An important issue for the 21st century is the development of a recycling-oriented, sustainable society that can exist in harmony with the planet. The Kuraray Group is contributing to the realisation of such a society by reducing the burden its operations impose on the environment, and by reducing the amount of waste it generates.

Kuraray Group's energetic environmental preservation activities also include the development of environmentally friendly products, and supporting both humanity and the planet by providing products that contribute to environmental improvement.

Environmental Preservation Activities

In the interest of environmentally friendly operations, in 1993 Kuraray crafted its "Kuraray Action Guidelines on the Global Environment" and inaugurated its environmental preservation activities. In February 2001, these guidelines were expanded to become the "Kuraray Group Action Guidelines on the Global Environment", taking environmental preservation and improvement to the Group level.

Kuraray has been a member of the Japan Responsible Care Council (JRCC) since its establishment in 1995. The council is made up of producers and handlers of chemicals, and calls for measures to protect the environment, safety and health at each stage of a chemical product's life cycle, from product development to disposal. Based on the Kuraray Group Action Guidelines on the Global Environment, the Company has moved forward with effective environmental preservation activities, and from 1998 forward each of its operations has been taking steps to acquire ISO 14001 certification for environmental management systems. In December 2001, all of Kuraray's domestic plants and laboratories acquired certification, and the rest of the Group is quickly moving toward certification. In the future as well, the entire Kuraray Group will be employing its environmental management systems, based on its ISO 14001 certification, to further reduce the environmental burden.