Sustainability Management

Basic Approach

In fiscal 2020, the global spread of COVID-19 dramatically changed the business environment. Economic activity in many countries has stagnated, causing unprecedented disruption, including to supply chains. On the other hand, the response to climate change, which has grown increasingly important in recent years, is not only an aim of the governments of each country and region but also requires companies to strengthen their efforts. Against this backdrop, countries, mainly in the developed world, are implementing Green Recovery, which puts priority on investment to address issues such as climate change and biodiversity conservation, as a stimulus measure against the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. We believe that many opportunities exist for companies in this business environment. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015 also call for companies to contribute actively through their businesses to resolve a variety of global issues, and companies should meet these expectations.

Based on its mission stated in the Corporate Statements, “For people and the planet—to achieve what no one else can,” we work to solve material issues, with the items of “compliance,” “safety,” “risk management,” and “governance” serving as a base.

The Kuraray Group’s corporate activities are established by relationships with many stakeholders including customers and consumers, shareholders and investors, suppliers and partners, employees, local communities, and central and local governments. The Group will further deepen stakeholder engagement to enhance our corporate activities.

These sustainability activities are led by top management with the aim of achieving long-term growth and creating value.

Sustainability Concept

Value Creation Process

Our corporate activities create a value chain in which we invest funds from shareholders and investors into the business, consisting of “financial value” obtained through offering various number-one products and services with higher added value and “non-financial capital” such as “intellectual capital” to provide a broad spectrum of core technologies ranging from materials technologies to those for processing, “human capital” to achieve human resource diversity and inclusion, “manufacturing capital” to create a global production system, and “social and relationship capital” based on the trust of stakeholders by distributing and reinvesting them. We also strive to accumulate and strengthen the returning value.

Sustainability Promotion Structure

The sustainability promotion system of the Kuraray Group began in 2003 with the establishment of the CSR Committee by integrating the Social Environment Committee and the Corporate Ethics Committee. Thereafter, the Committee’s functions were divided into the CSR Committee and the Risk Management and Compliance Committee, with both committees responsible for promoting sustainability activities throughout the Group.

Six working teams (environmental conservation, global warming prevention, quality management and product safety, philanthropy, labor environment, and information management) are organized under the CSR Committee. These working teams deliberate company-wide policies and targets and propose them to the management, while collaborating with various organizations in the Kuraray Group in addressing selected themes.

Kuraray monitors risks regularly as the Group, led by the Risk Management and Compliance Committee, and extracts material risks that could have a significant impact on business management. Such risks are proposed to the President, who then specifies critical management risks, and priority countermeasures are carried out after deliberations by the Board of Directors. The Committee is working to ensure priority countermeasures against business management risk, as well as compliance with laws and regulations and corporate ethics, and realizes fair business practices.

Formulation of the Next Medium-Term Management Plan

The Kuraray Group has been formulating the next Medium-Term Management Plan following the three-year Medium-Term Management Plan, “PROUD 2020,” which was completed in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020. However, the outlook for the global economy and business environment has become uncertain due to the spread of COVID-19, so the next Medium-Term Management Plan has been changed to a five-year Medium-Term Management Plan for fiscal 2022 to 2026. As a result of this change, we formulated a single-year management plan for fiscal 2021.
In line with this, we have set annual targets for our sustainability-related plan for fiscal 2021, which are reported on the relevant pages.

Link to environmental targets and results
Environmental Management
Link to safety targets and results
Process Safety and Disaster Prevention,Occupational Safety, Logistics Safety
Product Safety and Chemical Management
Link to social targets and results
Activities at Workplaces
Interaction with Society

As a new initiative for the formulation of the next Medium-Term Management Plan, we incorporated discussions at workshops consisting of global members. Sustainability-related topics are discussed in the Sustainability Workshop.

Efforts to Formulate the Next Medium-Term Management Plan
Sustainability Workshop

In formulating the next Medium-Term Management Plan, which begins in fiscal 2022, the Kuraray Group has selected four key themes to be addressed from a cross-organizational and global perspective—“Innovation,” “Sustainability,” “Global operations (production and technology),” and “Global indirect functions”—and has launched workshops consisting of global members to promote discussions. In the Sustainability Workshop, we hold regular web meetings with a mixed team of division members and indirect staff from Japan, Germany, Belgium and the United States. Members share information on policies and regulations in their respective countries and regions, as well as market trends and customer needs, and forecast trends over the long term. To help the Kuraray Group achieve sustainable growth, they actively discuss the direction the Group should take, the roles it should play, and the issues it should address, and compile proposals. The proposals from the workshop will be discussed at the Medium-Term Plan Formulation Committee and incorporated into the next medium-term plan of each organization, aiming for steady implementation.