Designing a disaster-resilient Japan

 DBJ BCM Rated Loan Program


The DBJ BCM Rated Loan Program is the world’s first financing menu to incorporate business continuity ratings. Using a proprietary screening system, DBJ rates enterprises on the quality of their disaster preparedness and business continuity management.

Development process

Recent years have seen a huge increase in the diverse risks that threaten the going concern principle, including natural disasters, major fires, and terrorist attacks.

In order to meet the demands of stakeholders and society at large, companies must succeed in managing tail risks so as to minimize damage to business assets, and ensure that core businesses can survive or achieve an early recovery. Business continuity plans (BCP) and business continuity management (BCM) are two means by which they work to accomplish this.
Corporate management and its evaluation, however, have traditionally relied upon financial indicators, and in general financial transactions do not give adequate consideration to a company’s efforts for disaster prevention and mitigation, business continuity, and other non-financial information.

DBJ created BCM ratings to address this issue. Using financial technology, we provide support to companies making progressive efforts in the areas of disaster prevention and mitigation and business continuity, or are considering doing so in the future.

Changes in the evaluation system

DBJ began carrying out BCM ratings in FY 2006 under the DBJ Enterprise Disaster Resilience Rated Loan Program, focusing on companies’ efforts for disaster prevention. In FY 2011, we revised the evaluation items to place more emphasis on BCM in response to increased demand for BCM as a management practice in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake of that year*. In FY 2016 the evaluation items were again substantially revised to enhance their effectiveness. With this revision, we are now able to comprehensively evaluate the management strategies and response capabilities (business continuity measures) taken by companies to protect the lives of its employees (disaster prevention measures) and maintain business operations after natural disasters and other crisis events (all hazards).

*The name of the program was changed to the "BCM Rated Loan Program" in fiscal 2012.

Assessment scheme for enterprise resilience ratings

The scheme is divided into two parts: disaster prevention and enterprise resilience.

For Disaster Prevention, we evaluate a company’s firefighting and disaster prevention plans, its training programs for prevention, and related initiatives taken to protect the lives and safety of employees. Specifically, we ask about the status of measures to deal with natural disasters, programs to enhance disaster preparedness in the surrounding community as well as within the company, and the implementation of disaster drills.

In the BCM section, we focus on the firm’s grasp of multiple business continuity risks (all hazards), its implementation of strategies and training to deal with them, and how it employs these in formulating effective business continuity plans. Specifically, we ask about crisis management initiatives, such as the identification, analysis, and assessment of risks that could hinder medium- to long-term corporate management; the status of business impact analysis (BIA) in the business continuity plan; steps to mitigate risks in the supply chain to ensure the effectiveness of business continuity strategies; and related training and drills.

The evaluation system is reviewed each year. Questions are created or eliminated in light of international policy trends and the latest topics, taking in the views of external experts on the Advisory Committee. In Japan, the survey is based on trends in disaster mitigation policy and BCP/BCM, mainly within the Cabinet Office’s Central Disaster Management Council. Overseas, it draws from the findings of the United Nations Disaster Management Organization, the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Reports, and the World Bosai Forum.

After disasters such as the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Kumamoto Earthquake, we held hearings with companies to ensure that along with the key points of business continuity, the lessons learned through these interviews would be reflected in the content of our assessments.

In FY 2023 we broadened the scope of our evaluation of the business continuity initiatives of companies in the supply chain. We also added new questions regarding a company’s training for nighttime and holidays, and whether business continuity management is viewed as an opportunity as well as a means of risk reduction.

Area Item
Disaster risk reduction(DRR)
& prevention
  • A Corporate disaster prevention system
  • B Employee safety protections
  • C Participation in district or regional disaster prevention
  • D Disaster prevention drills and training (emergency response, first response)
  • E Good practice of DRR initiatives
  • F Compliance
Business Continuity Management
  • G Crisis management system
  • H Business impact analysis (BIA)
  • I Strategy on business continuity
  • J Good practice of BCP initiatives
  • K Risk management for supply chain or value chain
  • L Business continuity drills and exercises
  • M Encouragement of communication on risk; publicity on crisis management
  • N Improvement of business continuity management
  • O Good practice of BCM initiatives

* Target clients
Clients who are located in Japan and meet the requirements established by DBJ.

* Use of funds
Same conditions as for ordinary loans; no special restrictions.

Operational system for BCM Ratings

A team led by the BCM Ratings Lead Manager engages in dialogue with companies and outside experts to improve the quality of BCM Ratings.