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 in accordance with a Basic Framework 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.
The Asahi Kasei Group has a Community Fellowship Committee chaired by a member of the Board of Directors. The Committee is convened several times a year as necessary to review and enhance our community fellowship activities.
Value of community fellowship activities
Under the guidance of our Community Fellowship Committee, 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 2016 (including community investments) was ¥3,953 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 2017, a total of 2,058 students from 61 schools participated.
Holding exhibits and sponsoring science-related events
The Asahi Kasei Group provides sponsorship for science-related events that give children and their parents an opportunity to learn about science and chemistry in a fun way.
We also continued to sponsor the Japan Science and Technology Agency’s high-school chemistry tournament, which began in fiscal 2011. In fiscal 2017, 361 representative high school students from each of Japan's 47 prefectures competed in chemistry knowledge and skills. We presented the Asahi Kasei Award, recognizing the school that had the best teamwork, to Asaka High School from Fukushima Prefecture.
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, donated 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 2017, 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 2017 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.
In August 2017, we held a laboratory tour for female high school students at our research complex in Fuji, Shizuoka, together with informal discussion with our female researchers, as part of this campaign. The event was attended by 42 students and 20 of their guardians from the Tokyo metropolitan area and the region around Fuji.
The same month, we also held a seminar at our head office in Tokyo attended by 19 female high school students interested in science and technology. Young female personnel working in pharmaceuticals gave presentations on the content of their work, which were followed by informal discussions in two groups.
Training programs and factory tours for school teachers
The Asahi Kasei Group participates in a program by the Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs to provide school teachers with training at private-sector firms.
In July 2017, seven teachers from the board of education of Kyoto, came to our Moriyama Works (Shiga Prefecture) for a two-day visit. On the first day the teachers were given an overall description of the Asahi Kasei Group and our CSR activities, and on the second day they were given a tour of plants and laboratories at the site followed by a presentation on local CSR activities. The teachers were also shown the conservation pond where we perform habitat perseveration activities for smallhead stickleback, an endangered freshwater fish, as part of our effort for biodiversity.
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
In April 2018, 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 7th year of the project which aims to regenerate a broad-leaf forest where cedar and cypress had been cultivated previously. Around 430 people including Asahi Kasei Group employees, retirees, and local residents participated in the program, planting some 2,000 trees such as wild cherry, Japanese zelkova, maple, and wild chestnut over a 1 hectare area.
Exhibiting at Biwako Business Messe 2017
In October 2017, the Asahi Kasei Group exhibited at "Biwako Business Messe 2017," an environmental business exhibition in Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture. Our exhibit was themed on environmental solutions of the Asahi Kasei Group, showcasing products and technologies such as oil leak detectors, a system using speech recognition to raise the efficiency of inspection work, and filters to remove foreign substances. We also exhibited the activities of our Moriyama Works in the "Mission 79 Dragonfly" project to preserve biodiversity.
Asahi Woods of Life certified as “Excellent Stage 2” in Nurturing Category of SEGES
The Asahi Woods of Life, a biotope zone at our plant grounds in Fuji City, obtained certification as "Excellent Stage 2" in the Nurturing Category of the Social and Environmental Green Evaluation System (SEGES) administered by the Organization for Landscape and Urban Green Infrastructure.
Asahi Kasei Corp. and Asahi Kasei Homes Corp. began the Asahi Woods of Life in 2007 to restore the original landscape of the local coastal area in an area previously occupied by a factory. After extensive preliminary investigation, the ground was prepared and over 2,000 employees and community volunteers planted 20,000 trees. Since then, the green tract has been painstakingly managed and maintained in cooperation with outside experts. As a result, many native plants, including rare species, were successfully established. Since then, neighborhood children have periodically been given tours of the woods, and annual firefly watching events have been held for members of the local community.
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. Also, we held community fellowship activities for children in the city of Nobeoka, where the Asahi Kasei’s distance running and judo teams are based.
In February 2018 we held a judo workshop in Dusseldorf, Germany. Four members of our judo team served as instructors for the 140 attendees, mainly elementary school students.
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.
In fiscal 2017, the foundation was the main sponsor of a piano recital by Michie Koyama in March 2018, and a cosponsor of a bus tour for a special program at the Miyazaki International Music Festival for Pops Orchestra in Miyazaki (sponsored by the foundation and Asahi Kasei) and Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev with violinist Fumiaki Miura). For a performance by the Shiki Theatre Company in February 2018, 1,613 tickets were given free of charge to 5th year elementary school students in the northern part of Miyazaki Prefecture, together with their supervisors. The foundation also cosponsored an event for special-needs children in northern Miyazaki to enjoy music and picture books, including a piano recital by Mayumi Matsuura and story-telling by voice actor Tomoaki Ikeda.
Helping those in Urgent Need
To support the relief effort in areas affected by the flooding from heavy rains in July 2018, we made donations of ¥10 million through Japanese Red Cross Society, ¥10 million to Okayama Prefecture, and ¥10 million to Kurashiki City, for a total of ¥30 million, as well as donations of Saran Wrap™ cling film.
In fiscal 2017 we cooperated with the Japanese Red Cross Society by hosting 30 blood donation drives at 16 of our office and plant locations around Japan. Each year, we aim to hold the blood donation drive at our Tokyo head office between February and March, when donated blood tends to be in short supply.
Community Fellowship Around the World
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.