NGK products and technologies must create new value and contribute to the quality of life. All activities of the NGK Group are based on this corporate philosophy, and efforts towards sustainability are no exception. We believe that solving social problems through our business activities is an integral part of our Group's mission because many of the products we manufacture and provide support social infrastructure and are connected to the environment.
From the environmental aspects, we have made efforts to develop and manufacture a large number of environmentally friendly products, and now our net sales exceed 240 billion yen annually. At the same time, we strive to reduce waste and CO2 emissions at our manufacturing sites both domestically and overseas.
Creating a better relationship with stakeholders that support society is also an important issue for the NGK Group. For that reason, we focus on providing a variety of growth opportunities to our employees. This year we undertook the first reform of our personnel system in 25 years, which included incorporating a system for a more rapid promotion of younger employees to positions of responsibility, expanding female representation in more job categories, and raising the mandatory retirement age to 65.
With regard to corporate governance, we established committees such as the Nomination and Compensation Advisory Committee and Business Ethics Committee and appointed a female outside director.
As business expands throughout the world, sustainability initiatives are essential for the NGK Group to become a company trusted by a diverse range of stakeholders. In addition, in order to promote sustainability as a shared global agenda, the NGK Group is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, which advocates for independent action on the part of businesses and corporations. We believe one of the guiding indicators to help solve social problems through our business activities is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN.
I tell everyone in NGK that the key word for this year is "completion". By that, I mean we must be thorough in completing our preparations this year for the coming centenary. Regarding sustainability, I would like to further enrich its meaning with the spirit of "completion" to help us cultivate a foundation for sustainable growth that will take us through the next 100 years.
President NGK INSULATORS, LTD.