Social Contribution Activities (Special topics before 2020)
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 gave presentations on joint research on the color appearance of red spot colors used in printed warnings and other important information on packaging 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 in 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. Also in fiscal year 2018, DIC took part in a project to revise the JIS standard for safety colors (JIS Z 9103) with the goal of choosing colors that can be distinguished by people with diverse color vision. As a member of the original drafting committee, DIC was involved in setting recommended CMYK values for process printing, which had not previously been provided, and continues to cooperate in initiatives aimed at promoting awareness.
Since fiscal year 2019, DIC has participated as an expert in the field of color in the verification of safety-related color schemes for applications such as disaster prevention information. Recently, the Company took part in verification for the setting of RGB values for screen displays for a color scheme (five colors) developed to convey heavy rain warning levels in an easyto- understand manner and announced in May 2020 by Japan’s Cabinet Office. In the formulation of CMYK values for the same color scheme, which were announced in March 2021, DIC Graphics cooperated not only by verifying candidate colors but also by printing a color chart for use in the verification process.
Used extensively in signage and infrastructure, CUD is playing an increasingly important role in everyday life. Its broader application is also expected to enhance safety and convenience.
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 DIC Group seeks to spark children’s interest in
science and encourage them to realize the close relationship between science and their everyday lives.
Designed with the aim of making science fun for children and helping them understand how science benefits society, the lab entails experiments in synthesizing pigments and planographic printing, that is, printing from a flat surface. Since launching this initiative in 2010, the two companies have provided classes at 42 elementary schools for approximately 3,300 sixth graders.
In fiscal years 2018 and 2019, the Group also conducted visiting science labs for elementary school children as part of the Tohoku University Graduate School of Engineering’s Science Campus project. The labs were well received by both participating children and their parents.
In fiscal year 2020, the DIC Group made the decision to postpone visiting science labs to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Group looks forward to restarting this initiative once the pandemic has subsided.
Initiatives Led by the Central Research Laboratories
DIC’s Central Research Laboratories supports education by offering a variety of programs for local high schools that leverage DIC’s unique capabilities,
including lectures for Seishin Gakuen High School in Ibaraki Prefecture, Chiba Prefectural Sakura High School and Chiba Prefectural Funabashi High
School, all of which have earned Super Science High School* designation, as well as fashion design workshops for students from Chiba Prefectural Sakura
High School. In fiscal year 2020, this program was paused as a consequence of COVID-19. The Central Research Laboratories also provides assistance to
Super Science High School–designated schools through participation by executive-level employees in the steering committees of Chiba Prefectural Sakura
High School and Chiba Prefectural Funabashi High School.
In a new initiative in fiscal year 2020, the Central Research Laboratories also extended support for the 14th Annual Meeting on Scientific Research by High School Students, which is sponsored by Chiba University’s Section of Collaboration with High Schools. This event, which features research presentations by high school students from across the country, was originally scheduled to be held at Chiba University in September 2020, but to avoid the risk of spreading COVID-19 the decision was made to delay it until December and move it online. Four mid-tier researchers from the Central Research Laboratories participated, listening to presentations, taking part in question and answer sessions, and otherwise providing support for the 674 high school students seeking a career in the sciences who took part and gave presentations.
- “Super Science High School” is a designation awarded by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to 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 Kashima Plant
The Kashima Plant, in Ibaraki Prefecture, has accepted trainees in cooperation with Ibaraki Hasaki High School’s internship program— dubbed the Hako Dual System—since 2008. In fiscal year 2020, three students from the school’s industrial chemistry and information science programs participated in lectures on product knowledge, as well as on safety and compliance, and in practical training at the plant, from October through December.
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 2020, the museum celebrated its 30th
anniversary. The museum’s extensive collection spans numerous genres, encompassing an oil portrait by Rembrandt, a rarity in Japan, as
well as works by 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 a standing exhibit from its permanent collection, the museum stages special exhibitions several times a year.
Another appealing aspect of the museum 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. A total of 250 cherry trees—10 varieties in total—blossom every spring while in summer wildflowers of all colors bloom profusely. In fiscal year 2020, the museum embarked on a three-year plan to plant 300 broadleaf trees in a corner of the site originally occupied by a cedar forest, seeing the planting and proper maintenance of new thickets to ensure they are comfortable for humans as an effective way to protect biodiversity.
In fiscal year 2020, the museum was forced to close temporarily and postpone special exhibitions planned for its 30th anniversary. Having taken extensive steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection and introduced a web-based reservation-only system, the museum was able to reopen safely in June 2020.
In fiscal year 2021, the museum will be closed until July for repairs to the entrance hall and the replacement of site signage, although the garden remains open to the public. During this period, the museum will prepare to restart guided tours, as well as to reopen the annex gallery and revive educational support initiatives and online events, all of which have been paused due to COVID-19. Through these and other efforts, the museum will work to ensure a beautiful, safe environment that ensures safety and peace of mind for visitors.
Looking ahead, the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art will continue to plan and stage exhibitions centered around works from its collection. The museum will promote social contribution activities with a view to encouraging communication with the community.
Social Contribution Initiatives by Overseas Group Companies
Supporting Humanitarian Efforts for Ukraine
In fiscal year 2021, DIC donated approximately US$300,000 to help provide humanitarian assistance for refugees from the current crisis in Ukraine. In addition to a donation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)—the UN Refugee Agency—the Company set up a joint fund with Sun Chemical, with both companies contributing approximately €100,000. This fund forwards donations to various nonprofit organizations for the provision of assistance and relief, including housing and gifts for children, to employees of the DIC Group and customer companies who have fled to Poland.
DIC Health Packs Preparation Day Events Held Across Southeast Asia
As a component of a CSR project in Southeast Asia, DIC Group companies in the region livestreamed simultaneous events for employees to prepare DIC Health Packs, kits containing a variety of COVID-19 protective items, including DIC Spirulina (a health food), hand sanitizer and masks bearing the DIC logo. This initiative, in which employees acted as one to help combat the pandemic, perfectly embodied the “One DIC” concept, uniting people from across the region and instilling a sense of solidarity in the face of this challenging crisis. The DIC Health Packs were donated to senior care facilities and charitable organizations. DIC looks forward to this experience motivating more employees to engage further in social contribution activities.
Matching Gift Program
DIC has a matching gift program in Japan whereby it matches the total amount collected through an annual year-end fundraising drive spearheaded by its employees’ union. Funds raised through the 2020 drive and matching gift program were donated to 19 children’s homes and facilities providing support for disabled individuals.
Contributing to Efforts to Address COVID-19
In light of a critical shortage of masks at healthcare facilities in Japan as a result of the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Japan, DIC contributed 10,000 high-performance masks from its stockpile to such facilities, comprising 5,000 N95 masks, which were donated through the Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, which distributed the masks to prefectures, and 5,000 ostrich antibody masks*, which were donated to healthcare facilities suffering particularly desperate shortages. DIC also provided approximately 7,000 bottles of Linagreen® 21 Extract K1, a nutritional drink manufactured by a DIC Group company, to support the health of frontline medical professionals working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and treat patients with the disease. This easy-to-consume drink is made by combining Spirulina extract, which is derived from the edible blue-green algae using proprietary technology, with propolis, ginseng and echinacea extract, and fortifying the mixture with water-soluble vitamins. To curtail the transmission of COVID-19, DIC leveraged proprietary DIC Group technologies to manufacture face shields, 1,000 of which it supplied to healthcare facilities in Chiba, Saitama, Ibaraki and Osaka prefectures, where it has production facilities. Going forward, DIC will continue to provide support for efforts to contain COVID-19 as well as its regular social contribution initiatives with the goal of ensuring that DIC remains a company that is loved and respected worldwide.
- Ostrich antibody masks are nonwoven masks that use filters that have been impregnated with antibodies from ostriches, which are highly resistant to viral infections. The ostrich antibodies bind to and neutralize viruses that come into contact with the masks, as a result of which they are significantly more effective than ordinary masks in protecting wearers against viruses.
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.