the General Meeting of Shareholders, and to send the notice to all shareholders three weeks before the event. We are also offering an online means of enabling a wide range of shareholders to use an electronic voting platform, to quickly obtain information about the General Meeting of Shareholders, and to exercise their voting rights. Furthermore, in the 98th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders held in June 2020, we utilized the internet after taking into consideration the importance of holding the General Meeting of Shareholders and briefing on business operations from the perspective of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring the safety of all of our shareholders.

Enhancing Dialogue with Shareholders and Other Investors

Under the direction of the executive officer in charge of corporate communications, our various departments—the Corporate Sustainability Headquarters, and those in charge of accounting and finance, general affairs, human resources, and corporate planning and public relations, as well as our business divisions—work together to enhance dialogue with shareholders and other investors. To this end, we provide opportunities for executives, including the Chairperson and President and Group CEO, to communicate directly with shareholders and other investors. We also have in place an Investor Relations (IR) Office which is dedicated to enhancing such dialogue. With efforts spearheaded by the IR Office, we are engaging in dialogue on a wide range of topics that include our business performance, business details, governance, and proposals made at the General Meeting of Shareholders.

Regarding specific dialogue initiatives, we hold briefings of the Company’s financial results, where the President and Group CEO explains our performance and management plan and, together with executive officers, welcomes questions from institutional investors. For the disclosure of 2019 financial results, we held the briefing online in order to ensure the timeliness of the information disclosure while also avoiding the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and maintaining the safety of our shareholders and investors. A video of this briefing was later released in both Japanese and English. We also hold individual meetings and join conferences with our institutional investors in Japan and overseas. The President and Group CEO, executive officer in charge of corporate communications, other officers, and the IR officers participate in these meetings. In fiscal year 2019 (ended March 2020), we engaged in such dialogue with shareholders and other investors on more than 250 occasions. In fiscal year 2020 (ending March 2021), we are utilizing an online conferencing system to continue to maintain a sufficient level of dialogue. We convey the opinions gathered through these discussions to our management team, including outside officers, and use them as a key source of information for making decisions on corporate management.

Dialogue with Individual Shareholders and Investors

In addition to institutional investors, we work to expand opportunities for dialogue with individual shareholders and investors. In addition to enhancing the information available on our website, we are participating in exhibitions and briefings for individual investors as appropriate, despite having to suspend our planned briefings due to the impact of the spread of COVID-19. We are also publishing articles which explain the azbil Group#8217;s businesses and management strategy in publications for individual investors.

Expanding Dialogue Opportunities and Enhancing Disclosure Content

To promote a deeper understanding of the azbil Group in terms of value provided and business content, we are working to expand dialogue opportunities and enhance disclosure content, in addition to holding financial results briefings. To increase opportunities for dialogue, for example we hold forums at exhibitions in which the azbil Group participates and explain our business and products. In Japan we participated in the Major Exhibition of Cutting–Edge Technologies for Automation and Measurement IIFES/Smart Building EXPO, etc. while overseas we participated in Industrial Transformation ASIA PACIFIC (ITAP), the largest industrial digitalization technology exhibition in the Asia Pacific region, etc. In addition, we post content on our website where visitors can take virtual tours of our main R&D base and our exhibition display booths, to foster a broader understanding of the azbil Group among stakeholders.

Online virtual tour of the azbil Group’s main R&D base, the Fujisawa Technology Center

Timely and Appropriate Disclosure

To ensure the rights of all shareholders and other investors in a substantial and equal manner, we take appropriate measures and establish frameworks that conform to laws and regulations. We also strive to ensure the integrity and transparency of information disclosed to fulfill our corporate accountability obligation. We ensure that highly transparent and fair disclosure of information is carried out in a timely and appropriate manner, and have spelled out our basic approach to disclosure in our Disclosure Policy. In fiscal year 2019, we expanded the entry of MD&A (Management Discussion and Analysis) in our securities report based on the order by Japan’s Cabinet Office. In addition, we have a "Investor Relations" section on our corporate website, and we publish and update information about such matters as shareholders’ meetings, financial results, and IR materials in a timely manner. We also strive to disclose financial information in both Japanese and English on the same day so that there is no information gap between Japan and overseas.

Non–financial (ESG) Information Disclosure

For some time, we have published our annual azbil report to actively release information valuable in making investment decisions. This contains both financial and non–financial information related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Recent years have seen growing demand for non-financial (ESG) information disclosure, so we are working to improve information and other content on our website. Reflecting these efforts, the azbil Group received a grade of 3.4 (out of 5) from FTSE and an A– from CDP (leadership level), as well as inclusion into various ESG indices, including the FTSE4Good Index Series, FTSE Blossom Japan Index, MSCI Japan ESG Select Leaders Index, MSCI Japan Empowering Women Index (WIN), and the S&P/JPX Carbon Efficient Index, etc.

Inclusion in Indexes as of September 2020

  • FTSE4Good Global Index
  • FTSE Blossom Japan Index
  • MSCI Japan ESG Select Readers Index
  • MSCI Japan Empowering Women Index (WIN)
  • S&P/JPX Carbon Efficient Index
  • JPX-Nikkei Index 400