Sumitomo Chemical and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, which are Sumitomo EXPO2025 Promotion Committee members, participated in the “research meetings” education program of Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan on November 17 and 22, 2022. Experts of the two companies presented as lecturers and exchanged views with junior high school students across Japan about initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Designed for youngsters who are expected to be future leaders, the Expo 2025 education program encourages them to get involved in Expo-related initiatives of momentum fostering for the Expo. It is a good opportunity for them to learn about the SDGs and think about ideas related to the Expo theme of “Designing Future Society for Our Lives,” and moreover it fuels their interest so that they will take every opportunity to visit the Expo in 2025.
Initially launched at elementary schools and junior high schools in Osaka in fiscal 2020, the program’s coverage has been progressing nationwide since fiscal 2022.
At research meetings, Sumitomo Chemical and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation introduced Sumitomo Group’s initiatives to achieve the SDGs, responded to the youngsters’ questions on the initiatives, offered advice, and exchanged views.
From Sumitomo Chemical, Ms. Keiko Uchiyama, Chief of the Sustainability Department, presented as a lecturer. Having first explained how Sumitomo Group aims to contribute to achievement of a sustainable society based on Sumitomo’s business philosophy cultivated during its 400 years of history, she then focused on specific initiatives of Sumitomo Chemical. She spoke about the development of technologies and products to help achieve a circular economy for plastics, citing the example of chemical recycling of polyolefin from waste-derived ethanol, as well as referring to the company’s education and awareness-raising activities in Japan and abroad.
From Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mr. Junji Nishimuro, Deputy Senior Manager of the Sustainability Division, presented as the lecturer. As well as explaining about SMBC Group, he introduced the social role of banks as sources of finance used in ways that benefit both the environment and society. Additionally he emphasized that SMBC Group has set “environment,” “community,” and “next generation” as priority themes in order to help resolve social issues. As for “next generation” initiatives addressing the needs of youngsters, SMBC Group is working to enhance their financial literacy as part of its efforts to foster informed and effective citizens as well as economic development.
Both meetings were held online, connecting with several junior high schools. After every lecture, each school had a 10-minute Q&A session. The lecturers were stimulated by the students’ earnest questions, reflecting their youthful enthusiasm and desire to engage with the issues shaping their world. The research meetings were valuable opportunities for Sumitomo Group to share its SDG-related values and initiatives with youngsters.