Social Contribution Activities (Special topics before 2018)
Publication of the Guidebook for the Color Universal Design–Recommended Color Set
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. In 2007, the Group, in cooperation with the Japan Paint Manufacturers Association, the Industrial Research Institute of Ishikawa and the Color Universal Design Organization, embarked on a project to create the Color Universal Design–Recommended Color Set under the supervision of the University of Tokyo. In developing the color set, the organizations conducted repeated verification tests using 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. Taking into account nearly a decade of use, in fiscal year 2018 the project members revised the set’s color values to further enhance usability. The organizations also published a guidebook on effective use of the set and has worked to promote understanding and awareness.
From fiscal year 2015 through fiscal year 2017, the DIC Group participated in a joint industry–academic research project. During this period, Chiba University, the Central Research Laboratories and DIC Color Design, Inc., gave presentations 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 and on the use of color in an aging society at academic conferences in Japan and overseas.
In 2011, DIC began collaborating with the University of Tokyo and architect Kengo Kuma to develop new tactile paving that ensures high visibility for visually impaired individuals and is harmony with the landscape. In fiscal year 2018, two new color options (a warm orangey yellow and a cool yellowish green) were introduced for the new paving.
In another key initiative in fiscal year 2018, DIC participated in the project to revise the Japan Industrial Standards (JIS) standard for safety colors (JIS Z 9103) with the goal of choosing colors that can be distinguished by people with diverse color vision.
Used increasingly in signage and infrastructure, CUD is playing an important role in everyday life. The broader application of CUD is also expected to increase safety and convenience for visitors to Japan and individuals with diverse color vision in advance of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Looking ahead, DIC will continue to promote a variety of research initiatives that contribute to society and add color to lifestyles.
Visiting Science Lab Program
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, the Group seeks to spark children’s interest in science and encourage them to realize the close relationship between science and their everyday lives. Since launching this initiative in 2010, the two companies have conducted visiting science labs at 38 elementary schools for approximately 3,000 sixth-graders.
In fiscal year 2018, DIC and DIC Graphics also conducted visiting science labs as part of the Tohoku University Graduate School of Engineering’s Science Campus project, at Tokyo University of the Arts and at DIC Family Day, an event held for the families of employees.
The visiting science labs program won silver in the 2018 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. The jury gave high marks to the program’s use of know-how and technologies unique to the DIC Group to help participants experience the fun and fascination of science first-hand, as well as to the fact that the program is offered not only at elementary schools near Group sites, but also at universities and events for employees’ families. DIC pledges to continue offering this program in the years ahead.
As part of the Graduate School of Chemical Engineering, this is what I see as the importance of social contribution initiatives for children by B-to-B companies.
In primary school science education, we believe it is important to create an environment that brings out and broadens children's interests. However, in today’s information-intensive world people tend to be primarily interested in products and advertisements around them. I am on staff at the Graduate School of Chemical Engineering, but the students I teach seem to want to find jobs at companies that manufacture the final product they see around them—a sentiment shared by their parents. There are many B-to-B companies in areas such as materials and intermediate products manufacturing where students who have studied materials science can exercise their capabilities, but it can be difficult to understand what such companies do.
I see the Tohoku University Science Campus project as important for children because it helps communicate the importance of B-to-B companies to parents who participate with their children. This year’s project once again confirmed this belief. It is my hope that DIC will continue to implement educational initiatives that encourage children’s interest in science and contribute to the future of science and technology in Japan by ensuring the well-balanced allocation of human resources.
Director, Center for Creative Engineering; Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University Hideyuki Aoki
Initiatives Led by the Central Research Laboratories
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 January 2018, students from Chiba Prefectural Sakura High School—a Super Science High School*—were given the opportunity to take part in a visiting lab lesson conducted by staff of the Central Research Laboratories on the theme of the role of intellectual property rights in corporate management. In August 2018, an experiment in pigment synthesis using Spirulina was conducted as part of a visiting lab lesson for primary school children in Chiba Prefecture as part of the Chiba Prefectural Education Agency’s Dream Challenge Hands-On School. In addition to experiments, time was allocated for the young employees who served as instructors to talk about how they became interested in science and the challenges and rewards of research. At the same time as it helps children enjoy science, this program thus enables young employees to contribute to career education.
- 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 the Ministry’s official guidelines with the aim of fostering the next generation of talented engineers and scientists.
Initiatives Led by the Central Research Laboratories
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.
Initiatives at the Kashima Plant
In December 2018, the Kashima Plant collaborated with four companies based in the Kashima area of Ibaraki Prefecture to conduct a lab lesson at Seishin Gakuen High School, a Super Science High School. Titled “Learning about the colors around us,” the lab lesson explained, among others, the properties of color and light, products that capitalize on those properties, color names, primary colors and the synthesis of pigments. The lab lesson also included an experiment involving the extraction of a natural blue colorant from Spirulina. A total of 58 third-year junior high school students participated, asking enthusiastic color-related questions, including about how individual colors appear. The Kashima Plant will continue to explore ways to work with other nearby companies to conduct lab lessons in the future with the goal of communicating the fascination and appeal of science to junior and senior high school students with the hope that more may consider a future in science.
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 2019, the museum is celebrating its 30th anniversary. As of December 2018, cumulative visitors to the museum had surpassed 2.45 million. DIC views operation of the museum, which assumed its current name in 2011, as a social contribution initiative that the DIC Group is uniquely positioned to undertake as an organization intrinsically involved in color.
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-20 century American art, including Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly and Frank Stella. In addition to a 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 afternoon beginning at 2:00 pm.
Another appealing aspect of the museum is a 10-hectare garden alive with seasonal flowers and foliage that has been open to the public since the museum’s establishment. A total of 250 cherry trees cherry trees—10 varieties in total—blossom every spring, while in summer wildflowers of all colors cover the site. 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 site.
In a move aimed at promoting relations with the local community and fostering local cultural activities, the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art 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 museum was also the first 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 160 schools and more than 10,000 children have taken part in the museum’s educational programs, which are offered to entire classes led by elementary or junior high school teachers. This program has been certified every year since its establishment by the Association for Corporate Support for Arts under its This is MECENAT program.
Sustainability Initiatives at Siam Chemical Industry
In fiscal year 2018, DIC Group company Siam Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., was once again presented with a CSR-DIW Award by the Thai Ministry of Industry, the seventh 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 (sustainability) 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 program in fiscal year 2018 included cosponsoring a volunteer initiative in Samut Sakhon Province to paint the exterior and replace the roof and toilets of a of a school for the children of migrant laborers from Myanmar that is located within a Buddhist temple. The initiative was organized under the auspices of Tokon International, an organization of painters that does volunteer work around the world. Siam Chemical Industry’s support reflected its endorsement of the organization’s desire to support the creation of a positive educational environment for the school’s pupils. Approximately 40 employees and family members took part and also organized a Japanese festival that included a rice cake-making event. The children responded enthusiastically to the festival and participating employees praised the initiative, with one commenting that taking part had given them a renewed sense of pride in their company.
Other sustainability initiatives by Siam Chemical Industry in fiscal year 2018 included the installation of new solar panels. As a result, solar power accounted for 14% of the electric power used by the company, lowering its annual CO2 emissions by 500 metric tonnes. Siam Chemical Industry will continue to promote forward-looking efforts with the aim of contributing to the realization of a sustainable society.
Matching Gift Program
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 2018 drive and matching gift program were donated to 21 children’s homes and facilities providing support for disabled individuals.
Capitalizing on Business Opportunities Yielded by Recycling Initiatives
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.
- Material recycling involves the recycling of material from an original application but in a different form.
- Operated 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
Based on the management vision: “Color & Comfort by Chemistry,” Ethe 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
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
Spirulina: Promoting Harmony With Society
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
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.
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
Proactively Supporting the Next Generation Development from Working Experience for Junior High School Students to Training Cooperation for Teachers
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）are highly regarded by the local communities.
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
Support for Persons with Intellectual Handicaps
“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 currently donates funds to assist reconstruction in areas devastated by the April 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake though participation in the IPPO IPPO NIPPON project, an initiative organized for this purpose Earthquake by Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives).
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
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.
- Passing on technique through K-SHOW: passing on techniques through training, using video to explain.
Regional Clean-Up Activities and Others
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.