Contributing to the well-being of society is an important objective common to all NEC's business activities. This objective is not limited to promoting material well-being but also encompasses fostering cultural activities and preserving the environment with the overall aim of improving life for present and future generations.
For over 20 years, NEC has worked earnestly to protect the environment through various measures, including environmental audits. Such measures are being implemented not only throughout NEC's domestic operations but also at a growing number of overseas subsidiaries. These programs have enhanced our worldwide approach to environmental protection by helping ensure that our subsidiaries take the necessary measures to protect the environment and offering specific guidance as to how their efforts might be improved.
In October 1994, NEC held an international conference to discuss its worldwide management policies and activities. At the conference, we informed participants about the general directions of NEC's environmentrelated activities, encouraged the sharing of information and methodology, and provided incentives to encourage overseas subsidiaries to do their utmost to protect the environment. A total of 21 subsidiaries in 12 countries participated in the conference.
Taking our environmental protection measures one step further, we drew up companywide product assessment guidelines aimed at minimizing the burden our products place on the environment during their life cycles. Based on these guidelines, we are implementing a system under which the environmental impact of newly developed products is fully assessed well before the production stage. Categories evaluated include weight and volume, power consumption, ease of recycling, and disposal and decomposition. We are already implementing these assessments for several products, including PCs and facsimile machines. In the future, we will extend these efforts to ensure that the design, manufacture, and use of our products will place a minimal burden on the environment.
NEC's efforts to contribute to society are concentrated in five specific areas: volunteer work, environmental preservation, social welfare activities, community involvement, and support for artistic, cultural, and athletic activities.
To contribute to the preservation of the global environment, NEC provides financial and technical support for a large-scale study on endangered species of cranes. In this three-year project, which is now in its second phase, tiny transmitting devices have been attached to these birds, enabling satellites to track migration routes and identify breeding grounds and winter habitats. In fiscal 1995, cranes were tagged in Russia and tracked as they migrated to China and the Korean peninsula.
NEC is a dedicated supporter of social welfare activities and community activities around the world. For example, in October 1994, NEC Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary in the United States, donated a large number of display monitors to the Boston Computer Museum. The monitors add brightness and clarity to the museum's new "Walk-Through Computer" exhibit. NEC also sponsors a cable radio lecture course in Japan on PC use to help people who are visually impaired benefit from the communications-related capabilities of computers.
Since 1986, NEC has been supporting the Boston Symphony Orchestra's concert tours. Also, we sponsor the NEC World Youth Cup tennis tournament, a well-known amateur version of the Davis Cup in which young players from more than 50 countries participate.
Finally, NEC assisted in recovery efforts in and around Kobe following the devastating earthquake that struck that area in January 1995. To restore information lifelines, we provided ground stations for mobile communications satellites, Multi-Channel Access (MCA) wireless equipment, cellular phones, PCs, printers, facsimile machines, and other equipment for local governments and public utilities. Also, many NEC employees participated in volunteer relief efforts to transport emergency supplies, using Volunet, our PC information service on volunteer activities, to ensure the efficient exchange of pertinent information.
At the NEC World Children's Multimedia Conference, elementary school students from Japan, Australia, England, and the United States participated in a series of virtual meetings using multimedia network services and PCs. During the conference, the children created and exchanged information, including sound, text, graphics, and video images, to discuss a variety of topics based on the general theme "the world in which we live."
Since 1990, NEC has underwritten INNOVATION, an Emmy Award winning educational series on health, science, and technology broadcast over public television in the United States. People in Motion, the miniseries pictured below, features the impact of technologies on the lives of people with physical disabilities.
NEC periodically hosts concerts in the atrium of its head office building for residents of the local community and physically handicapped people. In December 1994, Seiji Ozawa conducted a goodwill performance by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
In November 1994, the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters tournament was held in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. In both men's and women's tournaments, the eight top-ranking players vied for the championship titles.