Sustainability Management | Sustainability | Asahi Kasei

Sustainability Management

Management Framework

The Asahi Kasei Group considers sustainability to be an important focus of management and incorporates it into both its medium-term and annual management plans, in addition to discussing it at Board of Directors meetings. We have also established a Sustainability Committee to promote sustainability group-wide.
The Sustainability Committee consists of the President, Executive Officers for Business Sectors, the Executive Officer for Technology Functions, and the Executive Officer for Business Management Functions, and is responsible for disseminating information, formulating sustainability-related policies, and so on. The Sustainability Committee coordinates with the Risk Management & Compliance Committee and the Responsible Care Committee, which handle more technical and specific matters.
All three of these committees are chaired by the President of Asahi Kasei. Our Global Environment Committee, chaired by the Executive Officer for Technology Functions, holds specialized discussions on global environmental measures as a subcommittee of the Sustainability Committee.

  • Board of Directors (Management Council) President Administrative staff Strategic Business Units, Core Operating Companies, Board of Directors (Management Council) President Sustainability Committee Secretariat: Sustainability Strategy Planning Department Global Environment Committee Other subcommittees Risk Management & Compliance Committee Responsible Care Committee
    Framework for Sustainability Strategy (as of September 1, 2021)

Message from the Senior General Manager, Sustainability Strategy Planning Department

"Sustainability" has become a commonly used term in recent years. It was only two years ago that we established our Sustainability Strategy Planning Department. Since then, however, there have been a lot of developments, and "sustainability" seems to have become an everyday term. That being said, I believe that what is important is not that the term has become commonplace, but that we are now at the beginning of a long road in which we will implement full-scale initiatives toward sustainability.
We have adopted a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, and are also promoting a number of initiatives anticipating a circular economy. We are taking on challenges for achieving active life in the “new normal” of the COVID-19 pandemic. As important issues that form the basis of these initiatives, we are also striving to address human rights, compliance, safety, quality, and relationships with local communities.
Collaboration and cooperation with people outside the company are also essential to advancing these initiatives. We will strive to provide value for a sustainable society through earnest dialogue with our stakeholders regarding what is expected by society.

Tatsuhiko Tokunaga
Senior Managing Executive and Senior General Manager of the Sustainability Strategy Planning Department
Asahi Kasei Corp.

Asahi Kasei Group effort for the SDGs

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. The agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets such as ending poverty and inequality, and taking action on climate change.
The Asahi Kasei Group contributes to achievement of the SDGs through diverse businesses that provide new value to society in accordance with the Group Vision of enabling "living in health and comfort" and "harmony with the natural environment."

  • Sustainable Development Goals 1. NO POVERTY 2. ZERO HUNGER 3. GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING 4. QUALITY EDUCATION 5. GENDER EQUALITY 6. CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION 7. AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY 8. DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH 9. INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE 10. REDUCED INEQUALITIES 11. SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES 12. RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION & PRODUCTION 13. CLIMATE ACTION 14. LIFE BELOW WATER 15. LIFE ON LAND 16. PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS 17. PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS

Asahi Kasei Group's Materiality

In fiscal 2017 we designated the priority issues and subjects to address as the materiality of the Asahi Kasei Group. We revised our materiality in May 2021 amidst the worsening climate crisis and the acceleration of domestic and international sustainability-related trends. We added "Initiatives toward Carbon Neutrality" and "Initiatives toward a Circular Economy" as matters of the highest importance.

Identifying Our Materiality

  • 1. Identifying Issues
    We referred to international guidelines including ISO 26000 and the GRI Standards, as well as the evaluation items used by major ESG evaluation organizations (FTSE, etc.), to identify issues according to the demands of societies and our mission, vision, and values.
  • 2. Determining the Impact
    We assessed the level of impact on both society and our Group and mapped it onto two axes.
  • 3. Evaluating Validity
    We confirmed the validity of the plan by examining it from a variety of perspectives, such as through deliberations among divisional managers, discussions with other companies, and interviews with outside directors.
  • 4. Deliberation and Approval
    After deliberation by the Management Council, the proposal was approved by the Board of Directors.

The relationships between this materiality and the sustainable development goals (SDGs) are shown in the following table. We will continue to advance our initiatives while incorporating the perspectives of various stakeholders.

  • Highest priority as premise Corporate governance|Compliance/sincerity|Human rights|Safety/quality 【more】Importance for stakeholders 【more】Importance for the Asahi Kasei Group [Business contribution to Global environment (Harmony with the natural environment) Health and longevity (Health and comfort) Comfortable life (Basic activities)] Decarbonization (Harmony with the natural environment) Circular economy (Harmony with the natural environment) Supply chain management (Basic activities) Communication with stakeholders (Basic activities) 【less】Importance for stakeholders 【more】Importance for the Asahi Kasei Group Diversity (Basic activities) Human resources (Health and comfort/Basic activities) Risk management (Basic activities) 【more】Importance for stakeholders 【less】Importance for the Asahi Kasei Group Wastewater (Harmony with the natural environment) Industrial waste (Harmony with the natural environment) 【less】Importance for stakeholders 【less】Importance for the Asahi Kasei Group Biodiversity (Harmony with the natural environment) Social contribution (Basic activities)

Materiality List

Theme Materiality Related
SDGs
Supervising organization
(Joint supervision: Sustainability Strategy Planning Department)
Main KPIs
Harmony with the environment
We position initiatives for the global environment as important issues, and we are working on measures regarding climate change, preservation of biodiversity, development of a circular economy, and other initiatives.
Using our diverse technologies, we will also develop materials and products that contribute to conserving energy and reducing CO2 emissions.
Global environment*
  • 6 CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION
  • 7 AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
  • 12 RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION & PRODUCTION
  • 13 CLIMATE ACTION
  • 14 LIFE BELOW WATER
  • 15 LIFE ON LAND
Strategic Business Units and Core Operating Companies
Corporate Research & Development
Environmental Contribution Products
Initiatives toward Carbon Neutrality Corporate ESH, Strategic Business Units, and Core Operating Companies
Corporate Research & Development
GHG emissions
Initiatives toward a Circular Economy Corporate ESH, Strategic Business Units, and Core Operating Companies
Corporate Research & Development
Wastewater Corporate ESH Number of accidents involving environmental pollution and number of significant issues
Industrial waste Corporate ESH
Biodiversity Corporate ESH Awareness-raising Activities
Living in health and comfort
We will contribute to healthy and comfortable lifestyles and affluent living with our distinctive products and technical capabilities.
Health and longevity*
  • 3 GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
  • 6 CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION
  • 11 SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES
Strategic Business Units and Core Operating Companies
Corporate Research & Development
Comfortable life* Strategic Business Units and Core Operating Companies
Corporate Research & Development
Basic activity
We will strengthen the base for business development, leading to the creation of new value.
Corporate governance
  • 4 QUALITY EDUCATION
  • 5 GENDER EQUALITY
  • 8 DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
  • 9 INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
  • 10 REDUCED INEQUALITIES
  • 16 PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS
  • 17 PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE GOALS
General Affairs Effectiveness assessment and improvement
Compliance /sincerity General Affairs
Risk management General Affairs
Safety/quality Corporate ESH/Corporate Quality Ensurance Major security incidents
Disabling injury frequency rate
Human rights Human Resources/Corporate Procurement & Logistics Employee survey
Human Resources Human Resources
Diversity Human Resources Number of female managers
Supply chain management Corporate Procurement & Logistics Administered CSR Procurement Questionnaire
Communication with stakeholders Investor Relations/Human Resources/General Affairs and others
Social contribution General Affairs Amount of activity (in monetary terms)
  • * Contribution through business

Participation in initiatives (major initiatives)

  • THE GLOBAL COMPACT Network Japan WE SUPPORT
Global Compact

The Asahi Kasei Group supports the United Nations Global Compact.

  • BUSINESS CALL TO ACTION
Business Call to Action (BCtA),
a multilateral alliance led by the United

Nations Development Programme (UNDP), challenges companies to advance core business activities that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Asahi Kasei joined with an initiative to support the fiber industry in India throughout the supply chain for Bemberg™ cupro.

  • Clean Ocean Material Alliance
Clean Ocean Material Alliance (CLOMA)

The Clean Ocean Material Alliance (CLOMA) is a platform established to accelerate innovation by strengthening collaboration among a wide range of stakeholders across industry sectors amid a need to implement worldwide initiatives to overcome the marine plastic litter problem, a global-scale challenge.

  • Battery Association for Supply Chain
Battery Association for Supply Chain (BASC)

The Battery Association for Supply Chain (BASC), established as a general incorporated association on April 1, 2021, is an organization engaged in activities such as the international standardization of the battery supply chain (industries related to battery materials, components, and raw materials) and the creation of a battery ecosystem, with the aim of achieving a decarbonized society.

White Logistics Movement

The White Logistics Movement is aimed at ensuring stability in logistics needed for people's daily lives and industrial activity and contributing to economic growth in response to the truck driver shortage, which continues to intensify. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries are the advocates of the movement.
Asahi Kasei has made a statement of voluntary action endorsing the movement and is working to improve logistics.

Challenge Net Zero Carbon Innovation
(Challenge Zero)

Challenge Zero is an initiative promoted by the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) in coordination with the Japanese government to support companies and groups in their efforts to achieve a decarbonized society.
Asahi Kasei supports this initiative and has announced specific efforts and policies:

  • RE100
RE100

RE100 is an international collaborative initiative consisting of companies committed to running their business operations on 100% renewable energy. Asahi Kasei Homes is a member of this initiative, and it has announced specific targets and is working to achieve them.

Keidanren Biodiversity Declaration Initiative

The Keidanren Biodiversity Declaration Initiative is a support effort by the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) to promote autonomous, active efforts by companies to partake in biodiversity preservation activities, with the aim of achieving harmony between the environment and the economy.
Asahi Kasei supports this initiative and has announced specific efforts and policies:

  • Pinfa (Phosphorus, Inorganic & Nitrogen Flame Retardants Association)
Pinfa (Phosphorus, Inorganic & Nitrogen Flame Retardants Association)

Through Asahi Kasei Europe, its European headquarters, Asahi Kasei has become the first Japanese resin manufacturer to join Pinfa (Phosphorus, Inorganic & Nitrogen Flame Retardants Association), an organization dedicated to improving the safety and lowering the environmental impact of both non-halogenated flame retardants and plastic products that use non-halogenated flame retardants.

  • Clean Fuel Ammonia Association
Clean Fuel Ammonia Association

Ammonia shows promise as an energy carrier for hydrogen. This association aims to establish a value chain from supply to utilization of CO2-free ammonia through technology development/evaluation, economic evaluation, policy recommendations, international collaboration, and other efforts.

  • Japan Hydrogen Association
Japan Hydrogen Association

The Japan Hydrogen Association advances global collaboration in the hydrogen field as well as the creation of hydrogen supply chains.
As a chemical manufacturer that utilizes hydrogen, Asahi Kasei will take an active role in offering proposals in the Association's working group activities with regard to issues that should be addressed to generate and expand demand for hydrogen.

  • Japan Hydrogen Association
30by30alliance

Asahi Kasei Corporation and Asahi Kasei Homes Corporation are participating in the "30 by 30 Alliance for Biodiversity" established by the Ministry of the Environment.
The Alliance aims to conserve 30% of the country's land and sea areas as natural environmental areas for the purpose of biodiversity conservation by 2030.

Membership in organizations (main organizations)

Name of organization Asahi Kasei's role
Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) Chair of Committee on Environment and Safety, Chair of Committee on Social Security
Japan Chemical Industry Association (JCIA) Director

Relationships with Stakeholders

Our business operations depend on relationships of trust with our stakeholders. We believe that corporate value is raised by understanding the requirements and meeting the expectations of various stakeholders such as customers, shareholders and investors, business partners, local communities, the general public, and employees.
We provide many opportunities for communication to enable our business operations to be improved through dialog with stakeholders.

Communication with stakeholders

Main stakeholders Basic premises Main opportunities for communication
Customers We believe that it is by maintaining customer satisfaction and providing reliable and enjoyable products and services that we contribute to society.
  • Face-to-face discussion by marketing and sales personnel
  • Taking inquiries via telephone, website, etc.
Shareholders and investors We strive to disclose information in a timely and fair manner to enable our domestic and international investors to gain an accurate understanding of the Asahi Kasei Group.
  • Meeting with securities analysts and institutional investors
  • Seminars for individual investors
  • Website disclosure of information
  • Taking inquiries via telephone, website, etc.
  • Shareholders meeting
Suppliers A relationship of mutual trust with our suppliers is fostered through fair and principled purchasing practices based on regulatory compliance and respect for the environment and human rights.
  • Safety discussion forums
  • CSR surveys
  • Compliance hotline (whistleblower system)
Local communities and the general public We work to honor and respect the local culture of each community where our operations are based, and to maintain effective dialog and communication with community members.
  • Periodic community dialog meetings
  • Community outreach initiatives
Employees The Asahi Kasei Group considers fulfilling and satisfying working conditions and workplace culture, in which employees feel motivated to achieve and take pride in their career, to be a key to business performance.
  • Training and interviews
  • Discussion and interaction with management
  • Internal magazine and intranet
  • Compliance hotline

Materiality and SDGs

Asahi Kasei Group effort for the SDGs

Product name Reason for certification SDGs contributed to

Lithium-ion battery (LIB)
separators

The separator is one of the four main components (cathode, anode, electrolyte, and separator) that make up the batteries (LIBs) for electric vehicles (EV/HEV/PHEV).
As a result of their growing popularity, electric vehicles are contributing to a reduction in CO2 during driving, compared with gasoline vehicles. Improving the battery performance (extending range and ensuring safety) is essential to the popularization of electric vehicles, and our development of separator technology is playing a part in this.
  • 7 AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
  • 13 CLIMATE ACTION
Caustic soda and chlorine are manufactured through the electrolysis of brine. The methods of electrolysis are the mercury process, the diaphragm process and the ion-exchange membrane process. The ion-exchange process is an environmentally-friendly method that does not use mercury or asbestos. Asahi Kasei is the only manufacturer in the world that manufactures and sells ion-exchange membranes, electrolytic cells, and electrodes, and boasts the top share of the global market. We have engaged in continual development to enable electrolysis using even less electricity, and our latest ion-exchange membrane grade has the lowest power consumption (compared with Asahi Kasei products: approximately 2% less than the current grade).
  • 7 AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
  • 9 INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
  • 13 CLIMATE ACTION
Xyron™, a type of engineering plastic, is an environmentally-friendly material with non-halogen flame retardance and reduction of resin usage due to its low specific gravity. Its properties also include dimensional precision, mechanical strength, and resistance to electrolyte solution. Widely used for electric vehicle battery packs and modules, it has played a major role in the spread of electric vehicles.
  • 7 AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
  • 13 CLIMATE ACTION
ASACLEAN is a cleaning agent (purging agent) for use in plastic molding machines.
At plastic molding work sites, when switching between production of different colors and resin types, it is necessary to keep the materials flowing to a certain extent, which inevitably results in loss.
By using ASACLEAN during the production switching process, it is possible to make the switch using about 1/3 to 1/10 the amount compared to not using ASACLEAN, which contributes to conserving resources and reducing CO2 by decreasing plastic waste.
  • 12 RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION & PRODUCTION
  • 13 CLIMATE ACTION
This product is used as an additive for the modified asphalt used in road surfaces.
This original elastomer specially designed by Asahi Kasei can improve road durability and decrease the frequency of maintenance and repairs.
  • 12 RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION & PRODUCTION
  • 13 CLIMATE ACTION
This compact, highly accurate, energy-saving gas sensor can detect the concentration of CO2 in the air. Equipping this product to industrial air-conditioning systems and optimizing the amount of ventilation while monitoring the CO2 density will contribute to reductions in power consumption for air conditioning.
  • 7 AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
  • 13 CLIMATE ACTION
S-SBR is used for the tread (the part in contact with the road) on passenger vehicle tires. Based on the development of original technology, it balances low fuel consumption and braking performance of tires at a high level, contributing to dramatically increasing the fuel efficiency of automobiles.
  • 7 AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
  • 13 CLIMATE ACTION
Long Life Homes and Net Zero Energy Houses:
Compared with regular housing, our homes contribute to reduction of CO2 during manufacture of all components and construction by meeting the standards for Net Zero Energy Houses, which balance household energy usage at zero or lower through power generation, advanced insulation, and energy conservation, and providing Long Life Home products with a basic structural life of at least 60 years.
  • 7 AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
  • 9 INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
  • 11 SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES
  • 12 RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION & PRODUCTION
  • 13 CLIMATE ACTION
This product boasts top-class insulating performance, providing high insulation even with little thickness and maintaining its insulating properties for long periods of time.
In addition, this insulation material is eco-friendly in a variety of ways, such as by being the first in the industry to succeed in not using any CFC or CFC substitutes as foaming gases.
  • 3 GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
  • 7 AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
  • 12 RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION & PRODUCTION
  • 13 CLIMATE ACTION

Contributing to Value Chains

Product name Reason for certification SDGs contributed to

Manufacturing process for acrylonitrile

Acrylonitrile, which is the raw material for ABS resin and acrylic fiber, is manufactured by making propylene (or propane) react with ammonia using a catalyst.
Asahi Kasei has continually developed catalysts that enable the efficient manufacture of acrylonitrile from less raw materials.
Asahi Kasei's catalysts can not only reduce raw material consumption compared with manufacturing acrylonitrile using other, ordinary catalysts (in the model case) but can also reduce emissions of by-products, particularly CO2, and the CO2 emissions associated with waste processing. These catalysts, therefore, make a significant contribution to the manufacture of acrylonitrile with a low environmental impact.
  • 7 AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
  • 13 CLIMATE ACTION

Other Environmental Contribution Products

■Contributes to resource and energy conservation for customers


■Use of materials with low environmental impact