About Us Activity Publications Inquiries & Access


Report on 16th SDGs Seminar Private Enterprise and the SDGs: Sumitomo Chemical’s Social Contribution Through Business


Guest speaker Ms. Kyoko Yamamoto

The 16th SDGs Seminar, held on December 13, 2021, took the theme of "Private Enterprise and the SDGs: Sumitomo Chemical’s Social Contribution Through Business." Kyoko Yamamoto, Manage of Sustainability Department at Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. and an Ochanomizu alumna, spoke to us about SDG-related initiatives from the position of a chemical company and private enterprise engagement in international cooperation.

Sumitomo Chemical pursues sustainability from the top down, but this does not simply mean senior management taking the lead in reflecting sustainability in business management. The company is also undertaking education activities, including planning its global project "Sustainable Tree" inhouse, boosting all employees' awareness of the SDGs, and enabling them to acquire sufficient knowledge. These activities seem an excellent way to ensure that not just top management but a whole range of individuals related to the company have knowledge of and a strong interest in sustainability, maintaining a positive tension across the company as a whole in relation to the SDGs.

IMAGE:Contribution through the Olyset Net

At the seminar, we also learned about the Olyset Net that Sumitomo Chemical has developed to address the issue of Africa being the location of most deaths from malaria as well as the effects and impact of the Olyset Net on local communities. This mosquito net does not just help to prevent malaria but also contributes to resolving various social issues in developing countries. For example, it creates local jobs, promotes women's participation in the workforce, and supports children's education. I was surprised to discover product development turning into international cooperation. At a previous seminar on the use of the michi-no-eki or roadside station program in international cooperation, the speaker told us that low-tech is more useful than high-tech in developing countries. Sumitomo Chemical's Olyset Net is a high-tech product incorporating cutting-edge technologies, but the idea derived from the mosquito nets that have traditionally been used in Japan, making the Olyset Net a product that fuses low-tech and high-tech. The Olyset Net is in fact easy to use and fits in well with people's lifestyles in developing countries, so it seems like a product well-suited to international cooperation. Development of the Olyset Net has had a huge impact, saving the lives of many people in the developing world who are exposed to the risk of malaria infection as well as improving their lifestyles.

The seminar showed us that contributions to international cooperation can be made not just through support projects conducted by public institutions but also by private enterprise through the power of chemicals and other technologies.

 (Fuki Oshima, second-year student, Global Studies for Inter-Cultural Cooperation,
Department of Languages and Culture, Faculty of Letters and Education)

  • このエントリーをはてなブックマークに追加