The world is on the cusp of great change: humankind is entering an era where abundance is set to become more of a challenge than scarcity, but also in danger of damaging the very planet which is the source of all such abundancy, and life itself.

This paradoxical problem – development of human well-being without destroying the underlying structures it relies on – is one that is now unavoidably faced by every company, every country and every one of us as a species. The time for hollow posturing on environmental issues has passed; if we truly intend to pass on a habitable planet to future generations, meaningful action is now essential.

One company that has long been truly dedicated to being a positive force and looking beyond just the bottom line is Yokogawa. The company’s rallying call, “What’s next for our planet? Let’s make it smarter”, speaks to the crux of the challenge we are all facing: how to make more intelligent use of the world’s resources.

Leveraging its three core competencies - “measurement”, “control”, and “information” – Yokogawa is addressing and resolving issues affecting humankind, the environment and industry in partnership with its customers in order to contribute to society. The key to this is two-way dialogue between Yokogawa and its customers that leads to identifying the problems they are grappling with and solving them together.

Utilising a century of knowhow and technology

Since its foundation in 1915, Yokogawa has been supporting companies by helping them operate more efficiently and therefore more sustainably. The company utilises its knowhow and technology to provide smarter solutions for customers in sectors including energy, industrial materials, pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs.

“With respect to management, the number one goal is to balance the value that Yokogawa contributes to society with the economic value that it generates to achieve sustainable growth and maximize our corporate value,” wrote new President and CEO Hitoshi Nara in the company’s 2019 annual report.

Guiding purpose

The true ‘purpose’ of corporations has been the subject of vigorous debate recently among business leaders and experts as opinion has shifted away from the stance that they exist only to create shareholder value, to having broader responsibilities to society. Yokogawa has been guided by fundamental principles since its founder a century ago exhorted his employees to put quality, innovation and earning the respect of its customers at the heart of its operations. The company continues to embody these principles through co-innovation with its customers to help create a brighter future.

Concrete goals

Yokogawa faces many of the same fundamental challenges as its customers and wider society, and works with companies in finding solutions to contribute through its operations.

In 2017, the company adopted three goals to be achieved by 2050: Net-zero emissions; a Circular economy; and Well-being. Yokogawa is doing its part to realise a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and absorption, as well as developing a circular economy, in which resources are recycled and reused, all fundamental to sustainability. It is also helping to create safe and comfortable workplaces, and supporting advances in health care and life sciences, thereby directly contributing to well-being.

To a smarter and sustainable future

Playing a leading role in developing biotechnology and a sustainable bioeconomy, Yokogawa is engaged in co-innovation with its partners to push towards a smarter future. Its measuring expertise, which is now being applied at the cellular level, is facilitating its customers make new discoveries in biopharmaceuticals and other new areas of healthcare. Yokogawa is also targeting the development of new production systems, including the utilisation of living organisms as micro-plants in manufacturing industries, leveraging its decades of knowhow in measurement and control technologies.

Yokogawa is deploying its technology, systems and expertise across a wide range of sectors at the forefront of the challenges facing humankind. While technology and knowledge will continue to advance, some in ways yet unimaginable, the underlying philosophy of Yokogawa to be a positive force in society will continue to guide its future.

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