The JSR Group not only promotes CSR in its operations, but also conducts activities to encourage better relations with its suppliers, local communities, and other stakeholders. By continuing these activities, we aim to increase our employees' sensitivity to social issues and thus create momentum to do more.
Supplier Relations: CSR Procurement
Self-Assessment Form: Social Responsibility
Self-Assessment Form: Environmental Conservation (excerpt)
In FY2011 we began a CSR procurement initiative to practice and promote social responsibility in our supply chains. We established criteria for how much suppliers should practice eco-consciousness and social responsibility, and we are trying to raise standards throughout each supply chain.
Specifically, based on our Purchasing Policy, we surveyed the social and environmental considerations of our suppliers using a questionnaire. When an issue was detected, we dispatched a procurement employee to the supplier to work on solving the issue together.
In FY2011, the first year we conducted this survey, we questioned 52 suppliers in and outside Japan, accounting for approximately 90% of all purchased raw and processed materials by cost. Six companies gave sub-standard scores, but after advising them on ways to improve, four companies met the standards.
In FY2012, we will increase the survey's coverage of suppliers for raw and processed materials to 95% by cost, and will include suppliers for construction-related work.
Procurement Department I
We see CSR procurement not as something JSR should force on its suppliers but as a process to be worked on together based on an understanding of the need for social responsibility. We are also trying to incorporate successful activities and methods from other companies.
Employees Relations: Promoting Employee Diversity and Work-Life Management
In FY2011 we began implementing various measures to support the careers of our female employees as a key management issue. Major initiatives in FY2011 are described below.
Two-person team seminars for female employees and their supervisors
We held a total of 12 seminars for all of our female employees and their male supervisors to promote diversity throughout the JSR Group in Japan. The seminars were a truly unique program in which female employees and their supervisors shared their personal challenges and goals through direct one-on-one discussion. Although participants were initially apprehensive about the seminar—a first attempt as it was for JSR—it produced great results, generating such comments as, “I was able to communicate with my boss more than ever before,” and “I realized I was making certain assumptions about my female subordinates.” The highlight of the seminar was a session in which each participant took a minute to say encouraging things to his/her partner and vice versa.
Even the more bashful participants admitted: “I'm so happy he was noticing such things about me,” and “It's hard to talk with your partner, let alone encourage them, when you normally don't pay attention to them.” They seemed to realize then the importance of accepting and communicating with others, the foundation of all employee diversification.
Oguchi (left) and Yoshioka (right)
Business Administration Department
Emulsion Technology Co., Ltd.
I think female employees until now had few chances to broaden their experience at work. I realized that we managers really have to allocate tasks in a way that gives female employees more experience doing work that suits and challenges them. From now on I want our female employees also to have a variety of experiences and play a larger role in the company.
I realized that even I made gender-based assumptions, like believing that different genders should have different jobs. The seminar was a great opportunity for me to change the way I think. From now on, I will act in ways that will help me change.
Career development seminar for female employees
Employees take a self-assessment test
JSR held a career development seminar to help female employees switch to career-track positions. The seminar was a valuable time for participants, who over the two-day program confirmed their strengths and weakness from observations written by their co-workers and by taking a self-assessment test, and then developed an action plan to improve skills as they continue to work.
Social networking service to support working mothers
HARMONY, JSR's in-house SNS
Responding to past requests for an internal all-female community, in July 2010 we launched HARMONY, an in-house social networking service (SNS) made primarily for working mothers. HARMONY now has an active membership of 60 female employees, including those without children, who also share responses to the diversity seminars and exchange ideas.
New guidebook encourages work-life management
In its effort to encourage work-life balance, JSR promotes work-life management (WLM) with the goal that employees will be able to “autonomously control their work time and personal time.” As a part of this program, JSR and its labor union co-produced the “WLM Guidebook” in December 2010. As many employees think WLM is only for those who are caring for their children or elderly family members, and there are others who just can't get away from work, the book introduces six employees who are practicing WLM to encourage these individuals to consider practicing it themselves.
The “ik kyoto Project”
David Wallenus, setting off for work
JSR Micro N.V. in Belgium is a participant in the “ik kyoto Project”* and is encouraging employees to commute to work without relying on cars. The project provides free breakfast and other incentives to employees who carpool or commute by bicycle. It helps promote employee health and contributes to the mitigation of global warming.
David Wallenus, winner of the 1st prize at JSR Micro N.V., commutes to and from work by bicycle everyday—an “ik kyoto-er” to the core. “I consider commuting by bicycle to be a luxury. It's 15 minutes from home to work, but I think I would do it even if work were farther away. Belgium lately has had serious traffic problems, so getting stuck on the road to work would ruin my entire day, mentally speaking. That's why I think commuting by bike is ideal. After all, it's also good for my health and good for the environment.”
*The “ik kyoto Project”: This initiative was begun by local governments in Belgium and was named after the Kyoto Protocol (http://www.ikkyoto.be) (Dutch) In the FY2011 campaign period (June to September), employees at JSR Micro N.V. reduced 11,622 kilometers worth of car commuting distance, a 1,106-kilogram cut in CO2 emissions.
Promoting local food
Rice bowl with toppings imitating the dondo bonfires lit on New Year's Eve at Ise Shrine.
Since October 2010, Yokkaichi operations of JSR Business Service Co. Ltd. has been supporting the local community and helping to mitigate global warming at the employee cafeteria of JSR's main plant, Yokkaichi Plant. Uokuni Sohonsha, the company that operates the cafeteria, has been increasing its use of local produce by introducing menu items inspired by the seasons and local culture of Mie Prefecture.
The company supports JSR Group's social contributions activities by holding a “Local Food Fair” twice a month.