In response to opinions obtained through the engagement with stakeholders outside the Company, Mazda has taken the following specific actions in FY March 2013.
- Communication was strengthened, mainly with regard to environmental and safety technologies.
- The social contribution-related opinions were taken up and discussed by the Social Contribution Committee. These opinions have already been incorporated in Mazda's FY March 2014 initiative targets and specific actions to be taken. As for opinions regarding the presentation of local community contribution activities, an outline and examples of activities conducted in FY March 2013 were compiled by region and presented in this Sustainability Report.
- In response to the opinions related to employee conduct, Mazda held the 1st CSR Education Seminar for all senior managers, aiming to encourage them to be more mindful of their actions.
At the Forum, Mazda explained its CSR activities and environmental and safety technologies, presented SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and i-ACTIVSENSE, and offered a test-ride of vehicles incorporating safety technologies. Following these events, discussions were held on the theme of the SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and i-ACTIVSENSE between Mazda engineers and participants, who submitted their candid views.
- Period : March 2013
- Venue : Mazda R&D Center Yokohama and Head Office (Hiroshima)
- Participants : About 280 people from the general public
<Opinions from Participants>
- I could clearly understand Mazda's vehicle development policy. I was happy to have been able to experience safety technologies firsthand, as I usually cannot obtain such an experience.
- It was a good opportunity to directly talk with Mazda engineers, and to advance our opinions as users.
- I felt empathy with Mazda's attitudes of addressing (CSR issues including the environment and safety) together with customers, pursuing technological development that is always centered around people (drivers).
- Mazda should intensify its efforts to publicize its safety technologies through commercials and other means, as Mazda has a competitive advantage in technologies over others.
- I hope Mazda continues pursing driving pleasure, and disseminating its technologies. I am looking forward to seeing what vehicle Mazda will release next time.
Mazda R&D Center Yokohama offers its facilities (AV hall, open gallery, etc.) as a venue for meetings of Mazda vehicle owners. At these meetings, Mazda vehicle owners exchange views with Mazda employees. The results of surveys answered by owners are used for future product development. In FY March 2013, a total of five meetings were held, bringing together owners of Mazda vehicles, such as the Demio(Mazda2 overseas), the Atenza(Mazda6 overseas), the RX-8, and the CX-5. These meetings were attended by 230 owners (220 vehicles) in total.
<Opinions from participants>
- I shared a great time with other Mazda vehicle owners. At the meeting, I also enjoyed talking with Mazda employees.
- I was happy to hear Mazda's Program Managers and engineers talking about their passion for vehicle development.
- I hope that Mazda will continue to manufacture vehicles that are fun to drive and ride in.
To create vehicles that can attract female customers based on inspirations received from women's lifestyles and sense of values, Mazda set up "Hashiru Onna Club" (driving women's club) in April 2012. This club is intended to promote communication with customers through various events and to make effective use of customer opinions for Mazda's future vehicle development. In March FY 2013, with its opening event as the start, the club held a total of five events and seminars, including the "Contest of Vehicles that We Really Want." These events and seminars, taking place at places popular among women in Hiroshima, attracted a total of about 200 participants. Some of them made a favorable comment "Through these activities, the connections between club members have been deepened." In the future, the club aims to further improve its activities, and greatly increase the number of female Mazda fans.
<Opinions from participants>
- I am very pleased with these women-oriented activities.
- This club's activities helped me to develop human network and expanded my scope of activities.
- I came to feel familiar with Mazda.
- I expect that the club will offer a plan that enables both Mazda and Hiroshima to develop together.
A CSR seminar was held for university undergraduate and graduate students. The participants advanced their valuable opinions on Mazda's CSR efforts and the Mazda Sustainability Report.
3rd CSR Workshop
- Period : December 2012
- Venue : Mazda Education Center / Participants: About 60 university undergraduate and graduate students
4th CSR Workshop
- Period : March 2013
- Venue : Mazda R&D Center Yokohama / Participants: About 40 university undergraduate and graduate students
<Opinions from Participants>
- Initiatives that deserve praise
- Social contribution activities deeply rooted in the local community (promoting the Mazda-no-Mori [Mazda Forest] program, allowing the use of proving grounds for local activities, etc.)
- Career meetings (four times a year) and Career Challenge System
- Mazda's unique environmental protection activities in line with the Building-Block Strategy
- Activities to increase the employment and range of opportunities for women
- Provision of global employment opportunities and consideration of religious backgrounds
- Fuel economy improvement through SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, and Intelligent-Drive Master (i-DM)
- Areas that can be improved
- Social contribution activities in partnership with overseas regional companies
- Introduction about Mazda's human resource policies at overseas Group companies, via the Sustainability Report
- Descriptions of the respective activities with specific issues, targets, measures and results
- Activities in developing countries and global-scale activities
- Introduction of clean energy for transportation
- Specific initiatives to promote diversity
Mazda held meetings to exchange opinions with university seminar students. Approximately two months after receiving explanations on Mazda's CSR efforts, participants advanced valuable ideas from the viewpoints of students, concerning what activities Mazda should strengthen or carry out to promote CSR communications and branding.
- Period : May and July 2012
- Venue : Waseda University and Rikkyo University / Participants: 50 students (10 teams)
<Opinions from Participants>
- Mazda has already been implementing almost all necessary CSR initiatives, including environmental protection. However, such efforts have not been made widely known to the general public.
- There is a high degree of public recognition of the company name, Mazda, from its brand statement "Zoom-Zoom." I expect Mazda to conduct social contribution activities that fully convey the Zoom-Zoom message.
- Mazda employees' level of understanding of CSR has reached 95% as a result of holding lectures. I think that it is important for Mazda to translate such a high level of understanding into action.
Mazda held meetings with the neighborhood association presidents and the community center directors of the local community adjacent to the Mazda Head Office premises, to hear about local community issues and requests for Mazda, and exchange opinions with these community leaders.
- Period : November 2012
- Venue : Mazda Head Office (Hiroshima)
<Opinions from participants>
- I strongly hope to work together with Mazda to conduct activities to enhance traffic safety for neighborhood residents.
- To revitalize our community center, I hope that Mazda employees will become more actively involved in community center activities.
- I recommend that Mazda places a greater emphasis on explaining to people outside the Company its various local community contributions.
Mazda participated in the meeting of neighborhood association presidents of the Nishinoura district, and shared the environmental protection efforts by Hofu Plant with them to obtain further understanding to Mazda.
- Period : April 2012
- Venue : Nishinoura Community Center, Hofu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Opinions, obtained through the engagement with stakeholders inside the Company, have been used for the improvement of the future Mazda CSR initiatives and the next year's Mazda Sustainability Report contents.
Meetings were held with executive officers and employees in charge of producing the Mazda Sustainability Report from relevant divisions/departments, to exchange opinions regarding the two themes listed below.
17 times, between November 2012 and February 2013
1. Review of Mazda Sustainability Report 2012
2. CSR initiatives/activities implemented in each division and area, and future CSR directions
Mazda, establishing the Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration Secretariat, has promoted collaboration with government authorities and universities, aiming to resolve business issues by obtaining new knowledge and viewpoints outside the Company, and thereby broadly contributing to society. By visualizing such collaborative activities and sharing relevant information with government authorities and universities, Mazda aims to achieve the maximum outcomes from its daily efforts.
As a company that has production facilities mainly in Hiroshima Prefecture, Mazda believes that cooperation with the local economy and industry is of great significance. For instance, Mazda conducts activities to contribute to the automobile-related local industry, through industry-academia-government collaborations aimed at seeking a new framework for supporting local businesses and the next-generation automobile society. In this collaboration, the METI Chugoku (Chugoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry), Hiroshima Prefecture, Hiroshima City and other governmental authorities, as well as the Hiroshima Industrial Promotion Organization, play central roles.
In October 2012, leaders of Hiroshima University, the Hiroshima Industrial Promotion Organization and government authorities gathered together with Mazda under one roof. These leaders held discussions about new initiatives and shared information on the progress made in collaborative activities, and then reached an agreement on the activity plan for FY March 2013. Also, in Gunma Prefecture, a meeting was held at which Mazda presented information on its technological needs to academia. In response, a meeting was held at a Mazda Head office at which universities and other research institutes proposed their technological seeds. As a result, the progress was made for around 30 technological development themes.
Hiroshima Industrial Promotion Organization
With the aims of helping small and medium-size manufacturers in Hiroshima Prefecture commercialize their technologies, forming an industrial cluster,* and creating new value, the Hiroshima Industrial Promotion Organization strives to facilitate matching among companies' needs, research institutes' technological seeds, and various government programs. Our organization also holds study meetings by business category and by technological theme, and organizes tours designed for business people to visit universities and other research institutes so as to witness the actual research settings. Through such activities, we will strengthen the ties among those concerned from industry, academia, and government. Some of our industry-academia-government collaboration projects have resulted in the release of innovative products in the market, and Mazda and other companies have adopted the outcomes of such projects. Participating companies appreciate that such results have really led to management support. We will strengthen our efforts to further revitalize industries in Hiroshima Prefecture.
- *An industrial cluster refers to a concentration within a geographical area where businesses, universities, and governmental organizations work to create new, additional value through mutual collaboration and competition.
Mazda's Technical Research Center has long collaborated with the Graduate School of Engineering, Hiroshima University, conducting research primarily into advanced automotive technologies. In February 2011, the two parties, concluded a comprehensive collaboration agreement, which substantially expanded the range of partnerships in the fields of product development and production, social science such as planning, management and marketing, and personnel exchange and human resource development.
In FY March 2013, the Collaboration and Partnership Promotion Committee, a body comprising members from both Mazda and Hiroshima University, held two meetings (in April and December). At these meetings, the Committee members had lively discussions on topics such as the progress in joint research projects, proposals of specific measures to strengthen cooperation, and promoting personnel exchanges between Mazda and the university. Mazda has also dispatched coordinators to the university, not only to further encourage joint research activities but also to strengthen other initiatives, including personnel exchange programs (e.g., internships and dispatch of lecturers). In FY March 2013, about 40 joint research themes were progressed.
Center for Collaborative Research and Community Corporation,
I believe that, by collaborating with a company that is vigorous in promoting research and fostering human resources, a university can both conduct research and produce human resources with increased benefit to society. The collaboration between Hiroshima University, which pursues cutting-edge technologies and scientific principles, and Mazda, which embodies the outcomes of research and development, now encompasses a wide range of fields, including engineering, medical science, marketing, and logistics management.
One example of a successful outcome of this collaboration is the analysis of SKYACTIV engine's combustion technology. Through "visualization" capitalizing on our university's wisdom and facilities, I believe that we have been able to contribute to the dissemination of new technology. Further, Hiroshima University and Mazda shares a common mission, that is, contributing to the economic revitalization of the Chugoku region in Japan.
We have set up a working group consisting of members from local businesses, universities, and governmental bodies, and are engaged in discussions that envisage a future society that we should aim to realize.
In May 2011, Mazda and Kyushu University concluded an inter-organizational agreement to promote collaboration regarding next-generation automotive technologies. Under the agreement, the two parties have worked together to reinforce research and development projects and to encourage academic research and education activities.
In FY March 2013, in advance of joint research programs, study and research meetings were held on specific themes. As a result of vigorous discussions, about 10 joint research themes have been progressed.
In December 2012, Mazda and Kinki University concluded an agreement concerning comprehensive research collaboration. Under the agreement, the two parties have cooperated in bolstering cutting-edge research development and in strengthening the technological capabilities of local industries.
In May 2013, the Research Cooperation Promotion Committee, comprising members from Mazda's Technical Research Center and the Faculty of Engineering of Kinki University, held a meeting at which participants exchanged information on collaborative activities and engaged in active discussions on topics such as planning and implementation of specific measures that take advantage of the university's unique characteristics.
With regard to the establishment of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITSs) advanced by the Japanese government, Mazda has joined the automotive industry's promotion activities, as a member of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. ISO Technical Committee 204, which promotes ITSs in the international community, has Working Groups covering respective fields. In the field of Vehicle/Roadway Warning and Control Systems, Mazda has undertaken the post of convener (Chair of the International Conference; term: from May 2013 to April 2016), and is working on the further development of ITSs.
Mazda promotes industry-academia-government collaboration activities, not only in the Chugoku region and Hiroshima Prefecture, but also in the Tokyo Metropolitan area.
Tokyo Office plays a central role in exchanging information and promoting joint reseaches with central government ministries and agencies, and Mazda R&D Center Yokohama does the same with universities in the Tokyo Metropolitan area.