The basis of the business activities of the JSR Group, in the course of its progress up to now, has been the company philosophy of "providing new materials, and through their value striving to contribute to the realization of an affluent human society." We believe that the identity that ought to be shared throughout the JSR Group, in our pursuit of engaging in a diverse range of businesses, is one of extensively providing values to society through the development of materials that are both innovative and have a competitive edge.
The year 2010 will mark the final year of our mid-term business plan that has been carried out since 2001 over three stages. Implementing the plan is not an isolated goal in itself, but rather one step in an ongoing progress. As the next step, we are planning to formulate a new long-term business plan, with the year 2030 as the visionary target. In creating the plan, we view the role of top management as one that determines what the corporate approach of the JSR Group should be by 2030, on the basis of consolidating our position while accurately gauging changes in the business environment within which we operate.
In the midst of these developments, our orientation remains focused, as before, on growth and innovation. We are keenly aware that what has sustained the progress of the JSR Group up to now is our approach of undertaking new challenges from the standpoint of continually overturning the status quo, instead of being satisfied with the current situation.
In carrying out our business globally, we also need to be aware that no corporation will continue to exist if it does not possess a high level of fair and impartial management. We intend for our future management policies to continue to draw upon our fundamental stance of fairness, which is an aspect that has deeply impressed me in my own experience at the JSR Group.
The world faces many important issues today, whether it is global warming, depletion of resources and food supplies, or the issue of human rights. The impact that corporate activities have with regard to these issues is quite significant, and the activities of the JSR Group are no exception.
Based on this understanding, the JSR Group established the CSR Committee in FY2004 (April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004), which has since that time been involved in the CSR activities central to our corporate ethics and environmental/safety efforts. In June 2008, in order to take these initiatives to an even higher level, we launched a new Corporate Social Responsibility Department, which is advancing CSR efforts in the two areas of "corporate obligations" and "social contribution."
The area of "corporate obligation" is further divided into the three issues of "corporate ethics," "responsible care" and "risk management," with specific committees set up to handle each issue, in order to strengthen the means of promoting efforts in those areas. Meanwhile, with regard to "social contribution," we are aiming implement initiatives that befit JSR, making use of our distinctive characteristics; and this year we intend to specify and elaborate upon a plan of action in that respect.
On April 1, 2009, we signed the Global Compact of the United Nations, which espouses principles of action for corporations. We consider the signing of the document as a declaration by JSR to act in a responsible manner when conducting its business globally, and we firmly believe that this will contribute to the expansion of our CSR activities that respond to a diverse set of values.
The JSR Group particularly wants to concentrate on environmental initiatives in the future. Amid rapidly escalating concerns over environmental issues?especially global warming?as manufacturers of chemicals our Group feels a strong responsibility toward helping to solve these issues in a variety of ways.
Ahead of other firms in the industry, we took a step in that direction in 2008 by setting a goal to achieve a 6% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2012 compared to the total emissions in 1990. We will do our best to make this happen and are currently considering establishing additional future goals.
From this point on, not only must we focus on product performance, we must also incorporate the concept of lifecycle assessment into product development. Although environmentally-friendly products currently make up around 10% of our Group sales, we plan to set specific goals and work toward increasing that percentage.
In addition, we intend to target the areas of the environment and energy as the next growth businesses and will pour greater efforts into developing and producing more products that help to reduce environmental impact, such as synthetic rubber for fuel-efficient tires, electrolyte membranes for fuel cells, and lithium ion capacitors.
It goes without saying that it is the Group employees, including executive management, that support these kinds of initiatives. The key lies not in enforcing them from the top down, but in the fact that each and every employee possesses a high awareness of, and sensitivity to, the issues. That type of attitude encourages discovery of new business opportunities and leads to business development.
For these reasons, we urge our employees to always practice the "3Cs" of Challenge, Communication, and Collaboration. They should continuously take on new challenges without fear of failure, improve how they communicate with employees in order to pool the efforts of exceptional individuals and employ them as corporate skills, and share information through close links, both within the organization and with other companies. These attitudes form an important corporate culture that has served to bolster the growth of the JSR Group.
Striving to be a company of which all employees are proud to be a part is also one of my important goals. We are working to build a work environment that makes the most of the abilities of our diverse workforce through establishing policies to improve the work-life balance and other initiatives.
While conducting business, we are obliged as a corporation to listen to stakeholders’ opinions and live up to their expectations. Paying careful attention to the true needs of society and offering products that accurately respond to those needs is fundamental to our entire business.
Therefore, we are committed to communicating with stakeholders outside our company in an even more open manner and actively applying what is gained from that interaction to our business activities. This CSR report is being published with the hope that it becomes one form of such communication. We hope that you will take the time to read it and invite you to give us your frank opinions on its content.