May 16, 2022

Press Release

“Z Sustainability Academia” Launched to Promote Understanding on Sustainability from a Business Perspective

- To aim sustainable growth throughout the Group


Z Holdings Corporation (hereinafter "ZHD") launched a new community “Z Sustainability Academia” within its in-house university for Group employees “Z Academia,” on Friday May 20. It aims to equip Group employees with knowledge and literacy around the theme of sustainability.


Z Sustainability Academia
Board Members

Yoichi Ito
Z Academia President
Z Holdings Corporation

Shuichi Nishida
EVP, Corporate Officer
President of Social Responsibility Promotion Group
Yahoo Japan Corporation

Nao Fukushima
Head of Public Strategy Department
LINE Corporation

Christine Edman
Executive Officer
Sales Div., EC Promotion Div., ZOZOVILLA
Vice Chairperson of SDGs Promotion Committee
ZOZO, Inc.

Yuka Kowada
Vice Executive Officer, Corporate Communication
Corporate Unit
ASKUL Corporation


Addressing social issues such as climate change which is intensifying year by year, and gender and human rights, as well as economic issues such as poverty and inequality, have become prerequisites for corporate management today. Companies are heading into times where they are evaluated not only by their initiatives in social sustainability, but also by their ability to enhance and realize corporate values through such initiatives i.e., their corporate sustainability.

Based on the recognition that improving the ability to achieve a “Sustainability Transformation” or “SX,” which balances social and corporate sustainability, is essential for the Group to grow in the medium- to long-term, ZHD has decided to launch Z Sustainability Academia. It is designed to be a forum for each Group employee to gain relevant knowledge on sustainability, which they can then put into practice in their own work.

Z Sustainability Academia will begin with an introductory phase between May and November 2022, in which participants are introduced to basic knowledge and case studies around sustainability. This will be followed by a second introductory phase between December 2022 and March 2023, in which participants deepen their understanding of sustainability by learning the initiatives of Group companies. Approximately 12 lectures and workshops will take place per year, designed to develop a proactive mindset for incorporating sustainability into business operations. Z Sustainability Academia provides Group employees the opportunity to learn about sustainability systematically, and to interact with colleagues in approximately 170 Group companies. It will also promote business growth and creation of synergies by bringing together the knowledge of all employees.

ZHD aims to promote sustainable growth across the Group through the launch of Z Sustainability Academia.

Comment from Kenji Fuma, CEO, Neural Inc. (ESG Advisor to Z Holdings Corporation)
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is the United Nations’ document defining the SDGs, states that “Private business activity, investment and innovation are major drivers of productivity, inclusive economic growth and job creation,” and calls on “all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation to solving sustainable development challenges.”
As we can see, it is globally recognized that our society will not be sustainable and economic growth not possible unless companies are able to make appropriate innovations.
So, what are “appropriate innovations”? I believe that the role of Z Sustainability Academia is to cultivate personnel who can understand this notion and incorporate them into businesses. I am in support of ZHD's commitment to advance even further as such company of innovation.

 Comment from Yoichi Ito, Z Academia President
Z Academia is a community of learning, open to all Z Holdings Group employees. In the past, we have offered programs around themes such as diversity and the development of women's leadership. From this term, we have launched Z Sustainability Academia which will focus on providing comprehensive knowledge on sustainability. Sustainability has become an essential element for today's businesses, but in order to achieve a truly sustainable society, it is necessary for every one of us to understand what sustainability means, and to be able to think proactively. We will make Z Sustainability Academia a place where people can think about how to create a sustainable society and what they can do to achieve it, and to start acting. Please look forward to these initiatives.

Comments from Z Sustainability Academia Board Members

 Shuichi Nishida, Head of ESG Promotion Office, Z Holdings Corporation/EVP, Corporate Officer, President of Social Responsibility Promotion Group, Yahoo Japan Corporation
In order for the Z Holdings Group to become a corporate group that inherently practices sustainability, I believe it is necessary for every employee involved in the businesses and services of each company, as well as those who support the companies in infrastructure or corporate administration, to understand, create, and take action. I believe that by providing opportunities for all Group employees to learn the fundamentals of sustainability and the innovative approaches of other companies, the Z Holdings Group will be able to contribute to the promotion of sustainability around the world.

 Yuka Kowada, Vice Executive Officer, Corporate Communication, Corporate Unit, ASKUL Corporation (founder of Z Sustainability Academia)
As an e-commerce company, ASKUL Corporation has direct contact with BtoB and BtoC customers, and in response to their feedback, we have been able to conduct our businesses with high environmental awareness from a relatively early stage. On the other hand, the demand for sustainable management of companies is becoming higher year by year, and we had been thinking about how to take innovation to the next level, rather than extending what we have done in the past. Although there is a limit to what one company can do, the Z Holdings Group is comprised of companies in diverse domains, and we proposed Z Sustainability Academia in the hope that we could address the major issue of sustainability through businesses by bringing together the knowledge of these companies. We hope that this initiative will lead to a shift in the way of thinking for each learner, and that it will lead to the generation of Group synergies.

Outline of Z Sustainability Academia
Date of establishment:
May 20, 2022

Target companies:
Z Holdings Group companies (approximately 170)

Target audience:
All (approximately 23,000) employees of the Z Holdings Group

Once a month


Lectures (tentative)



Lecture title

Session 1

May 20

-       Opening declaration

-       Lecture “What is ESG thinking? The deep connection between sustainability and management” (Kenji Fuma, CEO, Neural Inc.)

Session 2

June 17

Lecture “Exploring Japan's potential through the European Circular Economy” (Akihiro Yasui, Founder of Circular Initiatives&Partners)

Session 3

July 22

Lecture “What is zero-waste? From lifestyle to business”
(Mona Neuhauss, Communications Manager at Totoya Inc./Sustainability Consultant)

Session 4

In August

Planned theme: Climate change and corporate activities

Session 5

In September

Planned theme: Well-being

Session 6

In October

Planned theme: Sustainability innovation


*Dates and themes are subject to change.


Outline of Z Academia
Originally a corporate university of Yahoo Japan Corporation for employees of the Yahoo Japan Group, Yahoo! JAPAN Academia expanded its offers to employees of the Z Holdings Group, and Z Academia was formed in April 2020. Z Academia was established as an in-house university of the Z Holdings Group designed to accelerate Group synergies by horizontally connecting the Z Holdings Group employees. It aims to provide a “base camp” where employees of Group companies can share their visions for creating the future together, chart a path forward, and learn from each other.
In addition to classes for top leaders of the Group, there are programs open to all employees of the Group, and from FY2019 (formerly a part of Yahoo! JAPAN Academia) a class for female leaders also opened. From FY2021, a certified instructor system in which Group employees can become instructors also started, creating opportunities for employees to learn from each other.

Unless otherwise specified, English-language documents are prepared solely for the convenience of non-Japanese speakers. If there is any inconsistency between the English-language documents and the Japanese-language documents, the Japanese-language documents will prevail.





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