As a way to help develop the next generation of human resources, Sumitomo Corporation has been giving visiting lectures on a range of themes to students from elementary school pupils to university students.
In June and November, Toru Takei, general manager of the Environment & CSR Department, gave a series of lectures on the theme of "China viewed from businesspersons working for a general trading company," targeting about 150 first graders at Kaichi Senior High School and about 200 second graders at Omiya Kaisei Senior High School (both private high schools in Saitama Prefecture). This activity was designed to support the initiative that Saitama Prefecture is implementing to help senior high school students acquire international experience. After the lecture, students commented, "Now I would like to know more about China" and "I now understand what I need to do to prepare to face the world."
In July, at the request of Kodomo Miraikan, a center for children run by Edogawa City in Tokyo, Chiharu Tanaka of the Logistics Management Department gave the visiting lecture to fourth to sixth graders at local elementary schools. In the lecture on Japan and the world, the children were given an outline of world trade and transportation and on different types of logistics operations and their mechanisms with some quizzes and bits of trivia. Children who participated commented, "I can now understand what a strong yen means," "I learned how goods are imported and exported," "The lesson explained about the different types of transportation," and "I want to know more about how Japan is linked with the rest of the world."
In October, in support of the Keizai Koho Center's initiative to invite businesspersons to give lectures, Sumitomo Corporation sent lecturers to an endowment course at Waseda University School of Commerce held on the theme of "CSR and environmental problems in the age of globalization." Jun Iwata of the Environment & CSR Department and Nobuyuki Ariyama of the Nickel and New Metals Business Department gave lectures on the Sumitomo Corporation Group's CSR measures to about 100 second and higher graders at the School of Commerce. The lectures covered the Sumitomo Corporation Group's approach to CSR and the Ambatovy Nickel Project (a resource development project) in Madagascar, which provides a specific example of how a company can fulfill its CSR through business operations. After the lecture, a Q&A session was held, in which students enthusiastically raised questions such as "Mineral resources are limited. What will happen to the local people when the resources are depleted?" and "to preserve the environment, wouldn't it be better to transport mineral ore by rail than to install a pipeline?" The lecturers answered these questions by giving details of the company's CSR activities and measures to safeguard the environment.
Sumitomo Corporation will continue to give visiting lectures upon request to support the development of the next generation of human resources.
Students at Kaichi Senior High School were able to understand what an integrated trading company, something they were not familiar with, does.
The lecture, given using slide presentations and quizzes were very popular among elementary school pupils.
Students listened intently to the lecturer explaining about CSR measures that are not publicized in the newspapers or on the TV news.