Tokyo, Japan - Nov. 4, 2014 – Astellas Pharma Inc. (Headquarters: Tokyo; President & CEO: Yoshihiko Hatanaka) announced for the fifth consecutive year, Astellas Group’s global volunteer initiative known as Changing Tomorrow Day that will engage its employees worldwide to enhance the sustainability of society through participation in local volunteer activities through March 2015.Today, Ken Jones, Astellas Pharma EMEA President and CEO, along with local employees, will teach healthy cooking classes at a school in Staines, England for the fourth straight year. The healthy cooking class is for children aged 5-7 and is designed to engage their minds and taste buds on the importance of nutritious meals. Astellas also financially supports the school’s nutritious eating cooking club for families.
As of Nov. 4, more than 6,000 employees across Japan, Asia/Oceania, the Americas and Europe have completed over 13,000 hours of service at hundreds of locations such as hospitals, family shelters, parks, food banks, elderly care facilities, community centers and schools where they engaged in projects to support the themes of health and the environment.
Dr. Kenji Yasukawa, Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer, Chairman of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee at Astellas, said, “Astellas is proud to be celebrating the fifth anniversary of Changing Tomorrow Day as we encourage our employees to provide support and contribute to the sustainable development of society and local communities to which we belong. As a good corporate citizen, Astellas will continue to actively engage in initiatives to support the health of people around the world.”
Below are examples of initiatives already completed:
Astellas Korea Pharma, Inc. kicked off this year’s activities on April 1 by returning to Yangae Citizens’ Park in Seoul with its 263 employees to clean up debris and leaves.
On June 11, almost 1,400 Astellas Pharma US employees painted, built furniture and improved the grounds at Give Kids the World: a 70-acre resort in Florida that provides free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. See press release.
In Europe, between the months of June and September, more than 100 employees organized sports days with local schools leading children in exercises to promote healthy, holistic development.
On July 14, employees in Saitama, Japan removed foreign plants from Kamitani-numa pond to conserve its biodiversity and help sustain the environment for Yoshikiri: a small bird that nests in the reed.
Despite extreme heat, on Aug. 1, a total of 291 employees in Tokyo performed their annual community street clean up and expanded to new areas around popular historical sites in Nihonbashi. The group collected an impressive 69.4 kg of waste.
On Sept. 12, more than 400 employees near the US headquarters participated in the transformation of Dunning Read Conservation Area in Chicago. Employees removed invasive plants, planted trees, reinforced the walking trail, created artwork and began the construction of an outdoor shelter. Simultaneously, 114 employees throughout Brazil completed activities at 17 locations, including donating health supplies, visiting the elderly and people with physical challenges, general maintenance of facilities and leading activities for kids.
On Sept. 19, students and teachers in Beijing visited the Astellas Pharma China office for “Job Shadow Day” where a team of employees provided the young students an up-close demonstration of how skills learned in school translate to the workplace.
Over 100 employees across Canada gathered on Sept. 29 to volunteer at food banks, paint community centers, clean up parks and serve warm meals to disadvantaged youth and homeless families.
On Oct. 28, 2014, the Changing Tomorrow Day volunteering initiative received a Silver award for ‘Best community involvement during a CSR program’ at the United Kingdom’s Corporate Engagement Awards.
Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. Astellas has approximately 18,000 employees worldwide. For additional information and to learn more about Astellas’ corporate social responsibility program, please visit our website at www.astellas.com/en.