The Sumitomo Chemical Group is a Japanese chemical giant that was founded in 1913. It was established with the goal of manufacturing fertilizers from the sulphur dioxide emissions of the Besshi mine in Niihama. One of the tenets of the company is the production of environmentally-friendly chemical products, and to this end Sumitomo Chemical seeks to eliminate harmful pollutants and address the issue of increasing crop yields. At present, the group spans over 100 affiliates, subsidiaries, and businesses. It operates across 5 sectors, including: pharmaceuticals, IT-related chemical products, crop and health sciences, basic chemicals and petrochemicals.
The corporate governance structure at Sumitomo Chemical is geared towards serving shareholder and stakeholder interests in the most effective ways possible. Important decision-making processes are expedited, while the responsibilities of the executives are expressly delineated. A rigorous system of checks and balances is in place to ensure compliance with all internal audit procedures and the timely dissemination of information. The company’s Chairman and CEO is Osamu Ishitobi, and the president and COO is Masakazu Tokura.
The corporate governance of the organization comprises the following layers: General Meeting of Shareholders, Board of Corporate Auditors and Board of Directors. There are Accounting Auditors and Internal Control Committees working in tandem with an Internal Control and Audit Department. The Business Execution Systems comprises the Chairman and President, the Management Meeting, Executive Offices and the Corporate Departments and Business Sectors.
Product Range & Innovations
The Sumitomo Chemical Group is focused on 5 core business areas. These include Basic Chemicals, Petrochemicals and Plastics, IT-related Chemicals, Crop and Health Sciences, and Pharmaceuticals. Examples of products include the following:
Basic Chemicals – Caprolactam, Alumina, Methyl Methacrylate Polymer, Resorcinol
Petrochemicals & Plastics – Polyethylene, Propylene Oxide, Polypropylene, Synthetic Rubber
IT-related Chemicals – Photoresists, Polarizing Films, Super Engineering Plastics, Lithium-ion secondary batteries
Crop & Health Sciences – Crop Protection Chemicals, Household Products, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, Feed Additives, and Products for Controlling Infectious Diseases
Pharmaceuticals – Nihon Medi-Physics Co, Ltd, and Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd.
Sumitomo Chemical works to create hybrid chemistry for sustainable operations. The company’s R&D efforts encompass six core technologies: Analysis of Bio-Mechanisms, Device Design, Functional Inorganic Materials Design, Functional Organic Chemicals and Polymers Design, Catalyst Design and High-Precision Processing.
Sustainability & Performance
In terms of corporate social responsibility initiatives, Sumitomo Chemical is heavily invested in sustainable development. This it does by way of its business activities as part of its CSR principles. Among the many tasks undertaken by Sumitomo Chemical Group are the provision of support with Olyset Net, providing disaster recovery support, green processes and eco-friendly products. These include the EPL 3 Process for Polarizeer, Proprietary Propylene Oxide-Only Process, Caprolactam Process, and the Hydrochloric Acid Oxidation Process. All of these processes have been deemed green processes. Clean products include the likes of Polyactic Acide-Based eco-friendly plastic, Sumiflix HF (Environmentally Friendly Reactive Dye), Pluto MC insecticide, Super Engineering Plastics (Sumika Super LCP and Sumika Excel PES), LEDs and Diesel particulate filters. The company is listed in the top 20 performing chemical companies (2012 stats) with growing revenues, year on year.