Social Report

Interaction with Society

Interaction with Society

We in the Kuraray Group consider the sound and sustainable advancement of society 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 within an appropriate scope to be another important form of social contribution in our capacity as a corporate citizen.

In fiscal 2016, the Kuraray Group carried out activities focusing on culture, science, environment and social welfare in accordance with its policy for social contribution activities.

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 issues
  • 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
Goals and Actual Results in Social Interaction
Fiscal 2016 Fiscal 2017 Goals
Goal Actual Results Evaluation and Challenges
“Sending School Backpacks Across the Sea” campaign was steadily undertaken
  • Delivered/7,732 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
“Chemistry Classes for Boys and Girls” was hosted at the five plants and head office of Kuraray more than once this year
  • Hosted 13 times in total with 289 participants (Twice at Kurashiki Plant, three times at Saijo Plant, twice at Okayama Plant,four times at Niigata Plant and twice at Kashima Plant) Additionally, Kashima Plant participated in the Kamisu Festa and the Science Festival for Youths.
  • Tokyo Head Office participated in the Children's Summer Chemistry Experiment Show (held at Science Museum)
  • The event was carried out as planned.
  • To sponsor events more than once per year at each plant
  • To sponsor events outside the company
[Social Welfare]
Operating workshops for people with intellectual disabilities
  • Number of people employed/Intellectually and physically disabled: 36people,Instructors:12 people
  • The targeted number of people were hired as planned.
  • To continuously employ the same number of people at the workshops
[Culture] [Science] [Environment] [Social Welfare]
To steadfastly undertake existing activities at plants, sites and affiliated companies focusing on the relationship with local communities
  • On-going activities were steadfastly undertaken
  • Activities that have been undertaken in the past could be steadfastly continuously conducted.
  • A recapitulation of the situations surrounding the activities undertaken by the overseas operations was made.
  • To continuously carry out the activities
  • Situations surrounding the activities undertaken by the entire Kuraray Group including the overseas operations are continuously being grasped.

Activities in Culture Field

The Kuraray Group continues to support 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.

Okayama Plant has been holding the Elementary School Student Painting and Calligraphy Contest annually since 2005. Having become a fixture in the local community thanks to its ongoing successes, this contest received numerous artwork entries from five elementary schools in Fiscal 2016. Winning entries are displayed at the local community center, and all entries are shown on the Kuraray website. This contest will be continuously sponsored.

The Ohara Museum of Art

Contest on Painting and Calligraphy at Okayama Plant

Activities in Science Field

In fiscal 2016, the Kuraray plants sponsored the Chemistry Classes for Boys and Girls, participated in outside events and sponsored sports tournaments to foster healthy juniors and teenagers by continuously supporting on-going activities.

Chemistry Classes for Boys and Girls

The Kamisu Festival (Kashima Plant)

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 2016, 289 children and family members participated in thirteen class events . Tokyo Head Office participated in the Children's Summer Chemistry Experiment Show held in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward. Kashima Plant participated in the Kamisu Festa held in Kamisu City, and the Science Festival for Youths in Hokota City, all in Ibaraki Prefecture. Kuraray’s booths were visited by about 2,800 people. We will continue these events in the future.

Plant Class name Number of classes Number of participants
Total 258 8,131
Kurashiki Plant Fun Chemistry House 69 1,840
Saijo Plant Exciting Chemistry Class 70 2,082
Okayama Plant Fun Chemistry Class 43 1,356
Niigata Plant Wondrous Laboratory 55 1,570
Kashima Plant Fun Chemistry Class 21 1,283
Various Sports Events Sponsored

Children’s Tennis Tournament, Okayama Prefecture

Various plants of Kuraray are sponsoring sports events from the standpoint of fostering healthy juniors and teenagers. In Fiscal 2016, various sports and other events were hosted at the plants of Kuraray, including a tennis tournament for children at the Okayama Plant that was started in Fiscal 2015. Kuraray is offering its baseball parks, gymnasiums and tennis courts to students of nearby schools for the promotion of sports in neighboring areas. These activities will be continued in the future.

Activities in Environmental Field

Work scene in Kuraray Mirai no Mori (Kuraray Forest for the Future), Okayama Prefecture

Aiming at implementing forest conservation work and volunteer cleaning work carried out every year, in Fiscal 2016, Okayama Plant undertook “Kuraray Mirai no Mori (Kuraray Forest of Future) Activity,” and Niigata Plant undertook the “MIRABAKESSO Forest Creating Activity.” All the plants undertook volunteer cleaning work.

The Group companies are also periodically undertaking voluntary environmental work such as cleaning of areas around their plants.

At each Kuraray plant, employee volunteers engage in forest conservation activities, cleaning parks, roads and mowing gardens in day nurseries in cooperation with local governments and NPOs.

Activities in Social Welfare Field

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 operated workshops and donated 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 local welfare facilities, Kuraray has built work shops for people with disabilities to support the ir selfsustenance by providing employment opportunities.

Workshop in Kurashiki Plant

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 36 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.

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-ply product packing bags, separating foreign matter in products

Topics 2016

The “Sending School Backpacks Across the Sea” Campaign

"Sending School Backpacks Across the Sea” is an international contribution activity in which elementary school children in Japan send used school backpacks to children in Afghanistan and other areas, who are deprived of education opportunity 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 and Nepal.

On the 13th anniversary of the campaign that was launched in 2004, 7,732 school backpacks were donated in Fiscal 2016 from various parts of Japan. In cooperation with JOICFP, a public interest incorporated foundation, the school backpacks were sorted and packed by volunteer groups and the employees of Kuraray Group. From October to December the school backpacks were sent to 11 elementary schools in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. Many volunteers cooperated in shipping them via oceans. So far, a total of 105,122 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 2011 11,144
2005 12,076 2012 8,326
2006 5,504 2013 6,396
2007 6,894 2014 7,908
2008 7,022 2015 7,111
2009 7,522 2016 7,732
2010 8,973 Cumulative total 105,122

Kuraray Library financed by Kuraray Fureai Fund (Saijo Plant)

We eatablished the Kuraray Fureai Fund in July 1992.Under this fund, companies make donations consisting of those made by their employees plus a matching gift of the same amount. Employees endorsing the fund agree to donate amounts of less than 100 yen from their salaries to it, and the company matches this amount. The funds collected in this way are used for social welfare programs.

In Fiscal 2016, activities were undertaken contributing 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.

History of Kuraray’s CSR Procurement Activities

Promotes Green Procurement to Business Partners (2002~)

Under the Kuraray Group Action Guidelines for the Global Environment (established in 1993), we formulated our Green Procurement Standards in 2002 to promote global environmental preservation with the cooperation of our business partners. We also distributed a booklet comprising the above standards to around 800 key business partners and evaluated the status of initiatives at each company by way of a checklist.

Develops into CSR Procurement (2005~)

In 2005, we formulated the Kuraray CSR Procurement Policy based on the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact, which are both international and universal. This policy has become more comprehensive than before as it has added sections on “Respect for human rights and individuality” and “Compliance” to the “Promotion of Green Procurement” section. We requested the understanding of this policy from business partners and grasped the CSR procurement status of around 700 key business partners by conducting questionnaires about CSR procurement. Following the survey, we provided feedback and improvement requests to business partners in Japan with some problems.

Continuation of CSR Procurement - 2016 Onward

The Kuraray Group will continue to check the CSR procurement activities of suppliers before purchases are made from new suppliers.

In purchases of equipment and materials, a system has been built allowing checks of CSR procurement activities of suppliers through the Internet by renovating the purchasing system. This system will allow a more precise understanding of purchasing situations of suppliers.

CSR Procurement Policy of Kuraray
Respect for Human Rights
  1. Respect for Human Rights
  2. Observance of the International Labor Organization’s core labor standards
    • Guarantee of the right to organize and the right to collective bargaining
    • Prohibition of compulsory labor
    • Prohibition of child labor
  • Compliance policy
  • Compliance systems
  • Compliance education program
Promotion of Green Procurement
  • Preparation of environmental policies and environmental reports
  • Green procurement implementation plan and implementation apparatus
  • ISO14001 certification
  • Education and awareness campaign for green procurement

Kuraray’s Activities for Purchases of Green Commodities

In 2002, Kuraray set its Green Procurement Guidelines for purchases of 107 items in nine product categories needed for its business operations, including stationery, office equipment and automobiles. Since then, the Kuraray Group has been undertaking activities to preferentially and actively purchase Green Commodities that are low in environmental load. These activities will continuously be undertaken.

Social Interaction

Kazuhiko Kugawa, Director, Primary Executive Officer

Kuraray is the manufacturer of CLARINO®, artificial leather. CLARINO® has a market share of more than 70% as a material for school backpacks. Beginning in 2004, the activity “Sending School Bags across the Sea Campaign” has been kicked off to present used school backpacks to children of Afghanistan in response to the voices of children and their parents who donated school bags to give these bags a second lease of life. In Fiscal 2016, the activity marked its 13th anniversary. We are very glad that as many as 100,000 school bags have crossed the sea to be delivered to the children of Afghanistan in the past years. I witnessed the sorting of school bags for Fiscal 2017 the other day as a volunteer while cherry trees were in full bloom. About 7,000 school bags will travel to Afghanistan this year also.

Above all, the continuation is of paramount importance for social contribution activities such as “Sending School Bags across the Sea Campaign” . Steady efforts will be continued.