Social Contribution Activities(Special topics before 2016)

Publication of the Guidebook for the Universal Color Design–Recommended Color Set

カGuidebook for the Color Universal Design–Recommended Color Set
Guidebook for the Color Universal Design–Recommended Color Set

Booth for evaluating colors and printed samples
Booth for evaluating colors and printed samples

The DIC Group is actively involved in R&D in the area of color universal design (CUD), as well as in expanding public awareness and understanding of CUD’s importance. Under the supervision of the University of Tokyo, the Group, in cooperation with the Japan Paint Manufacturers Association, the Industrial Research Institute of Ishikawa and the Color Universal Design Organization, created the Color Universal Design–Recommended Color Set and, in 2013, the published the Guidebook for the Color Universal Design–Recommended Color Set. In developing the color set, the organizations capitalized on their particular expertise and verification by study participants with various types of color vision to adjust proposed colors, a process that facilitated the creation of a set of colors that are relatively easy to distinguish regardless of ability to see colors and can be reproduced using printing inks, coatings and digital imaging devices. At AIC 2015 TOKYO, the midterm meeting of the International Colour Association (ACI) in May 2015, Chiba University, the Central Research Laboratories and DIC Color Design, Inc., gave a presentation on issues to consider in printing warnings and other important information on packaging and the results of joint research on the color appearance of red spot colors.
After AIC 2015 TOKYO, the DIC Group and Chiba University’s team continued to conduct joint research on the use of color in an aging society. The university gave a presentation on its findings at a meeting of the Color Science Association of Japan in June 2017. As people age, their ability to see colors deteriorates. Accordingly, for elderly people the visibility and legibility of colors in everyday life is as crucial as their aesthetic beauty. It is thus important to ensure that, for example, the printing on road signs is visible at night and that the instructions on pharmaceutical and food packaging is readable if the power goes out because of a disaster, and that signage and brochures are clear in museums, which may use low lighting to prevent damage to works of art. Accordingly, the DIC Group and Chiba University conducted a study of the impact of age and illumination level on the legibility printed materials. Because age reduces the ability to tell the difference between blue and black as a consequence of cataracts and other issues, researchers asked younger and older study participants to evaluate printed samples produced using blue print against achromatic backgrounds. This exercise enabled researchers to confirm differences in what is legible to the young and the elderly and identify color schemes that work under various illumination levels.
Looking ahead, the DIC Group will continue to promote research initiatives that contribute to society and add color to lifestyles.

Visiting Science Lab Program

Visiting science lab
Visiting science lab

The DIC Group’s Education Support Grand Prix certificate
The DIC Group’s Education Support Grand Prix certificate

In line with the Japanese government’s efforts to promote career education initiatives, as well as to help curb a decline in the popularity of science among children, DIC and DIC Graphics conduct visiting science labs at public elementary schools. Through this program, which focuses on, among others, experiments in pigment synthesis and offset printing, the Group seeks to spark children’s interest in science and encourage them to realize the close relationship between science and their everyday lives.
The DIC Group’s visiting science lab program was nominated and won gold in the 2016 Education Support Grand Prix, sponsored by Tokyo-based Leave a Nest Co., Ltd. The Education Support Grand Prix is the only awards program in Japan that evaluates and recognizes the educational initiatives of companies committed to helping children thrive from both a business and an educational perspective. One of 12 finalists from among 100 companies promoting next-generation initiatives, the DIC Group was selected through a stringent judging process by a jury consisting of leading educators. In explaining their decision, jury members cited measures and systems in place to ensure that the program, the goal of which is purely to contribute to society, continue regardless of operating results, as well as the use of know-how and technologies particular to the DIC Group and benefits for schools, which include the fact that students earn credits as factors behind their decision.

COMMENT

A model for educational support efforts for B–to–B companies

DIC’s visiting science lab program won gold in our 2016 Education Support Grand Prix. DIC’s initiative stood out among nominated programs from more than 100 other companies because rather than being an effort centered on advertising potential or boosting sales, it is an initiative that genuinely seeks to contribute to society. This approach earned high marks. Also worthy of praise is the fact that the program instructors who visit schools in the vicinity of DIC sites are trained researchers who do so as part of their regular work duties. Participation in the program is actually factored into employees’ performance reviews. DIC’s view of the program as a crucial initiative and active steps to position it as such serves as a model for educational support efforts by B-to-B companies. I look forward to DIC continuing to promote efforts that both support education for the next generation and foster the skills of its own employees.

Representative of the jury, Education Support Grand Prix General Manager, Leave a Nest Education Research Institute Daigo Fujita

Representative of the jury,
Education Support Grand Prix
General Manager, Leave a Nest Education Research Institute
Daigo Fujita

DIC Lifetec organizes food culture event

Food culture event
Food culture event

Event participants
Event participants

Hands-on experiment
Hands-on experiment

Spirulina viewed through a microscope
Spirulina viewed through a microscope

In July 2014, subsidiary DIC Lifetec Co., Ltd., in collaboration with Tokyo’s Itabashi Education + Science Museum, staged a food culture event on the theme of Spirulina, a health supplement and the source of a natural food coloring used in confectionery, titled “Exploring the mystery of how food gets its color.” Children tend to find study themes related to food highly appealing. By choosing the color of food as the theme of this event, organizers sought to increase interest in food-related research and to encourage children to discover the story of Spirulina and its use in food on their own. A hardy, edible blue-green algae that appears as a mass of spirals, Spirulina is said to have originated around three million years ago. As well, Spirulina is rich with more than 50 vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, properties that have earned it a reputation as a superfood. DIC is a leading global supplier of this algae and the first in the world to succeed in the managed cultivation of uniformly high-grade Spirulina using safe, hygienic facilities.

The event in Itabashi featured a presentation by a senior certified nutritionist, who spoke about the significant role color plays in our perception of food’s taste and demonstrated differences in the reaction of taste buds to natural and to synthetic food colorings. The nutritionist also oversaw a hands-on experiment involving the extraction of natural colorants from peppers and purple sweet potatoes, as well as from Spirulina, and gave a talk on Spirulina’s history.

Participants appeared fascinated by Spirulina’s structure and were surprised to learn that Linablue®, DIC’s Spirulina-derived natural blue food coloring, was used in many familiar sweets and candies. Comments received from participants were varied and generally positive. A number of children said that having learned about Spirulina’s nutritional benefits, they would make a point of choosing food products containing Spirulina. Others remarked that they had found the experiment portion of the event fun and learned a lot about Spirulina and that they planned to further study food colors, including that of Spirulina, at home.

Initiatives Led by the Central Research Laboratories

Lab lesson for students of Seishin Gakuen High School
Lab lesson for students of Seishin Gakuen High School

The Central Research Laboratories offer a variety of programs in such uniquely DIC topics as synthesis and chromatics to the students of local schools. In November 2016, students from nearby Chiba Prefectural Sakura High School were invited to take part in a fashion design workshop that focused on the use of color and included a presentation color universal design. In December 2016, students from Seishin Gakuen High School in Ibaraki Prefecture—a Super Science High School*—were invited to the Central Research Laboratories to participate in a lab lesson on the theme of “synthesis and craftsmanship.” Led by researchers from the facility, the event was conducted in an actual laboratory and featured experiments and a hands-on lesson on the use of state-of-the-art analytical equipment with young researchers serving as lab instructors. In addition to experiments and lessons on the use of equipment, the event also incorporated a career education component, taking time to talk to students about how they became interested in science and the challenges and rewards of being a researcher.

  • *A designation awarded by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to senior high schools that implement curricula focused on the sciences and mathematics that goes beyond MEXT’s official guidelines with the aim of fostering the next generation of talented engineers and scientists.

Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art

The Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, located adjacent to the Central Research Laboratories in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture, was established in 1990 to publicly exhibit works of art collected by DIC Corporation and its affiliates. In 2017, the museum celebrates its 28th anniversary. As of December 2016, cumulative visitors to the museum had surpassed 2.3 million.
The museum’s extensive collection spans numerous genres, encompassing works by Rembrandt; Impressionists such as Monet and Renoir; modern European artists such as Picasso and Chagall; early modern, modern and postwar Japanese artists; and luminaries of late-20th century American art, including Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly and Frank Stella. In addition to its standing exhibit from its permanent collection of more than 1,000 major works, the museum stages special exhibitions several times a year that focus on pertinent literary works and other artifacts that evoke the cultural atmosphere at the time works were created to help visitors better understand the collection. The museum also offers free-of-charge guided tours every day at 2:00 p.m.
Another appealing aspect of the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art is its location on a lushly forested 10-hectare site alive with seasonal flowers and foliage that has been open to the public since the museum’s establishment. The site’s 250 cherry trees—10 varieties in total—blossom every spring. In summer, flowers of all colors bloom profusely. Other highlights include the lotus pond at the back of the garden, which was expanded in 2015, and the wooded nature trail that traverses the spacious site.
In a move aimed at promoting relations with the local community and fostering local cultural activities, the museum has established an annex gallery on the museum site that serves as an exhibition space for local amateur artists and is also made available to elementary and junior and senior high schools in the Sakura area for an exhibition of local students’ works.
The Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art was also the first museum in Japan to introduce interactive methods originated by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for teaching children about art. To date, a total of 140 schools and more than 10,000 children have taken part in the museum’s educational programs, which are offered to entire classes led by teachers.

  • Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art

  • Verdant garden with terrace Verdant garden with terrace

  • Entrance hall
    Entrance hall

Siam Chemical Industry Earns Fifth Consecutive CSR-DIW Award

In 2016, DIC Group company Siam Chemical Industry was once again presented with a CSR-DIW Award by the Thai Ministry of Industry, the fifth consecutive year it has been so honored. The CSR-DIW Award program was established in 2008 with the goal of raising the global competitiveness of Thai companies. Awards are given annually to companies in recognition of CSR initiatives judged as exceptional from the perspective of seven core subjects defined in ISO 26000, the International Organization for Standardization’s standard for social responsibility.
Siam Chemical Industry’s CSR initiatives in 2016 included a volunteer clean-up initiative at a support facility for individuals with disabilities located near the company’s factory. The approximately 300 employees who took part spent a whole day cleaning the facility, repainting external walls and playground equipment such as swings and seesaws, and improving the facility’s garden by pulling weeds and spreading artificial turf. Siam Chemical Industry pledges to continue contributing to Thai society through effective sustainability initiatives designed to benefit local communities.

  • Volunteer clean-up initiative Volunteer clean-up initiative

  • Volunteer clean-up initiative

  • Employees of Siam Chemical Industry Employees of Siam Chemical Industry

Matching Gift Program

DIC employees visit child welfare facility Anzu no Ie in Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture, to present a donation
DIC employees visit child welfare facility Anzu no Ie in Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture, to present a donation

DIC has a matching gift program whereby it matches the total amount collected through an annual year-end fundraising drive spearheaded by its employees’ union. Funds raised through the 2016 drive and matching gift program were donated to 20 children’s homes and facilities providing support for disabled individuals.

Capitalizing on Business Opportunities Yielded by Recycling Initiatives

Products made from recycled plastic bottle caps
Products made from recycled plastic bottle caps

In addition to manufacturing and selling a broad range of molded plastic products in line with its ultimate objective, which is to protect lives, Group company DIC Plastics, Inc., in Japan, is an active proponent of environment-friendly business practices, particularly material recycling*1. Among the company’s noteworthy achievements is its development of a system for sorting waste plastic generated during the manufacture of original products by type and color, which greatly assists with recovery. This has enabled the company to diversify its lineup of products made with recycled plastics, increasing the volume of such materials it uses and adding value to the products in which they are used.
DIC Plastics also promotes recycling by purchasing recycled plastics from reclaimers, which it uses in the manufacture of its mainstay plastic helmets and other products.
One of the most recent additions to DIC Plastics’ product portfolio is the IZANO professional helmet for disaster situations. In addition to offering superb safety, the IZANO helmet can be folded to approximately 60% of its full size. These features, plus the extensive range of colors available, earned IZANO an award in the 2014 Good Design Awards*2, sponsored by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion.

  • *1Material recycling involves the recycling of material from an original application but in a different form.
  • *2Operated by the Japan Institute of Design PromotColor Universal Design in interiors and signs in a sports clubion, the Good Design Awards is a commendation program that annually recognizes products that represent superb achievements in design.

Highlights of Social Contribution Activities

Color Universal Design in interiors and signs in a sports club

Exterior of Renaissance, Makuhari
Exterior of Renaissance, Makuhar

Passage within the facility
Passage within the facility

Based on the management vision: “Color & Comfort by Chemistry,” the DIC Group takes initiatives in Color Universal Design (UD). DIC Color Design Inc. provided color supervision upon the redesigning of the “Sports Club Renaissance, Makuhari,” which is the original branch of RENAISSANCE INC. that runs sports clubs throughout Japan. DIC Color Design Inc. utilized the color investigation that was conducted in existing branches prior to the redesigning from the perspective of UD. You can see innovations in colors in the interior and signs, etc. that enable the Renaissance facility users to enjoy sports with a sense of security. Considerations for colors are given in a number of places, including steps in stairs and rails using colors that are

COMMENT

Facility development with the aim of achieving security and safety of users

The Makuhari branch is the first branch of Renaissance and is a facility that we have special feeling toward this branch. Upon the redesigning, we strived for a facility that can be a model case in all perspectives, such as contributions to society and environmental considerations, etc., in addition to enhancing equipment and items. Especially, the Makuhari branch is rooted in the community, and many elderly people also utilize our facility. Through this effort, we have learned that there were actually people who would have difficulties with the colors that we would otherwise have not paid attention to. In addition, we have truly learned the importance of not only producing a unified image in color design but also using color schemes that correctly communicate necessary information by considering the functionality of the facility and safety of users. We hope to widely spread this experience in the company and utilize it in the future facility development.

RENAISSANCE INC. Facility Development Department Ms. Itsuwa Hosaka

RENAISSANCE INC.
Facility Development Department
Ms. Itsuwa Hosaka

Spirulina: Promoting Harmony With Society

Children in Zambia having lunch
Children in Zambia having lunch

The DIC Group is the world’s largest supplier of Spirulina, a cyanobacteria rich in more than 50 nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids. In line with a support agreement concluded in 2009 with the Alliance Forum Foundation (AFF), a Japan-based NPO, the Group provides assistance to the Spirulina Project, an AFF initiative that seeks to alleviate hunger and improve nutrition in the Republic of Zambia.
In June 2012, with the purpose of contributing to the well-being of the people of Zambia, we implemented a project to assess the impact of Spirulina on human health. This project verifed a reduced incidence of malnutrition among children who regularly consumed Spirulina. Encouraged by these findings, the DIC Group and the AFF conducted production and technological feasibility studies in Zambia with the aim of facilitating local cultivation of Spirulina for local consumption, and in 2014 commenced pilot production. In fscal year 2015, the DIC Group and the AFF will again conduct tests to measure the effectiveness of Spirulina, expanding the scope of testing to several hundred individuals. DIC support it by the donation of bulk powdered Spirulina. Currently, the Group also provides production and technological support through assistance with selecting locations for cultivation and providing information on raw materials.
The DIC Group is also engaged in a variety of other initiatives designed to promote the nutritional value of Spirulina. In fscal year 2014, these included a nutritional education program for private elementary schools in Tokyo’s Itabashi Ward.

Highlights of Social Contribution Activities

Initiatives Toward Color Coordination that is Harmonious with Landscape

Braille Guide Blocks
Braille Guide Blocks

Development and Evaluation of New Tactile Paving Aimed at Low-vision People The DIC Group promotes the development of colors and color combinations that can be recognized equally by as many people as possible.

Tactile pavement that indicate safe walking paths are considered ideal to have a clear contrast with the road by using highly visible yellow color. However, urban landscape designers often feel the color too vivid that does not harmonize with the surrounding environment. Therefore, it is required to develop guide blocks that simultaneously fulfill safety and aesthetical requirements.

Associate Professor Kei Ito of the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at the University of Tokyo has been attempting to use two different colors for guide blocks as a countermeasure to this issue. By using low intensity color for the base part and pale yellow for the protrusions, the new blocks would not violate the landscape while securing both visibility and sign property For the project, DIC Color Design proposed color schemes that simultaneously achieve functionality and harmony with surrounding environments and cooperated in color selections for the prototype samples. We have been repeating evaluation experiments by trial subjects and promoting the project for practical usage.

Career Education Activities

In recent years, the educational field is strongly required to participate in corporate career education activities. DIC focuses on career education in a wide scope, including accepting interns from colleges of technology in plants throughout Japan, accepting workplace experience, practical training, and tours from nearby schools in the Chiba Plant, Hokuriku Plant, Kashima Plant, Komaki Plant, and Saitama Plant, etc. providing lab lessons in municipal elementary schools in the Itabashi Ward and Matsudo by Tokyo plant and headquarters, providing educational support classes to Chiba Prefectural Sakura High School and Sakurahigashi High School close to the DIC Central Research Laboratory, and visits by Chairman Sugie throughout Japan to give classes as part of Japan Association of Corporate Executives activities, etc. Children learn the significance of working and the fact that their studies lead to social lives by learning various ways of living and a sense of values by communicating with many different adults. DIC will continue to provide career education opportunities to children who will lead the future.

COMMENT

Promoting career education that arouses intellectual curiosity and inquisitive minds

The DIC Central Research Laboratory has raised educational support in the CSR policy and has also been supporting “Sakura Academia,” which is a cultural class that started in 2011 in our school. In this class, students visit laboratories to hear lectures by leading researchers with the aim of not only arousing students’ intellectual curiosity and inquisitive minds but also encouraging them to strive to realize themselves and have career awareness. In 2013, our school was specified as a super science school (SSH) by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology with the aim of developing human resources in the scientific technology field. Upon this, DIC dispatched an operational mentor as a representative of a local company. We are always deeply appreciative of DIC’s stance to proactively contribute to the local educational industry through the scientific technology field.

Chiba Prefectural Sakura High School Vice-Principal Mr. Kazuomi Koshiba

Chiba Prefectural Sakura High School
Vice-Principal
Mr. Kazuomi Koshiba

Proactively Supporting the Next Generation Development from Working Experience for Junior High School Students to Training Cooperation for Teachers

Local Junior High School Students Experiencing Work
Local Junior High School Students Experiencing Work

Each plant in the DIC Group holds opportunities that enable young people who will lead the next generation to experience working in order to acquire career or working views and proactively hosts internship students, etc. “Saitama Plant”(Ina City, Saitama) that manufactures UV paint, LC materials, and adhesive films, etc. cooperates with the “Social Experience Challenge”, which is planned by the board of education, and continually holds working experience opportunities for 7th and 8th grade students. In 2011, the plant held 4 opportunities and 12 junior high school students participated from the community. They commuted to the Saitama Plant for 3 days at a time and experienced light work, such as inspections of products, packaging, etc. They presented what they learned through work and exchanges with employees at school.

These efforts are also promoted in Chiba Plant and Komaki Plant (Aichi) and are highly regarded by the local communities.

VOICE from the DIC Group

Backup is Provided through Cooperation of Each Department with the Focus on Safety

Saitama Plant has been hosting working experience opportunities since approximately 10 years ago. First, we communicate safety cautions to children, and each department decides the work contents in cooperation with each other. Seeing papers with honest opinions, such as “I’ve learned the difficulty of the society” and “I’ve experienced the importance of people’s considerations as well as organization”, etc. after the experience and hearing voices of different departments, such as “Thanks to them, we’ve made a good progress in work”, etc., make us happy. In 2011, teachers also cooperated with the training to learn local industries and accepted plant tours. I think it is very beneficial for others to learn the technologies and manufacturing of DIC through such opportunities.

Saitama Plant General Affairs Group Chiharu Nakanishi

Saitama Plant
General Affairs Group
Chiharu Nakanishi

Support for Persons with Intellectual Handicaps

Charity Jogging Held in Guangzhou
Charity Jogging Held in Guangzhou

“Huiling” is an NGO that was established in 1990 by a Chinese national and supports persons with intellectual handicaps. It promotes its activities in 8 locations in China. DIC Co., Ltd. (Guangzhou) observed various activities of Huiling Guangzhou, deepened the understanding, and supported the philosophy. The company has appealed for donations from both employees and the company.

In addition, 86 employees/family members participated in the charity jogging, which was held in the “Oriental Resort Guangzhou” in Báiyún area, Guangzhou, and held social exchanges with persons with intellectual handicaps in May,2011.

Support for Disaster-Hit Areas

DIC donated funds via the Japanese Red Cross Society to assist with recovery efforts in the wake of the April 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake.

Mangrove Plantation Project

Mangrove Plantation Project

DIC (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. approved of the mangrove plantation project in the Telok Gong, Pelabuhan Klang, Selangor, Malaysia held by the Red Crescent Selangor on May 8, 2011, and donated money to fund the activity and joined the project.

The purpose of the project is to reduce environmental destruction by showing the way how to solve environmental problems to the local community as well as the participants through the activity of mangrove plantation. Ten employees of DIC took part as volunteers on the day and planted mangrove seedlings under the instruction of experts.

Initiatives Aimed at Areas around Our Plants

Initiatives Aimed at Areas around Our Plants

As part of its Responsible Care activities, the Japan Chemical Industry Association's RC Committee has organized town hall meetings across the country to strengthen communication with people locally.

In February 2011, The DIC Komaki plant organized the 5th Responsible Care Aichi Regional Town Hall Meeting at the Komaki Kinro Center, where it presented its Responsible Care initiatives to local citizens. Its presentations covered mainly safety (passing on techniques through K-SHOW)*2 and eco-friendly products, also providing reports on matters such as energy conservation, industrial waste reduction, and local support activities (Oyamagawa cleanup). The DIC Komaki plant focused especially on discussion of its production and development of environmentally conscious products such as lightweight PPS for cars, low-VOC-emission printing ink, and decorative sheets for de-plating products*1. The plant also talked about the various problems it has related to the environment. After the meeting, the plant made time to answer questions from local citizens and strengthen mutual understanding.

  • *1Passing on technique through K-SHOW: passing on techniques through training, using video to explain.

Regional Clean-Up Activities and Others

Employees of the Shiga Plant engaged in a clean-up Employees of the Shiga Plant engaged in a clean-up

Employees of the Komaki Plant serving as clean-up volunteers Employees of the Komaki Plant serving as clean-up volunteers

To help preserve and beautify the regional environment, the DIC Group has been conducting clean-up activities in places such as neighboring roads in various regions. At the plant in Konan City, Shiga Prefecture, employees take part in clean-up day activities such as "Lake Biwa Day" and "Environment Beautification Day" organized by Shiga Prefecture every year. The Komaki Plant in Aichi Prefecture positively engages in volunteer activities such as "Oyama River Clean-up Activities." Moreover, part of the sports facilities in our plants are open to local citizens, and festivals are held by inviting local citizens for realizing a better relationship with local communities.

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