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 contribute to the vitality of communities, while at the same time engaging in activities that help to solve local issues through the creation of local employment and procurement based on the Group’s businesses. 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 Asahi Kasei Group's sites lead communication with the communities around our plants, planning and operating 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). Plant tours were suspended since fiscal 2020 due to the pandemic, but resumed at some plants in fiscal 2022.
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. We support 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 2022 (including community investments) was ¥1,574 million.
- * The results of the activities of the entire Group were converted into monetary values based on the methodology of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) “1% Club” Value of Community Fellowship Activities Survey.
- Note: Figures for fiscal 2021 have been revised.
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 2022, 2,090 students from 31 schools participated in a total of 39 sessions.
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 66th Japan Student Science Awards in fiscal 2022 organized by The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. The Asahi Kasei Prize was presented at these Awards in recognition of outstanding study of science at junior and senior high schools.
An online exchange meeting was also held for winners of the Asahi Kasei Prize and Shizuoka Prefecture Governor's Award and our young engineers.
Planet Earth Classroom
We again provided sponsorship in fiscal 2022 for "Planet Earth Classroom," a series of environmentally themed projects 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 elementary schools nationwide, giving lectures on the topic of “Long-lasting houses are kind to the Earth” at elementary schools, and dispatching personnel as instructors for environmental study events for families.
Shinichiro Kawai, Head of the Long-Life Home Research Center of Asahi Kasei Homes, gave classes at the Kankyo One-Day School environmental education event held in Tokyo in September, and for fifth-year students at elementary schools in Osaka and Saitama prefectures in December, on the topic of “Long-lasting houses are kind to the Earth.”
Riko Challenge Summer of 2022 event co-hosted by the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and the Japan Business Federation
As a member of the Japan Business Federation, Asahi Kasei endorses the Riko Challenge, promoted mainly by the Cabinet Office for human resource development in science and engineering. We also cooperated in the Riko Challenge Summer, an event which first started in 2015. In 2022, we held an online event titled "Science Workplace Tour: Watch and Learn!" for high school students interested in science and engineering.
Experiment videos published on children's chemistry channel
When the Children's Chemistry Channel (planned and produced by Dream Chemistry 21 Committee) was launched, we cooperated in the production of video content and released an experiment video titled "Let's make a lemon battery!"
Miraikan corporate partnership
Since fiscal 2008, we have been a corporate partner of Miraikan - The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. 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.
In fiscal 2022, for the first time in three years, we sponsored a special experimental class at a local science museum, which was proposed by Dr. Hideki Shirakawa, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Additionally, in December, Hebel Village was introduced in the Thinking about Aging and Living workshop at the Miraikan. Employees from the Senior Business Promotion Department and the Senior Life Research Institute of Asahi Kasei Homes participated in the workshop titled Thinking about Aging and Living - Rediscovering Life through Collage.
Exhibited at Out of KidZania in Nobeoka 2022
Asahi Kasei exhibited at the work experience event Out of KidZania in Nobeoka 2022 (main venue: Shitagau Noguchi Memorial Hall) held in Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture, and gave elementary and junior high school students a chance to learn about fiber manufacturing work with some thread making (nylon). In the SDGs section we displayed the Asahi Kasei Group's initiatives, businesses, and products aimed at achieving the SDGs, such as the Ziploc Recycling Program, the mechanism of generating electricity, and the AED Plus automated external defibrillator.
Asahi Kasei Prize awarded at the 12th National Science Koshien Championships hosted by JST
In March 2023, Asahi Kasei sponsored the 12th National Science Koshien Championships hosted by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). The Asahi Kasei Prize was awarded at this event which was held in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture.
Asahi Kasei has been supporting this event since it first began in 2011.
Honorary Fellow Akira Yoshino holds special class on the subject of solving the world's environmental problems
In October 2022, Akira Yoshino, an honorary fellow of Asahi Kasei, held a special class at a Tokyo high school on the subject of "What ideas would you propose to solve the world's environmental problems?" This special class was started in 2018 as part of our activities aimed at nurturing the next generation, which is one of the themes of the Asahi Kasei Group's social contribution activities. This is the fifth time the event has been held.
We 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
Every year, we carry out tree-planting activities at the Asahi Forest on Hayahi Ridge in Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture.
The event had been postponed since fiscal 2020 because of the pandemic but has now resumed from fiscal 2022 (the photo shows tree planting taking place in fiscal 2022).
Promotion of Culture, Art, and Sports
Corporate sports activities
Asahi Kasei has long supported athletic activity and maintains top-tier long-distance track 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.
In 2022, the judo team held judo workshops domestically in Nobeoka City, Miyazaki Prefecture, and in Omuta City and Fukuoka City in Fukuoka Prefecture, as well as overseas in Düsseldorf, Germany.
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.
Art Appreciation Bus Tour
Art appreciation bus tours are held twice a year for viewing performances held within the prefecture and neighboring prefectures. For those who do not have access to transportation to the venue, we offer a discounted bus and performance ticket package, which has always been very popular with the tour participants on each occasion.
Performances sponsored in fiscal 2022 (at Shitagau Noguchi Memorial Hall)
Projects we Co-sponsor, Sponsor, and Support
Throughout the year, Corporate Communications co-sponsors, sponsors, and supports performances, primarily those held in northern Miyazaki Prefecture, as well as informs locals about cultural events held in the region.
Disaster relief, local disaster prevention, and other activities
Support for research and educational activities for resuscitation and acute critical care
In December 2020, ZOLL Medical Corporation (Headquarters: Massachusetts, USA), a group of Asahi Kasei, made a donation of $10 million to The ZOLL Foundation to support research and educational activities related to resuscitation and acute critical care.
Established in 2013, The ZOLL Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that operates independently of ZOLL Medical. The Foundation supports innovative new research as well as research, education, and awareness-raising activities for young researchers to improve life expectancy through improved CPR techniques, preventing patient deterioration due to myocardial infarction, and improving care to reduce mortality and morbidity among emergency care patients. Grant applications are accepted twice a year through The ZOLL Foundation website. For more information, please visit the following website.
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 in the production areas at Moriyama, Suzuka, and Nobeoka. The systems utilize our microfiltration membranes to purify deep well water, making it drinkable. 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 promote blood donation activities with the cooperation of even more employees as an easily accessible community fellowship activity.
Sponsoring the Kanazawa Marathon
Together with Asahi Kasei Corp., our affiliate Asahi Kasei ZOLL Medical Corp. sponsored the Kanazawa Marathon 2022 held on October 30, 2022. The Kanazawa Marathon is a full marathon event that encourages participation by the public and features a course that allows participants to fully enjoy the attractions of Kanazawa, as well as famous athletes serving as guest pacers and the hospitality of volunteers.
Since 2016, Asahi Kasei ZOLL Medical has been a special Gold Sponsor of the Kanazawa Marathon, providing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the course and conducting AED life-saving training in advance for first aid volunteers for the event.
On October 28 and 29 in 2022, prior to the event, a booth was set up at the Kanazawa Station East Motenashi Dome Underground Plaza where visitors could get hands-on experience doing chest compressions using an AED training device.
At the booth, visitors could learn the procedure for providing primary life-saving care in the event of a person collapsing in front of them, as well as experience performing chest compressions (cardiac massage/CPR) at the appropriate speed and depth using the AED training machine and mannequins. An exhibition area for ZOLL Medical’s AEDs and AED training devices was set up as well.
Donations to UNICEF
In support of UNICEF’s activities to protect the lives and health of the world’s children for future generations, we delivered 3.65 million tablets of water purification tablets to children around the world in November 2022 through the UNICEF Inspired Gifts program conducted by the Japan Committee for UNICEF.
The UNICEF Inspired Gifts program is a way to support UNICEF by designating UNICEF supplies to be given to children in developing countries. According to UNICEF, more than 500,000 young children around the world die each year from diarrheal diseases caused by contaminated water. This year in particular, floods and water damage due to abnormal weather have been occurring frequently in various places. As the need for clean water is increasing, the Asahi Kasei Group has decided to provide support by selecting water purification agents as relief supplies.
This support was determined based on the number of entrants and the feedback they provided in the Sustainability Photo Contest* held in 2022 for Group employees.
- * Sustainability Photo Contest: We invited submissions based on the theme of “Care for People, Care for Earth” to inspire people to think about and act on sustainability from a familiar viewpoint. Care for People, Care for Earth expresses the Group’s commitment to a sustainable society. We received over 1,000 wonderful photograph submissions from our Group locations around the world.
Social Contribution Activities by Group Companies Worldwide
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, our Group 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.
Zoll Medical (Emergency medical equipment manufacturer)
Employees participate in an annual charity event called the Heart Walk (sponsored by the American Heart Association) to save people from heart disease and stroke.
Sage Automotive Interiors
Sage participated in a tree-planting event called TreesUpstate in South Carolina, where its global headquarters is located, and planted over 100 trees.
Since 2012, Sage has donated to TreesUpstate to plant trees in schools, parks, and neighborhoods near its global headquarters. At maturity, Sage's funding of tree plantings will remove 4.3 million miles of car emissions each year and store 195,500 gallons of stormwater each year to prevent flooding and clean the area's drinking water.
Crystal IS believes the benefits of UVC LEDs provide make them the ideal sources for delivering UV disinfection to remote areas with insufficient or damaged infrastructure. In its UV 4 Good Program, Crystal IS partners with the following groups to provide products and resources to supply clean drinking water to these communities.
Maji Safi UV Project (Kenya)
Maji safi means “clean water” in Swahili. The Maji Safi team believes in enacting positive change for life and living throughout the world through partnerships and drinking water expertise. They aim to empower tropical populations through sustainable access to clean drinking water using UVC LED technology.
Safe Water for Ukraine
The Safe Water for Ukraine team is actively partnering with locals to enact positive change for life and living in the region. Their partnership with industry experts has led to the development of innovative solutions for providing clean and safe drinking water.
Asahi Kasei Plastics North America
Each year, the company hosts high school students from Livingston County, Michigan, for a tour of its offices and to introduce them to the potential of the manufacturing industry. Giving students tours of our facilities allows us to nurture their interest in the manufacturing industry and contribute to excellent human resource development for the future.
In addition, the Fowlerville Family Impact Center in Michigan provides a list of families in need of gifts, and each year we welcome four to five of those families during the holiday season to provide them with Christmas gifts and necessities. Employees use the list to donate toys, art supplies, electronics, clothing, and other items. We also donate food to the children for their New Year meals.
Synergos sponsors and participates in Ryan House’s annual Run for Ryan House and Community Breakfast. Ryan House offers palliative care and support services to families with children living with life-limiting or terminal conditions, all at no cost to the families.
PTSD Awareness 5K Run/Walk
Employees at Austin Companies participate in an annual 5k walk/run to honor those that have lost their battle to PTSD, those who are currently battling, and those who have survived the battle. All proceeds benefit the First Responder PTS Foundation (501c3) to assist first responders in obtaining mental health services and education related to PTSD.
West-MEC Vocational School
Erickson Framing supports the West-MEC vocational school's General Construction Technology program by discussing construction careers with students and facilitating hands-on learning activities. The General Construction Technology Program prepares students to enter the residential and commercial construction industry.
Asahi Kasei Plastics Thailand
Since 2018, the company has participated in a charity marathon organized by a hospital and other organizations in Ayutthaya Province. In fiscal 2022, it donated approximately 390,000 baht from participation fees and other charity funds to Bang Pa-In Hospital. Donations are used to purchase medical equipment for the hospital to support patients and sick people, in order to contribute to the development of local medical care.
Thai Asahi Kasei Spandex
Thai Asahi Kasei Spandex (TAS) operates its plant 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and believes that its production activities depend on the understanding of local residents. For this reason, at the end of each year, all plant managers and employees thank the local community and distribute sweets and other gifts to local children. As the event in 2022 took place on Christmas Day, many Santas took to the streets to give away presents. TAS will continue to work in harmony with the local community in Thailand. (Left photo)
In 2022, TAS held an event called TAS CSR DAY for the first time. The company invited people from the surrounding community and local kindergarten students to its premises. After TAS introduced its Responsible Care activities, the children showed what they were practicing every day, cementing a close friendship. By interacting directly with local residents at this event, TAS employees have increased their sense of responsibility for safety and the environment. TAS will continue to actively participate in educational activities that will lead to the future of the local community by providing local residents with a deeper understanding of their activities, and contributing to the local community in Thailand. (Right photo)
Asahi Kasei Europe
Twenty-two employees participated in the annual B2Run running event in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Asahi Kasei Europe (AKEU) has been participating since 2018, and a portion of the participation fee paid by each runner is donated to DKMS, an international charity focused on eradicating leukemia and other blood diseases. The participating members ran hard with a sense of mission and purpose that their running would help eradicate disease.
In addition, 40 employees and their families participated in the Rhine Clean Up initiative, cleaning up the banks of the Rhine River near the company’s office.
This activity began in 2018 and involves volunteer staff from Switzerland, where the Rhine River originates, and the five countries of the Rhine basin, including Germany. Through this activity, participants help to preserve the river and the surrounding environment.
AKEU has been participating since 2021 and will continue to work to pass on the beautiful river and natural environment to current and future generations, thereby contributing to the local community.
Asahi Kasei India
Starting in fiscal 2022, Asahi Kasei India has been conducting a campaign in collaboration with Indian NGO Akshaya Patra to increase awareness and improve the image of its Premium Wrap product. In this campaign, if anyone posts a photo on social media (Facebook or Instagram) of food wrapped in Premium Wrap, 3 to 4 school lunches get donated for each post through Akshaya Patra.
Akshaya Patra gave a letter of appreciation for the social contribution this activity has made. Specifically, the campaign has provided educational opportunities for children and families through the provision of meals, and it has also contributed to the opening of large-scale meal centers in various places, providing about 5,000 job opportunities to local people.
Through this activity, Asahi Kasei India aims to foster awareness and habits of food preservation in India, helping to reduce food loss and eradicate hunger.