Sustainability Vision - Asahi Kasei Group’s Vision

Asahi Kasei's Group Philosophy and Sustainability Goals

The Asahi Kasei Group conducts corporate activities to provide new value to society by realizing its Group Vision of “living in health and comfort” and “harmony with the natural environment.” We aim to achieve two mutually reinforcing aspects of sustainability: contributing to sustainable society and sustainable growth of corporate value.

  • Asahi Kasei Group philosophy and Two aspects of sustainability for Asahi Kasei

The Direction of Sustainability with a View Toward 2050

As exemplified by the problems of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic that have affected people around the world, Asahi Kasei’s commitment to “Care for People, Care for Earth” has become even more important.
Given this context, the Group 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, we can expect to see a variety of social issues. We believe that we will be able to help resolve these issues while expanding our business opportunities.
For example, in terms of “Care for Earth” (achieving a carbon-neutral and sustainable world), we can contribute to electric vehicles, a hydrogen society, carbon recycling, and achieving a circular economy among other important subjects, primarily through our businesses in the Material sector with, battery materials, an alkaline water electrolysis system, CO2 separation and recovery, recycling technology, and use of biomass, etc. We can also contribute in the Homes sector by supplying insulation materials and net zero energy homes (ZEH).

  • 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 as climate change progresses. We will also contribute through our health care and other businesses, with pharmaceuticals and medical devices, to help people live healthy and vibrant lives.

  • Care for Earth/Carbon neutral sustainable world Care for People/Active life in the new normal [Issues Asahi Kasei is working to address] Carbon neutrality/Circular economy Safe, comfortable, and eco-friendly mobility More comfortable and convenient lives Homes and communities that enriching people's lives Active and healthy longevity [Fields where Asahi Kasei provides value]Environment & Energy/Mobility/Life Material/Home & Living/Health Care

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. Our group will also pursue our two sustainability goals of contributing to a sustainable society and sustainable growth of corporate value.

Initiatives for Achieving a Carbon-neutral and Sustainable World

The Asahi Kasei Group is working to develop products and services in a wide range of fields from upstream to downstream in the value chain, including raw materials, manufacturing processes, energy, product use, and product recovery, with the aim of realizing a carbon-neutral sustainable world.

Initiatives for Achieving a Hydrogen-based Society

Significance of the initiatives Hydrogen is a key factor for carbon neutrality
Our vision Contribute to a hydrogen society and green hydrogen production centered on water electrolysis technology
Specific initiatives Development and provision of large-scale alkaline water electrolysis system

Hydrogen, which is attracting attention as a fuel for automobiles and power generation, as a raw material for chemicals, 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 and electrochemistry as well as our technological development capabilities, in 2020 we launched a 10-MW alkaline water electrolysis system in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture, to demonstrate the efficient supply of hydrogen produced using renewable energy. As expectations for hydrogen rise worldwide, with Japan and other countries around the world announcing their hydrogen strategies, we have also conducted demonstration trials in Germany. Furthermore, as well as developing a 100-MW large-scale water electrolysis system that is in demand around the world, we are also working to establish technology for integrated control of green chemical plants that use hydrogen produced by the water electrolysis system. Our aim is for early commercialization through collaboration with partner companies up and down the supply chain and through participation in projects around the world.

  • Alkaline water electrolysis system to accelerate hydrogen society Environment & Energy 10-MW alkaline water electolysis system using renewable energy at the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R) FH2R source:NEDO 10 MW-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 supply/demand 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
  • Utilization of Green Innovation Fund(2021-2030): Development of large-scale alkaline water electrolysis hydrogen production system and demonstration of green chemical plant. Advancing collaboration with partner companies throughout the supply chain

Producing Chemicals using CO2

Significance of the initiatives CO2 recycling is an important element of a sustainable society
Our vision Practical application of CO2 chemistry in addition to polycarbonate
Specific initiatives Production of functional specialty chemicals based on carbonyl group introduction technology

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 a special zeolite (a type of mineral) with a precisely controlled pore structure.

  • Developing and commercializing processes using CO2 as material Life Material Environment & Energy 10 MW 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(validated) >DRC process(validated) ・Isocyanate production(under development)→Polycarbonate →Isocyanate →Various chemicals EC:Ethylene carbonate, DRC:Dialkyl carbonate

Deploying technologies, products, and services to Achieve a Circular Economy

Significance of the initiatives Promoting sustainable resource usage is essential for decarbonization
Our vision Development and practical application of technologies and infrastructures that have become bottlenecks in achieving the circular economy
Specific initiatives "BLUE Plastics" Project

In an age when global environmental conservation is a major concern, resource recycling and the use of recycled plastics are being promoted as ways to recycle plastic waste as resources to supply highly convenient products while being considerate of the environment.
However, until now, it has been difficult to prove the recycling chain for products made from recycled plastic and the recycling rate of materials.
We are developing a digital platform based on our belief that, to make a resource-recycling society a reality, it is necessary to visualize the recycling chain of recycled plastics to create an environment in which people can use them with confidence. The social issue of balancing resource recycling with convenience is difficult to solve through the efforts of individual companies alone, so we aim to create a widely accessible platform that can be used by a broad range of people, from every kind of company involved in the recycling chain to consumers.

  • Our Primary Opportunities to Make ContributionsEasily recyclable materials Extending lifespan Circulation of used products Collaboration with industry/government Recycling technology Creation of basic chemicals Digital infrastructure Sustainable resource use Recyclable materials→ Material manufacturing (conventional contribution)→ Final processing Productization→ Use→ Reuse→ Recovery→ Separation→ Recycling

Manufacture of Basic Chemicals from Bioethanol

Significance of the initiatives Reducing the use of fossil resources and CO2 emissions, making non-recyclable materials sustainable
Our vision Contribute to the production of chemical products that do not rely on fossil resources through the practical application of technology in society
Specific initiatives Manufacturing basic chemicals* from bioethanol
  • * Ethylene, propylene, C4, benzene, toluene, xylene

Despite the 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) efforts currently underway in various countries, not all materials are suitable for recycling. There are a variety of materials that are technically difficult to recycle and those that are difficult to recover, and there are materials that can be recovered but are difficult to separate. In addition to the 3Rs, if we increase the use of biomass-derived plastics, the use of fossil resources can be reduced, and further CO2 reduction effects can be expected.
We are currently developing new technology to produce basic chemicals from bioethanol by applying the catalyst and process technology cultivated in our petrochemical business. Conventionally, it is possible to produce ethylene from ethanol through catalytic dehydration. If commercialized, our new technology will enable the production not only of ethylene, but also light olefins such as propylene, and aromatics such as benzene, toluene, and xylene, in a single plant. This will make it possible to manufacture many daily necessities from biomass raw materials, including products that have been considered difficult to manufacture using non-petroleum resources.

  • Point1: Ethanol available in abundance by established technology. Point2: Creating basic feedstocks equivalent to naphtha cracking fractions. Point3 Able to utilize existing petrochemical complexes and processes. Point4: Reduced GHG from manufacturing process. Point5: Providing materials essential to society. Sustainable society Contribution to the environment Contribution to living

Active life in the new normal

Achieving Healthy Longevity in an Era of Centernarians

Significance of the initiatives Responding to health-related lifestyle issues that are increasing due to the declining birthrate and aging population
Our vision Provide homes and services according to changes in health and family circumstances
Specific initiatives Providing secure apartment buildings for senior citizens and homes with services for senior citizens

This is an era where people often live into their hundreds. As senior citizens’ values with regard to homes become more diverse, the Group provides optimal homes based on their level of health.
There is the “healthy period,” when people are active and healthy; the “frail period,” when people’s minds, bodies, and social skills decline; and the “need care period,” when people need support. Each stage requires a different type of home.
For senior citizens in the healthy to frail stage of life, we offer “Hebel Village” secure rental homes for seniors, which allows them to live a more enjoyable life that will be comfortable and secure for many years to come.
For senior citizens in need of care, we provide “Village Riche” housing, which includes extensive care services.
We contribute to the formation of a society of healthy longevity by providing senior citizens who feel anxious and inconvenienced living in their own aging homes with the option of changing their residence while they are still healthy to one that is safe, reliable, and conducive to healthy longevity. We also provide security for the future through senior citizen homes that includes services for those who require extensive care.

  • Healthy period: Hebel Haus (unit homes)→ Frail period: Hebel Village (secure apartment buildings for senior citizens)→ Need care period: Village Riche (homes with services for senior citizens) Degree of need for care (Low → High)
  • 	Change of residence based on degree of health, Ordinary unit homes (healthy period, Heber Haus (unit homes))→ Frail period: Hebel Village (apartment buildings for senior citizens)→ Family care period: Village Riche (homes with services for senior citizens) Provision of services for senior citizens, Home-visit care, home-visit nursing, lifestyle support services, etc. (period requiring family care, Village Riche (housing for senior citizens with services included))→ General apartment buildings, Village (frail period, Hebel Village, apartment buildings for senior citizens))→Hebel Haus (healthy period, Hebel Haus (unit homes))

Contributing to the Resolution of Unmet Medical Needs

Significance of the initiatives Responding to unresolved health-related medical issues that are increasing due to the aging population, etc.
Our vision Provide superior products and services globally
Specific initiatives Development and marketing of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and related services/materials

As health-related issues are becoming more common due to the aging of the population and other factors, the Group believes that addressing unmet medical needs will become ever more vital. The Group aims to provide superior products and services globally through its involvement in both pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
In the pharmaceuticals field, we will continue to make contributions in the immunology and transplantation fields.
In the medical devices field, we will focus on serious cardiopulmonary diseases and related fields (acute myocardial infarction, sleep apnea).
In addition, in our bioprocess business, we will address the area of next-generation pharmaceuticals such as gene therapy, cell therapy, regenerative medicine, and next-generation vaccines to further improve the safety and productivity of pharmaceutical formulations.

  • Responding to Unmet Medical Needs Immunology, bone disease, transplantation, viral safety of pharmaceuticals, cardiopulmonary related diseases, responding to COVID-19 Pharmaceuticals Asahi Kasei Pharma Veloxis Pharmaceuticals Focus on immunology/transplantation and other related disease areas/specialties Medical devices Asahi Kasei Medical Expansion of bioprocess business (to next-generation drugs*), *Gene therapy, cell therapy, regenerative medicine, next-generation vaccines, etc. Critical care ZOLL Medical Market launch of innovative medical devices that address unmet needs in related areas (acute myocardial infarction, sleep apnea), etc.

Related information

We will strive to further improve our corporate value through the implementation of our medium-term management plan.