|As we approach the 21st century, environmental problems are becoming global in nature, and ecological preservation is now the collective responsibility of all humankind. Maintaining harmony with the environment is one of NEC's top priorities, and NEC aims to contribute to the preservation of the natural environment in all realms of its corporate activities. As a good corporate citizen, NEC also contributes to society through a variety of endeavors.
In September 1996, ISO14001, the International Organization for Standardization's standard relating to environmental management systems, was published. To obtain ISO14001 certification, companies must implement an environmental management cycle that includes policy formulation and planning, implementation and operation, checking and corrective action, and management reviews. Through its companywide project, NEC has been preparing for ISO14001 compliance since 1993. By March 1997, 17 of its manufacturing facilities worldwide had received ISO14001 certification. NEC expects the same for its remaining domestic manufacturing facilities through fiscal 1998 and for all overseas manufacturing companies in the NEC group by 2000.
NEC has engaged in environmental management activities for the past quarter century and now has one of Japan's most advanced environmental management systems. NEC actively shares its accumulated knowledge with other companies by helping them establish and implement their own environmental programs for ISO14001 compliance.
NEC is internationally recognized for its environmental management activities. For its companywide environmental efforts, NEC received the Asahi Shimbun Foundation's Environmental Protection Award in September 1996. Also, NEC was ranked as the most environment-friendly corporation in a survey conducted by a leading Japanese newspaper company, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc. In addition, U.S. semiconductor subsidiary NEC Electronics Inc.'s Roseville plant, in California, was recognized for its recycling efforts by the Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) directed by the state of California, which is known for its tough environmental standards.
Refuse left by tourists on the slopes of Japan's majestic Mt. Fuji poses substantial risks to the environment and to the purity of local groundwater. Since 1993, NEC employees at NEC Gotemba, Ltd., near the base of Mt. Fuji, have been working with local residents to clean up this well-known symbol of Japan.
NEC focuses its activities relating
to societal contribution in five specific areas: volunteer work; environmental preservation; social welfare activities; community involvement; and artistic, cultural, and sporting activities.
In January 1997, the Russian tanker Nahodka sank and emptied tons of crude oil into the Sea of Japan. As oil began to shroud the Japanese coast, an extended cleanup effort commenced. The NEC volunteer group took action by appealing to NEC employees for donations of rain gear, rubber gloves, towels, and other supplies and sent these supplies in an NEC truck to the local government of the worst- hit area. Many NEC employees also participated in the cleanup effort.
As part of its endeavors to promote environmental preservation, NEC supports Conservation International (CI), a nongovernmental organization based in the United States. CI works in cooperation with UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) to provide training in technological and other areas for people supporting environmental protection efforts at 25 biological preserves around the world. NEC provides CI with not only financial support but also such NEC products as PCs and printers.
NEC's social welfare activities include NEC Australia Pty. Ltd.'s Life Page Program, which supports patients scheduled to undergo kidney transplant surgery. Kidney transplant surgery must occur immediately after organ receipt, and notifying patients quickly when donated organs become available is crucial. By supplying pagers and enlisting the help of the Australian paging service company Link Telecommunications Pty Ltd., NEC implemented a system by which kidney transplant patients can be contacted promptly.
NEC's community involvement includes inviting local residents and people with disabilities to its Super Tower Concerts, periodic performances featuring premier artists from around the globe. NEC personnel guide guests to their seats, giving the concerts a truly local feel. In fiscal 1997, the Super Tower Concerts included a performance by the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Chikara Imamura.
In the area of sporting activities, NEC is proud to help introduce people with disabilities to the excitement of sports through its support of wheelchair tennis, a sport gaining worldwide popularity. Since 1992, NEC has sponsored the NEC International Wheelchair Tennis Tour and, since 1994, the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters. In addition, to promote the healthy development of young people through sports, NEC sponsors the NEC World Youth Cup tennis tournament. Called the Junior Davis Cup by some, players aged 16 and under from more than 50 countries take part each year.
NEC supported Save the Africa, an international non-governmental organization which is fighting to save the people of the West African nation of Mauritania from desertification, malnutrition, and disease. NEC provided Save the Africa with INMARSAT portable satellite terminals for urgent communications.
NEC sponsors the Harlequins Football Club, in London, and as an extension of this sponsorship, facilitates a nationwide youth development program for more than 25,000 youngsters.
NEC Electronics Inc.'s Roseville plant, in California, hosted the third-annual Earth Day celebration, in which vendors and NEC employees celebrate recycling and environmental preservation efforts.