The world faces many challenges today, including global warming, resource depletion, human rights, and poverty. In Japan, we have challenges related to energy, the low birthrate and aging population, and contracting markets, with no clear national vision for the future. The Great East Japan Earthquake, from which reconstruction is still just beginning, shook our values to the very core and cast a number of challenges into sharp relief.
We are now at a turning point in our outlook and way of living. Corporate enterprises now feel an ever greater responsibility to develop business models that balance economic, environmental, and social performance.
A diverse array of technologies is needed to respond to the needs of society. This gives rise to technological innovation as well as new combinations of technology from different fields, ultimately contributing to the advancement and development of Japan’s overall technological and industrial strength. Our founder Shitagau Noguchi built Asahi Kasei based on this concept, and this has been an essential part of our corporate heritage for a century.
In April 2011, the Asahi Kasei Group adopted a new statement of our Group Mission as contributing to life and living for people around the world together with a Group Vision of providing new value to society by enabling living in health and comfort and harmony with the natural environment. The word life in our Group Mission means a society where each and every person can live a healthy and comfortable life, while the word living means a society that thrives in harmony with the natural environment. Our vision is thus to operate various businesses that contribute to society’s environmental compatibility, and contribute to health and comfort. We take this responsibility very seriously.
I believe that having this vision to guide our personnel, and gaining the understanding and support of the people around us, will enable the Asahi Kasei Group to thrive more than ever as a global enterprise.
We consider our business operations themselves to be the core of CSR.
We divide specific aspects of CSR into two categories: CSR Fundamentals, which support our business operations, and CSR in Action, by which we contribute to society through business. As a corporate enterprise, we can help society overcome challenges such as the environment as we create useful new products and services, heightening corporate value and contributing to the sustainability of society.
We also need to operate our business in way that continually earns the trust of our various stakeholders, including shareholders, consumers, employees and local communities.
The key to upholding our CSR commitments is the attitude of our personnel. If each and every employee takes pride in their work, and is able to find fulfillment in their jobs, it will give rise to outstanding products and services and enhanced corporate value.
In 2011, the Asahi Kasei Group launched “For Tomorrow 2015” as a five-year strategic management initiative for completion in fiscal 2015. In order to fulfill our Group Vision of providing new value to society by enabling living in health and comfort and harmony with the natural environment, we are concentrating management resources on expansion in the three fields of Environment & Energy, Residential Living, and Health Care. The implementation of our management initiative will thus result in a further evolution of the Asahi Kasei Group’s CSR.
Leveraging the diverse strengths of the Asahi Kasei Group, we launched three projects that combine different business units for the creation of new businesses in these fields, Environment & Energy for Tomorrow, Residential Living for Tomorrow, and Health Care for Tomorrow.
Each of these projects is not limited to our own in-house technology and know-how, but also incorporates outside resources. For example, our Residential Living for Tomorrow project works to swiftly identify emerging needs of society and create innovative residential proposals that combine energy, electronics, and health care technologies. We are not only combining various leading technologies from within the Asahi Kasei Group, but are also integrating leading technologies for other companies and research organizations.
Since I became President of Asahi Kasei, I have spent most of my time meeting and talking with people. Not only in the workplace but in general as well, the key to maintaining positive relationships with the people around us lies in sound interpersonal communication and mutual trust.
As globalization continues to advance, we deal with more and more people who hold different values, and our company has relationships with an ever wider range of stakeholders. We not only need to constantly enhance the provision of information on our products and services, but also work to heighten our overall dialogue and two-way communication. In addition to communicating specific plans and concrete results, we proactively disseminate information on the direction we are moving in, and our perspective as we advance.
With greater collaboration and closer coexistence with society, I believe we can develop as an enterprise group that will be truly trusted and relied on over the long term.