JFE Steel’s Social Contributions
JFE Steel’s Social Contributions
Steelworks and other large manufacturing facilities can have a considerable impact on local employment and economic activities as well as the quality of local air and water. JFE Steel believes in the importance of regional development and works to improve local understanding of how the company’s corporate activities contribute to their host communities. The company is actively involved in efforts to vitalize communities, develop young people, protect the environment, and support local sports and culture.
Local Communities and Society
All JFE steelworks and manufacturing facilities offer plant tours throughout the year, and field trips for elementary and junior high school students and family tours during summer and winter vacations. The Kurashiki District of the West Japan Works, where many automobile, chemical, petroleum and shipbuilding industries are located, holds a tour in the summer in collaboration with companies including Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Sanoyas Shipbuilding Corporation and Mizushima Rinkai Railway. Every year, more than 100,000 people visit JFE’s steel and manufacturing sites, helping them to become more familiar with the steel industry.
Festivals and Events
Every year, we open our manufacturing sites to various events as well as plant tours for the benefit of local communities. During the year, some 280,000 people nationwide enjoyed these events while deepening their understanding of the steel industry and JFE.
Donations to Japan National Council of Social Welfare
JFE donates earnings from festivals and events to the Japan National Council of Social Welfare. JFE West Japan Works (Kurashiki District) uses proceeds from charity bazaars to purchase items used in lectures for elderly people, which are donated to the Kurashiki City Council of Social Welfare. At East Japan Works (Chiba District) and West Japan Works (Fukuyama District), proceeds from recycling events are donated to the Japan National Council of Social Welfare.
Lectures at Elementary Schools
As part of contributing to local communities, JFE personnel visit elementary schools throughout the year to give lectures on how steel is made, where it is made, and how the company is working to protect the environment. In 2017, the East Japan Works (Chiba District) gave a lecture for the first time to students at a school for the deaf.
Local Cleanup Activities
Each steelworks and manufacturing plant supports cleanup activities in their local areas. Many employees, including those from JFE and affiliated companies, for example, help to clean public roads near their worksites.
At West Japan Works (Kurashiki District), every year new employees pick up weeds and clean rain gutters at kindergartens and pre-school near the steelworks.
West Japan Works (Fukuyama District) participates in the Ashidagawa Riverside Cleanup every year, and in 2017 received a certificate of appreciation from the head of the Fukuyama Riverside National Highway Office.
JFE’s Shikoku Regional Office and other JFE Group companies formed the JFE Shikoku Group to voluntarily participate in the cleaning of Onigashima (Megishima island), a site mentioned in the famous Momotaro legend, in Takamatsu.
Disaster Response and Prevention with Local Governments
JFE steelworks and manufacturing facilities actively support activities to prevent regional disasters.
East Japan Works (Chiba District) has concluded an agreement to allow Chiba City to use the facility’s electric vehicles and power conditioners in times of disaster. EVs, for example, will be dispatched for use as mobile batteries to supply emergency electricity. In the event of a gasoline shortage, EVs will be lent free of charge as an alternative to official vehicles. The company has 22 electric vehicles in the Chiba area. In response to a request from the city during a torrential rain disaster caused by Typhoon No. 15 in 2019, electric vehicles were lent to public facilities, etc. to help supply electricity to the area.
The Nishinomiya Works of East Japan Works (Chiba District) has concluded an agreement with Nishinomiya City to provide a portion of its premises free of charge as a base for rescue operations in the event of a major disaster.
West Japan Works (Kurashiki District) provides its sports field as a tsunami evacuation site. At the West Japan Works (Fukuyama District), large drainage pump vehicles are available for use by local governments, including Fukuyama, in the event of floods. The Chita Plant has concluded a disaster-prevention agreement with Handa City and Taketoyo Town. Company facilities are offered for use as shelters and heliports whenever an earthquake warning declaration is issued. Also, in the case of a large disaster, bayside quays are available for emergency marine transportation.
The West Japan Works (Kurashiki District) devised the Active Exercise® program as a physical exercise to help employees throughout the company maintain physical strength. Active Exercise®, which has been attracting attention outside the company as a method for preventing work-related accidents and promoting health, is now being promoted as a JFE contribution to society.
On-site Daycare Centers for Local Residents
To create more convenient conditions for working parents to raise their children, JFE has opened in-house daycare centers at its steelworks. East Japan Works, in response to a growing need for daycare in its surrounding community, has set up an on-site daycare center for company families and also local residents as capacity permits.
Cooperation with Traditional Events
East Japan Works (Chiba District), in cooperation with the NPO Drops and a local residents’ association, revived a traditional stone-lifting competition that now has been held every year since 2016. There are competitions for children, adults and an open division in which participants compete with stones weighing from 7 kg to 173 kg, attempting to lift them for 10 seconds. Approximately 200 athletes and spectators participated in 2019, providing residents with an opportunity to learn about their local history and deepen attachment to their community.
Nishinomiya Tourism Event
Since 2015, the Nishinomiya plant of East Japan Works (Chiba District) has participated in the Machitabi Nishinomiya tourism event sponsored by Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture and the Nishinomiya Tourism Association. During the event, which lets visitors experience the city’s diverse attractions, the Works organized plant tours and handicraft classes using stainless steel plates manufactured at the plant. Participants deepen their understanding of the steel industry and their appreciation of manufacturing.
Manufacturing Class for children
The Chita Plant holds its Manufacturing Class for local elementary school students every year, combining a plant tour and occasionally visits to events sponsored by the local government. Many children take part in creating original key chains using anti-friction alloys, helping them to learn the joy of manufacturing and foster an interest in science. In addition, former Chita Plant employees with expertise in manufacturing work as volunteers teachers, creating opportunities for cross-generational exchange.
Support for Fukuyama Castle 400th Anniversary Project
JFE Steel Works (Fukuyama District), which is committed to contributing to its host community, is involved in various cooperative activities in close coordination with the local government and other civic bodies.
In a project commemorating the 400th anniversary of Fukuyama Castle, the Works produced and then donated steel sheets to restore the castle keep’s traditional teppan-bari steel panels. The Works also is involved in restoring/maintaining certain castle facilities and participating in related events that are contributing to the surrounding region’s development.
Nurturing the Next Generation
Supporting Technician Education in Southeast Asia
JFE Steel, in addition to conducting joint research with universities in Southeast Asia, supports the nurture of engineers by providing lectures through industry-academia collaboration at Vietnam’s National Civil Engineering University and Ho Chi Minh University of Technology. Besides providing practical training for civil-engineering and architecture students, scholarships are offered to outstanding students learning civil engineering or the Japanese language at Da Nang University, the Yangon Institute of Technology in Myanmar and the Mandalay Institute of Technology.
JFE Steel’s steelworks and research laboratories accept university and technical-college students from all over Japan as interns for work experience and learn about our work. We also accept interns from overseas. The Steel Research Laboratory offers internships to students, teachers and corporate researchers from various countries, including North America, Asia and Europe. By assigning specific themes to these interns and allowing them to collaborate with our professional researchers, we hope that these experiences contribute to their future careers. The East Japan Works (Keihin District) participated in an internship program for foreign students sponsored by the Kanagawa Employers’ Association. Every year, the Works accepts three of four students to study Japanese management structure and knowhow.
Support for Japan Science & Engineering Challenge
Since 2006, we have co-sponsored the Japan Science & Engineering Challenge (JSEC), which is organized by Asahi Shimbun and TV Asahi as an independent research contest focusing on science and technology for high school and technical college students in Japan. As part of the contest, the JFE Steel Award is presented to noteworthy student-contestants to encourage their continued interest in science and technology. Also, JFE Steel Award-winning schools are presented with research equipment and invitations to tour the company’s steelworks and laboratories. Some JFE Steel Award winners and other top JSEC winners have been sent to Intel ISEF, an international conference held in the United States, to deepen their interaction with other young scientists overseas.
Providing of Work Experience
The East Japan Works (Chiba District) accepts junior high school students living in an orphanage in the local community for work experience. Through work and dialogue with employees, the students learn about various fields and opportunities for career paths.
Support for Career Education
Since fiscal 2014, the East Japan Works (Chiba District) has cooperated with Chiba City and Chiba University in the Nishi Chiba Children’s Entrepreneurship School career education project, which provides elementary and junior high school students with opportunities to learn about entrepreneurship and work. Since fiscal 2015, the Works also has cooperated with the Chiba City Board of Education’s Chiba City Project to Promote After-school Classes for Children, becoming the first private company to participate. As part of this effort, veteran employees are dispatched to teach the importance and fun of manufacturing.
Acceptance of Teachers for Private-company Training
Since 2006, JFE Steel has cooperated with the Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs to train public-school teachers at private companies. The purpose is to provide elementary, junior high and high school teachers with a deeper understanding of corporate activities, human resource development, safety and the environment by allowing them to visit our head office, research centers, steel works and group companies, and then later share these experiences with their students.
Support for Females in Choosing Science and Engineering Careers
In collaboration with JFE Engineering, JFE Steel’s East Japan Works (Keihin District) participates in the Summer Rico-challe—Let’s experience work in science and engineering!,an event organized jointly by the Japan Business Federation, Cabinet Office and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, to help female students choose careers in science and engineering. During the event, middle school, high school and university students are given facility tours and opportunities to engage in roundtable discussions with female engineers.
Cooperation with School Support Center
In cooperation with the nonprofit School Support Center, middle and high school students receive training in the societal roles of the steel industry, the significance of working, career choices, etc. to stimulate their further consideration of these important issues.
Firefly Larvae Release and Firefly Viewing Party
The Chita Plant has held Firefly Larvae Release events every year since fiscal 2014. With the support of Handa City and Taketoyo Town in Aichi Prefecture, the plant invites children from local nursery schools and kindergartens to a pond at the plant site to release firefly larvae and learn about the ecology of fireflies. About two months later, the plant holds its Hotaru no Yube viewing party so local residents can enjoy the mature fireflies at night. The plant site is opened up to anyone who wishes to attend, creating a valuable opportunity to interact with local residents and to together learn about the importance of biodiversity protection.
Every year, JFE participates in Japan’s largest environmental exhibition, Eco Pro, which is organized by the Japan Environmental Management Association for Industry and the Nikkei financial newspaper. This year, JFE Steel used the opportunity to promote the advantages of steel, an environmentally friendly material, and from creation to use and recycling. It also introduced products and technologies that help to reduce the company’s environmental impact. Experiential displays were provided to the delight of everyone, from elementary school students to adults.
The Chiba District of the East Japan Works set up a booth at the Inbanuma Watershed Environment and Experience Fair to help local residents learn about steel production processes and both water-purification and environmental initiatives.
The Keihin District of the same Works, in cooperation with other JFE Group companies, exhibited at the Kawasaki International Environmental Technology Exhibition to show how it is addressing environmental issues in its steelmaking and engineering businesses. The facility also proudly displayed its Kawasaki-developed products and technologies that have been certified by the city for their contributions to CO2 emissions reduction.
Volunteer Work to Fertilize Cherry Trees
The Niigata Branch organized a citizens’ group called Niigata City Flower Fertilization Volunteers in which about 10 employees participate. The activity was triggered by the appearance of diseased trees in a corner of a public garden much beloved for annual cherry blossom viewing.
Eco-purposed Steel Slag
JFE Steel utilizes slag generated in steelmaking to help protect marine environments. Variable-size (photo) Marine Stone® is effective in absorbing of hydrogen sulfide generated from sludge sediments in bays and other enclosed areas, thereby improving the environment for living organisms. Another version, Marine Block®, which are carbonated slag blocks with a makeup similar to that of coral, provides an excellent foundational base for the growth of coral and other marine organisms. Through joint research with partners including Yokohama City, a major seaport, the company continues to investigate ways to restore healthy marine environments with Marine Block.
Seaweed growing among Marine Stone
Coral and other sea life growing on Marine Block
Sports and Cultural Promotion
Local Sporting Events
JFE steelworks and manufacturing sites open their facilities, such as gymnasiums and sports grounds, to the public for athletic events including track and field, soccer, baseball, volleyball and basketball. Participation by people of all ages, from elementary school to the elderly, contributes to public health in the surrounding communities.
Instructional Classes by Baseball and Racing Clubs
The JFE East Japan and JFE West Japan baseball clubs, as part of their social-contribution activities, conduct instructional classes for local children. They also hold tea-ball sessions at nearby nursery schools to teach children the joy of physical activity. Since 2018, the JFE East Japan club has also offered baseball classes for children living in orphanages in Chiba Prefecture.
The JFE Steel Racing Club holds track and field classes for children in the Fukuyama City area of Hiroshima Prefecture, where JFE Steel has a base. Interaction with experienced players provides children with opportunities to envision their futures.
Sponsorship of Chochikun Go Cup
The East Japan Works and the JFE 21 Century Foundation are cosponsors of the Chochikun Go Cup held annually in Chiba Prefecture, attracting some 200 participants who love the ancient board game Go. At the 20th event held in 2018, we invited professional Go players so that members of the public, from children to adults, could try playing against these experts, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people.
The Chiba District of the East Japan Works is an active promoter of parasports. At JFE’s Chiba Sakura cherry blossom festivals, which are open to the local community, events are organized to allow people to directly experience parasports. Experiential parasports events are also arranged during sporting activities for steelworks employees. In addition, a parasports display is exhibited at the visitor-receiving facility of the factory and an area has been set aside to allow visitors to experience boccia, an official event of the Paralympics.
Keihin Symphonic Band Performances
The Keihin Symphonic Band of the East Japan Works performs at various events every year, including Let’s find out! Let’s study! Kawasaki Corporate Citizenship Exchange Day and Kawasaki Jazz organized by the Kawasaki local government. The events enable company employees, citizens and public officials to interact through the joy of music. The band also performs for patients at local hospitals.