Policy and approach
The Toyobo group believes that our business activities can only be carried out with the understanding of local communities. We have positioned the building and maintaining relationships of trust with local communities as fundamental to our business activities. And in addition to disclosing necessary information to members of these communities, we focus on actively participating in regional activities and maintaining close communication.
As a member of society, we think we can support the building of a better society by providing value to regional communities and we work to encourage science and technology, conserve environments, and promote communication with local communities. We think that fulfilling our responsibilities as a good corporate citizen and investing in the future is part of practicing our corporate philosophy: Jun-Ri-Soku-Yu (adhering to reason leads to prosperity) corporate philosophy.
Additionally, at each business site, we recruit local personnel in order to vitalize the surrounding area.
- TOYOBO Group Charter of Corporate Behavior: 8. Social contribution
- TOYOBO Group Basic Policy on Health & Safety
- TOYOBO Group Fundamental Policy on the Global Environment
Based on the policies above, each business location works to communicate with its surrounding area.
Cultivating future generations
Approach to cultivating future generations
In the TOYOBO Group Charter of Corporate Behavior, we declare that “we will actively participate in society and contribute to its development .” Therefore, it is important that we cultivate human resources who can take on the task of developing society into the future. To achieve this, we are supporting sports and encouraging science and technology through initiatives such as providing research subsidies through the Toyobo Biotechnology Foundation. We also offer internships to give students an image of what it is like to work through actual workplace experiences.
Supporting science and technology
The Toyobo group is contributing to the development of science and technology by supporting young researchers through our foundation. We are also contributing to the development of technology, industry, and society by participating in industry-academic-government collaboration.
A foundation that contributes to the biotechnology field by supporting young researchers
Advancing science and technology is important for Japan to develop socially and economically into the future. The Toyobo group began to focus on the biotechnology and life science fields when these fields were still new to Japan. In order to encourage scientific research in the biotechnology field and to contribute to society through the results of this research, in May 1982 we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the company by establishing the Toyobo Biotechnology Foundation (hereafter “the Foundation”) and since then, we have been holding study groups and symposiums, and providing research subsidies. Since the establishment of the Foundation to the present day, its efforts have been supported by academics working on the front lines of this field, many of whom have served as directors and advisors. In recent years, the biotechnology and life science fields have grown compared to when the Foundation was established, so we are concentrating activities on supporting the young researchers who will take responsibility for the future of these fields.
Recipients of FY2022 long-term research subsidies and other people connected to the Foundation
The subsidies granted by the Foundation are notable in that they do not stipulate what the funds should be used for. This is because we want to provide comprehensive support for young researchers who are venturing overseas for the first time. From the reports provided by the researchers we sponsor, we can see that they are vigorously engaging in their research activities.
In FY2022, four candidates were granted research subsidies amounting to a total of 22 million yen and these were presented at an online ceremony on February 21, 2022. As of the current fiscal year, we have granted long-term research subsidies to a cumulative total of 214 researchers. Recipients are active on the front lines of the biotechnology and education fields and some of them want to contribute to the cultivation of the next generation of researchers by serving as directors and advisors of the Foundation.
54th L-GRANT Research "Toyobo Polymer Science Award" selected
On 4 February 2022, the award ceremony for the ”Toyobo Polymer Science Award” was held at the Research Centre.
The award was established as an open research grant system to support the research fields and personnel sought by the Toyobo group, using the mechanism of the Leave a Nest Research Fund operated by Leave a Nest Co., Ltd.
Based on the desire to "change the world with people who are passionately advancing steady materials research" rather than just "application development", which is often required by recent competitive research funds, the target field was set as "basic and general-purpose research on polymer materials".
Despite this being the first open call for entries, there were 30 applications for research themes that could not be distinguished because of their extremely high level of quality.
Among their applications, two were selected for the 'Toyobo Polymer Science Award' and one for the 'Encouragement Award'.
(From left) Yasuo Ota Controlling Supervisor of Innovation Division;
Yuya Dohi, Nagoya University (on screen), recipient of the Toyobo Polymer Science Award;
Yuya Oyama, Graduate School of Keio University.
Support for initiatives such as the Shiga Tech Planter R&D startup support program and the Shiga Junior Research Grant next generation cultivation project through the Shiga-based Growth Business Identification and Cultivation Consortium
The Shiga-based Growth Business Identification and Cultivation Consortium (hereafter “the Consortium”) is an industry-academic-government collaborative organization that aims to encourage industry in Shiga and revitalize the region by creating a framework for generating a succession of industries that leverage the prefecture's strengths and help them grow. As the Toyobo group has a Research Center and the Otsu Pharmaceuticals Plant in Shiga prefecture, we support the aims of the consortium and we have been a partner company of Shiga Tech Planter, an R&D startup support program for cultivating the next generation of researchers, engineers, and entrepreneurs, and the Shiga Tech Plan Gran Prix, a business plan contest run by the program, since the start. We have been a partner of the consortium leading the "Shiga Junior Research Grant" since its inception, which aims to support the research activities of junior and senior high school students in Shiga Prefecture. The Consortium supports the Grant aiming to develop human resources who will be leaders in the creation of next-generation industry.
AISLAB wins the Toyobo Prize in the "7th Shiga Tech Plan Grand Prix"
On 9 July 2022, the "7th Shiga Tech Planter" was held at the Otsu Prince Hotel in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, for the seventh SHIGA TECH PLANTER.
This time, the Toyobo Prize was awarded to the team "AISLAB" of Professor Joo-Ho Lee of Ritsumeikan University. This is a proposal to enable flexible space design by placing devices such as sensors and lighting in a space on a MobileModule, which moves while grasping small protrusions placed at regular distances on the walls and ceiling surfaces, so that the space can be rearranged according to room usage and user movement. The potential to move towards spatial comfort design through fusion and expansion with comfort engineering technology was highly evaluated.
The Shiga Tech Plan Gran Prix finals held on July 9, 2022
The representative of the 「AISLAB」Team, which won the Toyobo Award, and Yasuo Ota Controlling Supervisor of Innovation Division
- Masks were removed to take this photo
The "4th Shiga Junior Research Grant, Results Presentation" was held
On 16 January 2022, the "4th Shiga Junior Research Grant Results Presentation" hosted by the Consortium for Discovery and Development of Growth Industries from Shiga was held at the Shiga Prefectural Government New Wing, with Shoko Uchiyama from the Corporate Research Center (a first-term student of the Mirai Jinzai Juku) from Toyobo participating as a judge.
In FY2020, the project was not adopted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this was the first time in two years that the results of the project were presented. Each school continued to search for new "whys" while taking into account the activities of their seniors, and their careful research was full of exciting content.
Among these, the Toyobo Prize was awarded to Moriyama Municipal Moriyama Junior High School for 'Proving the effectiveness of waterweed as a fertiliser using electrical conductivity'. We look forward to further activities in the future.
Ms. Uchiyama, and Moriyama Municipal Moriyama Junior High School students who received the Toyobo Prize.
- Masks were removed to take this photo
Social contribution activities
- Related ESG :
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Social contribution activities approach and policies
As a materials manufacturer, the Toyobo group provides a variety of information so that local communities can live with peace of mind and we carry out educational and awareness raising activities for these communities. As a good corporate citizen, we also carry out activities that support the creation of flourishing towns and cities, so that we can develop together with the local community.
We provide information through our website and other channels so that people can learn about the group's approach and business.
We communicate with local communities by actively participating in community activities and providing opportunities for them to learn about the group, and the lessons learned from these initiatives are reflected in our business activities.
Each year, all our business locations actively participate in cultural events aimed at vitalizing their local region and carry out initiatives such as site tours that help local community members and employees' families get to know the group better.
“Career Passport" visiting lecture for elementary school students to learn in a fun environment
(Toyobo Packaging Operating Department)
On September 14, 2022, we conducted a visiting lecture entitled "The Role of Plastic Films and Environmental Responses" was held at the private Teikyo University Elementary School in Tokyo, Japan, as one of the "Career Passport "* programs.
We introduced our business to 24 second grade elementary school students and explained in an easy-to-understand manner the types and features of plastic films, especially the functions that only plastic films can perform. In addition, the students experienced peeling off the multi-layered films and conducted an odor leakage experiment using different materials, and at the end of the session, we called for ”recycling instead of littering after use.”
During the peeling experience, although the students struggled to peel off the film, they were able to experience how multiple layers of film are combined to form a single bag. The students said, "I want to try this with other bags for snacks," and "I will teach this to my mother back home," and enjoyed learning about plastic films.
(A similar lecture was held at Kougai Elementary School in Tokyo in October.)
- The "Career Passport" is a portfolio designed to enable students to self-evaluate their own transformation and growth by reviewing and reflecting on their own learning status and career development through various career education-related activities from elementary school to high school, with a focus on classroom and homeroom activities of special activities and back and forth with each subject.
Visiting lecture at Teikyo University Elementary School
Students experienced smell differences in an odor leakage experiment.
Visiting lecture on technology related to semipermeable membranes, and science careers
(Toyobo Corporate Sustainability Department, Environmental Solutions Operating Department, Iwakuni Membrane Plant)
On September 3, 2022, we conducted a visiting lecture for 23 students of Kobe Ryukoku Senior High School's Advanced Global Science Course on technology related to semipermeable membranes and science careers.
In the lecture titled "Osmosis Phenomenon with Semipermeable Membranes," the lecturers explained the phenomenon of osmosis and the function of semipermeable membranes using experimental equipment and introduced a seawater desalination plant and the semipermeable membrane manufacturing process in operation in an area where water is scarce. The students experienced how water is extracted from seawater using semipermeable membranes by using our "Aqua Hum Hum" reverse osmosis experience machine. In the latter half of the lecture, as part of their career education, the lecturers introduced how they became interested in the field of science, their student life, work at the company, and experiences overseas.
In a cordial atmosphere, students listened to the lecturers' explanations with an enthusiastic gaze and asked questions to them during breaks and after lecture. It was very impressive to see the students pedaling the "Aqua Humuhumu" pedals with great effort and laughing happily.
Students who took the lecture commented, “I had been looking forward to the lecture and was 'excited' the whole time”. “It gave me a chance to imagine what kind of company I would like to work for in the future." "I thought Toyobo is a wonderful company that contributes to the environment and the world.”
It was also a very good opportunity for our company members who participated in the visiting lecture. We will continue to create learning opportunities with the students who will lead the next generation.
Held "Summer Vacation Junior Science Class"
(Toyobo Iwakuni Production Center)
On August 5, 2022, we held "Summer Vacation Junior Science Class" jointly with Yamaguchi Industrial Promotion Foundation, inviting elementary and junior high school students from Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Yamaguchi prefecture holds "Summer Vacation Junior Science Classes" at various locations in the prefecture, asking universities and companies in the prefecture to hold these classes for the purpose of encouraging the development of human resources in the science field. Iwakuni Production Center also agreed with this program and held this class.
There were many more applicants than the maximum number. On the day of the event, 19 elementary and junior high school students and their parents participated in the class. During the experimental experience of osmosis using a semipermeable membrane, the children seemed relaxed thanks to the gentle and approachable talk of our employees who participated as instructors. Instructors, children, and parents cooperated with each other as they conducted the experiments, bringing the venue together. After the science class, we received many pleasant comments from the participants, such as "it was fun," and "I am glad I could make more friends.
"Machi-Zemi" organized by the Tsuruga Chamber of Commerce and Industry: site tours conducted
(Toyobo Tsuruga Research and Production Center)
On 2 March 2022, a tour of the premises was conducted through the "Tsuruga Machi Seminar* organized by the Tsuruga Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The 15 participants toured the N Room (exhibition room) and the Tsuruga Film Plant and listened with great interest to explanations of the products and production facilities. They also walked around the premises to see the various buildings. The tour provided a good opportunity for the local community to get to know the center. We will continue to actively participate in such initiatives in the future and aim to be a center that is open to the community.
- The tour provided a good opportunity for the local community to get to know the center. We will continue to actively participate in such initiatives in the future and aim to be a center that is open to the community.
Abbreviation of "Seminar in the Town to Benefit from." Mini lectures in which shopkeepers and businesses act as lecturers and provide expertise and information free of charge, under the theme 'Learn from Tsuruga's shops'.
What does a materials manufacturer do? First-year high school students visit the Shogawa Plant
(Toyobo Toyama Production Center)
On 16 December 2021, 17 first-year students from Takaoka First Private High School visited the Shogawa Plant as part of the school's career education. After a welcome speech by the General Manager of General Affairs Department of Toyama Production Center, the students were briefed on the company and the overview of the plant, and then toured the plant.
The tour was divided into two groups, which visited three areas: the exhibition room at the Development Technology Centre, the Spinning and Weaving Production Plant and the Processing and Production Plant. In the exhibition room, we explained how our materials are used in various applications, such as the 'thawb', the folk costumes of Middle Eastern countries, and sportswear, and that different materials have different textures and functions, even if they are the same fibre. In the Spinning and Weaving Production Plant, visitors saw how yarns are processed into fabrics, and in the Processing and Production Plant, they saw how fabrics are made into products through various processes, such as dyeing.
At the beginning of the tour, when asked, "Who knows about Toyobo?" a few people raised their hands, and all said it was the first time they had been on a factory tour of this kind. During the Q&A session after the tour, there were many questions on a variety of topics, showing their interest in the company's business and the production of materials manufacturers.
Donation of Disaster Stockpiles to Food Bank OSAKA (TOYOBO KANKYO TECHNO CO., LTD.)
TOYOBO KANKYO TECHNO donated disaster supplies stored at its three bases in Osaka, Tokyo, and Okayama to the authorized NPO Food Bank OSAKA.
The company began planning this activity in FY2021 and implemented it on three separate occasions in FY2022. Each year, quantity and expiration dates of stockpiles are checked at each site, and the items are donated three months before their expiration. One employee commented, "I used to think it was difficult when I heard about SDGs initiatives, but now I know that I can think about it more casually, which has lowered the bar a little".
With the acquisition of ISO 14001 in 2019, a medium-term plan for environmental and safety activities was formulated.
Based on the plan, reviewing what can be done as a contribution to society, the company will continue to donate disaster relief supplies.