Social Report

Interaction with Society

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.

The donation amount ratio compared to the revenue was 0.01% in fiscal year 2019.
(*The expenses for the rest of social contribution activities were not calculated and included in the ratio above)

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

Goals and Actual Results in Social Interaction

Goal Actual results Evaluation and challenges Fiscal 2021 goals
[Science]
To understake “Sending School Backpacks Across the Sea” campaign steadily
  • Delivered 6,010 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
  • Not implemented in accordance with crisis management standards (response to the spread of COVID-19)
  • 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: 41 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

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 531 artwork entries, including paintings, pictures, and calligraphy, from five elementary schools near the plants in fiscal 2020. 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

On February 15, 2020, Kuraray America, Inc. hosted a booth at the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s event for girls exploring math and science, as part of an American Girl Scouts’ event offering education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The event was open to anyone regardless of their involvement in a scouting program, and local experts answered questions related to STEM. Kuraray employees also came and volunteered to help participants learn easily how to make kaleidoscopes and slime with polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH). For participants at the event, this was a valuable opportunity to learn about the world of science and mathematics.

Kuraray Europe GmbH sponsors a soccer team in the region of Frankfurt, Germany each year. In fiscal 2020, a youth football team in Frankfurt-Oberrad was selected. The team wore uniforms bearing the Kuraray logo and achieved the feat of winning the winter tournament.

Kuraray America: GEMS event
Kuraray Europe:Supporting local soccer team

Environment

The Niigata Plant undertakes the “MIRABAKESSO Forest Creating Activity.” In fiscal 2020, 55 employee volunteers joined the 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

The Galveston Bay Foundation is a conservation nonprofit that has served as guardian of Galveston Bay since 1987. Kuraray America, Inc. has partnered the foundation since 2014. Trash Bash® is one of the foundation’s largest cleanup events in Texas for Galveston Bay. Since 2015, Kuraray America, Inc. has participated in the Trash Bash® event each year. In March 2021, Trash Bash® was switched to a “virtual” event in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines; participants cleared neighborhood, park, and sewer lines instead of Galveston Bay, and Kuraray employees and their families participated in local cleanup activities.

Operation Clean Sweep® (OCS) is an international program to reduce the accidental release of plastic pellets into the environment. PlasticsEurope is the first trade association in the world to make OCS compulsory for its members. EVAL Europe N.V. as an active member has been participating in the OCS program. OCS initiatives are described in progress reports on publically available on PlasticsEurope website and the OCS website. Specific measures at the plant and the warehouses of EVAL Europe N.V. have been taken in line with OCS initiatives to raise awareness of the employees. We also analyze potential pellet outflow risks from our facilities and continue to manage them with new evaluation criteria to improve the situation.

In combined transport (intermodal transport), different modes of transport such as trucks, trains, and ships are combined optimally to handle transport as environmentally friendly and cost-efficiently as possible. When extending the use of such system when possible, EVAL Europe N.V. succeeded in reducing greenhouse gas CO2, related to road transport by approximately 55% in combined transport rail and by approximately 75% in combined transport short-sea shipping, in cooperation with logistics companies in the port of Antwerp.

Kuraray America: Trash Bash event EVAL Europe: OCS activities

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 are held at the Saijo and Niigata Plants tuned to the cherry blossoming season. Regrettably these events could be carried out due to the COVID-19 crisis in fiscal 2020 but these activities will be continued in the future.

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. 13 instructors and 41 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

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization that helps to provide housing for disadvantaged people.Their mission is to supply affordable housing for people who are not financially well off but play an important role in their communities. On February 1, 2020, Kuraray America, Inc. employees in Houston volunteered with Habitat for Humanity Baytown to help build homes for disadvantaged people. We were able to build quality, safe, and energy-efficient homes at affordable prices for the people we supported at the event, and everyone who attended had a great time.

MonoSol, LLC made an emergency donation to provide food for people who had lost their jobs because of COVID-19.With support from the Kuraray Head Office, the company secured masks for hospitals and nursing homes and provided no-touch thermometers to local police and fire departments. To better support local charities, MonoSol doubled its employee matching gift program budget.
 MonoSol also provided various forms of support to local businesses. The health and safety team advised local manufacturers on new safety protocols. MonoSol’s finance team made upfront payments to support cash flow for small vendors. In order to assist the operation of local small and medium-sized restaurants, the company launched a “Take Out Takeover” program that provides employees with meals for takeout. Additionally, MonoSol became a founding sponsor of a business recovery fund, which provides microloans to small business owners in the Indianapolis region.

The pandemic affects everyone, but especially those who were already in a precarious position before Covid 19 suffer enormously. In order to ease those effects, Kuraray Europe GmbH (KEG) donated Euro 20,000 to nine different charity organizations, which had mostly been chosen by our employees. The focus was on educational and social projects: for children suffering from severe illnesses and their families, for school kids in Nepal. Colleagues in the Czech Republic produced masks and visors on the 3D printer and provided them to the community early in the pandemic.
In addition, like in many previous years, KEG colleagues again supported “Christmas in a shoebox” by filling and packing giftboxes with toys and sweets and thus treated deprived children to a lovely Christmas surprise.

Kuraray America: Habitat for Humanity MonoSol: Donation to local communities Kuraray Europe: Christmas in a shoebox

Focus:“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 17th anniversary of the campaign that was launched in 2004, 6,010 school backpacks were donated in fiscal 2019 from various parts of Japan. The school backpacks were sent with school supplies to elementary schools in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan from October to December. Many volunteers cooperated in shipping them via oceans. So far, a total of 134,003 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 2013 6,396
2005 12,076 2014 7,908
2006 5,504 2015 7,111
2007 6,894 2016 7,732
2008 7,022 2017 6,857
2009 7,522 2018 8,076
2010 8,973 2019 7,938
2011 11,144 2020 6,010
2012 8,326 Cumulative total 134,003