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Coexisting with Society

As part of the local community, the Kobe Steel Group undertakes a wide range of social contribution activities at each of our business locations. As a good corporate citizen we believe in fulfilling our responsibilities to society. That belief is shared by the employee at every location in the Group.

In this section, we invite you to learn more about the Kobe Steel Group's activities for coexisting with society including our educational support for future generations, community interaction, cleanup activities, and environmental conservation activities in cooperation with the community.

Supporting Future Generations

Since fiscal 2006 we have engaged in ongoing activities aimed at supporting the growth and development of children who bear the future.

Kobelco Community Contribution Fund 2013

Every Year We Expand Activities to Support Local Children

Kobe Steel Established the Kobelco Community Contribution Fund on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. Since fiscal 2006, the Fund has supported activities for children in the community conducted by many facilities and organizations in municipalities where the Kobe Steel Group has manufacturing operations and research laboratories. In fiscal 2013, the number of target communities was expanded with the addition of two Group companies.

Aluminum cart created by Kobe Steel (Kasumigaura)

Aluminum cart created by Kobe Steel (Kasumigaura)

Using planters to learn about greenification, and the environment (Moka)

Using planters to learn about greenification, and the environment (Moka)

Crossing guard equipment to help keep children safe (Higashihiroshima)

Crossing guard equipment to help keep children safe (Higashihiroshima)

Astronomy telescopes and tablets for academic use (Fujisawa)

Astronomy telescopes and tablets for academic use (Fujisawa)

Soft fabric soccer balls and other playground equipment (Fukuchiyama)

Soft fabric soccer balls and other playground equipment (Fukuchiyama)

Projects Supported by the KOBELCO Community Contribution Fund in Fiscal 2013

Location

Recipient

Type of Support

Kobe Head Office (Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture)

Children's club

Funding for popcorn and snowcone makers

Maternal and child living support facility

Funding for computers, digital cameras and folding chairs

Kobe Corporate Research Laboratories (Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture)

Youth Development Association

Funding for a youth festival

Kobe Works (Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture)

Community exchange organization

Funding for beetle larvae, rearing boxes, woodcraft materials, etc.

Nature preservation organization

Funding for picture show materials, printing costs, lamination, etc.

Kakogawa Works (Kakogawa, Hyogo Prefecture)

Childcare support groups

Funding for field days, fixtures, etc.

Volunteer organization

Funding to purchase equipment for activities

Softball association

Funding to purchase equipment for activities and administration planning assistance

Takasago Works (Takasago, Hyogo Prefecture)

Organization running after-school daycare facilities

Funding to purchase equipment for after-school daycare facilities and funding for events

Harima Plant (Harima, Hyogo Prefecture)

Organization supporting social interaction for children with special needs

Funding for equipment used during events

Volunteer organization

Funding to purchase supplies for learning about the environment

Fujisawa Plant (Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture)

Young Astronauts Club

Funding for astronomy equipment

Fukuchiyama Plant (Fukuchiyama, Kyoto Prefecture)

Kindergartens

Funding for kid-friendly soccer balls, blocks, etc.

Ibaraki Plant (Ibaraki, Osaka Prefecture)

Kindergartens

Funding for tricycles, blocks, etc.

Saijo Plant (Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture)

Community associations

Funding for crossing guard signs, armbands, hats, etc.

Moka Plant (Moka, Tochigi Prefecture)

Elementary and middle schools

Funding for greenification and environmental education equipment

Daian Plant (Inabe, Mie Prefecture)

Childcare support centers

Funding to purchase toys and equipment

Chofu Works (Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture)

Child day service centers

Funding for items to support child development

Daycare centers

Funding to purchase toys and equipment

Shinko-North Co., Ltd. (Kasumigaura, Ibaraki Prefecture)

High schools

Funding for aluminum carts

Shinko Engineering Co., Ltd. (Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture)

Kindergartens and daycare centers

Funding for large playground equipment

*Shinko Kenzai, Ltd. (Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture)

Daycare centers

Funding for wooden toys

Kobelco Cranes Co., Ltd. (Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture)

Elementary schools

Funding to purchase frame tents for sports festivals and other events

Shinko Industrial Co., Ltd. (Kurayoshi, Tottori Prefecture)

Kindergartens/daycare centers

Funding to purchase educational toys and play equipment

*Japan Superconductor Technology, Inc. (Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture)

Kitakyushu City Library

Funding for scientific books

The yellow highlighted rows are Group companies.

*Group companies newly participating in fiscal 2013

Community Contributions and Community Interaction

As responsible members of the local community, we engage in a variety of activities that contribute to the community and participate in community events at each of our business locations.

Nadahama Science Square, Kobe Works (Hyogo Prefecture)

10th Anniversary of Nadahama Science Square

Elementary school students listening to an explanation before touring the works

Elementary school students
listening to an explanation before
touring the works

In April 2014, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of Nadahama Science Square, a community exchange facility located next to the Kobe Works.

Every year approximately 200 schools, mostly elementary, hold field trips at Nadahama Science Square. Of those schools, approximately 150 also tour the adjacent steelworks. This first-hand glimpse at industrial manufacturing helps the students become more knowledgeable and insightful.

Every day, Nadama Science Square bustles with excited, curious children. In fiscal 2014 the facility is expected to welcome its 600,000th visitor.

Kakogawa Works (Hyogo Prefecture)

23rd Shinko Kakogawa Festival

Kicking off the fun

Kicking off the fun

A familiar local practice, the Shinko Kakogawa Festival was held on October 27, 2013. There were worries that a typhoon that was active in the area up until the previous day would deter visitors. However, on the day of the event the festival was blessed with the best weather it had seen in eight years. The festival was a huge success, with approximately 80,000 people attending.

Children at the festival were delighted when popular "Super Sentai" TV series characters made an appearance on the main stage. There were many other attractions as well, making for a fun-filled day.

Fujisawa Plant (Kanagawa Prefecture)

The Shinko Festival

The festival has become a Fujisawa summer tradition

The festival has become a Fujisawa
summer tradition

This year's Shinko Festival was held in August 2013, as an opportunity for local residents, employees and their families to interact.

The festival has been held since 1973, as a way to express our gratitude to neighborhood associations and promote employee relations.

This year marked the 41st anniversary of the festival. Highlights included street performances and samba shows, both favorites among children. Approximately 1,000 people attended.

Fujisawa Plant (Kanagawa Prefecture)

41st Annual Kabuto-Matsu and Yatsushima Memorial Service

Memorial service

Memorial service

The Kabuto-Matsu (or "Helmet Pine Tree") located on Fujisawa Plant grounds is an important relic from the Kamakura period. The tree's name derives from a samurai who, on returning from the Gosannen War, commemorated his side's victory by burying his helmet at the foot of the tree. The Yatsushima burial mound, where those who fell in the attack on Kamakura are buried, is also located here. The Kabuto-Matsu and Yatsushima Memorial Service has been held for 41 years, since 1973.

The Kabuto-Matsu (or "Helmet Pine Tree") located on Fujisawa Plant grounds is an important relic from the Kamakura period. The tree's The memorial service has become a familiar local custom. The service held on October 18, 2013 was officiated by the head priest from a local temple, and local residents and employees burned incense. Sekihan (red bean rice) and small gifts were offered to the worshippers. Snacks and juice were available for the children.

 

Fukuchiyama Plant (Kyoto Prefecture)

Planting Activities Held by the Fukuchiyama City Public Works Section

Planting seedlings

Planting seedlings

In November 2013 employee volunteers participated in planting activities held by the Fukuchiyama City Public Works Section. The employees planted creeping phlox plants. Held since 2012, the planting activities were covered in their first year as one of the top ten Fukuchiyama news stories.

Planting is carried out near the entrance to Osadano Industrial Park along the National Route 9 bypass, where the phlox can delight the eyes of passers-by in spring as they commute to and from work. A 10,000m2 area is scheduled to be planted over a five year period beginning from fiscal 2012.

Chofu Works (Yamaguchi Prefecture)

Chofu Festival 2013 Attended by Approximately 4,200 people

Performance by Toyora High School brass band

Performance by Toyora High School
brass band

Tug of war

Tug of war

Held since 2000 at the Chofu Works, the Chofu Festival has become a fixture in the local community. Chofu Festival 2013, held on October 20, 2013, was attended by approximately 4,200 people, including Chofu Works alumni and members of the community.

The festival was very lively, with different departments competing against each other in the yearly basket and tug-of-war games, a tuna filleting demonstration, Heike taiko drumming, and performances by a local high school brass band.

Shinko Aluminum Wire Co., Ltd. (Osaka Prefecture)

Main Gate Traffic Safety Guidance in Spring and Fall

Employees speaking with local elementary school students

Employees speaking with local
elementary school students

For over twenty years Shinko Aluminum Wire Co., Ltd. has been holding safety guidance at their main gate for pedestrians as well people entering and exiting. The guidance is held at morning and lunchtime for one week each in April and September. Because we rely on the understanding and cooperation of the local community when operating trucks in and out of the entrance, safety guidance is held to coincide with national traffic safety weeks, as a way of giving back to the community.

The April guidance is particularly appreciated by local elementary schools and parents, as it gives the employees an opportunity to evaluate newly enrolled students for traffic safety awareness and impart proper basics.

Shinko Real Estate Co., Ltd. (Hyogo Prefecture)

"Shaping the Future of HAT Kobe" Hands-on Creative Workshop

Building the future

Building the future

Shinko Real Estate Co., Ltd. held "Shaping the Future of HAT Kobe," a hands-on creative workshop to celebrate the 15th anniversaries of the creation of the HAT-Kobe district and Nagisa Elementary School.

The HAT-Kobe district was first established in eastern Kobe as a symbol of the city's recovery from the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake in 1995. 2013 marked the district's 15th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, Shinko Real Estate Co., Ltd. held a four-day hands-on creative workshop, taught by artist Kyoji Takubo, for 174 sixth graders from Nagisa Elementary School. The children's finished work, a massive 9m x 13.5m diorama, was displayed at Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art in December.

Shinko Care Life, Co. Ltd. (Hyogo Prefecture)

Summer Evening Parties to Interact with Local Community

Interacting with the local community

Interacting with the local community

Mikoshi hand-made by employees

Mikoshi hand-made by employees

Every year in August Shinko Care Life holds retirement home evening parties to promote understanding of paid nursing homes and encourage friendship with the local community.

Stages at each home were decorated with paper lanterns, and festival stalls were set up. Home residents, members of the community, employees and their families were able to interact and form friendships. The Domani Kobe home party has been held for 17 years running, longer than at any of the other homes. The Domani Kobe party, in particular, has become an important fixture of the local community.

Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (Hiroshima Prefecture)

Support for the 10th Middle School Rescue Robot Contest

Robotics competition

Robotics competition

Robot made by middle school students

Robot made by middle school
students

On February 16, 2014, the Kobelco Construction Machinery Cup 10th Middle School Rescue Robot Contest was held by Hiroshima University at the Kobelco Construction Machinery Itsukaichi Plant. 61 students in 14 teams from 11 Hiroshima Prefecture middle schools participated.

The contest focuses on rescue work for large-scale urban disasters, and aims to deepen understanding of the relationship between robotics and humans. Rescue robots created by the teams go through rescue drills, and are judged in terms of technical ability, safety of rescue, and innovation. This year's Rescue Grand Prize went to the RAD team from Eisugakkan Junior High School.

Local Cleanup Activities

The Kobe Steel Group considers cleanup activities an important part of efforts to contribute to the local community. Cleanup activities cover areas ranging from around offices and plants to surrounding neighborhoods and natural environments.

Kobe Head Office (Hyogo Prefecture)

Cleanup Activities to Beautify HAT Kobe District

Cleanup in front of head office

Cleanup in front of head office

Beautifying the streets we walk on

Beautifying the streets we walk on

The Kobe Head Office relocated to the HAT Kobe district of coastal Kobe in March 2013. Afterwards, once per week since July 2013, Group employee volunteers (largely stationed in the office itself) have carried out cleanup activities in the vicinity.

Beautification efforts focus on commuter roads stretching from Iwaya and Nada stations to the head office. The employees are encouraged by the thanks they receive from local residents and station employees.

Fujisawa Plant (Kanagawa Prefecture)

Cleanup Activities Around Plant

Keeping nearby roads clean

Keeping nearby roads clean

Cleanup of roads around the Fujisawa Plant is carried out seven times per year by employee volunteers. The cleanups are a way of coexisting with the local community. Inspired by acquisition of ISO 14001 certification, the activities have been carried out for six years, since 2008.

The activities have garnered praise from local neighborhood associations. Participants say that the thanks they receive help inspire them to continue with the activity, and that participating has made them more conscious of littering.

Moka Plant (Tochigi Prefecture)

Local Environmental Conservation through Cleanup of Rivers

Cleanup activities around Okubo River

Cleanup activities around Okubo
River

The Moka Plant has been carrying out cleanup activities at Kinugawa River since 1998. As a member of the Moka Environmental Partnership Council, the plant also began cleanup activities at Okubo River in 2008. Over 100 employees and family members participate in activities at each of these locations once per year. Their efforts contribute substantially to local environmental maintenance.

In November 2002 cleanup activities at Kinugawa River received a merit award from the director of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's Shimodate Construction Office.

Sanwa Tekko Co., Ltd. (Aichi Prefecture)

Zero Trash Campaign Around Plant

Aiming for zero trash!

Aiming for zero trash!

Sanwa Tekko Co., Ltd. carries out cleanup activities once per month for the roads and gutters around the Inuyama Plant. Around five to six employees from different departments and related companies participate each time. The activity has been held for four years.

The cleanup is appreciated by local residents, as a large amount of litter is thrown from passing cars onto the sidewalks, vegetation and gutters that line the prefectural roads.

Shinko Engineering Co., Ltd. (Gifu Prefecture)

Participated in Seino Region Operation Clean Rivers

Cleanup along river terrace

Cleanup along river terrace

Shinko Engineering Co., Ltd. participated in the Operation Clean Rivers program sponsored by the Seino General Contractors Association of Gifu Prefecture, collecting trash along the banks of the Ibigawa River, which is located near the company. The program involves local volunteer cleanup activities held once per year. Shinko Engineering began participating in 2010. Currently, over 40 employee volunteers participate.

The Operation Clean Rivers program receives cooperation from local business and citizens alike, and is one method by which Shinko Engineering Co., Ltd. contributes as a member of the local community.

Kobelco Logistics, Ltd. (Hyogo Prefecture)

Walkway and Green Belt Cleanup Activities

Cleanup activities held once per week.

Cleanup activities held once per
week.

Once per week about 10 volunteers from the Amagasaki Operations Office at the Kansai Logistics Center of Kobelco Logistics, Ltd. gather to carry out cleanup activities at the walkways and green belts around the company. The activity has been in place since 2008.

Cleanup activities have greatly improved the appearance of the area, which was often impaired by discarded cigarette butts and litter thrown from cars.

Kobelco Systems Corporation and Shinko Real Estate Co., Ltd. (Hyogo Prefecture)

Suma Beach Cleanup Operation

Employees and family members participating in Suga Beach cleanup

Employees and family members
participating in Suga Beach cleanup

Even small trash is carefully collected

Even small trash is carefully collected

The Kansai Clean-Up Office holds a cleanup program at Suma Beach every year entitled "International Beach Cleanup in Suma." Participants not only collect trash, they also sort garbage to reduce national and local waste levels and assess the situation of driftwood and other garbage that comes in from the ocean. Employee volunteers and family members from Kobelco Systems Corporation and Shinko Real Estate Co., Ltd. also participate, helping to keep Suga Beach clean.

With thousands of people participating at once, driftwood and garbage quickly disappear. Participants have said that in addition to collecting trash, the activity encourages them to think of ways to stop the trash from accumulating in the first place.

Shinko Metal Products Co., Ltd. (Fukuoka Prefecture)

Cleanup Around Plant for Safety and Environment Day

Cleanup around plant

Cleanup around plant

The first operating day of every month at the Shinko Metal Products plant is Safety and Environment Day. On these days, approximately 30 employees, including directors and managers, pick up trash and pull weeds along the roads around the plant.

This measure has become a fixture at the plant and has been in place for 16 years, since 1998.

Coexisting and Cooperating with Society through Environmental Contributions

In respect to environmental concerns, the Kobe Steel Group also strives to work in cooperation and harmony with society.

Beginning in fiscal 2013 we implemented a Groupwide program known as the KOBELCO Green Project that comprises a variety of environmental activities.

The Group also carries out forest development activities to help preserve biodiversity and environmental education for the next generation of children.

KOBELCO GREEN Project

Forest Development

Since the autumn of 2011, the Kobe Steel Group has been caring for the forests in two locations within Hyogo Prefecture. KOBELCO Green Forest is a wild countryside forest (approx. 2ha) located within Greenpia Miki (in Miki City). The Kobe Steel Group partners with the Kobe Steel labor union to care for this forest.

Additional, the 0.6ha area peak of Aburakobushi in the Rokko Mountain range (Nada district, Kobe City) is known as ECOWAY Green Forest, and forest maintenance is carried out there twice per year in spring and autumn. To date, over 1,000 Group employees have participated in total. The twice yearly maintenance is steadily making the forest brighter and more beautiful.

The Ibaraki Plant participates in Osaka Prefecture's Adopt-a-Forest program, which allies private businesses and forest owners for the purpose of forest development, by carrying our agricultural and countryside forest conservation activities in the city's Zenihara district. On March 20, 2014, to commence activities, a signing ceremony was carried out at the Osaka Prefecture government offices between Osaka Prefecture, Ibaraki City, Zenihara community associations, the Kobe Steel Labor Union, plant members and other related groups. This is the first conservation program carried out within the prefecture that simultaneously addresses both agricultural and forest conservation.

Children also participated in activities

Children also participated in activities

A brighter forest after upkeep

A brighter forest after upkeep

Ibaraki City Zenihara Forest Conservation Signing Ceremony

Ibaraki City Zenihara Forest Conservation Signing Ceremony

Environmental Education Outreach to Children's Centers

A model railway race using hand-cranked generators

A model railway race using
hand-cranked generators

Child absorbed in watching strange slime moved by magnets

Child absorbed in watching strange
slime moved by magnets

As part of local environmental contributions, and to ensure that the next generation of children understand the importance of the environment, Kobe Steel participates in planning for the Kobe Children's Eco Challenge 21 Club, sponsored by Kobe City. The purpose of this organization is to let children, who carry the future on their shoulders, have fun, move and play as they learn about the environment. As part of the club, since fiscal 2011 Kobe Steel has been engaged in environmental education outreach to children's centers.

Through magic shows, guessing games, eco card games and other fun activities, the outreach program teaches children about the importance of the environment and electricity and the convenience of iron and other metals in our lives. In fiscal 2013 the program was carried out at four locations: Ninomiya Children's Center (Chuo Ward), Yukinogosho Children's Center (Hyogo Ward), Higashisuma Children's Center (Suma Ward) and Izumidai Children's Center (Kita Ward), with approximately 140 children participating.

Learning About Ecology While Playing and Having Fun

Matsumi Mori, Ninomiya Children's Center deputy director

Matsumi Mori
Ninomiya Children's Center
deputy director

When most children hear the word "ecology," I don't think they can really envision what it means. So I'm very grateful for an activity that lets children play and have fun while experimenting with creating electricity – for instance by turning on lights or running model railways with electricity created by their own hands.

The program included lots of other experiments as well as fun activities such as card games. Usually so boisterous, the children were also able to listen quietly and stay interested. They enjoyed themselves for hours on end and never grew bored. I hope this opportunity helps the children to think more about conserving electricity.