Under its corporate philosophy of kyosei and through community relationships, Canon seeks to find solutions to issues faced by communities around the globe.
Today, our world faces a mountain of social issues that include global warming and other environmental issues, an increasing frequency of natural disasters, and issues related to poverty and economic disparity. Sustainable social development requires countries, regions, governments and enterprises to overcome various barriers to unite the world in tackling these problems. Companies play an increasingly important role in addressing these issues, which are also expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations. With ESG (environment, social and governance) used in corporate valuation more and more, there is a growing expectation that corporations will cultivate meaningful links with society, and with local communities especially, in their business activities. For example, issues such as poverty and educational inequality could affect corporate recruitment capabilities or restrict the global market if left unaddressed. Recognizing this, Canon reinvests profits back into local communities, not only to gain trust through social contribution activities, but also because we believe that such efforts are essential to sustainable development.
Social contribution activities have molded Canon’s corporate culture since its earliest days. In 2012, we formulated the Canon Group CSR Activity policy to clarify the direction of the Group’s CSR activities. Based on this policy, we continue to draw on Group resources, which include advanced technological strengths, global business deployment expertise, and diverse, specialized human resources, to engage in activities tailored to the characteristics and issues of each region. These activities are focused on the following six areas.
For example, in the field of education and science, recent years have seen a drift away from science in the form of decreasing interest in science and technology and a reduction in opportunities to study optics systematically in Japan, Canon’s major production base. To support the education of the next generation, Canon is engaged in a variety of initiatives to stimulate interest among children in optics and other sciences.
In other areas, we engage in various activities tailored to the local needs.
In 2017, Canon continued to make financial donations and help raise funds for people affected by major natural disasters worldwide, such as the torrential rains that led to flooding in northern Kyushu in July 2017. We are working to enhance such activities based on ideas from partner organizations.
Canon believes in addressing environmental issues from a long-term perspective. Besides promoting environmental protection activities in local communities in 2017, we also continued to organize environmental outreach classes linked to various themes, such as printer cartridge recycling, to help children better understand the importance of the environment.
Recognizing that social welfare issues vary widely by region, Canon engages in various welfare activities with the aim of creating environments in which all people can lead satisfying lives. In 2017, we continued activities to support people with disabilities and assist the sound development of children around the world.
As a corporate citizen with deep roots in local communities, Canon engages in cross-cultural activities and school construction to help develop the knowledge base and diverse values of children. In 2017 also, we endeavored to stay in close communication with local communities and to implement contribution programs, including an initiative to use photos to promote cross-cultural exchange.
Canon supports the development of the next generation, drawing on its cutting-edge technologies. We organized a range of customized programs in 2017, from hands-on classes in robot programming for students in Japan (where programming will become a part of the core curriculum from 2020).
As a company that pursues imaging technologies that evoke and encourage a wealth of human emotions and feelings, Canon is contributing to the development of visual culture. Along with initiatives to assist the preservation or restoration of cultural assets in Japan and Europe in 2017, we continued to support other programs.
Canon’s social contribution activities contribute to the achievement of several SDGs (below). Of particular note, all of our activities in these fields contribute to SDG 4.
And, the results of our stakeholder survey revealed that expectations for activities contributing to SDG 3,4,5 and 11 are relatively high.