Rakuten Group Inc.

05/15/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/15/2024 00:06

Announcement Regarding the Formulation of Sustainability Finance Framework

May 15, 2024

Announcement Regarding the Formulation of Sustainability Finance Framework

Rakuten Group, Inc. (hereinafter the "Company") announces that it has formulated the Sustainability Finance Framework (hereinafter the "Framework") to further promote initiatives aimed at solving social issues as well as initiatives towards the realization of a decarbonized society.

1. Background and Purpose

The Company has always valued its mission to "contribute to society by creating value through innovation and entrepreneurship", guiding its journey thus far. Addressing sustainability challenges not only supports the sustained development of our businesses, but also embodies the mission of our group.

In 2021, through engagement with stakeholders, we revised our group's sustainability strategy (ESG issues to prioritize) and identified four areas: "Business foundations", "Growing with our employees", "Providing sustainable platforms and services" and "Addressing global challenges".

Based on the aforementioned mission, the Company has formulated the Framework to further advance initiatives aimed at solving social issues as well as initiatives towards the realization of a decarbonized society. Additionally, we believe the Framework will serve as an opportunity to actively communicate efforts related to sustainability to a broader range of stakeholders.

2. Acquisition of an External Review (Second Party Opinion)

The Framework has been developed in accordance with the principles such as Sustainability Bond Guidelines set by the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA). It specifies elements including (1) Use of Proceeds, (2) Process for Project Evaluation and Selection, (3) Management of Proceeds and (4) Reporting. Furthermore, the Company obtained an external evaluation (the "Second Party Opinion") from Rating and Investment Information, Inc. (R&I) regarding its conformity with these principles.
In addition, in the formulation of this Framework and the acquisition of the Second Party Opinion, we appointed Daiwa Securities Co. Ltd. as a structuring agent.

3. Use of Proceeds under the Framework

The funds procured under the Framework are intended to be allocated to new investments or refinance, and are planned to be applied to eligible projects as defined below.

Investments related to 5G

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in Japan has set a development goal in its Infrastructure Development Plan for a Digital Garden City Nation (formulated in March 2022, revised in April 2023) to achieve a nationwide 5G population coverage rate of 97% by the end of fiscal year 2025. Our group will contribute to solving social issues through the construction of 5G areas.

Furthermore, with the advancement of 5G and the post-5G society, an increase in demand for services utilizing 5G features such as ultra-high speed, ultra-low latency, and massive simultaneous connectivity is anticipated. Our group is promoting research and development that contributes to the resolution of social challenges, including the development of communication equipment that offers high reliability and cost-efficiency to meet the advanced network quality demands of various services.

One of the characteristics of 5G, its high-speed, low-latency, and large capacity, is expected to improve energy efficiency during data transmission; however, it is also expected to lead to an increase in energy consumption. In response, Rakuten Mobile, Inc. is working to reduce energy consumption through flexible virtualization system construction in anticipation of next-generation advanced technologies such as RIC*, which significantly improves energy efficiency compared to conventional communication technologies, and optimal network control technology using AI. Additionally, our group is promoting the adoption of renewable energy.
*RIC (RAN Intelligent Controller)

This notice is an announcement regarding the formulation of our Sustainability Finance Framework and was not created for the purpose of solicitating investment / the Purchase or similar acts in any jurisdiction.