Thursday, January 24, 2013

A visit to a chemical plant

On Wednesday, January 23 we had the opportunity to visit the Sumitomo Chemical Plant (founded in 1913). They provided an overview of the company history and their main operations. We were given tours of their chemical analysis equipment as well as their environmental control facilities. 90% of their energy is generated using their own conservation system. One of the products they have developed is the Olyset Net. This is a net that uses technology to fight malaria. This is one of their initiatives to make a global impact. They informed us that 50% of their workforce are women. We were surprised to learn that in December 2012, Sumitomo Chemical acquired MGK in Minneapolis, maker of insect control technologies.

In our discussion, they explained that they are working to improve their employee’s work/life balance. For example, one of their efforts is not requiring overtime at least one day a week (also known as “refreshment day”).
They provided a nice lunch for our group. We had the pleasure to visit with a group of young women who are graduate students from Kobe College. They are from China, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines and are here for the masters
program in education for sustainable development.

At the end, to show our appreciation and follow Japanese tradition, we offered gifts to our hosts and the other participants. We gave them permission to use our photos to be in their 2013 CRS report, so look for us in the next edition!

Submitted by Katrina and her blog team

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