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Third Party Comment/ Response to Third Party Comment

Third Party Comment on the 2016 CSR Report

Chieko MinamiChieko Minami
Professor of Marketing, Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University.

Graduated from the Faculty of Letters, Kobe University.
Completed a Master's Degree in Communication from Michigan State University.
Completed a Master's Degree at the Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University.
Withdrew from the Doctoral Course.
Formerly an associate professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Yokohama City University before assuming current post.
Doctor of Commerce. Specializes in the field of marketing.

“I look forward to a more accessible CSR Report to provide full disclosure to stakeholders.”

Ten years have passed since Japanese businesses formally adopted corporate social responsibility (CSR). As a concept that originated overseas, CSR is still experiencing difficulties in taking root in corporate Japan as few companies can fully visualize its ideal implementation.
The report clearly directs the Kaneka Group’s CSR activities toward social contribution through its business operations, and explicitly shows this by focusing on key strategic domains where the Group can exhibit its strength. This is particularly evident in the accessibility and readability of the digest version, the CSR Communication Book.

Special Features that Go Straight to the Heart

The special feature on food production support in particular, presents the familiar topic of food, which is also of great concern to society. Obscure scientific technology, such as how the new fertilizer promotes higher crop yield, or how anti-freeze ingredients retain the quality of frozen foods, are explained with illustrations and combined with feedback from employees, all of which clearly convey Kaneka's contributions to the food industry.
In the special feature on Kanekalon business, which has valued local community ties in Africa for more than 30 years, the Group's support and dialogue on the WFP school meal project for local children demonstrates a regional community engagement that goes beyond mere donation and is grounded in local needs. The positive effects on the wig culture there and women's self worth are also visually and concretely expressed through the Miss Kanekalon contest and other initiatives. All of these create a favorable impression of the Kaneka Group’s CSR activities.
I would also like to give special mention to Kaneka's environmental data (the full report is available on the website). Manufacturing industries inevitably have an impact on the environment at every step of the production process, from raw material procurement to production and distribution. Kaneka is to be commended for continually disclosing activities that reduce its environmental impact using well-organized data through the "Materials Balance in Production Activities." Going forward, I hope to see Kaneka continue to present to stakeholders its sustained efforts on CSR initiatives together with precise evidence based on data.

Improvements to Enhance Communication

The discussion on regenerative medicine and cell therapy on the first section is somewhat lacking. Given that this is a very high-profile social issue, there will certainly be more interest on the topic from stakeholders. This article would have benefited from a more comprehensive approach to addressing the topic.
In "KANEKA at a glance" there is an emphasis on data relating to the year's CSR activities. However, the implication and corresponding evaluation of these figures was not evident in the article. It was an interesting way of expressing data visually but there is room for improvement in terms of the presentation.
Although CSR reports from various corporations can be obtained, people refrain from reading reports that are too voluminous or contain too much information. Whatever the medium, these reports will not be effective if they are not read. Addressing stakeholder interests and making more accessible reports are crucial in information disclosure. Along with more substantial content, I look forward to Kaneka's ongoing efforts to improve its CSR report from this perspective.

From the Editorial Team: Response to Third Party Comment

In the 2016 CSR Report, the structure of the digest version was modified to strengthen communication with stakeholders. In particular, near the beginning of the report, we highlighted special features on food production support and health care as our social contribution through business activities from among our various key strategic domains. These articles contain the concept for and significance of each initiative, together with messages from stakeholders.
Through dialogues and discussions, we drew out people's wishes and needs, and made an effort to present them in the section "Fulfilling dreams."

Personal talk with the CSR Committee head
Personal talk with the CSR Committee head

In addition to commending some of our initiatives, Professor Minami also provided advice on several areas for improvement, such as including additional content on high-profile social issues, and providing the implication and corresponding evaluation of numerical data presented for our CSR activities. We will implement these recommendations in the next report to better communicate our efforts.
Our goal is to continue reporting specific CSR initiatives through business activities to all our stakeholders, and to address their concerns by producing a CSR report that provides full disclosure. We would appreciate any comments, suggestions, corrections or other feedback on any information contained in this report.
Finally, thank you to all our stakeholders for taking the time to read this report.

Administration Office CSR Committee
Kaneka Corporation

Suggestions and Improvements from the 2015 Version

We made the following improvements in response to Professor Minami's suggestions for the 2015 version.

1. Kaneka needs to explain its criteria for establishing its CSR activity targets and self-assessments.We endeavored to present the context for our target criteria by adding more quantitative assessments in the report, particularly for data related to human resources and our Responsible Care initiative.
2. Kaneka needs to show how it engages with the international community as a signatory to the UN Global Compact.The Kaneka Group’s commitment to the UN Global Compact is integrated into the Group's CSR activities as described in the section "Our Initiatives on Social Responsibility", and is further reported in the main initiatives for fiscal 2015.
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