S: Working with local communities (Helping solve local issues)

Challenge

  • Working with local communities (Helping solve local issues)

Relevant stakeholders

Directly: Local communities, the environment
Indirectly: Shareholders and investors, creditors, NGOs

Our policy

We will create shared value with local communities by utilizing our Group resources and working in open dialogue with stakeholders to contribute to environmental conservation, development of the next generation, and community development within the scope of impact of our corporate activities.
Furthermore, at manufacturing bases that are predicted to have a particularly significant environmental impact as the scale of our business grows, we will take a precautionary approach towards this increased risk on the surrounding biodiversity.

Responsible Executives (as of April 2022)

  • Main local social issues: Director, Corporate Officer and Vice President of Corporate Headquarters
  • Main local environmental issues: Director, Corporate Officer and Vice President of Quality Assurance, Environment & Safety Headquarters

Activity promotion system (as of April 2022)

Corporate Headquarters and the human resources and general affairs departments of each base work together to lead initiatives.

Activity promotion system

Grievance mechanism

  • Reporting hotline (whistle-blowing system): For executives, employees and suppliers
  • Customer Relations Department: For customers (consumers) and local communities
  • Online inquiry form: For customers (consumers), shareholders and investors, and NGOs
  • Meetings with non-profit organizations: For local communities, NGOs

Main resources for promoting activities (2021)

Funding for environmental conservation activities (includes donations from employees to the Toyo Tire Group Environmental Protection Fund.* Japan only): Approx. 27 million yen
Funding for developing the next generation (non-consolidated): Approx. 7 million yen
Funding for community development (non-consolidated): Approx. 20 million yen

  •  * the Toyo Tire Group Environmental Protection Fund
    Toyo Tire Group Environmental Protection Fund: A fund established in 1992 to support non-profit organizations that undertake activities to protect the environment in partnership with Toyo Tire Corporation, domestic affiliated companies that Toyo Tire Corporation, has at least a 50% stake in, and corporate officers and employee of those companies, etc. Gift matching system under which the company contributes the same amount of money donated by employees.

Initiative: Environmental conservation

We realize that Group corporate activities have the largest direct environmental impact in the areas around our manufacturing bases. We therefore work to build understanding of and trust in these activities through dialogue and information sharing with stakeholders in the surrounding areas, and engage in environmental conservation. We also promote local biodiversity conservation in recognition that biodiversity both generates direct benefits for local life and leads to sustainable growth.
At the Kuwana Plant, we work in partnership with Mie Prefecture, the local town of Toin and the NPO Mori-no Kaze on the “Toyo Tires Midori no Tsunagari Mie” initiative, which promotes environmental conservation and coexistence with local communities. The project marked its 8th year in 2021, and a total of seven events were held from April onward under sufficient infection prevention measures, with 197 employees working on the “Green Trail” and “Green Plaza” facilities. We are continuing conservation and preparation so that local residents can safely use the Green Trail, and the adjacent local elementary school may use the Green Plaza as an outdoor classroom.
Our Sendai Plant has also participated in the Millennium Hope Hills project since 2013. This initiative uses land that became uninhabitable by the tsunami caused by the 2011 earthquake to create parkways between hills that can dampen the force of a future tsunami and serve as evacuation sites. Employees also join volunteers from around the country to plant medium-height trees like Japanese bay tree and white oak, and shrubs like East Asian eurya and Japanese aralia, which will grow into a beautiful forest in around 15 to 20 years. This forest shall serve as a kind of “green” tide embankment that dissipates and reduces the force of a tsunami, and contribute to maintaining biodiversity. Our production bases will continue working together with local communities to contribute to their development.

Forest conservation project (Toyo Tire Kuwana Plant)Forest conservation project (Toyo Tire Kuwana Plant)

Initiative: Preserving biodiversity

The Toyo Tire Group has manufacturing bases in Japan, the US, China and Malaysia, and we comply with the environmental laws and regulations in each country when conducting operations.
We have additionally confirmed that there are no protected lands stipulated in biodiversity-related laws, or lands with high biodiversity value (such as Ramsar Convention-designated wetlands), in the areas surrounding or downstream from our manufacturing facilities. In the future, if we operate in any countries or regions with high biodiversity value, we will perform a risk analysis and take a preventative approach to conserve its biodiversity.

Initiative: Toyo Tire Group Environmental Protection Fund

Based on employees’ desire to do their part as local citizens and members of society in helping create a better world, we established the Toyo Tire Group Environmental Protection Fund in 1992 to provide financial support for organizations and activities related to environmental conservation both in and outside of Japan. The fund works through a donation matching system where the company contributes an equal amount of money for every voluntary donation made by employees. Over 80% of employees participate, and it has become an established way for the Group to engage in environmental conservation.
The fund itself is formed of two types: an in-house fund within the Group, and a foundation fund within the Osaka Community Foundation. The in-house fund is used in several ways, including to provide direct donations and funding to environmental organizations that we select, to cover the costs of providing workforce support through employee volunteers, and to subsidize organizations that have applied through an external selection partner.
We select organizations to visit for observation once per year to understand more about recipients’ activities and exchange ideas with representatives so that we can provide even better support.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we spoke over the phone or online with the representatives of a total of seven recipients in 2021 to learn about the impact of the pandemic on their activities and discuss their future plans.
Organizations we have aided include the Council of Town Development Along with Sen-nen Sango (Millennium Coral), which engages in marine conservation by removing crown-of-thorns starfish and other coral-eating shellfish, as well as by supporting the development of the next generation of environmental stewards. We also provide funding to NPO Shinaimotsugo Sato-no-Kai to support the eradication of invasive species like the North American black bass in order to help protect the endangered moroco (shinai-motsugo in Japanese), as well as the protection of native species like ray-finned fish (Acheilognathus typus).

Funding Activities through the Japan Philanthropic Association

The Toyo Tire Group has welcomed the Japan Philanthropic Association as our new external selection partner for the Toyo Tire Group Environmental Protection Fund. Through it, we have begun funding certified NPOs and their activities related to environmental conservation.
The association follows our Group’s selection criteria for fund recipients, and selects candidates based on the conditions that our funding will help expand the reach of the recipient’s activities and help them make a greater contribution to solving social issues, and has the potential to expand volunteer opportunities for Group employees. The association then convenes a third-party committee to assess candidate validity.
Applications are accepted from July to September for funding in the next fiscal year, and candidates are approved by the Environmental Protection Fund Steering Committee before being finally chosen. In fiscal 2021, 10 organizations selected by the association were funded with a total of 12.4 million yen, and in fiscal 2022, 13 organizations received a total of 12.65 million yen.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some funding recipients’ activities may have changed or been delayed. The Environmental Protection Fund Steering Committee will confirm the details with each organization and discuss the findings before reviewing our funding activity plan, so that we may utilize these funds appropriately and according to plan.
We will continue this endeavor with the ultimate goal of donating a total of 200 million yen to 170 organizations by 2030.

Initiative: Support for educating the next generation (Career training)

We believe that nurturing the talent who will drive the sustainable growth of the automotive industry is crucial to ensure both business continuity and a society that is bettered through mobility. This is why we have supported the Kansai Career Education Support Council’s* Jonetsu Kyoshitsu (Class of Passion) since 2013, using the Toyo Tire Group's resources to organize career talks that foster students' interest in manufacturing and help them develop career awareness from a young age.
In 2021 we held career talks at two middle schools in the city of Osaka (one online, the other in person). While taking steps to prevent infection in the classroom, students participated in quizzes and group work using cut samples of tires, and lecturers talked about their own jobs to convey the importance of having passion for work and setting goals. The students held the samples as they were deeply engaged in the quiz, and actively asked many questions. For the lecturers, the online session also served as an opportunity to devise ways to communicate remotely.
Moving forward, we will continue holding both in-person and online talks on a case-by-case basis, and use our resources to communicate the wonder of automobiles and tires to help foster the next generation and drive the continuous growth of the automotive industry.

  •  * An industry-labor organization in the Kansai region that supports career education at elementary, junior high and high schools.

Support for community development

The Toyo Tire Group also believes that a sound education for children of the next generation is vital in the continued development of local communities. Since 2013, our Malaysian subsidiary has offered scholarship programs for students who are eager to study but, for economic reasons, do not have access to adequate learning environments. Employees visit each applicant’s home and conduct interviews to select recipients. Since the start of the program, the Undergraduate Scholarship Program has provided financial support to 34 students studying for a degree at a local university (23 of whom have completed their degree), and the Student Education Assistance Program has supported 289 elementary school students in Kamunting and Taiping towns, with a total donation amount of 311,000 US dollars.
Going forward, we will remain committed to helping advance community development by supporting the education of future generations to address local issues.