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Japan’s Marubeni launches e-audit support tool “Wowdit” to promote environmentally and socially responsible products

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Japan’s Marubeni launches e-audit support tool “Wowdit” to promote environmentally and socially responsible products

December 01, 2020 - 11:53
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TOKYO, Nov. 26, 2020 (Press Release) -Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”) launches an e-audit support tool currently in beta version (hereinafter, “the Tool”). The Tool, registered under the name of “Wowdit”, is a breakthrough e-audit support tool to further promote environmentally and socially responsible product certifications through cloud-based services. The Tool has been created to support global businesses to manage their operations’ audit process, enabling improved accuracy and efficiency while maintaining the credibility of the process. This year Wowdit will start its trial service by providing the Tool for certified forest products. Through Wowdit, Marubeni aims to play a role in the acceleration of the production, distribution and the consumption of responsible products, scalable to a wider variety of products, and other supporting e-tool functions which contribute to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Marubeni is a major integrated trading firm which deals with various materials from upstream to downstream. Marubeni is aware that a solid incentive is required by companies to create an ecosystem where the production and distribution of environmentally and socially responsible products can be better managed and less costly, and where risks can be mitigated. Wowdit was the winner of the Marubeni’s Business Plan Competition in 2018.

The scope covered is the Chain-of-Custody certification for both Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)*1 and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)*2 certified products. The initial adoption of forest products, covered within this scope, is chosen because Marubeni believes that plastic production must be reduced and slowly replaced by more renewable materials such as wood-based products. Wowdit will continue to improve its usability based on the trial users’ feedback. Wowdit’s subscription is planned such that it will be accessible to the general public and companies in 2021. The Tool allows companies to utilize existing transaction documents or data for automatic preparation for audit. Auditing firms, which conventionally sort through and check numerous paper documents, will be able to confirm a company’s transaction history with increased efficiency and improved accuracy on just a single screen.

The Tool has been developed by a dedicated team of experts in consultation with a myriad of global stakeholders, from companies and certification bodies to certification scheme owners. From July to August 2020, a technical review and gap analysis of the Tool against FSC certification requirements was conducted by the Bonn-based Assurance Services International (ASI)*3. A recent Marubeni internal study with its domestic and international group of companies showed that the Tool could increase efficiency in the overall operational cost required to support audit processes.

Marubeni’s vision is to expand the scope of Wowdit in the near future, to not only increase the efficiency of auditing processes within companies, but also to promote consumer’s demands of environmentally and socially responsible products as well as to increase companies’ corporate values. This will enable Wowdit communities to further contribute in the concrete efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

*1 FSC: Forest Stewardship Council. The world’s most trusted sustainable forest management solution. www.fsc.org

*2 PEFC: Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. A leading global alliance of national forest certification systems. www.pefc.org

*3 ASI : Assurance Services International. An assurance partner for leading voluntary sustainability standares and initiatives. www.asi-assurance.org