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The SDSC, of which Sustainable Lab Inc. CEO is Representative Director Released Handbook for ESG data disclosure

A guide for the disclosure of non-financial information tailored for SMEs by The Sustainability Data Standardization Consortium

TOKYO, JAPAN, February 28, 2024 / -- Sustainable Lab Inc., the developer behind Japan's largest non-financial data platform "TERRAST," headquartered in Tokyo, is pleased to announce the release of the "Handbook ver1.0 for Utilization of Sustainability Information" by the Sustainability Data Standardization Consortium (SDSC). SDSC, a general incorporated association presided over by Renji Hirase, the Representative Director of Sustainable Lab Inc., unveiled the Handbook on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

The Handbook serves as a comprehensive guide for the compilation and disclosure of non-financial information tailored for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) striving for sustainable growth and longevity.

In the development of the Handbook, Renji Hirase, CEO and Yuki Kishi, CFO of Sustainable Lab inc. and Executive Officer of SDSC, actively engaged in the process. Hirase, alongside other representative directors participating in SDSC, solicited insights from over 30 financial institutions and facilitated discussions across 16 subcommittee meetings. Following reviews by academics, governmental bodies, and pertinent organizations, the Handbook has been released as version 1.0.

Interested parties can access the Handbook through the SDSC's inquiry form by stating"Handbook DL."
SDSC website:

◾️Key Highlights of the Handbook:

- Target Audience: The Handbook caters primarily to unlisted companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises not mandatorily obligated to disclose sustainability information in annual securities reports.
- Intended Users:

- Executives, managers, and staff of unlisted companies and SMEs engaged in compiling and disclosing sustainability information.

- Financial institutions, including banks, and operational staff interacting with non-listed companies, urging them to compile and disclose sustainability information.

- Management, managers, and staff of small and medium-sized non-listed companies actively involved in sustainability information compilation and disclosure.

◾️Structure of the Handbook:
- Drawing from international disclosure frameworks like GRI and ISSB, the Handbook synthesizes sustainability-related interview items from 15 subcommittee members' companies.

- It delineates trends and utilization methods for "Environment," "Social," and "Governance" aspects, elucidating the merits of initiatives.

- To facilitate incremental progress, the Handbook provides reference information categorized into introductory, basic, and applied levels of sustainability information disclosure.

- The inclusion of model case studies aims to inspire companies in promoting their sustainability management endeavors.

◾️Purpose and Background:

Japanese SMEs have historically propelled the nation's industrial prowess through innovation and healthy competition. However, contemporary challenges such as escalating procurement costs, labor shortages, and market saturation have cast shadows on the outlook for small and midsize enterprises. In response, the SDSC endeavors to unite the direction and values of SMEs determined to thrive in these challenging times. The Handbook's principal objective is to furnish such enterprises with a roadmap towards a sustainable future.

We envision this Handbook serving as a conduit for visualizing and communicating the conscientious practices of SMEs, fostering long-term support, selection, survival, and growth by consumers, job seekers, customers, financial institutions, and other stakeholders.

◾️Future Endeavors:

The Handbook will undergo continuous updates to reflect the evolving landscape of sustainability practices, both domestically and internationally. The anticipated timeline for future revisions includes:

- February to end of September 2024: Release and utilization of Handbook ver. 1 (trial and operational phases), analysis of usage metrics by the secretariat, minor revisions leading to Handbook ver. 1.1, and research towards subsequent fiscal year revisions.

- End of March 2025: Release of Handbook ver. 2.0.

- April 2025 onwards: Release of subsequent versions, building upon ongoing feedback and emerging best practices.

◾️The Sustainability Data Standardization Consortium (SDSC)
Established in August 2023, SDSC collaborates with diverse stakeholders, including financial institutions, relevant ministries and agencies, SME-related organizations, and other entities in Japan. SDSC's mission revolves around "disclosing sustainability information conducive to informed decision-making across all sectors, with a particular emphasis on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)." Its membership comprises domestic banks, including megabanks and government-affiliated financial institutions (accounting for 92% of total deposits in Japan), alongside various major industry associations.

◾️Sustainable Lab Inc.(
Sustainable Lab Inc. develops and provides Japan’s largest non-financial data platform "TERRAST", which evaluates the qualitative environmental and social contributions of companies using big data and AI. They also offer the ESG/SDGs report generation tool, "TERRAST for Enterprise." Sustainable Lab inc. aims to seamlessly connect societal and environmental contributions with the economy with their experts in data science, sustainability, and financial engineering. They have been selected for the Nikkei Group's "100 Companies Creating the Markets of the Future (2023 edition)."

Sustainable Lab Inc.
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