At the Asahi Kasei Group, we believe that it is our social responsibility to contribute to the development of local communities in which we operate by building a good relationship with them. 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.
It is the policy of the Group as a whole to create local employment and contribute to the revitalization of the region, while at the same time engaging in activities that help to solve the problems of the region. In addition, through community exchange events, plant tours, and community contribution activities, we strive to gain the understanding of local communities about our business and initiatives, and utilize the feedback we receive in our management.
Administrative departments at the Group's manufacturing sites lead communication with the communities around our plants, holding periodic networking events, plant tours, and other activities.
We offer plant tours to provide better understanding of our operations and the measures we implement for the environment and safety (Tours are not available at all plants).
Dialog and interaction
At each of the Group's main production sites, we engage in dialog and interaction that includes discussion with local residents through bodies such as local governments, providing public access to our facilities such as sports halls and grounds and parking lots, and holding events.
NPO supporting education of the next generation
In 2009, some interested members from the Asahi Kasei retirees association formed "Hagemashitai" (Encouragers), a volunteer group for providing support with schoolwork, and began providing help with math and science schoolwork to junior high school students in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture. In 2012, Hagemashitai was incorporated as an NPO and is expanding in size and continuing its activities still today. Asahi Kasei supports the NPO.
The Asahi Kasei Group is involved in a wide range of community-focused activities under the following Community Fellowship Policy to fulfill our responsibilities as a corporate citizen. We strive for mutual prosperity with the local communities and stakeholders focused on the three themes of Nurturing the Next Generation, Coexistence with the Environment, and Promotion of Culture, Art, and Sports.
- 1.Effective utilization of our human resources and technologies to advance community fellowship based on the unique characteristics of the Asahi Kasei Group.
- 2.Striving for meaningful community fellowship actions with a constant awareness of our objectives and effectiveness.
- 3.Supporting and nurturing participation in community fellowship by employees, encouraging volunteerism and individual initiative.
Value of community fellowship activities
The Asahi Kasei Group supports the active participation of employees in community fellowship activities. In addition, we participate in the One-Percent Club of the Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), and convert our social contribution activities into monetary value by a method set forth in its annual Survey of Expenditure for Corporate Philanthropic Activities. The total value of our donations in fiscal 2018 (including community investments) was ¥1,330 million.
Nurturing the Next Generation
School visits and science lab for students
To promote understanding and heighten interest in science and technology among elementary, junior high, and high school students, we visit schools and host visits by students at our plants to give explanations and demonstrations of science and technology and on environmental issues. We also support career development with occupational lectures and problem-solving training, and host visits by students to our offices.
In fiscal 2019, a total of 2,750 students from 59 schools participated.
Miraikan corporate partnership
Since fiscal 2008, the Asahi Kasei Group has been a corporate partner of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) led by scientist and former astronaut Dr. Mamoru Mohri. As a corporate partner, we work together with Miraikan to help cultivate interest in science and technology among children and other visitors.
Under this partnership, we have exhibited at exhibitions held by the Miraikan, provided products for use in demonstrations, and participated in various events.
Sponsoring educational programs on science and the environment by newspaper companies
The Asahi Kasei Group sponsors educational events organized by newspaper companies that provide children with an opportunity to learn about science and the environment.
Supporting the Japan Student Science Awards
The Asahi Kasei Group was again the sole sponsor of The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper's Japan Student Science Awards for fiscal 2019, including the Asahi Kasei Award, which are given in recognition of outstanding study of science at junior high schools and high schools.
Planet Earth Classroom
We again provided sponsorship in fiscal 2019 for "Planet Earth Classroom," a series of environmentally themed events for elementary school students planned and managed by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper. We supported the events by editing an environmental study textbook for distribution to some 2,400 elementary schools and other educational institutions nationwide (215 thousand copies distributed), giving lectures focused on energy conservation at elementary schools, and dispatching personnel as instructors for environmental study events for families.
Supporting young women in science and technology careers
In support of a national campaign to encourage young women to pursue careers in science and technology, we held an event for female high school students who are interested in such careers. The campaign led by Japanese government agencies and supported by the Keidanren aims to inform young women of career options in science and technology and support them in pursuing careers in these fields. Asahi Kasei endorses the objectives of this campaign, and participated from the beginning.
On August 23, 2019, we held a laboratory tour at our research complex in Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture, together with informal discussion with our female researchers, under the title "Knowing and connecting with women in science and technology careers." The event was attended by 83 female high school students from the Tokyo metropolitan area and Shizuoka Prefecture.
The event was divided into two programs: "Science and analysis careers" and "Housing-related careers" with tours of the Platform Laboratory for Science & Technology and the Housing R&D Center respectively. All of the female high school students had the opportunity to take part in programs using the research facilities, including the operation of advanced research equipment, to experience analysis technology and the experience of proof-of-concept testing at a large research facility that contains a complete house. The students also had informal discussions with female researchers and managers during group meetings.
The Asahi Kasei Group established a scholarship program to help foster talent that will contribute to the advancement of science and technology in new fields.
Applications are taken from students in masters courses, doctoral courses, and 6-year university courses specializing in chemistry, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, architecture, control engineering, electrical engineering, electronics, high-current electricity, physics, IT, biology, pharmacology, agricultural science, medical science, and veterinary science.
Coexistence with the Environment
Tree-planting at Asahi Forest in Miyazaki Prefecture
On May 11, 2019, Asahi Kasei planted trees at the Asahi Forest of Hayahi Ridge in Nobeoka as part of a reforestation program organized by Miyazaki Prefecture. This was the 8th year of the project which aims to regenerate a broad-leaf forest where cedar and cypress had been cultivated previously. A total of 448 people including Asahi Kasei Group employees, retirees, and local residents participated in the program, planting some 1,500 trees such as wild cherry, wild chestnut, and maple over a 1 hectare area.
Promotion of Culture, Art, and Sports
Corporate sports activities
Asahi Kasei has long supported athletic activity and maintains top-tier distance running and judo teams, with employees having competed in the Olympics nearly 50 times over the years. Our support for sports and athletics also includes sponsorship of the Golden Games in Nobeoka, a notable long-distance track competition in Japan, and provision of running and judo lessons for local students by members of our corporate distance running and judo teams.
On February 19, 2020, we held a judo workshop in Düsseldorf, Germany. Four members of our judo team served as instructors for local elementary school students and experienced judo enthusiasts. The time spent in contact with children through these kinds of community fellowship activities was a valuable opportunity for our athletes to recharge and deepen interaction with the community.
Asahi Kasei Himuka Cultural Foundation
The Asahi Kasei Himuka Cultural Foundation was established in 1985 to enrich the environment of day-to-day life and culture in Miyazaki Prefecture, the cradle of Asahi Kasei. A wide range of cultural activities include musical and dramatic events, support for local cultural promotion, and fostering familiarity with and understanding of folk culture.
[Events held in fiscal 2019]
The 35th anniversary of the founding of the Himuka Cultural Foundation was celebrated in 2020. As a commemorative event, a concert-style ballet performance of Romeo and Juliet was planned by the world-renowned conductor Tomomi Nishimoto.
Although there were concerns about the spread of the coronavirus when the event was held on February 23, all possible measures were taken to prevent the spread of the virus and the performance was held.
Orchestra, ballet, and subtitles were used in a new attempt to create a triple performance, and the event concluded as a big success.
[Art appreciation bus tour]
We doubled the number of participants in the Miyazaki International Music Festival program for the "Double Giants - Fumiaki Miura and Nobuyuki Tsujii Duo Recital" presented by Asahi Kasei.
In addition, a one-day tour to see the musical "The Lion King" by the Shiki Theater Company at the Fukuoka Canal City Theatre was planned.
Tickets for both tours sold out within a day, and the Shiki Theater Company offered a small surprise, with tour participants saying they were glad to have participated.
The Noguchi Memorial Hall was donated to Nobeoka City by Asahi Kasei as a project to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the founding of Asahi Kasei. In June 2019, the hall, which has contributed to the improvement of culture in the northern part of the prefecture, closed its 63-year history to be reborn three years later as the new Noguchi Shitagau Memorial Hall. A Noguchi Memorial Hall Gathering of Thanks and Concert was planned to give thanks for up until now, and it reflected on the contributions of the hall through videos, music, and talks.
[Sponsorship and support project]
Iwao Furusawa's Ishigamiyama Music Camp is designed to promote cultural activities, where participants can learn how to improve the level of their performance using various instruments and concert performance techniques under the guidance of the world-renowned violinist Iwao Furusawa. A wide range of participants, ranging from piano and violin players, pre-school children to adult semi-professionals, took part in the camp.
Disaster relief, local disaster prevention, and other activities
The Group contributed donations to community chests and medical institutions around the world and donated masks and other items to help prevent and respond to the spread of the coronavirus.
(Monetary donation: approximately ¥26.7 million, approximately 150,000 masks, alcohol gel, etc.)
Construction of evacuation towers
In fiscal 2013 we constructed two evacuation towers within our plant grounds in Nobeoka and Hyuga, Miyazaki Prefecture, to enable people to quickly reach a safe height in the event of a tsunami. The evacuation towers are available for use not only by our personnel, but also by nearby community members.
Installation of independent drinking water supply systems
We have installed independent drinking water supply systems at Asahi Kasei Group plant sites in Moriyama, Suzuka, and Nobeoka. The systems utilize our microfiltration membranes to purify deep well water. While serving to supply drinking water to personnel working at these sites on a daily basis, these systems also provide a vital independent backup as a secure source of safe drinking water for local communities in the event of a disaster.
Disaster volunteer organization
In Nobeoka, we have a disaster volunteer organization consisting of our personnel and retirees to perform disaster drills and emergency response support for the local community.
To support "Contributing to life and living around the world," our Group Mission, the Asahi Kasei Group cooperates with the Japanese Red Cross Society to run blood donation drives as an easily accessible community fellowship activity.
We aim to hold the blood donation drive at our Head Office in Tokyo between February and March, when donated blood tends to be in short supply. We hope to gain the cooperation of even more employees to take part in donating blood as an easily accessible community fellowship activity.
Community Fellowship Around the World
Activities tailored to the characteristics of the community
Many offices and production sites of the Asahi Kasei Group in the United States, Europe, China, Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia, engage in a variety of community fellowship activities as suited to their individual circumstances and locations. These include neighborhood clean-up, support for welfare and education, and donation to local organizations and schools. In addition, we proactively advance industrial-academic alliances (with Aachen University of Germany, etc.) where we have strategic business sites in Europe, pursuing mutual prosperity with the local communities of our operations. We also employ many talented personnel at Asahi Kasei Europe which was established in 2016 and our Europe R&D Center which was established in 2017.