Communities

Basic Stance

Based on the concept of contributing to establishment of sustainable society through achieving sustainable growth of business, the Sumitomo Chemical Group is committed to social contribution activities undertaken from the perspectives of solving global problems and coexistence with local communities.
Regarding communication with society, in order to enhance information disclosure while engaging in interactive dialogue, Sumitomo Chemical, its worksite in Japan and overseas, and Group companies engage in a variety of activities to meet the needs of local communities, thereby building good relations with them.

Sumitomo Chemical’s Social Contribution Activities

  • Sumitomo Chemical’s Social Contribution Activities

Management System

Based on the above chart laying out our social contribution activities, we are promoting various activities throughout the entire Sumitomo Chemical Group, including Sumitomo Chemical’s Head Office, each worksite, and each Group company. To further encourage such activities across the Group, once per year, we hold global meetings for managers from the regional headquarters established in each of the world’s four regions, regional meetings in each region, and manager meetings attended by sustainability managers from each worksite. These meetings enable attendees to share information about their activities and exchange opinions. In addition, Group companies in Japan share information and exchange opinions through Domestic Group Company President Meetings and Domestic Group Company Liaison Meetings held by each functional department.

We are cooperating with the labor union in planning and conducting certain social contribution activities.

Goals and Results

The results of the main social contribution activities undertaken by Sumitomo Chemical and its Group companies are as follows.

FY2019 Main Social Contribution Activities at Bases in Japan (Sumitomo Chemical*1)

Type of ActivityNo. of events
Science classes held at schools, children tours, hands-on work experiences 41
Exhibits at chemistry experiment events 10
Cleaning beaches and neighborhoods around worksites 36
Worksite tours, community dialogues, hands-on work experiences 56
Hosting and participating in regional sports competitions, festivals, and other events 17
  1. Include some Group companies in Japan.

Support for Education in Africa (Sumitomo Chemical) As of April 30, 2020

Country and number of recipientsType of support

Uganda
(Recipients: 839)

  • Built classrooms and restrooms for elementary schools
  • Supplied math and science teaching materials
  • Raised awareness of malaria prevention techniques and provided preventive healthcare training

Ghana
(Recipients: 1,624)

  • Built science laboratories for technical high schools
  • Supplied equipment for biology, chemistry, and physics experiments and provided training to teachers

Nigeria
(Recipients: 2,820)

  • Supported the set-up of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centers
  • Provided computer peripheral equipment and other devices and installed solar power equipment
  • Supported the set-up of an education center for childcare and preschool education

Volunteers for the OISCA Coastal Woodland Rejuvenation Project (Sumitomo Chemical Group*2)

(No. of people)
 FY2017FY2018FY2019

Number of volunteers for the OISCA coastal
woodland rejuvenation project*3

20 20 23
  1. Sumitomo Chemical and Group companies in Japan participating in the Matching Gift program.
  2. Volunteer activities in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture.

Examples of Initiatives

Assuring Safety, the Environment, and Health

Holding Interactive Dialogue with Local Communities

To maintain ties with local communities, Sumitomo Chemical regularly sets up opportunities to interact with various local stakeholders, including municipalities and school officials. These opportunities range from plant tours and dialogue meetings to opinion exchanges and other more casual events.

In local dialogue meetings, we strive to deepen mutual understanding by moving conversations ahead with explanations to neighboring residents about the environmental and safety measures we have in place. In addition, we promote smooth communication with communities by holding plant tours and briefings for each worksite.

Moreover, each worksite engages in a variety of risk communication and dialogue activities for various purposes. These include risk communication model projects carried out jointly with local governments, environment and safety support projects for domestic and overseas governments and businesses, regular meetings with local residents, and dialogues with the community based on cooperation with the chemical industry. At the Company’s head office, Sumitomo Chemical participates in a range of committee activities conducted by the national government and industrial associations as well as in industry-government-academia seminars and lectures to disseminate relevant information and exchange opinions in a timely manner. The overall aim is to help people deepen their understanding of Sumitomo Chemical and to secure the society’s trust in us.

Initiatives to Ensure Safety at All Group Workplaces

The Sumitomo Chemical Group aims to achieve zero severe accidents across all workplaces, as per the basic principle of "Making safety our first priority." To this end, we have ramped up our efforts to ensure safety by communicating thoroughly to make sure everyone observes the Safety Ground Rules, which are common to all Group employees, evaluating and improving the level of safety culture in workplaces, raising the level of safety management with the use of IoT technology, and reviewing and reinforcing natural disaster prevention measures. Through dialogues with residents in the region, we explain to neighboring residents our efforts to ensure safety, and work to deepen our mutual understanding.

Status of Dialogues with Local Communities

FY2019 Results

  • Number of dialogues held
    35
  • Number of participants
    374

* Cumulative result of each Sumitomo chemical worksite.

Information Disclosure Rooted in Local Communities

At Sumitomo Chemical, each worksite publishes a Report on the Environment and Safety every year to report on its local activities in detail. The reports complement the Company’s own Sustainability Data Book (this publication). In addition, the Ehime, Osaka, and Oita worksites each publish local newsletters for the proactive distribution of area-specific information. These are often delivered to residents as newspaper inserts.

Matching Gift Program

As a social contribution activity with employees and the Sumitomo Chemical Group acting together since fiscal 2007, the matching gift program, which is run in collaboration with the labor union, collects donations from executives and employees working at Sumitomo Chemical and Group companies. Sumitomo Chemical then matches their donations.

One of the beneficiaries of the donations from the matching gift program is the Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement International (OISCA)*1, with whom we work on various tree-planting projects. In collaboration with the labor union, we have been dispatching employee volunteers to help with these projects since 2008.

Matching Gift Program

  1. The Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement International (OISCA) is a global NGO engaged in rural development and environmental protection mainly in the Asia-Pacific region. The money donated by Sumitomo Chemical to this organization is used for its Children’s Forest Program, the Sumitomo Chemical Forest mangrove planting project in Ranong Province, Thailand, and Japan’s Coastal Forest Restoration Project following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
  2. ASHINAGA is an NPO established to provide physical and mental support for children who have lost their parents because of illness, accidents, or for other reasons. The money donated to this organization is used to provide a scholarship fund for these orphans.
  3. Sums after matching by the Company.

Sumitomo Chemical Forest

In an effort to prevent global warming and conserve biodiversity, the Company worked with the NGO OISCA since 2008 to plant mangroves in Ranong Province, Thailand. The area that received our support was dubbed the Sumitomo Chemical Forest. Local Thai residents carried out daily planting and management, and the Company provided financial support for the project through its matching gift program. In addition, a total of 179 employees, including those from Group companies in Japan and overseas, participated as volunteers over the years. The forested area has now recovered to the point that it is self-sustaining, and the initiative was brought to a close in March 2019.

Support Results

  • Total forest area*
    270 hectares
  • Total trees planted
    828,000

* Total figures are for the period between 2008 and March 2019

TABLE FOR TWO Activities

Since May 2008, each of Sumitomo Chemical’s worksites has participated in the TABLE FOR TWO (TFT) initiative. Participating companies in this matching gift program donate an amount of money equal to the total donated by executives and employees.

When employees choose to eat any of the healthy TFT menu options available at the Company’s cafeterias, 20 yen per meal is donated to help fight starvation in developing countries as well as obesity and lifestyle diseases in advanced nations. Through these types of social contribution activities originating in Japan, we are working to eliminate food disparity.

In fiscal 2019, Sumitomo Chemical ranked 16th of 589 participating companies in terms of amount of money donated. In May 2020, we received a letter of appreciation as a Platinum Supporter from the TFT secretariat.

FY2019 Results

  • ¥2,046,640*
  • 51,166 meals
  • Sums after matching by the Company

Nurturing the Children of the Next Generation

Supporting Education through Science Workshops

The Sumitomo Chemical Group holds science workshops for children to conduct experiments and make crafts with the Group’s products. These workshops enable them to experience the wonders and appeal of science with their own hands, in order to convey in a manner that children can easily understand how everyday products are linked to chemicals.

We conducted these science workshops during plant tours and at the visiting classes at neighboring schools. We also participate in events held in local communities. In fiscal 2019, we had an exhibit at the Children’s Chemistry Experiment Show (organized by the Dreams & Chemistry 21 Committee) held in Tokyo and Kobe, with employees from worksites in Tokyo and the Kansai region serving as instructors. To help children understand the inspiring nature of the chemical industry, they held science workshops that incorporated kaleidoscope-related crafts using Sumitomo Chemical polarizers.

Going forward, we will continue holding science workshops to pique an interest in chemistry among as many children as possible.

Let’s Make a Glittery Kaleidoscope!

Materials Paper cups (2), polarizers, cellophane adhesive tape
Directions
  1. Punch holes in the bottoms of two paper cups and affix polarizers over the holes
  2. Affix overlapping pieces of cellophane adhesive tape on to the polarizer of one cup in various angles and place the other cup over the top
  3. Point the overlapping paper cups toward a bright light, and rotate one cup to make it possible to see vivid, sparkling colors just like a real kaleidoscope
Purpose

Utilize the Company’s polarizers used in TVs and other LCD products to enable children to learn about the properties of light and, in turn, show how science is used in their everyday lives

Support for Education in Africa

We believe that in order to break free from poverty and achieve sustainable economic development, Africa needs to build a better educational environment for children. Since 2005, Sumitomo Chemical has been conducting educational support activities centered on the construction of primary and secondary school buildings and related facilities in Africa to support children, on whom the continent’s future rests.

As a result of collaborations with the Nigerian Oando Foundation, the World Vision Japan and Plan International Japan, we have to date completed 29 projects in 12 African nations and improved the educational environments of more than 29,000 children.

In fiscal 2019, in Uganda, we supplied math and science teaching materials, raised awareness of malaria prevention techniques, and offered preventive healthcare training in addition to building classrooms and restrooms for elementary schools. Also, in Ghana, we built three science laboratories fitted out with warehouses and preparation rooms for technical high schools, provided equipment for biology, chemistry, and physics experiments, and conducted training for teachers to teach those subjects. In Nigeria, we strove to further improve learning environments by providing aid to build Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centers at two elementary schools as well as computer peripheral equipment and other devices. We also installed solar power generation equipment and provided aid to found an education center for childcare and preschool education.

Support for Education in Africa

Assisting in Natural Disaster Relief

Support for Areas Recovering from the Torrential Rains of Typhoons Faxai and Hagibis

To provide relief for rain damage from Typhoon Hagibis, we donated money through the Japan Red Cross, and executives and employees of all worksites donated daily essentials in support of the call from the Keidanren’s One-Percent Club.

To help provide support for the areas recorering from the torrential rains of Typhoon Faxai and Hagibis, Chiba works donated tarps and other supplies to the cities of Ichihara and Sodegaura.

Support for Areas Recovering from the Torrential Rains of Typhoons Faxai and Hagibis

Support Details

  • Donated ¥3 million through the Japan Red Cross
  • Donated 5,000 items (including 1,312 towels) that were solicited by the Keidanren’s One-Percent Club
    (Head Office and worksites, including those of Group companies)
  • Donated tarps and other supplies to the cities of Ichihara and Sodegaura (Chiba Works)

Support for Recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, we have been promoting initiatives involving employee participation to keep the memory of the disaster fresh in people’s minds. We have also been providing donations collected through the sale of “Disaster Hit Area Support Meals” served in our cafeterias since April 2011. Under this scheme, a portion of sales is donated to a business that aids orphans in areas hit by the disaster, and the companies match that amount.

Since fiscal 2013, through the matching gift program, we have participated in the OISCA coastal woodland rejuvenation project aimed at rejuvenating black pine coastal woodlands in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture. These woodlands were damaged by the tsunami caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Since fiscal 2015, we have dispatched employee volunteers to the area. In fiscal 2019, we dispatched 23 volunteers who provided black pine saplings, planted trees, and weeded and fertilized areas where trees were planted with the aim of rejuvenating about 100 hectares of coastal woodland.

Looking ahead, we will support the recovery of disaster-affected areas through a wide variety of activities.

FY2019 Results

  • Disaster Hit Area Support Meals
    638,520*yen
    15,963 meals
  • Sums after matching by the Company

Iwate Learning Hope Fund 313,480yen 7,837meals
(the portion used between March 2019 and August 2019)

The Great East Japan Earthquake Miyagi Children’s Education Fund 325,040yen 8,126meals
(the portion used between September 2019 and February 2020)

Looking Ahead

In order to maintain the trust of local communities, Sumitomo Chemical will promote its social responsibilities by making various social contributions distinctive to the Sumitomo Chemical Group from three perspectives: securing safety, a sound environment, and health; nurturing the children of the next generation; and assisting in natural disaster relief.