Fields issued "CSR Report Vol. 0" for internal use in June 2012 as part of its efforts to boost corporate awareness towards CSR activities. This page introduces the round-table discussion held between Director Ito, CSR Committee Chair, and young employees responsible for the future of Fields, based on a questionnaire conducted after the report was released.
Ito : Hi everyone. You've all gathered here today from different departments to discuss the topic, "Realizing and Implementing CSR in Our Work." Based on our corporate philosophy to provide "The Greatest Leisure for All People," Fields continues striving hand-in-hand with its group companies to create wonderful entertainment that enhances leisure time and brings smiles to the faces of more people. I believe that CSR activities are business activities that should not be perceived as out of the ordinary. As an example, since our founding, Fields has played a part in the development and soundness of the industry by altering the industry's distribution structure in order to deliver pachinko/pachislot machines that people truly desire. This, too, is one way of contributing to society. How do you see CSR as employees working for the Fields Group?
Tani : I joined the company as a new graduate this year and until I became a working member of society I assumed that CSR activities referred to volunteer actions such as community cleanups. I realized that was incorrect once I joined Fields. For instance, the commercial vehicles used by sales personnel are all hybrid vehicles. The choice was made to use these vehicles not only because they are superior from a cost perspective but also upon consideration of the environment and safety. I understood that our position on CSR is reflected in decisions related to such business activities as well. Looking back at my own work in charge of accounting, I realized that I support the sustainable growth of the company from a business management perspective by conveying accurate figures to management. My perception has changed in that I now understand that I also contribute to CSR in my daily work.
Matsumoto : I work in the Operational System Department and am in charge of training all employees on systems and information security, etc. Recently, I visited regional offices and branch offices nationwide and provided systems training to coincide with the introduction of new PCs for all employees. I'm also pouring energy into training everyone on information security and compliance since the number of employees in direct contact with general customers has increased in line with business expansion. I know that this training leads to customer confidence and protection of corporate information assets, and I realize that this work, too, is part of CSR.
Ishizuka : I'm currently in charge of production work for Monthly Comic Magazine HERO'S. My mission is to listen conscientiously to the opinions of readers and other involved parties, and produce intellectual property (IP) such as characters that people around the world can enjoy. I need to be aware that my mission itself to enrich people's minds with newly developed IP is part of CSR.
Kitazawa : I'm in charge of advertising and promotion at Tsuburaya Productions, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. During this long history, the company has created numerous characters popular with people of all ages, such as Ultraman. The other day, Kanegon, another of these characters, took part in a campaign to prevent bank transfer scam in Shibuya together with the Metropolitan Police's mascot Pipo-kun. I got to experience first-hand the power of characters to stop passersby and make them listen, even if the information doesn't stir their interest. We also continue to bring smiles to the faces of children affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake through the Ultraman Foundation. This helped me reaffirm that a child's smile has the power to give strength to adults and the community and help build a sound society. By running events that are picked up by the media, we can reinvigorate feelings of compassion towards the affected areas that may have started to wane. I feel that characters can make a unique contribution to society in this way.
Mizusawa : I belong to the Legal Office and realize the responsibility for taking care of the very basic aspects of CSR, namely corporate governance and legal compliance. I also take part in various cleanup activities as a member of the local community. I think activities that are somewhat different from those we conduct every day are important. That's because you need a certain amount of courage to participate in volunteer activities. I felt that way, too. But once you do, you realize how interesting they can be and you get a real feeling of achievement. Passersby actually thank you and tell you what a great job you're doing. When you're appreciated like this, it doesn't matter what company or family you belong to, it's just a great chance to experience the great joy of being a citizen.
Okabe : I belong to the Corporate Communications Office. In the course of my work each day, I'm conscious of providing a pleasant working environment in whatever way possible for my boss, senior employees and co-workers who come into contact with various stakeholders. I think that it is a part of CSR. I also support my boss in his capacity as leader of the social contribution activities promotion working group. I create and implement plans that aim to deepen ties with the community such as cleanup activities, and in the future I'd like to devise ways and provide information to entice more people to participate.
Ito : I'm really happy and feel reassured that you all have such a deep understanding of social contribution activities.
I'm sure you wouldn't hesitate to pick up rubbish in front of your homes. Would you also do the same in front of the company, on your way to work or any other place you go? It's important that this kind of consciousness permeates the entire company and is fostered among all employees.
Kitazawa : Business activities at Tsuburaya Productions cover a wide spectrum, including image production, character licensing, event production and shop operation. That means there are many opportunities for direct contact with customers, especially children. As such, employees are keenly aware of society's expectations to create things that nurture the dreams of youngsters. Nonetheless, they may be unaware that these activities are actually CSR activities.
Ito : Yes, it's really important to be able to act naturally when thinking about customers and children that love Ultraman rather than forcing awareness of CSR activities.
Kitazawa : Thank you very much. I think that being conscious of society's expectations before acting forms the basis of CSR. I'd like to be able to work, proud of the fact that I'm consistently contributing to society.
Matsumoto : As Ms. Kitazawa mentioned, all employees become instruments of CSR once CSR activities can be done through work. It's very important that everyone is able to do this. For example, although there are opportunities to take part in different volunteer activities, restrictions to time and place limit the number of potential participants.
Ishizuka : That's true. I'm also part of a local firefighting team, and I'm sure there are a lot of employees from regional offices and branch offices nationwide that are members of different local associations or firefighting teams, building relationships with the community and performing social contribution activities. Up until now, most socially based activities that we have heard about have been initiatives undertaken by the head office. Going forward, I'd like to hear about initiatives undertaken in different parts of the company so that more people feel confident that what they do constitutes CSR. Many people may think that CSR has nothing to do with them.
Kitazawa : The other day I took part in a charity race that a friend invited me to. Of course this made the recipients of the charity happy but it also brought joy to the participants. To expand CSR activities, it's important that the event is something that you want to take part in rather than take a high-handed attitude, saying, "Let's contribute to society for the sake of the community and the people."
Mizusawa : I look at cleanup activities in the same way. At first, they may seem pointless and a hassle, but even those participating involuntarily enjoy the experience and feel a sense of achievement. Some people come of their own accord the second time around and relish the opportunity.
Kitazawa : With cleanup activities, the result comes from clearing away what shouldn't be there in the first place, so it's difficult to feel that sense of joy unless you've actually taken part. It's easier when results are more tangible, such as planting flowers where people can see the achievement you made each time they view a flower.
Okabe : You get a real feeling of achievement hearing words of gratitude from local people for cleaning up the town and making it more beautiful. But it's true that actions with more tangible results are great as well. It's important to clarify the objective. I'd like to incorporate this idea into future plans.
Ito : This has been very constructive and it's good to know I can rely on you. Going forward, how do you think we should proceed with CSR activities in order to aptly convey the merits of Fields to more employees and to people around the world? Please tell us your opinions.
Tani : After reading the CSR Report for internal use, I sent it to my family to see if it boosted their understanding of Fields as well. It's true that our industry has already been evaluated in different ways, but I realized that my family's understanding of Fields changed by reading the report. Rather than reporting business activities from a single perspective, if we also convey our operations from a CSR perspective, I believe it provides us with a good opportunity to increase understanding of Fields.
Mizusawa : I used to be in charge of producing the CSR Report for internal use. The first report was intended to boost understanding and awareness of CSR, even if just a little, especially since it was for internal use. The report was distributed in June and around four months later we asked all employees to complete a questionnaire. Even though there wasn't much time to fill it out and return it, we got over half the forms back. The answers showed that almost everyone flicked through the report while around 30% read it thoroughly. I was really glad that so many people took the time to read something I had personally helped create. In addition, we discovered that around 60% of readers felt that their understanding of CSR had increased. Rather than settle for this, I realized the importance of continuing to provide information on CSR going forward.
Ishizuka : Most CSR-related releases on the portal site for internal use are from back offices such as the General Affairs Department, but I'm sure there's a lot of material from other departments that could be released. It's a bit of a waste if the information is limited to certain people.
Tani : That's true. It's been a real breath of fresh air to participate in this round-table discussion today. It's enabled us in no small part to share what people in other departments and from management are thinking.
Okabe : It'd be great to create ways of boosting awareness of the direction that Fields is heading in and the vision among all employees. It's natural for management strategy to change after anticipating the trends of the times. But the backbone behind the strategy, or the core of Fields, remains unchanged, even if it's 10 or 20 years into the future. If this core understanding can be shared with everyone, the company will surely get better and better.
Ishizuka : If you don't understand the essence of the work you're doing every day, you may think it has nothing to do with you. Next, some may even stop wanting to take responsibility. It's important to share the corporate vision and work with the belief that you are striving towards a common goal.
Ito : It's essential to provide information to everyone across the company in an equal and open manner in order to properly share our mission, vision, objectives and targets. Now's the time for management to engage in repeated discussion in order to convey to everyone in an easy-to-understand way the mission, vision and values of the Fields Group. This is also important to implement and realize "developing business models." If all employees perceived the same direction, they'd be more likely to develop a liking for the company and gain more confidence. If everyone knows that taking ownership and responsibility for the work they do will lead to social contribution, they will get an overwhelming feeling of achievement and self-fulfilment. Constantly repeating this experience is essential to remain fresh and drive growth. To achieve this, it is necessary for each employee to set personal objectives and strive to fulfill them. At the same time, it is important that these objectives are mutually accepted by others. If you can make more people feel enriched through your daily work, this is CSR, which leads to personal fulfillment that can be passed on to all shareholders and other stakeholders. Let's keep this in mind as we seek new challenges and strive to become an even better company. Thank you very much for today.