Interaction with Society

Interaction with Society

Goals and Actual Results in Social Interaction

Goal Actual results Evaluation and challenges Fiscal 2020 goals
[Science]
To understake “Sending School Backpacks Across the Sea” campaign steadily
  • Delivered 7,938 backpacks
  • Advertise to collect school backpacks through the Kuraray website and nearby elementary schools of Kuraray plants
  • The campaign was carried out as planned. This campaign will be hosted next fiscal year also.
  • “Sending School Backpacks Across the Sea” campaign will be steadily undertaken
[Science]
To host “Chemistry Classes for Boys and Girls” more than once this year
  • Hosted 12 times in total with 347 participants (twice at Kurashiki Plant, three times at Saijo Plant, twice at Okayama Plant, twice at Niigata Plant, two times at Kashima Plant and once at Tsurumi Plant)
  • The event was carried out as planned.
  • To sponsor events more than once per year at each plant (excluding Osaka)
  • To sponsor events outside the Company
[Social Welfare]
To Operate workshops for people with intellectual disabilities
  • Number of people employed/Intellectually and physically disabled: 55 people, Instructors: 13 people (The results represents the total for Niigata, Saijo, Kurashiki and Kashima.)
  • The targeted number of people were hired as planned.
  • To continuously employ the same number of people at the workshops
  • To start operation at Okayama Plant
[Culture] [Science] [Environment] [Social Welfare]
  • To steadfastly undertake existing activities at plants, sites and affiliated companies focusing on the relationship with local communities
  • To comprehensively grasp the status of activities undertaken by the entire Group including overseas operations
  • On-going activities were steadfastly undertaken
  • Activities that have been undertaken in the past could be steadfastly continuously conducted.
  • The status of activities undertaken by the overseas operations was comprehensively grasped.
  • To continuously carry out the activities
  • To continuously grasp the status of activities undertaken by the entire Group including overseas operations

We in the Kuraray Group consider the sound and sustainable advancement of society to be a precondition for corporate growth and prosperity, as well as the ultimate objective of corporate activities. It goes without saying that we see it as our duty to contribute to society through provision of products with genuine value to the people. Beyond this, we consider assistance with the resolution of social issues to be another important form of social contribution in our capacity as a corporate citizen.

The Kuraray Group carries out activities focusing on culture, science, environment and social welfare in accordance with its policy for social contribution activities.

Goals and Actual Results in Social Interaction

Kuraray Group Policy for Social Contribution Activities

To fulfill its responsibilities as a member of society, the Kuraray Group shall make vigorous approaches to social contribution activities in accordance with the following policy.

Types of Activities

  • Activities that lead to a resolution of social issue
  • Activities rooted in local communities where Kuraray's establishments are based
  • Activities emphasizing participation by employees on their own initiative
  • Activities that are sustainable in the long term

Areas of Activities:Priority areas: culture, science, environment, and social welfare

Culture

The Kuraray Group continues supporting the Ohara Museum of Art, which was established by Magosaburo Ohara, the first president of the company. The Group also supports cultural activities at its plants and sites.

The Ohara Museum of Art
Contest on Painting and Calligraphy at the Okayama Plant

Okayama Plant has been holding the Elementary School Student Painting and Calligraphy Contest annually since 2005. Having been well recognized in the local community thanks to its ongoing successes, this contest received 329 artwork entries, including paintings, pictures, and calligraphy, from five elementary schools near the plants in fiscal 2019. This contest will be continuously sponsored.

Science

The Kuraray plants sponsor the “Chemistry Classes for Boys and Girls”, and participate in outside events and sponsored sports tournaments to foster healthy juniors and teenagers by continuously supporting on-going activities.

Kuraray conducts the “Chemistry Classes for Boys and Girls” program with the goal of enabling elementary school students to experience the fun of chemistry through experimental work. In this program, employee volunteers of Kuraray serve as lecturers and assistants in dedicated classrooms in Kuraray plant premises, as well as in elementary schools and public facilities in the areas. This program has been sponsored every year since 1992 at Kuraray plants in Japan. In fiscal 2019, 347 children and family members participated in fourteen class events. The Tsurumi Plant had a booth at the Bizen Industrial Festa, and showcased experiments with activated carbon. We will continue these events and actively participate in events outside the Company.

Fun Chemistry Class at the Kurashiki Plant Booth at the Bizen Industrial Festa by the Tsurumi Plant
Plant Class name Number of classes Number of participants
Kurashiki Plant Fun Chemistry House 75 1,951
Saijo Plant Exciting Chemistry Class 80 2,336
Okayama Plant Fun Chemistry Class 49 1,479
Niigata Plant Wondrous Laboratory 61 1,659
Kashima Plant Fun Chemistry Class 29 1,614
Tsurumi Plant School visits and other classes 4 293
Total   298 9,332

Various plants of Kuraray are sponsoring sports events from the standpoint of fostering healthy juniors and teenagers. Various sports and other events were hosted at the plants of Kuraray. Kuraray is offering its baseball parks, gymnasiums and tennis courts to neighbors for the promotion of sports in neighboring areas. These activities will be continued in the future.

Kuraray Cup sports event at the Okayama Plant Fureai Recreation event at the Kashima Plant

Environment

Aiming at implementing forest conservation work and volunteer cleaning work carried out every year, the Niigata Plant undertakes the “MIRABAKESSO Forest Creating Activity.” Also all the plants undertake continued volunteer cleaning work. The Group companies also periodically undertake voluntary environmental work such as cleaning of areas around their plants.

At each Kuraray plant, employee volunteers engage in cleaning parks, roads and mowing gardens in childcare centers in cooperation with local governments and NPOs.

MIRABAKESSO Forest Creating Activity by the Niigata Plant The Tamegawa River volunteer cleaning work by the Kurashiki Plant

Social Welfare

Aiming to support and continue the employment of people with intellectual disabilities and to undertake the Kuraray Fureai (Rapport) Fund-Raising Campaign, Kuraray’s Kurashiki, Saijo, Niigata and Kashima Plants operate workshops and donate money raised in the campaign. Also, cherry blossom viewing parties were held at the Saijo and Niigata Plants tuned to the cherry blossoming season. Residents of nearby social welfare facilities visited the plants and enjoyed viewing cherry blossoms. These activities will be continued.

In cooperation with Nakajo Town (currently Tainai City) and Niji no Ie (meaning ""Rainbow House"", operated by a social welfare corporation, Nanaho-kai) , the Kuraray Workshop of Kuraray’s Niigata Plant opened in 1997 for people with intellectual disabilities. The workshop sorts plastic waste generated in the production process for recycling and manufactures supplies and fittings. In 2007, the Himawari Sunflower Workshop opened at Kuraray’s Saijo Plant. In 2011, the Kashima Plant opened its Aozora Blue Sky Works assisted by a social welfare corporation, Kamisu Keiai-en. 12 instructors and 43 workers now work at four of Kuraray’ s plants to accomplish a variety of job assignments, including those employees at Kuraray’s Kurashiki Plant engaged in cleaning of uniforms and labeling on Kuraray products. They mingle with Kuraray’s employees through sports events and other occasions. These workshops and employment of those with intellectual disabilities will be maintained and continued.

Cherry blossom viewing party held at the Saijyo Plant Kuraray Workshop of the Niigata Plant Aozora Blue Sky Works of the Kashima Plant
  Types of work
Kurashiki Cleaning uniforms, labeling products
Saijo Product recycling, cleaning uniforms
Niigata Product recycling, manufacture of pot stands and aprons, cleaning uniforms
Kashima Making double-layer product packing bags, separating foreign matter in products

We established a matching gift or the “Kuraray Fureai Fund” in July 1992. Under this fund, companies make donations consisting of those made by their employees and the same amount by the company. Employees endorsing the fund agree to donate amounts of less than 100 yen from their salaries to it. The funds collected in this way are used for social welfare programs. We undertake activities that contribute to local communities, such as donating nursing care supplies, books and other articles mainly to welfare facilities, local governments and schools in the neighborhoods of Kuraray plants. The fund will be continuously used for the sake of social welfare.

Kuraray Library financed by Kuraray Fureai Fund by the Saijo Plant

Focus: Social Activities at Overseas Offices

The Kuraray Group continuously engages in various social activities in the fields of ‘culture,’ ‘science,’ ‘environment,’ and ‘welfare’ at its overseas offices as well. Among such activities, allow us to introduce those in Europe and the U.S.

Activities in the ‘science’ field—Support for grooming the next generation of scientists

Kuraray Europe GmbH invited seven students who study in an advanced chemistry course at a local high school and their instructor to its Poval plant again this year to enjoy vibrant interactions through plant tours, lectures on polymer chemistry, and experiments. They presented their accomplishments at Kuraray Europe GmbH after providing a report at the high school. The students were very well prepared and also answered questions in an organized manner. The participants commented that they were able to gain a very good understanding of the mechanism of chemical reactions and that while they had had little idea of what working in a laboratory was actually like and what was important before participating, they were very thankful for the opportunity to experience it in the field at a chemical plant.

MonoSol, LLC. in the U.S. also believes that it is crucial to foster the next generation of scientists and has been putting effort into supporting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. As part of such effort, a team of researchers at MonoSol is part of a panel of judges in science contests and teaches classes in polymer chemistry at top schools, including the University of Notre-Dame, Butler University, and Valparaiso University. What’s important in the initiative is to get students to feel that “science is fun.” Additionally, the team at MonoSol participated in “Science Festival,” an event held annually in Indiana, to display products made of polyvinyl alcohol films, promote an industry-wide safety drive, and help children to synthesize “slime” from polyvinyl alcohol while students and their parents had lots of fun.

In Texas, also in the U.S., Kuraray America, Inc. participates in San Jacinto College (“SJC”) CPET (LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy & Technology) Fund. The fund offers advanced training in response to increasing demands for talent in the chemical industry. Kuraray America, Inc. has committed to making donations to the fund, which was launched in 2018, for a period of 10 years. As part of the sponsorship, the Center’s chemistry lab was named after Kuraray. Kuraray America, Inc. has hired a number of SJC graduates as process engineers and intends to make continuing contributions to the chemical industry.

Volunteer activities in the ‘environment’ field

Amid the heightening awareness of plastic pollution, EVAL Europe N.V. in Belgium took part in ‘Operation Clean Sweep.’ This international volunteer program is run to prevent marine debris resulting from the discharge of plastic (pellet) into the aquatic environment in the supply chain from manufacturing to disposal in the chemical industry.

MonoSol engages in a drive to pick up trash along a one-mile stretch of the local road to demonstrate its stance to address environmental issues aggressively. Volunteer employees wear fluorescent vests so that they are easily visible to drivers in picking up trash along the road in a congenial atmosphere as a team, in an effort to beautify the community.
 Kuraray America, Inc. supports Texas Conservation Fund (TCF), a non-profit organization, and assists with cleaning local waterways. TCF’s mission is to promote environment management in the basin through public education by making good use of practical education tools and building partnerships among the environment, governments and the private sector. The Environmental Safety Team of Kuraray America, Inc. exhibited a booth at a cleaning event to distribute drinking water and hand sanitizer and thank the participants.

Activities in the ‘welfare’ charity field

A cycling team comprised of eight passionate employees of EVAL Europe N.V. participated in a fund-raising project for cancer research called ‘cycling 1,000km to fight against cancer.’
 They managed to secure 5,000 euros, the funds needed to participate in the project, through various means based on cooperation from staff, including selling gadgets, cakes and chocolates, as well as a lottery held at an internal social event.

A total of 42 employees of Kuraray Europe GmbH took part in both school and kindergarten support projects: “Go outside - teaching in the Green” at Frankfurt included repairing, cleaning and painting walls on the school yard, also making so-called “Swedish chairs”, movable seats, for 25 kids for their “green lessons”. At Troisdorf, tidying up a shed, brushing up garden furniture, digging a pool and planting were among the many tasks carried out in two kindergartens, the “Heidepaenz” and the “Burgpaenz”. The two kindergartens had just been consolidated, entailing twice as much preparatory work as in a typical year; however, the participants joined forces to complete the mission and enjoyed a great sense of accomplishment and team spirit from getting connected to the community to the fullest extent.

Focus on the “Sending School Backpacks Across the Sea” Campaign

"Sending School Backpacks Across the Sea” is an international contribution activity in which school backpacks used in elementary schools in Japan are sent to children in Afghanistan and other areas, who are deprived of education opportunities by war. The backpacks are donated every year together filled with stationery and letters. Up to now, these backpacks have been sent to Afghanistan, Mongolia, Nepal and Cambodia.

On the 16th anniversary of the campaign that was launched in 2004, 7,938 school backpacks were donated in fiscal 2019 from various parts of Japan. The school backpacks were packed by volunteer groups and the employees of Kuraray Group. From October to December the school backpacks were sent with school supplies to 46 elementary schools in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. Many volunteers cooperated in shipping them via oceans. So far, a total of 127,993 school backpacks have been sent as presents. Kuraray wishes to expand this contribution activity to other countries in the future.

FY Number of backpacks FY Number of backpacks
2004 8,514 2012 8,326
2005 12,076 2013 6,396
2006 5,504 2014 7,908
2007 6,894 2015 7,111
2008 7,022 2016 7,732
2009 7,522 2017 6,857
2010 8,973 2018 8,076
2011 11,144 2019 7,938
    Cumulative total 127,993