Dialogue with Stakeholders
Employees, Local Communities

Factory Dialogue in Ayabe

CSR Factory Dialogue in Ayabe

Expectations for community engagement by the Sumitomo Riko Group
Considering together the future of Ayabe as a community people want to call home permanently

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The Sumitomo Riko Group actively engages in CSR activities in order to remain a corporate citizen trusted and needed by society now and far into the future. We aim to further deepen relationships with residents of our host communities by promoting communication through direct dialogues with these important stakeholders. To date, we have held factory dialogues to exchange ideas and views with local people at five sites. Most recently, we held CSR Factory Dialogue in Ayabe in Ayabe City, Kyoto Prefecture, where SumiRiko Hosetex, Ltd. (now Sumitomo Riko Hosetex, Ltd. (SRK-HT)), the Group's main production site for high-pressure hoses and transportation hoses, is based.

Participants

Facilitator

  • Mr. Katsuo TakamotoSteering Committee Chairman, Ayabe Volunteer Center

Stakeholders

  • Mr. Satoru IsekiPresident and Representative Director, FM Ayabe Co., Ltd.
  • Mr. Isao KawabataChairman, Ayabe City Federation of Neighborhood Associations
  • Ms. Toshiko KuwaiRepresentative, Ayabe Healthy Walk Club
  • Mr. Takeshi SasaeSection Chief, Small and Medium Enterprise Consultation Section, Ayabe Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Steering Committee Member, Ayabe Volunteer Center
  • Mr. Shinobu TakasakiPresident and Representative Director, Ayabe Shiminshimbunsha
  • Mr. Zenya YamazakiMayor, Ayabe City
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The Factory Dialogue was undertaken to find out how SRK-HT could more effectively cultivate relationships with people in the local community, fulfill its social responsibility, and pursue collaboration to resolve social issues. We asked the dialogue participants listed above to express their views on SRK-HT's initiatives, including their evaluation and expectations, from their perspectives.
Representative Director and Executive Vice President Ozaki, Director and Managing Executive Officer Matsuoka, and Director and Managing Executive Officer Naito represented Sumitomo Riko, and Director Hayase, Director Sakai, and Human Resources and General Affairs Department General Manager Kamimura represented SRK-HT.

In their own words

The role in community development and vitalization expected of SRK-HT

  • Although CSR takes many forms, the creation of employment opportunities in an area experiencing a trend of population and birthrate decline and population aging is the best way to contribute to vitalization of the local economy and community development.
  • Ayabe City aims to provide wide-ranging assistance to people with disabilities and has newly enacted the Ordinance on Establishment of Sign Language and Promotion of Diverse Means of Communication. I'm truly grateful that SRK-HT has provided realistic, attentive assistance, such as provision of a place for selling bread made by a facility for hearing impaired people, in advance of the ordinance.
  • Although ties between the citizens of Ayabe and companies tend to be weak, both the community and SRK-HT will benefit if this dialogue serves as a catalyst for community-based CSR activities that deepen understanding of SRK-HT and motivate local young people to work for the company.
  • The number of people moving to Ayabe from other areas, attracted by the city's rich natural environment, is increasing. I'd like SRK-HT to turn its attention to environment-related CSR activities, such as a model forest project.
  • I would like to see SRK-HT cooperate in further raising the brand power of the Monozukuri Town Ayabe concept by continuing to cooperate in events and projects related to community development, such as the Industry Festival and Minatsuki Festival, and actively hosting plant tours for local elementary school students or people from other areas.
  • I think that if SRK-HT cooperated in an overseas trainee acceptance program, it would lead to broad-based employment and community vitalization.

Ways of sharing and resolving local issues using a wide-ranging cooperative framework between SRK-HT and the community

  • To get a sense of local issues, it's necessary to actively create touch points between employees and the community. To start with, why not try participating in local events?
  • The community is concerned about the impact of plant emissions on our water and air. I'd like SRK-HT to utilize technologies it has applied to meet Kyoto Prefecture's stringent environmental standards as a good touch point with local companies.
  • I hope that SRK-HT will help vitalize the community by strengthening ties with local industry as a company, not merely by forming a closed-loop market globally, for the purpose of cooperating with the Monozukuri Town Ayabe concept continuously, not intermittently, so that the scope of cooperation under the Monozukuri Town Ayabe concept expands.

Evaluation of the social (community) contributions of SRK-HT and the Sumitomo Riko Group and future expectations and possibilities

  • I'd like SRK-HT to participate in various events and engage in high-profile public relations activities to enable demonstration of synergistic effects from touch points between employees and community residents.
  • From the perspective of protecting the community and creating an appealing community, it would be great if SRK-HT employees and the company itself were more proactively involved in neighborhood association activities.
  • We see cases where people who have moved here from outside and Ayabe natives are at cross-purposes. Now, well-balanced community contributions suited to local needs are being made via the Ayabe Volunteer Center: for example, use of a subsidy to create a new mechanism for association between these two types of resident.
  • The Sumitomo Riko Subsidy for Developing the Dreams, Town and People, as the name suggests, is a great mechanism for supporting citizen activists. I hope that SRK-HT and the Sumitomo Riko Group will continue to join hands with local residents and spread community development through citizen and volunteer activities to help energize Ayabe.

Further development together with local communities

Through this factory dialogue, we received many valuable opinions and ideas from people in the community. Above all, we became aware of the potential for further development of Ayabe as a garden city by means of "attentive" community development through citizen and volunteer activities derived from the rich natural environment, the culture and monozukuri spirit gratefully inherited and passed on, the warm-heartedness of the people, and local characteristics. We are proud to be able to manufacture in a community endowed with such advantages. We also learned that we are expected to help foster the next generation of community leaders by offering manufacturing-related employment opportunities. Both the Sumitomo Riko Group and SRK-HT engage in business activities aimed at building close ties to local communities and want to join hands with our stakeholders to contribute to the future of our host communities and Japan and to global prosperity.

(Held in March 2018. The positions and titles of participants are as of the time of the dialogue.)

SUMITOMO RIKO COMPANY LIMITED.

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