Social Contribution Activities Conducted by the JSR Group
As a corporate group that conducts business activities globally, in January 2009 the JSR Group adopted the Basic Approach to Social Contribution (Basic Approach to Social Contribution) with the aim of contributing to solving a broad range of societal issues. The Group began implementing various programs in FY2010 and set that year as the inaugural year of its social contribution activities for the Group. Major activities are discussed below.
Taking Science Lectures on the Road
Employees of the Kashima Plant conduct a lecture
One of the more serious problems that Japanese society faces today is the waning interest in science among children. In response to this issue, the JSR Group is working with local boards of education to conduct “Taking Science Lectures on the Road Program,” in which the Group visits junior high schools to hold special science classes. In FY2010, the classes were conducted at junior high schools in Yokkaichi, as in the past, and similar science classes were conducted in Kamisu City in Ibaraki Prefecture, where the Kashima Plant is located. With the aim of raising children’s interest in the sciences, instructors use experiments and teaching materials to explain that raw materials made by combining molecules are used in our everyday lives.
When they first see the chemistry experiments, the children’s eyes light up with excitement. Together with our “molecular mascot,” we will continue to convey the excitement of raw materials present in our everyday lives.
I learned just how interesting chemistry is and how it can be useful for many things. I now like science more than I did before. The class was really interesting.
Yokkaichi Kid’s CO2 Reduction Challenge
Scenes of the Yokkaichi Kid’s CO2 Reduction Challenge
The Yokkaichi Plant conducted a new environmental education program developed in collaboration with the local government and several local businesses. Educational materials on global warming were created for elementary school students, visits were made to elementary schools within the city to conduct environmental programs, and the effects of energy-saving strategies implemented by the children at their homes were confirmed.
We are working to adopt innovations that will raise awareness of other family members concerning the environment and CO2 emissions through educating children about the environment.
I want to continue turning off the electricity when I’m not using it. When I checked the meters, I was surprised to see how much electricity and gas were used. From now on, I will use electricity and gas more carefully.
Teacher Training in Yokkaichi City
Yokkaichi City Teacher training in progress
The Yokkaichi Plant worked with the Yokkaichi City Board of Education to conduct training for 28 teachers from elementary and junior high schools in the city. The training, which included lectures, plant tours and experiments, was conducted primarily during summer vacation with the aim of being useful in developing lessons. The program was extremely well received by the participating teachers.
I feel that we have made further progress with these activities, which were undertaken as a partial solution to the declining interest in the sciences among children, by getting science teachers interested in our science experiments.
Thanks to the plant tour and the explanations given by the employees, I understand the industrial complex’s connection with Yokkaichi City. I will be able to use this information when I teach the students about petrochemical complexes. I also came to understand just how important research and development is. I believe that science education in schools is extremely important.
Special Production Engineering Course at Nihon University
The course at Nihon University
As part of efforts to promote collaboration between industry and academia1, the Chiba Plant started holding a special production engineering course at the College of Industrial Technology at Nihon University four years ago. The course covers every aspect of corporate quality requirements from the procurement of raw materials to manufacturing, shipment, and tire manufacturing by users. Students have found the course very interesting.
1. Cooperation between industry and universities with the aim of promoting education regarding research and technological aspects
As a result of various innovations adopted in the course, such as a question and answer format, the students developed a deep interest in corporate quality control. I used ramen noodles to illustrate the production process, from how raw materials are procured right through to product shipment. The students’ interest was apparent by the results of a questionnaire, and I am very pleased with the outcome.
It was good to have the opportunity to feel different types of rubber and understand the differences. It was refreshing to take a quality control course amid the more common technology and research courses.
TABLE FOR TWO Program
Employees enjoying meals from the TABLE FOR TWO menu
On February 1, 2010, the JSR Group head office and Yokkaichi Plant began participating in the TABLE FOR TWO (TFT) program2, which supports the provision of school meals to developing countries. At the head office, delivered meals for the TFT program were prepared, and at the Yokkaichi Plant, a special menu was created at the staff cafeteria. As of the end of April 2010, some 4,800 meals worth approximately 96,000 yen had been donated. The program will continue at both sites.
2. A program established to address both food shortages in developing nations as well as obesity and lifestyle-related illnesses in developed nations. For every well-balanced menu item that is purchased (subject to the TFT program and in the range of 730 calories), one school meal worth approximately 20 yen is provided as a donation to a school in a developing nation
At the Yokkaichi Plant, the cooperation between an external food supplier and JSR Business Service Co. Ltd. (a group company which manages the cafeteria) led to the smooth introduction of the TFT program. Concerns regarding health, including metabolic syndrome, are rising, and as such sales of the TFT menu items have been strong.