SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY

PEOPLE – We strive to be a company to be proud of

"All the wealth gained from society should be returned to society." This was the guiding principle of our company founder Magosaburo Ohara around 100 years ago. He thus established a long tradition of responsibility for employees, their families and social commitment to their communities.

As a company in the chemical industry, we pay particular attention to safety. Only through a clear focus on environmental protection, health, process safety and accident prevention can we maintain the trust of society and our employees. By adopting consistent safety management and conducting regular risk assessments, we strive to minimize risks to the best of our ability. As part of our occupational health management, we are committed to providing as a safe, healthy working environment for everyone.

Our leadership and HR work are also designed to be sustainable. We want the people who work for us to remain productive, healthy and motivated in the long term. We invest heavily in this and support our employees and managers, for example, by providing training and e-learning modules on key skills as well as coaching. A lively feedback culture is equally important to us. For instance, we regularly survey the health and satisfaction of our employees and hold annual development meetings with them. In the spirit of our founder, we also promote an appreciative, inclusive and diverse corporate culture and are committed to the communities in which we operate.

Lighthouse projects and inititiatives

Social engagement

Doing good, together

Through our social commitment, we want to connect with people and make a meaningful impact. This benefits all sides: the many initiatives and projects we support because of their exemplary commitment to social, cultural and ecological causes and the people who are committed to doing good. It is important to us that our employees are actively involved.  

In addition to the numerous donations that we make as a company year after year, many of our employees also take part in the "Christmas in a shoe box" charity campaign, the Malteser Social Day or the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge – to give just a few examples. These are fun, promote a community spirit and help people in need. As a company and as a team, we genuinely stand up for our values and put them into practice.

Global mobility

Location change explicitly desired!

In today's interconnected world, gaining experience abroad is increasingly important for many companies, and this also holds true for us. The benefits are clear: the workforce becomes more diverse and people get to know each other better, different perspectives and new ideas provide a breath of fresh air and employees develop personally and professionally. These advantages do not only benefit the expats themselves; they also contribute to the overall success of our company. A pool of talented staff with global experience often enables us to meet our demand for skilled labour more flexibly, more quickly and from within our own ranks. 

It is for these reasons that Kuraray Europe encourages employees to take on foreign assignments and offers various models for this. In the interests of sustainable HR practice, we allow short-term assignments as well as medium and long-term assignments to another country for up to five years. 

Group of internationals sitting in front of a world map.

Additionally, hybrid assignments of up to 180 days per year are possible as part of global projects. Trainees can spend one to three months abroad to acquire intercultural skills and build up a global network. Throughout these assignments, our HR department provides comprehensive support, assisting with all matters before, during, and after the overseas stays.

Kuraray Innovation Days

Make way for good ideas

Actively helping to shape the future of the company - that is the focus of the "Kuraray Innovation Days". This event, which originated from the former European Future Days, aims to create a global forum for innovation. We invite all employees to take part, propose ideas and drive them forward together. The main focus is on cross-divisional projects that require expertise from different areas of the company. The Innovation Days specifically address topics that are not part of day-to-day business. Several initiatives and promising development projects have already emerged from the European Future Days and Innovation Days. Examples are a platform to promote innovations based on the "open innovation" concept and the development of business models for films in agriculture.

Group picture of workshop participants.

In general, at Kuraray we value employee feedback, which is why we conduct an annual global employee survey. Although Kuraray Europe is pleased with the high satisfaction ratings, we do not stop there: If there are areas where we can improve, we develop appropriate measures in a follow-up process.

Family and career

When life demands a lot

Work and career on the one hand, family and children on the other – combining it all can sometimes feel like trying to square a circle. We know this, which is why we, as an employer, do a lot to make life easier for our employees – particularly in times that are very demanding.

One way we support our employees is by offering long-term accounts, allowing them to accumulate time off and utilize it flexibly for paid leave – for example, for a sabbatical, to care for a relative or during parental leave. In addition to the statutory parental leave of 36 months, we grant up to twelve months of additional parental leave. If mothers or fathers work part-time during this year, they can work up to 80 percent from home. 

Child smiles holding his parents hands.

We also support the balance between family and career by helping find childcare places, paid time off (on a daily basis) in family emergencies and generous arrangements for mobile working, part-time work and unpaid leave to care for relatives.

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