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.
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
Amid the global expansion of the businesses and market presence of the Kuraray Group, the Kuraray Foundation was established in April 2016 with contributions from Kuraray to pursue sustainable social activities. The Kuraray Foundation carries out creative activities informed by the history of Kuraray to contribute to society even more broadly and with greater impact.
Kuraray Foundation Web
Goals and Actual Results in Social Interaction
|Goal||Actual results||Evaluation and challenges||Fiscal 2022 goals|
Steady implementation of “Sending School Backpacks Across the Sea” campaign
Hosting “Chemistry Classes for Boys and Girls” more than once a year
Operating workshops for people with intellectual disabilities
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.
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 554 artwork entries, including paintings, pictures, and calligraphy, from five elementary schools near the plants in fiscal 2021. This contest will be continuously sponsored.
Kuraray plants sponsor “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 area. This program has been sponsored every year since 1992 at Kuraray plants in Japan.
In 2021, we refrained from holding in-person events at business sites in accordance with the events policy formulated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we held remote classes at business sites and local elementary schools (once at Kashima Plant) and at local cultural facilities outside the company (twice at 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||30||1,644|
|Tsurumi Plant||School visits and other classes||6||393|
Various Kuraray plants are sponsoring sports events from the standpoint of fostering healthy juniors and teenagers. Various sports and other events were hosted at Kuraray plants. (In 2021, we refrained from holding in-person events at business sites in accordance with the events policy formulated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
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.
The Niigata Plant undertakes the “MIRABAKESSO Forest Creating Activity.” 43 volunteers, including employees and their families, joined the activities in FY2021. 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.
Kuraray Europe GmbH (KEG) donated 10,000 euros to help victims in the Ahrtal region of Germany, where a flood disaster in July 2021 caused extensive damage along the river. In addition, employees belonging to Kuraray Europe collected and donated 4,115 euros for reconstruction work.
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. The Galveston Bay Foundation is a conservation nonprofit that has served as guardian of Galveston Bay since 1987. 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.
MonoSol, LLC, La Porte plant in Indiana, USA. employees volunteer in horticulture (tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, etc.). Freshly harvested fruits and vegetables are distributed to a local food bank (an organization that distributes free of charge to those in need due to lack of access to food).
Kuraray Kurashiki, Saijo, Okayama, Niigata and Kashima plants operate workshops and donate money raised in the campaign which aim to support and continue the employment of people with intellectual disabilities and to undertake the Kuraray Fureai (Rapport) Fund-Raising Campaign. Also, cherry blossom viewing parties are held at the Saijo and Niigata Plants tuned to the cherry blossoming season. Regrettably these events could not be carried out due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 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. Participants in the workshop sort plastic waste generated in the production process for recycling and manufacture 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. In 2017, Okayama Plant opened cleaning center ALESCO, assisted by the same organization. Currently, 15 instructors and 42 workers work at five of Kuraray’ s plants to accomplish a variety of job assignments, including those employees at Kuraray’s Kurashiki Plant engaged in cleaning uniforms and labeling Kuraray products. They mingle with Kuraray’s employees through sports events and other occasions. We will continue to hold these workshops and employ persons with intellectual disabilities.
|Types of work|
|Kurashiki||Cleaning uniforms, labeling products|
|Saijo||Product recycling, cleaning uniforms|
|Okayama||Cleaning uniforms and production tools|
|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 program, 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. 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.
On May 15 and November 6, 2021, Kuraray America, Inc. employees in Houston volunteered with Habitat for Humanity Baytown to help build homes for disadvantaged people. 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. 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 those who lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19. With the support of the Kuraray headquarters, MonoSol, LLC, secured masks for hospitals and nursing homes and provided non-contact thermometers to local police and fire departments. MonoSol, LLC also doubled the budget for its employee matching gift program to better support local charities.
At the same time, MonoSol, LLC provided support to local businesses in a variety of ways. As a specific example, the Health and Safety team advised local manufacturers on new safety protocols as part of its support for local businesses. The finance team provided advance payments to help small vendors with cash flow. Additionally, to help small and medium-sized local restaurants maintain operations, MonoSol, LLC initiated a "take-out and take-over" program to provide to-go meals to their employees. MonoSol, LLC also became a founding sponsor of the Business Recovery Fund, which provides microloans to small business owners in the Indianapolis area.
Although the pandemic has put constraints on activities, MonoSol, LLC, is devising support activities that all employees can participate in. Initiatives include outdoor service activities (cleaning local beaches, highways, and other areas), donating equipment to local schools, and donating to women’s associations in need of assistance.
In EVAL Europe N.V., a team of volunteer cyclists participated in a 1,000 km bike ride organized by the Kom Op Tegen Kanker (KOTK: a Belgian "organization that defends the rights of cancer patients, establishes care centers and provides financial support for scientific research, education, and prevention") and raised 5,668 euros. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone, but those whose lives were already precarious before the spread of COVID-19 are suffering greatly. We hope to ease these affects.
In addition, as in many previous years, Kuraray Europe GmbH (KEG) colleagues again supported “Christmas in a shoebox” by filling and packing giftboxes with toys and sweets, treating deprived children to a lovely Christmas surprise.
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 18th anniversary of the campaign that was launched in 2004, 7,813 school backpacks were donated in fiscal 2021 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 141,816 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|