Sustainability Vision - Asahi Kasei Group’s Vision | Sustainability | Asahi Kasei

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.

  • Challenges posed by climate change and COVID-19 Care for People Active life in the new normal Care for Earth Carbon neutral sustainable world

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.

  • Opportunities for Asahi Kasei toward 2050 Care for People Active life in the new normal Resilient homes/communities→Storm and flood damage intense heat Homes/consumables/apparel meeting new needs→New styles of living and working 5G/6G-related IoT→Digitalization Critical care devices Pharmaceuticals Medical-related products Diagnostics Sanitation/antimicrobial→Medical care Health/prevention Care for Earth Carbon neutral sustainable world Recycling technology Biomass feedstock Things⇒Functions→Circular Economy CO2 separation/recovery CO2 chemistry→Carbon recycling Alkaline water electrolysis→Hydrogen society Innovative battery components Lightweighting resins→EV

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.

  • Alkaline water electrolysis system to accelerate hydrogen society Environment&Energy The world's largest scale alkaline water electrolysis system using renewable energy at the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field(FH2R) FH2R source:NEDO 10MW-class alkaline water electrolysis plant Renewable energy Production/storage Transport Supply/Application Grid power Large-scale power-to-gas system PV(Photovoltaic)/WT(Wind-turbine)→Asahi Kasei Large-scale power-to-gas system Electricity→ Hydrogen production→H2→Hydrogen storage Power grid control system →Demand response→Hydrogen energy management system Hydrogen demand/supply forecasting system→Hydrogen demand forecasting→Hydrogen energy management system→Hydrogen storage→H2→Hydrogen transportation→ Power generation H2→hydrogen power generator(Fuel cell)→Electricity→Power market Mobility H2→Hydrogen station→H2→Fuel cell car/Fuel cell bus Industrial material H2→Plant NEDO:Hydrogen social construction technical development project/Hydrogen energy system technical development/Technical development concerning business model construction and the large scale actual proof of a re energy use hydrogen system Source:NEDO

CO2 Chemistry

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.

  • Developing and commercializing processes using CO2 as material Life Material Environment&Energy 10MW alkaline water electrolysis system CO2(Chemical process, boiler, etc.)→CO2 separation/recovery→ Chemical feedstocks→ Renewable energy/H2O→Alkaline water electrolysis for hydrogen production→Green H2→CO2 Chemistry Using CO2 as material ・Polycarbonate production >EC process(commercialized) >DRC process(validated) ・Isocyanate production(under development)→Polycarbonate →Isocyanate →Various chemicals EC:Ethylene carbonate, DRC:Dialkyl carbonate

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.

  • New technology to heighten resilience Home&Living Immediate estimation of earthquake damage to Hebel Haus/Hebel Maison→Aiming to broadly contribute to improved resilience throughout society in the future LONGLIFE AEDGiS IoT disaster information system joint research with National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience 1.Measurement of seismic vibration with seismometers installed in a certain number of Hebel Haus homes 2.Retrace seismic vibration to bedrock surface 3.Calculate seismic vibration at bedrock surface 4.Amplify propagated seismic vibration. Estimate damage to individual buildings Hebel Haus aim for total resilience Stages to restore living condition Stage 1 Protecting lives Sturdy building that protect life and property Stage 2 Protect health Equipment for energy self-sufficiency Stage 3 Living condition restored Ability to restore living condition faster

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