unicharm

Gentle care for life

 

SustainabilitySustainability Top

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Our basic approach and strategy

Unicharm's CSR activities aim to help solve society's problems through our core business areas. Besides striving to make a contribution on a global scale, Unicharm is also serious about tackling problems that affect local communities that have a close relationship with Unicharm's business activities; as a good corporate citizen, we aim to a make a positive contribution to these communities by making effective use of our company's unique strengths.

In addition, when the community is in a difficult situation due to sudden disasters etc., we would like to help in any way possible to support the minds and bodies of everyone who has been affected by the disaster. Many people have been affected by the serious damage due to the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011. More recently, in 2018, the whole of Japan was affected by torrential rains, which were particularly severe in Western Japan. We would like to express our sincere sympathy to those who have been affected and also wish for a swift recovery of the affected areas. Since immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake, Unicharm has delivered supplies and continually used the Matching Fund, set up to receive charitable donations from employees, to provide relief support. Through these activities, we will continue to deepen our interaction with local residents and make contributions to local communities.

Contributing to the realization of the SDGs

Unicharm's activities are in conformity with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) objectives shown below. In the future, we will continue to leverage our company's unique strengths to make an even greater contribution towards the solving of the world's shared problems.

Social impact
Total number of persons participating in the Super Cool Biz and Super Warm Biz activities to provide continued support to disaster-affected areas
* In 2011, only the Super Cool Biz activity was implemented.

Our activities

Activities to provide support for areas affected by natural disasters

Continuing with our Matching Fund combing disaster relief support with electricity conservation

Our Matching Fund and Super Cool Biz and Warm Biz employee dress code activities, which were launched to provide disaster relief assistance and to promote electricity conservation, are now in their eighth year. The Matching Fund provides a matching donation equivalent to the price paid by Unicharm employees for original Unicharm polo shirts, jumpers etc. that can be worn at work; the money is used to provide support for areas affected by natural disasters. Donations made through the Matching Fund have been used to support disaster-affected areas through the provision of emergency supplies and care products to hospitals and other facilities thereby helping to enhance the quality of life of care recipients. Starting from 2016, Unicharm has also been donating to the MICHINOKU Future Fund, which aims to help children orphaned by natural disasters to realize their dream of continuing with their studies. We will continue to promote disaster area relief activities and energy conservation activities with our employees.

Support for disaster-affected areas through product purchases
Otsuchi Recovery Sashiko Project
Kurumi Buttons

Unicharm wanted to be able to provide additional support to disaster-affected areas by boosting consumption through the purchasing of goods produced in affected districts. With this aim in mind, in 2018, Unicharm began providing employees with the opportunity to purchase “narahato” hand-made traditional cloth sandals made by the Warajigumi collective in Naraha-machi, Fukushima Prefecture; Kurumi Buttons made by the Otsuchi Recovery Sashiko Project in Otsuchi-cho, Iwate Prefecture; and polo shirts embroidered in workshops that were affected by the Kumamoto Earthquakes of 2016, in association with Unicharm’s Super Cool Biz and Warm Biz initiative, with the Matching Fund providing donations that match the amount that employees pay for these goods, so as to help the disaster-affected areas.
The “narahato” hand-made traditional cloth sandals are carefully stitched by the members of the Warajigumi collective in Naraha-machi, Fukushima Prefecture, applying traditional straw sandal making techniques that they learned after being evacuated to the Minami Aizu region following the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 and using as material second-hand t-shirts donated from all over Japan. The brand name “narahato” that they adopted was chosen because “we hope that everyone who buys a pair of these sandals will feel a real connection with Naraha-machi.”

Comments by members of the Warajigumi collective.
“narahato” traditional cloth sandals
The members of the Warajigumi collective

We meet once or twice a week in a workshop in Naraha-machi, Fukushima Prefecture, where we enjoy working together . There are around 10 people in the group. Besides the members who got to know each other while living in temporary accommodation in Misato-machi, Aizu, there are also some members who joined the group after the return to Naraha-machi. You could say that cloth sandals are what brought us all together. Making things through our own efforts helps to keep us motivated and also strengthen ties among the members of the community. Every one of the cloth sandals that we produce is hand-made, using recycled t-shirts as the material. Because the materials used are always different, each pair of cloth sandals is unique and one-of-a-kind.

Support for areas affected by the torrential rains which affected Japan in July 2018.

A truck carrying loaded with emergency supplies to help people living in affected areas.

Unicharm donated 5 million yen via the Japanese Red Cross Society and 5 million yen via local government authorities in affected districts, for a combined total of 10 million yen, to support emergency response and recovery efforts in areas affected by the torrential rains which Japan suffered in July 2018. These donations were made from the Matching Fund, whereby Unicharm matches donations made by employees with an equivalent amount. We also provided emergency supplies for the disaster-affected areas, including baby diapers, adult diapers, sanitary products, wet wipes, wet wipes for adult use, pet food, other pet products, etc.

In addition, staff from Unicharm’s Chugoku and Shikoku region offices (which were located near the areas where retailers that are Unicharm customers had been affected by the torrential rains) and also younger employees from our Kinki and Kyushu region offices (which are slightly further afield) rushed to provide assistance as volunteers. Helping the affected retailers to recover from the disaster, they enabled a total of 31 stores to reopen within a period of around one month. In some cases, the stores could only be reached on foot because the roads were blocked, but the Unicharm employees still found a way to reach the stores and determined to provide all the help they could. Besides clearing mud out of store premises and dealing with inventory that had been damaged by flooding, because they were familiar with the stores and the products being sold, they were able to help rebuild the stores as places where consumers could find what they needed easily and shop conveniently. The employees who participated in this program reported feeling very happy to have been able to help the affected retailers.

Advice for protecting babies, for women, for senior citizens and for looking after pets Unicharm launches the “My Style Bosai” microsite to provide information about the preparations needed in order to maintain good sanitary health in the event of a natural disaster

In recent years, besides the extensive damage caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011, Japan has also been affected by torrential rains, severe snowstorms, tornadoes, etc. In February 2019, with advice and guidance from NPO Mama Plug, we launched the “My Style Bosai” microsite on the Unicharm website, which uses discussions of people’s actual experiences to examine the various problems that can be associated with a natural disaster, focusing on the needs of different household environments, with the aim of helping people to reduce the hygiene risk that they, their family members and their pets are exposed to in the event of a natural disaster occurring.
“My Style Bosai” provides hygiene advice in the following areas: (1) What everyone needs to know to be prepared for and respond to a natural disaster; (2) Disaster readiness and response information for people with baby-care responsibilities; (3) Disaster readiness and response information for women; (4) Disaster readiness and response information for senior citizens; (5) Disaster readiness and response information for people providing at-home care; (6) Disaster readiness and response information for people with pets.
My Style Bosai can show you the techniques you need to know so that, in an emergency situation, you can continue to live with good hygiene using the things that you are used to using in your everyday life.

 

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