Sustainability Vision - Asahi Kasei Group’s Vision
In 2021, to further promote initiatives aimed at making a sustainable society a reality, we established the Asahi Kasei Group Sustainability Policy.
Asahi Kasei Group Sustainability Policy
The Asahi Kasei Group is contributing to life and living for people around the world. We strive for two mutually reinforcing aspects of sustainability: “contributing to sustainable society” and “sustainable growth of corporate value.” By creating value for “contributing to sustainable society” we seek to gain high earnings that lead to “sustainable growth of corporate value" which enables us to make further contributions in a virtuous cycle.
In order to achieve this, we pursue the optimal corporate governance while practicing the following.
Value creation through contribution to sustainable society
- Resolving issues for People and the Earth through our high value-added businesses (Care for People, Care for Earth)
- Leveraging our strengths of diversity and capability to change for the creation of value (Connect, Communication, Challenge)
Responsible business activities
- Complying with laws/regulations and respecting international standards regarding business activities (Compliance)
- Prioritizing ESH (environment, safety, and health), human rights, and quality assurance throughout all of our activities
- Performing appropriate information disclosure and dialogue with our stakeholders
Empowerment of personnel
- Respecting diversity and inclusion
- Encouraging each employee’s growth, performance, and challenging spirit
Our Group Mission is "contributing to life and living for people around the world," and we have grown by continually contributing to solutions for society. Our commitment has remained constant ever since our founding with the aim of improving people’s standard of living.
Today, discussions about achieving sustainability are taking place around the world. Since sustainability is a challenge that concerns people and the global environment, we believe that the pursuit of "living in health and comfort" and "harmony with the natural environment" as set forth in our Group Vision will lead to sustainability.
"Sustainable growth of corporate value" in conjunction with "contributing to sustainable society" is also important. "Contributing to sustainable society" leads to earnings which enhance the corporate value of the Asahi Kasei Group.
To make this virtuous cycle a reality, we will strive to create value by contributing to a sustainable society, conduct our business activities in a responsible manner, and promote the empowerment of our employees. We will accomplish these goals through the fundamental “Cs” of Compliance, Communication, Challenge, and Connections together with “Care for People, Care for Earth” as expressed in fiscal 2019 as part of our “Cs+ for Tomorrow 2021” three-year medium-term management initiative.
Our ultimate aim is to continue to proactively contribute to the world as a leader in solving challenges for society, carrying on the commitment we have had since the founding of our company.
The Direction of Sustainability with a View Toward 2050
In response to recent major changes in the environment, such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, Asahi Kasei’s commitment to “Care for People, Care for Earth” has become even more important.
Given this context, Asahi Kasei will take on the following two challenges as we look toward 2050. From the perspective of “Care for Earth,” we aim to achieve a carbon-neutral and sustainable world, and from the perspective of “Care for People,” we aim to achieve active life in the new normal.
As we look ahead to 2050, it is predicted that we will be confronted with a variety of social issues. We believe that we will be able to help resolve these issues and that our business opportunities will expand.
For example, in terms of “Care for Earth” (achieving a carbon-neutral and sustainable world), we can contribute to important themes such as electric vehicles, a hydrogen-based society, carbon recycling, and achieving a circular economy. We will do this primarily through our businesses in the Material sector, such as recycling technologies, CO2 separation and recovery, an alkaline water electrolysis system, and battery materials.
- Note: To achieve a carbon-neutral world, it is essential to reduce GHG emissions from our business activities. For more information on the Asahi Kasei Group’s policy toward carbon neutrality, please click here
In terms of “Care for People” (achieving active life in the new normal), we will contribute to the development of homes and communities that can withstand storm and flood damage and extreme heat. We will also contribute through our health care business to help people live healthy and vibrant lives.
In addition to aiming to provide value to society through our two challenges, we will enhance the fundamental activities that support our business activities, such as corporate governance, compliance, respect for human rights, and safety and quality. We will also pursue our two sustainability goals of contributing to a sustainable society and gaining sustainable growth of corporate value.
Initiatives for Achieving a Carbon-neutral and Sustainable World
Green hydrogen production technology using an alkaline water electrolysis system
Hydrogen, which is attracting attention as a fuel for automobiles and as a means of storing and transporting energy, is a key factor for carbon neutrality. Based on our knowledge of chlor-alkali electrolysis systems, we launched the world’s largest alkaline water electrolysis system in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture in 2020, and began an efficient hydrogen supply operation using renewable energy. As expectations for hydrogen rise worldwide, with various countries in Europe announcing hydrogen strategies, we are also conducting demonstrations in Germany. We aim to commercialize this technology as one of our priority technologies while leveraging our strengths.
We are also focusing on CO2 chemistry, which enables the production of chemical products using CO2 as a raw material.
In the area of polycarbonate production technology, the EC process has been used in practical applications and is being licensed around the world. The DRC process, which is a further refinement of the EC process, has already been demonstrated as viable and is attracting attention as a technology that enables production regardless of the location of petrochemical plants. We are also developing a technology to produce isocyanate (raw material for polyurethane) from CO2. We have also started to use the EC process as a basis for the production of electrolyte materials for LIBs, which will become even more essential in society going forward. With regard to CO2 separation and recovery, we are developing a system that uses our catalyst technology to efficiently separate and recover CO2 from power plant and factory exhaust gas using special zeolites (a type of mineral) with a precisely controlled pore structure.
Achieving Active Life in the New Normal
Safe, Comfortable, and Resilient Homes and Communities
Earthquakes, fires, and the climate change-amplified risk of wind and flood damage are just some of the threats to people’s lives and livelihoods. Being able to live safely in a home that is prepared for these threats is an essential prerequisite for leading a vibrant life. The Hebel Haus™ offered by Asahi Kasei Homes features a solid frame that can withstand earthquakes and powerful typhoons, as well as high-performance heat insulation that shuts out sweltering heat. It can also be equipped with an independent energy supply system that provides peace of mind if the power grid is disrupted due to a natural disaster.
We will also contribute to improving the resilience of community development. In Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo, we are working with the ward to help make the densely crowded wooden homes in some neighborhoods fireproof. Moreover, to prepare for disasters, we are taking three steps to attain complete resilience: protecting lives, protecting health, and restoring lifestyles. We have equipped homes with seismographs to quickly gather data on earthquakes. We are currently working with the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED) to develop a system that will enable us to estimate the areas likely to sustain the most damage so that recovery operations can start as soon as possible.
Further heightening corporate value with our medium-term management initiative.