We contribute to the sustainable development of local communities using technology and knowledge gained in business.
Canon Europe has been promoting its Miraisha Programme, a social investment initiative in Africa, since December 2014. Miraisha is a portmanteau of the Japanese word mirai, meaning future, and the Swahili word maisha, meaning life. Through the program, Canon aims to improve the technical skills of and increase employment opportunities for local young people in Africa's growing photography, video and print industries. Workshops in photography, film-making and professional printing have been conducted in several African countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, Cameroon and Ivory Coast. Through partnerships with local organizations, educational institutions and event organizers, and with the assistance of Canon Ambassadors, the Miraisha Programme has so far provided training to more than 4,800 workshop participants. Canon has also organized a training program to develop local photographers and video producers as Canon-accredited trainers for the Miraisha Programme. In 2018, a total of 10 people were accredited as Canon Certified Miraisha trainers, with one becoming a Canon Group employee.
As part of helping to realize a sustainable society, Canon Europe is developing the Young People Programme (YPP) to provide workshops that equip young people with the skills and tools to harness the power of positive visual storytelling, focusing on themes related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2018, the YPP was held in 18 countries, including the UK, Belgium, Nigeria, Germany and Poland. In Germany, local YPP participants displayed their photographic work on panels in the UN-sponsored booth as part of the UN SDG Action Campaign at the German Federal Government open day in Berlin on August 25-26. Many people visited the booth during the open day weekend event, which attracted over 130,000 visitors.
And, YPP ambassadors Marcin Jankowski and Mashid Mohadjerin joined three student participants from the 2018 YPP to make special photograph and video presentations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) conference held in Katowice, Poland in December 2018.
Canon India carries out the 4E's Project in cooperation with a local NGO, Humana People to People, India. The project provides various forms of assistance in the fields of eye care, education, environment, and empowerment to less privileged villages in the vicinity of the Canon India office.
As a manufacturer of ophthalmic equipment, Canon is dedicated to making advancements in the field of eye care to assist people with vision impairment. In India, where cataracts are a major cause of visual impairment, it is thought that 80% of such cases are preventable or treatable. Canon India opens vision centers in select villages to give eye examinations and provide treatment. A total of 1,845 people visited these centers in 2018, with 193 receiving free eyeglasses. A further 248 patients were referred for treatment in hospital, with 59 receiving minor surgery.
In addition, mobile treatment centers, known as “eye checkup camps,” made a total of 11 visits to four villages to treat 897 people. Invitation pamphlets were distributed in each village to encourage people to attend to receive treatment.
These various activities were recognized in the CSR Leadership Awards organized by UBS Forums, an organization that supplies platforms for leadership development for both individuals and industry.
Canon is helping to support the education of the next generation across Asia.
In China, Canon funds the construction of Canon Hope Elementary Schools to provide local children in disadvantaged regions with educational opportunities. To date, ten schools have been built under this program. Each year, employees of Canon Dalian Business Machines assist with educational activities to broaden the knowledge of students from Hope Elementary Schools, including classes on environmental protection and tours of metropolitan cultural sites. The company also provides financial donations and other assistance. In 2018, activities were provided for Grade 4 students at four schools, and a total of approximately RMB107,000 was raised in donations for three schools.
In Vietnam, targeting schools in regions with lagging infrastructure development, Canon is involved in constructing classrooms and donating items such as desks and chairs. Employees regularly visit recipient schools to assist in the renovation of toilets, bathrooms and other facilities, and to present donations of school supplies. Canon Vietnam also provides scholarships to talented high school and university students from underprivileged families, and organizes bicycle loans for students needing to commute long distances. These activities provide Canon employees who volunteer for such projects with valuable opportunities to deepen connections with the community.
Elsewhere, Canon employees can make donations under a matching gift program. For example, since 1997 Canon Inc. has organized an annual Charity Book Fair to allow employees of the Canon Group in Japan to donate unwanted books, CDs, and DVDs for sale at an in-house bazaar. The company matches the proceeds generated by the sale, and these funds are donated to organizations supporting education and medical services in Asia. Approximately ¥1.14 million was donated to four NGOs/NPOs in 2018.
Canon Inc. hosts a children's educational program, Light & Color Laboratory, in partnership with the Japan Science Foundation. The program aims to spark children's interest in science and technology by providing a place where they can enjoy learning. It explains the science behind the optics and color technologies in Canon products via an entertaining show format featuring various experiments. In 2018, a total of 7,550 children participated in the program.
Canon and the Kyoto Culture Association (NPO) launched the Cultural Heritage Inheritance Project, commonly known as the Tsuzuri Project, in 2007.
The initiative seeks to make facsimiles of Japanese cultural assets such as folding screens and fusuma (Japanese sliding doors) by first photographing them with a digital camera, then processing the image with precise color-correction technology using a proprietary system, and printing the image on a large-format inkjet printer. Finally, with the application of traditional craft techniques from Kyoto, such as applying gold leaf and mounting, the facsimile, which is as close to the original as possible, is complete. These facsimiles are presented to former owners, related temples, museums, and local governments. The project has been highly acclaimed for both preserving important Japanese cultural assets and making use of high-resolution facsimiles.
In 2018, the Tsuzuri Project created high-resolution facsimiles of select artworks owned by the British Museum. “Birds and Flowers of Autumn and Winter” was donated to Tanzan Shrine (Nara Prefecture) and is now permanently displayed there. “River Festival at Tsushima Shrine” was donated to the cities of Tsushima and Aisai (Aichi Prefecture) and was exhibited in both cities in turn. “Battles of Ichi-no-tani and Yashima, from Tales of the Heike” was donated to the National Center for the Promotion of Cultural Properties (NCPCP), part of the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage and went on display at the Tokyo National Museum.
By undertaking joint research with the NCPCP to support the creation of high-resolution facsimiles, and by organizing artwork displays and educational programs with the Tokyo National Museum, Canon hopes to afford many people the opportunity to see these cultural assets and experience a deeper understanding of Japanese culture.
The Canon Foundation was established in 2008 with the aim of contributing to the ongoing prosperity and well-being of humankind. Operating completely independent from Canon's business activities, the goal of the foundation is to promote research into science and technology and contribute to its broad development.
The foundation has established two research grant programs, the Creation of Industrial Infrastructure grant and Pursuit of Ideals grant, which are open to researchers working at universities and other public research institutions across Japan. Over the past 10 years, the foundation has disbursed a total of 147 research grants totaling ¥2.5 billion.
In 2018, the foundation disbursed 18 grants totaling ¥275 million, comprising 14 Creation of Industrial Infrastructure grants and four Pursuit of Ideals grants for food-related research. Research findings were presented on completion of the grant period, in June for Pursuit of Ideals and in July for Creation of Industrial Infrastructure grants.
The Canon Institute for Global Studies is a non-profit private-sector think tank established in 2008 as a general incorporated foundation in commemoration of Canon Inc.'s 70th anniversary.
In this age of globalization, the Canon Institute for Global Studies actively measure Japan's current position within the global economy and the direction it should take in the future, and then to draw up strategic policy proposals based on analysis of present world situations. The institute brings together researchers with diverse backgrounds in business, academia, and government to exchange ideas and information and to expand its global activities. Focused on three main research areas—macroeconomics; natural resources, energy, and the environment; and foreign affairs and national security—the institute disseminates information and policy proposals based on scientifically valuable research. Symposiums, conferences, lectures, and seminars are held to post results, and also to facilitate active discussions between researchers and policymakers among Japan and other countries.
From July 2017, Canon began sharing the CSR activities of Group companies using the popular global social media platform Instagram, which is optimized for sharing photos. The photos posted on Canon's official CSR Instagram account help convey the mood of our CSR activities in each region as well as the enthusiasm of participants. The links between each activity and the SDGs are indicated in the posts to help stimulate a sympathetic response to, and deeper understanding of, our CSR activities.