community Social Contribution
KOKUYO strives to be a trusted corporate citizen on both regional and national levels via proactive interaction and planning with regional communities, while respecting regional culture and customs and encouraging their advancement.
Initiatives in 2022
Updated shareholder benefit program
We provide a shareholder benefit program to give shareholders a better understanding of our businesses and of the products and services we deliver. In December 2022, we added an option to make a charitable donation so that shareholders can support our efforts to address material issues. Of the eligible shareholders, 4.4% have chosen the donation option. This is considerably more than our first-year target of 3%, which is the average among companies with a donation option.
Comments from staff: Shinichiro Miura, head of IR office
Over the years, we’ve gift packs to shareholders so that they can get a better idea of our products. More recently, we’ve pivoted to a sustainability strategy to aid our sustainable corporate development. As part of this, we now want shareholders to engage with us in tackling the material issues. That’s why we, with the help of 20% Challenge members, introduced the charitable giving option.
Comments from staff: Konami Nishibayashi, an employee engaging in the 20% Challenge
KOKUYO runs the 20% Challenge, an internal moonlighting program. Through this program, I applied to do moonlighting at the IR office, as I wanted to learn skills for communicating with shareholders and other stakeholders. I had a great time working on the shareholder benefit program. It was exciting and I learned a great deal. I’ll use the experience to spread the word about how KOKUYO is addressing the material issues.
Campus Art Awards 2022: A Painting Competition for Junior High and High School Students
We hold the Campus Art Awards in partnership with The Yomiuri Chukosei Shimbun. Campus Art Awards is a drawing competition for students at junior high school and high school. The award program began in 2015, and 2,039 works were showcased this year. The theme for 2021 was titled “my sweet hometown.” This theme focused on the landscapes, customs, traditions, events, cuisine, confectionary, and other motifs associated with the students’ hometowns. The purpose was to give students an opportunity to take an interest in their hometown, discover its charms, and express them. For the top individual prize, the winner received 50 Campus notebooks featuring the person’s winning picture. The school of the winner received 1,000 of the notebooks featuring the winning picture.
Michinoku Future Fund: A scholarship for students left orphaned by the 2011 disaster
Since the year after the Tohoku disaster of March 11, 2011, we have donated to Michinoku Future Fund*, a scholarship program for students who lost their parents in the disaster. In 2022, the foundation awarded its 11th annual set of scholarship. Scholarships were awarded to 70 students, securing them a place in a higher or further education institution, where they can start their journey towards a bright career. In previous years, supporters, students, graduates, and foundation staff would gather at a ceremony held in March for the benefit of the recipients of the scholarships as well as for scholarship students who were about to graduate. However, because of Covid concerns, the ceremony was restricted to students and foundation staff. Unfortunately, that meant we were unable to hear from the recipients directly. Nevertheless, we remain as committed as ever to supporting the good work of the foundation.
Founded by Rohto Pharmaceutical, Calbee, and Kagome, Michinoku Future Fund provides higher or further education scholarships to students who lost their parents in the March 2011 disaster, on the belief that future generations are the foundation for the recovery. There have been 1,044 scholarship recipients since the foundation of the fund. Over 760 students have already finished their schooling and are working in their respective fields.
CSR in China: Chasing Big Dreams with Small Notebooks
We want to contribute to a self-directed, collaborative society, in which everyone thrives. In 2014, we launched a community outreach program called Chasing Big Dreams with Small Notebook. This year marked the seventh year of the program, following a three-year suspension amid Covid concerns. Volunteers from KOKUYO’s workforce visit an elementary school in Hunan, China. They conduct a lesson and organize games with the children to forge ties with the community. The school receives a donation from KOKUYO and the children receive KOKUYO notebooks.
For this year, we had a live linkup. For employees in China unable to visit the school in person, the live session made them feel like they were there. The event brought home the importance of community outreach.