As a good corporate citizen with deep roots in local communities, we assist the sound development of children living in those communities.
Some years ago, Canon China launched a project called Image: Light of Hope to foster cultural exchange using the power of imaging. In 2013, Canon China expanded the scope of the project to include all of Asia, renaming it the Canon Image Bridge Project.
Under this project, youth from across Asia create “exchange cards” that include photographs they have taken along with brief messages. These cards are then delivered to children living in other areas of Asia. The ingenuity of the project to foster cross-cultural exchange through photographs has received high praise from local communities and earned Canon a number of CSR-related awards. Through 2017, a total of 8,393 youths in 10 countries and regions in Asia prepared 14,090 exchange cards, helping to build friendships that transcend national and regional borders.
In conjunction with students graduating from the Canon Hope Elementary School* in Banbishan, Hebei Province, China, local employees volunteered to visit the school to take commemorative photos and to teach the students about photography and printing technology.
Since December 2014, Canon Europe has been expanding its Miraisha Programme, a social investment initiative in Africa. 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 skills and increase employment opportunities for local young people in Africa’s growing photography, video and print industries. Canon Europe and Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) have together facilitated workshops of photography and film-making and Professional Print Excellence in several African countries including Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Uganda. Through partnerships with local organizations, educational institutions and event organizers, and with the assistance of Canon Ambassadors, the Miraisha Programme has so far delivered training to more than 3,000 workshop participants.
In 2017, over 70 events were held, and workshops have trained more than 100 participants. A training program was also introduced to develop local photographers and video producers as Canon-accredited trainers for the Miraisha Programme. As of the end of 2017, a total of 16 people had participated in this program, with four being accredited as Canon Certified Miraisha trainers. One of the selected trainers who was working through the training program has even become a fulltime employee of CCNA.
Besides continuing and upgrading existing activities, plans for 2018 include extending the Miraisha Programme to countries such as Ivory Coast, Senegal and Cameroon, while also establishing program links with educational institutions in Nigeria.
The Miraisha Programme is helping Canon Europe to engage with local communities in Africa while enhancing competitiveness in industries in the African market. By collaborating with distribution and training partners, including the development of local trainers, Canon Europe is using its core imaging skills to help people in Africa to make a living in professional photography, film and print— sectors which are expected to grow in the future.
The Canon Institute for Global Studies is a non-profit private-sector think tank established as a general incorporated foundation in 2008 in commemoration of Canon Inc.’s 70th anniversary.
In this age of globalization, the Canon Institute for Global Studies approaches Japanese economic issues associated with the global economy and plots out Japan’s future position in the world. It also aims to draw up strategic policy proposals based on analyses of present world conditions. 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 present results and also to facilitate active discussions between researchers and policymakers from Japan and other countries.
In December 2017, the institute held a symposium entitled “Fiscal/Social Security Symposium: Analyzing the Financial Crisis.” Participants discussed how to respond to any crisis that could be described as a fiscal collapse and related approaches to economic recovery over three different time frames (extreme short term, short term, and longer term).
Canon India carries out the 4E’s Project in cooperation with a local NGO, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) 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, in particular by facilitating comprehensive eye screening to help those with vision impairments. Cataracts are a major cause of visual impairment in India, and yet 80% of these cases can be prevented or treated. To bridge this gap, Canon India opens vision centers in adopted villages and provides examinations as well as treatment. In 2017, a total of 2,237 people attended these eye clinics, of whom 950 received free eyeglasses and 310 were treated for eye conditions in hospital.
In terms of educational initiatives, 620 primary school students from four villages received support through the program. This included efforts to create better learning environments by upgrading toilet facilities and providing safe drinking water. In 2017, a new initiative called “Learning Beyond Books” was also introduced. By organizing excursions to an aquarium, planetarium, and Canon India office, this initiative aims to expand the students’ knowledge of the outside world and help them dream bigger.
In terms of environmental initiatives, tree-planting and paper-recycling programs were continued. In addition, the program assisted the installation of 100 solar-powered streetlamps in the state of Rajasthan in partnership with the Indian government.
In the field of empowerment, Canon partnered with SOS Children’s Villages of India, a local childcare NGO. Canon India CSR along with around 200 employees sponsored 200 SOS village children for a year through their financial contributions.
These activities were recognized in the 4th CSR Impact Awards sponsored by NGOBOX. Canon India won an award in the Employee Volunteering Initiative category.
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. Instagram has broad appeal: in 2017, the number of young people and other users exceeded 800 million worldwide. 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.