As a member of society, Marubeni actively assists activities for social welfare facilities and organizations through the Marubeni Foundation, a social welfare corporation, and contributes donations to areas that have been devastated by disasters.
Since being founded in 1974, the Marubeni Foundation has been engaged in social contribution activities for more than 40 years. In 1995 an activity called “The 100 Yen Club” was started, in which current and former employees and executives of the Marubeni Group pledge to make monthly donations in 100-yen increments. This is one of ways that many group employees have participated in Marubeni Foundation activities. From 2015, Group employee volunteers have been invited to participate in the ceremonies to present the Foundation grants, which were previously conducted by Foundation personnel and local executives. In 2016 more than 100 employees participated. Feedback from participants included comments like “Being able to see where the donations are actually being used made me realize the true significance of volunteer activities” Working with the Group employees, the activities of the Marubeni Foundation will continue to expand.
A traveling bread sales project by two organizations (see the asterisks below), aided by the Marubeni Foundation, is held at the Marubeni Tokyo Head Office. The purpose of the project is to provide opportunities to people who have less contact with society and who wish to gain confidence in work (such as the intellectually disabled and youth who had been socially withdrawn) toward becoming a more integral part of society, all through traveling bread sales. Each time, the employees of Marubeni cooperate as volunteers selling bread and distributing leaflets.
* Kaze no Sumika (Home of the Wind) community bakery
Through the operation of a farm and a bakery, the Kaze no Sumika bakery provides work experience for youths who feel difficulty in working and engaging in society. In 2005, the organization bought dough-rising equipment with a grant from the Marubeni Foundation.
* Donguri (Acorn) bakery
Assists the severely intellectually handicapped who have difficulty doing general work to become self-reliant through the operation of a bakery; in 2006, purchased a light motor vehicle with a grant from the Marubeni Foundation.
In September 2016, Marubeni held a blueberry gathering event at a farm run by NPO Bunka Gakushu Kyodo Network, in which the social welfare corporation Marubeni Foundation offers grants.
The NPO comes and sells bread at the Tokyo Head Office. Their job training program helps youths who have experienced social withdrawal go back to social life by making and selling bread.
The farm produces various ingredients for the breads such as wheat and sweet potatoes. The harvesting season for blueberries arrived, and the farm wanted some help. On the day, about 30 Marubeni Group employees and members of their families gathered to help pick blueberries.
Tokyo Head Office runs the TABLE FOR TWO (TFT) program at the staff cafeteria.
The TFT program provides a way for we who live in advanced countries with plentiful diets to share our food across time and space with children living in developing countries plagued by famine. When employees purchase a healthy menu item that is part of the program, ¥20 is donated towards school meals for children in developing countries. This amount is roughly equivalent to the cost of one school meal. The TFT program meals are made according to special healthy standards so that the program helps the diners at the cafeteria to stay healthy too.
Marubeni also contributed to the TFT program by matching the donations collected from employees. As a result, purchasing one TFT meal enables the program to supply two school meals. As of the end of January 2017, total donations amounted to approximately ¥3.6 million including the matching contribution from Marubeni. This sum equates to school meals for approximately 180,000 children.
Marubeni is a partner of the “Minnade Nuno Chokkin (Everybody Cut Material)” program organized by the specified NPO Caring for Young Refugees (CYR). For 2016, activities were held by individuals as well as at Marubeni offices (including two overseas offices) and 12 group company locations resulting in the collection of materials for 440 balls and 120 dolls. The collected materials were sent along with a monetary donation from Marubeni Group.
[About “Minnade Nuno Chokkin (Everybody Cut Material)”]
Supporters cut out material for stuffed toys according to the pattern, and send them to Cambodia along with some donations. Instead of sending finished products, by having them manufactured locally, it creates an opportunity for impoverished women to make cash earnings. The program also aims to develop human resources by training teachers with ways to play with the produced toys.
In Japan, as the birthrate declines and society ages, the number of people able to donate blood decreases while the number of elderly patients requiring transfusions increases, leading to increasingly serious blood shortages nationwide. For many years Marubeni has been conducting blood drives twice a year, with about 200 employees participating each year. During the week before the blood donations are collected employees are encouraged to participate, including the offer of special menu choices at the company cafeterias to support blood donation.
These efforts are being noticed. In July 2016 Marubeni was awarded the Japanese Red Cross Society Golden Order of Merit at the 52nd National Blood Donation Promotion Campaign Meeting.
The Marubeni Group collects unsent postcards (unsent because the sender has made a mistake) and used stamps from employees, and donates them to different organizations. The postcards were donated to CARE International Japan, which supports the independence of women and children in Asia and Africa, while the used stamps were donated to the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP), which promotes international cooperation for health education as well as maternal and pediatric health in developing countries.
The Marubeni Group runs a campaign to collect unwanted clothing from its employees and their families to assist developing countries and areas struck by disaster. The collected clothing is donated to various places through the Japan Relief Clothing Center (JRCC).